We went to Paris for a long weekend in March 2018 on the Eurostar from St Pancras and stayed in a hotel opposite the Paris Gare du Nord. We decided not to purchase a Paris city pass as we knew what sights we wanted to see and purchased our tickets prior to our journey, saving us time and money.
Big Bus tour
This open top double decker bus is a great way to see Paris as it stops near the main attractions.
There are two routes: the red route takes in the classic iconic sights such as Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame.
The blue route takes in the artistic area of Montmartre.
We bought our tickets from the driver at 36 euros each, it is 10% cheaper if you buy your ticket online.
We found this tour gave us a great insight into neighbourhoods and sites we wanted to visit whilst in Paris.
We purchased our tickets online to the top of the tower via the lift at 25 euros each. This meant we were able to choose a time slot that suited us, and we were in the fast track queue. Views from the top were spectacular, even in the rain!
Security is tight, and visitors are advised not to take large back packs into the area.
Be aware that there are numerous signs warning tourists that pick pockets operate in the area.
General admission is free however, admission to the tower is 8 euros 50 and 6 euros for entrance to the crypt.
This beautiful historical building is worth a visit.
Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation
A memorial to the 200,000 people who were deported from Vichy France to Nazi concentration camps 1940-1945. This peaceful moving memorial, containing inscriptions by French poets, is situated behind the Notre Dame, and is accessible through a small park. Access to the memorial is free and it is open daily.
We purchased our tickets online for 17 euros each which included fast track entry. Security is tight and queues form very quickly.
This is a busy museum and there was a long queue to see the Mona Lisa but so worth it!
Stepping through the door of the “Red Mill” I felt I had gone back a hundred years in time.
Read the full review for my visit and thoughts on the Moulin Rouge and the show!
We ate at a fantastic restaurant near the Moulin Rouge called Le Dulcinéa (41 rue Pierre Fontaine, 75009 Paris). Main plates start from 11.50 euros for a pizza with daily specials available from 15 euros. Tables are placed close together and it can be a bit of a squeeze to move into and from your table. Booking is essential as the restaurant is very busy.
Look out for cafes offering 2 course lunch or dinner menus as many provide this option and they are extremely good value for money.
I developed a taste for Cognac when spending time in Paris, so make sure to try some at the end of your meal!
Travelling around Paris
- T+tickets are single, one-way tickets using any of the metro lines or bus routes. We purchased a pack of 10 tickets for 14 euros 90 from the local metro station. These were very easy to use as we just used 1 ticket for each journey we made. We found using the bus and metro systems very straight forward .
Shopping in Paris
- I decided to go to Chanel in the Galeries Lafayette department store as I wanted to see the iconic building. When visiting Chanel you will need to have an idea of what you want to buy as you have to wait outside the Chanel store before entering. A member of staff will ask you what you are interested in. If you are a non-French national and you wish to make a purchase you will need to take a passport with you. This is a busy Chanel but all the staff are extremely professional!