So my trip may have been in February, early February at that I am only just now getting around posting up my photos but that kind of explains how manic everything was post Paris, I went with my class for three days with the primary focus being on attending Premier Vision, a fashion exhibition where companies can sell to designers etc. We went on the student day which I think was Wednesday, if you are a student go on this day as you pay a reduced rate for entry. To sum up my trip as a whole would be difficult on one hand Paris is a beautiful city, exploring the streets for two days was my favourite part myself and the two girls I was exploring with decided not to use up time by going into the Louvre or the other indoor experiences but instead to invest our time in exploring the streets. We did of course visit the Eiffel Tower because I had never been and it was something to tick off my list but the queues where crazy so instead of going up the tower with further explored the city.
One thing that I wasn’t overall aware of before I went was just how poor a city Paris is and how many street scams there are around. One top tip I could give would be to keep your wits about you and do not fall into these tourist traps, I myself ended up having to give one man around fourteen euro because he had grabbed my wrist to make a bracelet onto my wrist and wouldn’t let go. It can be scary so just make sure that you are not travelling alone and that you do not stop or interact with people who you can see trying to pull a scam, I don’t want to put anyone off of visiting Paris and I myself would go back again I just wish I had done more research before I had gone to ensure that I wouldn’t fall for street scams. The scams where mainly in tourist hot spots, it was at Sacre Couer that the bracelet incident happened to me. Just make sure that you stay together and you will have a great time.
Transport is pretty easy in Paris we ended up using the Metro trains to get around, they work on the same principle as the London Underground and don’t take too long to get used to. It is a pretty inexpensive system and we ended up purchasing day tickets for around twenty euros which helped seeing as our accommodation was about an hour outside of Paris. Taxis are also pretty efficient in Paris however they can be quite expensive so I would only recommend them if you are travelling as a group of about 6 because they will charge for each piece of luggage and person after a certain number which would make a half an hour journey for six people about sixty euro but if you need to get back to your hotel late at night then I would recommend using the taxis. Luckily the night we decided to go onto the Champs Elysees we were heading back in time to make the last train to CDG airport which was close to our hotel.
The food in Paris ( excluding our hotel but that is the rant I am saving for the next section) was amazing, as a cheese obsessive I didn’t eat a meal for three days that didn’t include some form of cheese, the food we found was mostly inexpensive but we were just trying to budget. On the night we went to the Champs Elysees for dinner we found a nautical themed restaurant which despite the location cost us about twenty euro for dinner, that was however just a main course and drink but we had budgeted to have one “fancy dinner” during our time in Paris. What I will say that from the expierence at this particular restaurant it was clear that the waiters work almost against each other to bring in people and where ever you our sitting depends on which waiter gets the tips. This became obvious when the waiter who greeted us at the door encouraged us to wait for a table to empty whilst the whole back of the restaurant was empty, when it became clear this was for his benefit we insisted to sit at the back much to his protest. Again I am not trying to point out the flaws but I do feel like I want to create an honest account of my time so that you guys if you are wanting to go to Paris are totally aware of what to expect. A final note is that if you are over the legal drinking age and like wine then the cheap bottles of four euro rose are the way to go!
Accommodation, now my personal expierence was pretty terrible as far as accommodation went but that was pretty much entirely to blame for the fact that our trip was booked through our college and they went for cheap and close to the exhibition space instead of seeing that we would have two days that weren’t anything to do with the exhibition. We were staying roughly an hour from central Paris which was a total pain when it came to going out and about because you had to allow so much time to get anywhere. The hotel itself was more of an apartment complex and what we were told were 4 bedroom apartments where actually four bed apartments meaning a double bed which could be spilt into two singles and a double bed. We were sharing with friends but even so it was alot of deal with after a very stressful first day in the city.
One key element would be to go with a group of friends, I previously mentioned that the purpose of my trip was for one of my college classes so we went as a class. This to be honest was more of an issue because it meant travelling in a large group which is difficult if you are in a new city because trying to learn new travel systems is stressful enough without having to stick with twenty other people doing the same thing. we ended up getting people physically trapped in metro doors on day one because the stop time is very quick on the metro. We ended up spending the majority of the trip in much smaller groups after this because it meant we could explore without being restricted. One major recommendation I would have is when you are away creating a whatsapp group or some other messenger group which meant that we could all keep in touch even if we were all in different areas of the city and also to check in with our tutors in the evening to let them know we were back in the hotel.
To summarise this rather oversized post ( don’t worry the next post will be all my photos) I loved Paris but I do wish I was better planned with regards to working out exactly where to go on each day so minimise time wasting, however in regards to that one of the best pieces of advice we got was from the receptionist in our hotel who spent a good half an hour with us planning where to go and in what order which on our last day meant we got so much done because we had a system in place. Hope you guys found this post interesting/ helpful.
Until next time…T-J xo