I’ve wanted to visit Paris for as long as I can remember, and luckily for me, I was given a trip there this past Christmas. We flew with easyJet from Glasgow to Charles de Gaulle on a Friday morning and had arrived at our Airbnb by around 3pm. Tickets from CDG into the city cost €10 each and once in the city we each got a 5 day metro pass costing €35 – considering it was the only mode of transport we used we more than got our monies worth.
Located in the 15th Arr., our top floor apartment came with views of the vast city, Eiffel Tower included. It totalled £220 for four nights – a fraction of what hotels with a similar view cost. The Airbnb website is rather slow and outdated, which can be infuriating at times, and so I suggest downloading the app as it works far better (at least on an iPhone).
Paris, along with many other European cities, offers free access to public museums for citizens of the European Union under the age of 26. It offers concessions for the same age group from other countries and many other people – I highly recommend looking into what identification you need to present at the desk in order to gain free of cheaper access via the museums’ website.
We attended a Paris Saint-Germain vs Bastia match on the Friday evening in the monumental Parc de Princes stadium, and despite not being the worlds’ biggest football fan I enjoyed the atmosphere and more so the food.
Our Saturday began with a lunch in a small family restaurant near our apartment named Arthur et Juliette. As long as you go to Paris aware of prices, you won’t be shocked. It is more expensive than restaurants at home, but researching prices for fifteen minutes before your trip will prepare you for the menus. It’s also important to note that most Parisian restaurants have two price lists – the cheaper options are for those dining inside, the more expensive for window tables. We then visited the Opéra which is walking distance from Les Galeries Lafayette (a mammoth shopping centre). In the evening we visited Le Musée d’Orsay (for free) which boasts masterworks from many great artists, Van Gogh, Manet and Delacroix to name a few. From there we walked, put our own padlock on a bridge enjoyed dinner in our apartment (a great way to save money in a place where meals are expensive is to utilise your accommodation’s kitchen).
Our Sunday was spent in Le Château de Versailles (as an art history student this is heaven on earth), again for free, the gloriously ostentatious palace created under Louis XIV’s rule. The photographs are no comparison to seeing the building in person, the sheer size of the building and its decadence are unlike any building I have ever seen. If I could recommend any single thing to see in Paris it would undoubtedly be Versailles. For more information on admissions to Versailles, click here.
Monday was our Disneyland day – tickets cost €80 each for an adult for both parks at the gate so again be prepared as tickets can cost half of that online when booked in advance. Luckily we brought our student cards with us and so this meant we could access both parks for €54. It was not displayed anywhere and only when the cashier asked if we were students were we made aware of the discount so share! The parks were undoubtedly worth the money and after the typhoon in Hong Kong last time I visited a Disneyland I finally got to experience it properly.
Our last day consisted of us checking out for one o’clock and wandering around Paris for a couple hours before catching our flight. We visited Notre Dame and the Louvre which, of course, is closed on a Tuesday. Lesson learned; always read up on everything you want to do on a trip before you go.