Friday, January 23, 2015

3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Première Partie

Paris was our first stop on our two week jaunt around Europe. Our flight arrived in Roissy - Charles De Gaulle around 2pm and we quickly found our way to the Tourist Information Desk, at Terminal 1 to purchase a 4 Day Paris Museum Pass. 

If you are planning a trip to Paris soon and are interested in visiting some of it's iconic sights, I would definitively recommend purchasing a Paris Museum Pass. the Paris Museum Pass will not only save you money but it will also allows you to skip the line at some of the attractions. We were spending 3.5 days in the city so the 4 day Paris Museum Pass (with a price of 56  per person) was a great fit. Before the trip I listed out the attractions covered in the pass that we thought we'd visit during our time in the city to make sure that the savings were worth it. 

Here are some of the attraction we had planned to visit:
Per person (Euro)
Arc de Triomphe9.5
Musee du Lourve 12
Musee d'Orsay 9
Sainte Chapelle 8.5
Notre Dame 8.5
Versailles 18
Les Invalides Musee de l'Armee 9.5
Conciergerie 8.5
Add up to...83.5

Bought individually the entrance fees to these attractions would have cost us 83.5€ per person.With the 4 day Paris Pass, we saved 55€ and skipped what little lines we saw at the sights.
At the Tourist Information Desk we also purchased 2 carnet, a pack of 10 train tickets. Each individual 1 one way Metro ticket is 1,70€ , you can save almost 5€ by purchasing a carnet, which is a pack of 10 tickets for 13,70€. These tickets are valid for travel to any metro train station or to any RER station within Central Paris, including any necessary changes of line as long as you don't exit the Metro/RER system. Unfortunately the train ride from the airport to the city is not considered as a ride within Central Paris so we paid for those additionally as well.
Paris Museum Pass in hand along with 2 Paris Metro "carnets" and train tickets from the airport, we followed the signs to the airport train station. Even at the airport train station we saw some pickpockets and there we some on the ride into the city as well. We stopped at Gare de Nord which was supposed to be 15 minutes walking distance from our hotel. We circled the block around our hotel for almost an hour, until we finally saw our hotel.

Our hotel, BEST WESTERN Hôtel Faubourg Saint-Martin is within 15 minute walking distance form both Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est and is between two Metro stations. Although the room was tiny (as expected in Paris) it was comfortable and modern. Our hotel rate included breakfast, which we enjoyed every morning before venturing out into the city.

We checked in at the hotel, dropped our bags in the room and sprinted out to explore the city, our first stop being Arc de Triomphe. It was a great place to start our tour of the city since it would give us a great view of the Eiffel Tower and a great starting point to the Champs-Elysee.

We arrived at Arc de Triomphe just as the night was settling in but we were bursting with energy. The way to the top is through a looonnnggg winding staircase, one of those in which you really don't want to look down.

 We arrived a couple of minutes before 6pm, which means that our first view of the Eiffel Tower was of it all dressed up in it's lighting splendor.

From the top of the Arc de Triomphe we had a wonderful view of Champs Elysee and the La Grande Roue (big ferris wheel). 

After admiring the view for a while we made our way down the Arc and walked along Champs Elysee following Rick Steve's. We had our first taste of Laduree macarons, when we stopped at their Champs Elysee location and saw that there was no line at all! Along our walk, we came across Paris' Winter Market in full swing. Unfortunately, we have no pictures of this as we had our had our hands full of "chaud vin" (Hot wine) and yummy food. There were tons of people locals and tourists alike, enjoying the festive cheer in the air.

We stopped at Concorde to catch our breath before walking back down Champs Elysee. We detoured a bit, walked along the Seine down from Concorde to Pont Alexander III to catch another glimpse of the Eiffel Tower before calling it a night. It was a wonderful end to our first night in the City of Lights.

Read about the rest of our time in Paris:
3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Deuxième Partie - Versailles & the Louvre
3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Troisième Partie - Old Paris, Les Invalides & the Eiffel Tower
3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Quatrième Partie - Montmarte & Musée d'Orsay

No comments:

Post a Comment