Paris has always been a dream destination for me. Selfie with the Eiffel Tower has been an item on my bucket list for a long time. Summer of 2018, I got a chance to tick that box when I accompanied my hubby to Paris for a business trip.
Everyone thinks Paris is all about the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, Sacré-Cœur, Louvre Museum and Versailles Palace only. Though these are must see places, there is much more that Paris has to offer. One can simply choose to visit all the Museums in Paris using the Paris Pass or the Museum Pass, or walk along the Seine absorbing the changes in the color of the city skyline. You can marvel at f the gigantic architectural beauties sprawling across the city, or indulge in all sorts of delightful French cuisine. Or simply roam around the streets of Paris looking for an enriching experience.
With my hubby busy with office work, I had to quench my thirst of touring the city of my dreams solo. It was my birthday and so I decided to gift myself an indelible experience of enjoying the streets of Paris in my own way.
Note: The city is huge and has so many things to do and things to see, it is next to impossible to cover everything within a short span of time. Still, I will try my best to give you some insights that might make your trip as memorable as mine.
How to Travel: It’s not a secret that Paris is a very expensive city. So rule out the option of travelling by Uber unless you are rolling in money.
Some people opt for tour bus operators like Big Bus. Most people tour Europe with travel companies and there you have to match the pace of the guide to cover all aspects of sight-seeing. I chose to use the lifeline of Paris, the Metro, and my old trust-worthy legs.
There are multiple options when it comes to choosing the correct Metro Pass. You can take single trip tickets or a bunch of 10 ticket. I had a Navigo Pass with a weekly recharge of 22.80 € which covered unlimited travel across all zones in Metro, Train, Bus and RER. There are lots of advantages in having a Navigo Pass. Please find more details below.
I found Metro Line is M1 to be most useful as it stops near all the major tourist spots in Paris. It was a hop in hop out tour for me.
1st Stop: I was staying at Courbevoie which is near the M1 Starting point La Defense. Also coincidentally, the Grande Arche is located at La Defense… so one spot ticked !
2nd Stop: Take M1 to Charles de Gaulle – Étoile and walk down to the Arc de Triomphe
3rd Stop: Either walk or take M1 to Champ Elysees – Clemenceau, the most famous street in Paris. You will get a very good view of the Arc de Triomphe from here.
You can also walk down to the Grand Palais and Petit Palais which are currently famous exhibition sites.
4th Stop: Next, get down at Concorde to cover Place de la Concorde, the Obelisk and the fountains, and the Jardins de Tuileries or Tuileries Garden . Alternately, you can get down at the metro stop for Tuileries also to cover these spots.
From Concorde, you can walk down to Place de la Madeleine and pay homage to La Madeleine, a Roman-Catholic church.
5th Stop: From Tuileries, you can take M1 to Hôtel de Ville and then walk across the bridges over Seine river to reach Notre-Dame, one of the finest example of Gothic architecture. Marvel at the intricate interior design, or the Gargoyle statues perched atop the church towers. You can also visit the crypt or climb up the tower for a closer look at the beautiful designs.
6th Stop: I wandered around for quite a long time near Notre Dame and then walked down to the Châtelet metro stop and took M1 to Bastille. Outside the metro station, you will see Place de la Bastille, the square where Bastille prison was earlier located. At the center of the square now the July Column stands commemorating the spirit of Freedom.
Bastille is a fun place. You can choose to visit the Bastille Opera, or relax beside the Canal Saint-Martin or simply walk around exploring the vibrant and lively streets of Bastille. Bastille is also very famous for its nightlife.
7th Stop: From Bastille take the M8 to Invalides and walk down the Esplanade des Invalides enjoying the beautiful lawns and the famous buildings and churches around. You can also visit the Pont Alexandre III, the most ornate bridge over Seine.
8th Stop: From Esplanade des Invalides, catch the M8 to La Motte-Picquet – Grenelle and then take the M6 to Trocadéro. I finally found my picture perfect view of Eiffel Tower from Trocadéro. I spent my evening here enjoying the fountain sprays bathing the Eiffel Tower with background music played by the street shows. Its very lively and crowded here most of the time. Enjoy sight of the entire city lighting up at nightfall, most prominently the glittering Eiffel Tower and the Sacré-Cœur.
For those who are wondering if I missed Eiffel Tower in my list, I visited Eiffel Tower every single day during my stay at Paris. I used is to take the M1 to Charles de Gaulle – Étoile and then take the M6 to Bir-Hakeim. then you simply walk down to the base of Eiffel Tower or take a boat ride along the Seine to enjoy a view of all the famous buildings in Paris including the Louvre and the Notre-Dame.
Hope you enjoyed reading about my one-day exploits in Paris.
Stay tuned for my next blog about the more touristy things to do at Paris.. Au Revoir !