Why Travel to Paris!?
Hey Folks! Happy March and hopefully hello warmer weather (…well in Europe)! I really do hope you have made some progress into the fast approaching first quarter of 2017? Time literally waits for no one! March is by far my fave month as it’s my mama’s birthday month, i’m coincidentally always physically fitter in March (I hope spiritually too lol) and spring is oh so close here in London! 😁
For those who do not follow me on the gram ( @MoveWithDoyin – no pressure of course lol) I spent the past weekend exploring Paris with my runners on, eating loads of baguettes and I managed to complete my first Half Marathon Run! …A quick divergence but if you would have told me not too long ago that i’d be able to run for almost 2 hours non-stop (without being on the verge of passing out lol) I would have severely questioned your mental state! But hey I did it and I encourage you to push yourself, do what you otherwise would not consider even if it is above your means and if you feel the fear, do it anyway!
Go & See for Yourself.
OK so back to all things Pari… Contrary to believing I would despise Paris due to false (some true lol) stereotypes and cultural misconceptions, I really really really adored Paris! The urban café culture (and I can’t forget – the damn right very smelly metro stations lol) merging so effortlessly with the sophisticated ambiance of the likes of Champs-Élysées avenue brought a distinctive grace to the city that you can only call ‘Parisian’.
My Personal Parisian Experience
As I always do, i’ll share some tips from my personal Parisian experience, a bit on my itinerary and how I pretty much spend NOTHING on sightseeing, museum visits and tours. Yes, my few Euros literally went on crepes (which i’m now a fan of), ham & cheese panini’s, baguettes and transport. If you are under 26 years young I guarantee you can make a weekend trip to Paris (from a European destination) for under £100 and here’s a few how I did it:
Head to The LOUVRE On a FRIDAY NIGHT!
No there is no party with Mona Lisa but other than being FREE for all EU folks under 25, admission to The Louvre is free for under-26s of all nationalities on presentation of valid ID after 6pm on a Friday! It shuts at 10pm on a Friday and it was gracefully empty during my 8pm visit.
Paris is Pretty Much FREE If you’re Under 26…
Say what! … no joke, make the most of your youth and head to major Parisian museums for free! Even Huffington Post have confirmed here: Huffingtonpost 😉
Don’t Threat!… Museums Are Free for All On Sunday!
Well… on the first Sunday of each month major museums such as The Louvre and Musée d’Orsay are free for all so try and plan your trip accordingly to save a few pennies.
Walk Around the City (or go for a jog if you’re crazy!)
I was of course in Paris to complete a Half Marathon so staying in shape was necessary with my consumption of crepes and paninis so I decided to spend the first morning jogging around the city and taking in all it’s beauty.
Personally and given my circumstance I loved exploring the city with my runners on.. I got to see where I wanted to return to, I exploited a few breather and Snapchat breaks to “people watch” and converse with locals. As well as jogging around the city like a maniac I choose to spend the rest of the day walking around to further get a true taste of Parisian culture! – I love the word “Parisian” ! lol… I’ll recommend wandering around the River Banks of Seine, The Latin Quarter and Montmartre of course!
Sit In a Cafe!
This one is truly mandatory and because I was on a budget I inevitably avoided fancy restaurants and had lunch in local cafe’s – which I did not regret! The basic food choice in Paris was a slight culture shock for me but I embraced it and piled on all the carbs (my ultimate fave) with cheesy paninis, baguettes and the likes. Not really being a “sandwich person” put me on the hunt for a warm hearty lunch after my morning jog but to my surprise I couldn’t find a quick and easy restaurant to cater for that need.
I gave in and embraced the cafe culture and nibbled on a toasty ham and cheese panini with a cup of coffee. It was probably the best ham and cheese panini i’ve ever had (or maybe I was just hungry? lol). Nethertheless go and sit in a cute little Parisian cafe – you’ll love it!
Personally this is one of the best ways I build perspective and understanding of a culture, the do’s and don’ts… and it’s pretty damn entertaining. Sit or stroll by the Champs-Élysées avenue or the canals in the Latin Quarter/St Michel, deep in your thoughts and just watch Parisian life go by.
Don’t Bother Driving in Paris…
The worst traffic I have seen in my entire life! Worse than the infamous Los Angeles or lagos traffic! lol …To say the least walk walk walk and get the metro in Paris! Transport is cheap (relative to London and the likes) – I purchased a day travelcard for €7.30 (zones 1&2) which covered pretty much all of the city and a one way metro ride costs €1.90.
(FYI, a one way ticket to/from Charles de Gaulle Airport was €10 which can be purchased at any metro station).
AirBnB it, as ALWAYS!
You should know my love for AirBnB by now but my Parisian pad is one of my current faves – check out where I stayed here: Paris AirBnB Pad and get get £30 off on your next visit here ! When abroad I thrive off speaking to locals and observing how they live and AirBnB provides just that. I would not have known about The Louvre after dark on a Friday night without my amazing host and given my interests he told me what was going on in the city during my visit… he even invited me to his design office (I was too shy to ask for a job however haha).
As expected, the average AirBnB in Paris is a little on the expensive side but it was soo worth it and many are still dramatically cheaper than hotels in the city.
I’m a sucker for a great panoramic landscape view and Paris did not disappoint… & to top it off, it was FREE!
The Arc de Triomphe – the biggest arc in the world – honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Standing by the arc itself was enough to soak it the beauty of Champs-Élysées so it was a treat to be able to head to the top to appreciate Parisian beauty even more! Again, if you are under 26 you can climb up 284 steps (lol I promise it’s so worth it) to get to the viewing platform absolutely FREE! Otherwise I believe the full rate was about €10 which again is totally worth it!
Head there for sunset to get amazing panoramic city views and stay until it gets dark – you’ll be blown away when Paris is completely illuminated! It does get a little cold and windy up there so bring extra gear if you’ll be there for a little while trying to scope that winning Instagram shot! Lol.
Thanks for reading to the end (it’s never easy I understand lol) and do let me know your thoughts on the post as always! Don’t forget to share the post too!
*From next week i’ll begin my journey venturing out to South East Asia to document the beautiful continent with the aim of providing you with tips and guides for your personal travels! To support this journey (and the journeys to follow) i’ve set up a GoFundMe page – check out my full story by clicking the link and all support is truly appreciated! I believe travel should not be limited to a small few – you should be able to explore the world, even on a budget and I will certainly be showing you how!*