I’m so sorry I messed up my posting schedule because I had to write an essay for my Scottish Literature class. Getting back on track though!
Overall I loved my Paris trip. However, I felt like there was so much more of it left for me to see!
It was overall fine. Having my own room was nice and something I wanted since I knew I’d feel less secure in Paris compared to the other cities I’ve visited so far. However, I never felt unsafe and I’m sure I would’ve been fine staying in the dorm.
Great that it provides a free breakfast because I could save money on a meal each day. Paris food is expensive and when it’s included in the hostel/hotel price, it helps!
My bed’s pillow was kind of lame where I used my scarf to help prop my head, but they provided extra blankets that I ended up using.
Still weirded out that my sink didn’t have soap, but it was nice that my room had its own shower. You have to rent a towel or bring your own though.
Things I’m Glad I Did:
- Used the metro – By the end of my weekend I felt like a metro pro as I’d been using it so much. It made me feel more like a local when I got comfortable navigating it. I used a combination of google maps and the Paris metro app to make sure I knew what I was doing. The app isn’t always great at helping you get to the closest metro station and so I used my maps for that.
- Splurged on the macaroons – I probably did not need ten macaroons just for myself that weekend, but they were delicious enough that I didn’t care. I had to experience some Parisian food if I couldn’t afford a French dinner! This is a city that eats well and so I made sure I did too.
- Gotten into the Louvre for free – Honestly, I’m not super into paintings and art. Fifteen euros is a lot to pay for something you’re not enthusiastic for, but I know so many people feel obligated to visit the Louvre because they’re in Paris. If I had to pay, I think I would’ve been disappointed. If you’re not into art museums, don’t spend the money on the Louvre. I’m sorry if that’s an unpopular opinion, but don’t do something you won’t enjoy. Put that money towards something that’ll create fonder memories of your trip to Paris.
- Research best airport to city transportation – This is something I do for each city I visit because you don’t want to go in blind and end up spending too much. I took the Orlybus because it takes you to a popular metro station that could then bring me close to my hostel. There were a lot of other options though so look into what’s best for your location.
Things I Wish I Did:
- Experienced Paris in the warmth – It’s hard to walk slowly and appreciate this beautiful city when it’s cold and rainy the whole time. I was hunched over and walking quickly the majority of the time. I wish I could’ve seen Paris in its prime though.
- Had more time to explore – Paris is a huge city compared to Edinburgh and so I wish I had gotten the chance to discover the hidden parts a little more. While I always do the touristy things, I also want to go off that path occasionally. You need much more than a weekend to do this though.
- Gone to the top of Notre Dame and/or the Eiffel Tower – While I wouldn’t have enjoyed it with all the rain, it’s part of seeing Paris.
- Had a picnic – What’s more of an ideal Paris experience than having a picnic beneath the Eiffel Tower? Again the rain made this an undesirable activity for me.
- Gone to the Palais Garnier! – I was super into Phantom of the Opera in high school and this is the opera house that the novel was based on. I forgot about it though until after I got back! I’m so disappointed in myself because I had loved the movie so much and did want to go.
- Eaten more cheese – I didn’t end up getting any cheese and I really wish I’d gotten a good brie at the very least. I love cheese so much, but I never really found the opportunity to make it a priority. It wasn’t as easy as I’d expected it to be to get cheese or croissants. I needed more time to find the good local places!
Alone in the City:
While I’d visited Amsterdam and Reykjavik alone, me going solo to Paris gave me the most criticism from my family. One of my friends advised I didn’t do it because it is a “busy” city. Not sure what that means. But I wanted to go and none of my friends were available that weekend. I booked my flight in the spur of the moment honestly. Even my French waiter who complimented my eyes was shocked that I was in Paris alone. I’m glad I didn’t let what they said affect me though. I never had any issues and never felt unsafe or uncomfortable in my surroundings. I never encountered any of the scams that people warned me about. Of course, I was still careful about not being an obvious tourist and not being careless with my belongings. I was always aware of not giving pickpockets an opportunity as there are warnings on the metro about them. While I didn’t have any issues, you should never stop being cautious.
If you are careful there is no reason why you shouldn’t visit Paris alone!
Well I hope you guys enjoyed hearing about my Paris trip. I definitely plan on returning one day so if you have any suggestions about what to do, comment below!