It’s that time for our Paris Travel Diary! Paris is a city that I have always wanted to visit and living in London means that it is only a 2 hour train ride away. We hopped on the Eurostar on a Friday night a few weeks ago for a weekend trip. We chose to take the Eurostar even though it was more expensive than a flight. There were a couple of reasons for this decision. The first being that we generally find taking a train a much more relaxed experience in comparison to airports. There are no liquid limits, you can bring through your food and the vibe at the station and on the train is not as hectic. The second reason was that the Eurostar operates out of King’s Cross station which is much easier to get to from work than an airport, especially when the budget airlines operate from airports miles out from the city.
We timed our visit so that we got to see Andrew’s brother who lives in Japan but was visiting Paris for a couple of weeks. We balanced catch-ups with exploring Paris and despite the short amount of time that we had, I think we took advantage of the time that we had there.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Since we were only in Paris for 48 hours, we visited the most iconic sights. On the first day, we started off by walking along the Seine River to Notre Dame Cathedral. I couldn’t help but think of The Hunchback of Notre Dame the entire time I was there. I used to love that movie as a child! Did anyone else love that movie too?
Notre Dame Cathedral
We then walked along Pont Neuf before heading to the Louvre and the Place du Carrousel. After that, we headed through Jardin de Tuileries to Placa la Concorde before walking down Champs de Elysee.
Love Lock Bridge along Pont Neuf
On our second day, we used the metro as opposed to walking because we only had half a day. The first thing we did was take the metro to the Eiffel Tower, followed by the Arc de Triomphe. Seeing the Eiffel Tower was one of those ‘pinch me’ moments. I made a vision board about 10 years ago with the Eiffel Tower on it so to see it up close was a little surreal.
The Eiffel Tower (this picture really doesn’t need a caption haha..)
Arc de Triomphe (this picture doesn’t need a caption as well!)
The last sight of our trip was the Sacre Coeur. It was a little further out but it was well worth it. You have to climb up a couple of flights of stairs but not only are you rewarded with seeing the church up close, you get a great view of Paris.
On our first day in Paris, the first thing we did was head to Blè Sucré. Andrew had heard about this place online. We each had a croissant and they were the best croissants we had ever eaten. Buttery, flaky and messy – exactly how we pictured our croissant experience to be. Blè Sucré definitely had a more local feel to it since it wasn’t in a main area. There were so many locals picking up their baguettes for the weekend. We didn’t see many tourists, if any, which made it even more special. If you’re after an amazing croissant, you should check out this place. You won’t be disappointed.
Most likely taking several photos of my croissant from Blè Sucré before eating it.
We then walked for about a block to CC Café for breakfast round 2 – when in Paris right? I loved the vibe of this cafe. It was super cosy and inviting. The staff were friendly as well. We had an acai bowl and coffee which wasn’t the most French thing but after the croissant I didn’t want anything too heavy. The coffee was great and the acai bowl was delicious.
If you’ve read our travel diaries before you will know that Andrew and I love finding new coffee places. The Boot Café in the Le Marais area was located near to where Andrew’s brother was working and it had the best coffee that we tried in Paris. It is a small cafe with only two tables so we had ours to takeaway. The barista was so precise with all his measurements. He weighed everything including the coffee grounds, the takeaway cups and the shot of coffee in the takeaway cup! When we make another trip back to Paris, we will be heading back there for our caffeine fix!
The Boot Café
On our last day in Paris we headed to Café Oberkampf for breakfast. It’s another cafe that I would highly recommend. The staff were welcoming and the food was delicious.
The last place that I wanted to mention was Crêperie Brocéliande. This find was actually on a whim. We were hungry after visiting the Sacre Coeur and I searched for the closest place to get crêpes. It’s a fairly large restaurant and we luckily didn’t have to wait for a table despite it being extremely busy. We unfortunately do not have any photos of the place so just imagine amazing looking crêpes haha.
THE TRAVEL TIPS
- Use the Paris Metro. The trains are frequent, the ticket machine is easy to use and it’s easy to work out where you need to go.
- There’s an option to purchase 10 x tickets when using the metro. If you will be using the metro frequently, I would recommend this option because the tickets work out cheaper and you do not need to continuously purchase your tickets. The machine actually gives you 10 individual tickets rather than one ticket that you validate 10 times, so you can split it amongst the people you’re travelling with.
- Make reservations for dinner venues if you can. It was fashion week when we were in Paris so we had to wait over an hour because we didn’t book beforehand.
- Eat that extra croissant – you’ll regret it when you leave and you can’t have another one for awhile! I’m having regrets right now…