There is just something about Paris that makes you want to come back time and time again. With sophistication, romance, style and history, you are never bored on the streets of Paris. With recognisable architecture, chic boutiques, artistic treats and museums galore, Paris is a place for everyone.
There are so many things to see and do in Paris, in fact you could spend several days just finding different impressive view points of the Eiffel Tower. Avoid the english school holidays as lines can get incredibly long. Explore the catacombs, climb the Eiffel Tower, browse the Champs Elysee, scale the Arc De Triomphe and much more.
Hostel/Budget rates – Europe is an expensive area of the world, with Paris being no exception. Dorm beds can be found at €25 – €45 with private double rooms starting at €90 per night in good locations and €50+ in quieter areas.
Midrange Hotel rates – €60 – €140 depending on location.
Luxury Hotel rates – €150+ with some very luxurious and fancy hotels costing €300+.
Transport – Bicycles are available to rent from €1.70 for a one day subscription and €8 for 7 days. The Batobus ferry costs €16 for a 1 day pass and €19 for a 2 consecutive day pass. Metro and RER tickets cost €1.70 individually whilst a book of 10 tickets cost €13.70.
Average cost of food – Food and drink is expensive in Paris, expect to pay upwards of €20 for two alcoholic drinks in a bar or restaurant, though fast food and supermarket foods offer cheap prices for basic meals. Decent baguettes cost around €3 whilst a slice of pIzza costs €5+. A main meal with wine and beer at a nice french restaurant can cost anywhere between €70 – €10o+.
Where to stay
Hostel/Budget – Those looking for a cosy, Parisian atmosphere, head to the Trendy Hostel with dorm beds starting at €28, the hotel is just a 15 minute metro ride from the Eiffel Tower, offering clean and welcoming rooms. Luna-Park hotel is found in a quiet street off Rue Oberkampf, near Place De La Bastille and Republique. Private double rooms with ensuite start at €56.
Midrange – Hotel Eiffel Villa Garibaldi offers rooms from €135 in a convenient location near Sgur metro station and in walking distance to the Eiffel Tower. The Absolute Paris Boutique Hostel is a fabulous spot, with private rooms starting at €75.
Top End – My top choice is the (Hôtel Eiffel Capitol) with rooms starting at €180, located just a 10 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower and a few yards from the Duplex Metro station; whisking you to all top attractions in Paris. The rooms are compact but well decorated and the area is surrounded by some lovely Parisian restaurants as well as fast food chains for those on a budget. The Passy Eiffel is just a few yards from the Trocadero; offering the best views of the Eiffel Tower from across the river. Rooms start at €165, offering contemporary and spacious rooms.
How to get there
Fly – Nearly every major airline flies through one of Paris’ three airports. Most international flights arrive at Aeroport de Charles de Gaulle. From here you can catch the RER B line train (€9.50, taking around 50 minutes), with stops including Gare du Nord, Charelet-Les Halles and St-Michel-Notre Dame Station. From these stations you can change over to a line that will take you nearer your hotel. There are also six main bus lines; Les Cars Air France line 2 links you with Arc De Triomphe (€17), Les Cars Air France line 4 links to Gare de Lyon and Gare Montparnasse (€17.50), Roissybus linking to the Opera (€10.50), RATP bus 350 to Gare de l’est (€5.70), RATP bus 351 to place de la Nation (€5.70) and Noctilien bus 140 & 143 to Gare de lest and Gare du Nord (€7.60 – running throughout the night). Taxis from the airport to the city centre will set you back around €50.
Bus – Eurolines connects all major european capitals to Paris’ international bus terminal, whilst Megabus and National Express buses can be found at cheap rates from London.
Train – Eurostar trains connect Paris with London, Brussels, Calais, Lille, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Switzerland. Gare de Lyon is the station for trains heading to the Alps, Riviera, Geneva and Italy. Gare d’Austerlitz serves a high speed train Barcelona, as well as trains to Orleans and Limoges. Gare de l’Est serve Berlin, Vienna and Strasbourg. Gare Montparnasse serves trains from Brittany, Loire Bordeaux, Spain and Portugal. For those travelling around Europe, it is advised you get a Interrail pass.
The Velib bike share scheme puts 20000+ bikes at the hands of Parisians and visitors. There are over 1800 stations in the city, with bikes accessible around the clock. Purchase a one/seven day subscription (€1.70/€8) either online or at docking stations, authorise a €150 deposit (in case you bike goes missing) and then you’ll receive an ID number and Pin. You can rent bikes in 30 minute intervals, with the first half hour being free, the 2nd being €2 and each additional half hour €4. If you return a bike before a half hour is up, then take a new one, you will not be charged. If the station is full, you can log in to the terminal to get 15 minutes for free to find another station.
The Batobus ferry is a great way to travel around Paris in the warmer months, serving 8 small piers along the seine every 20 – 25 minutes, close to all major attractions. A favourite choice of mine is the (Sightseeing hop on – hop off bus), stopping at every popular attraction whilst giving you great fews of the city along the way. During the colder season the best way to get around Paris is the metro and RER. The RER is faster whilst the metro has more frequent stops, the RATP ticket are valid on both metro and RER as well as buses and trams.