I still remember the first time I saw the Eiffel Tower from a taxi, the driver pointed to the right and said “Have you seen this before?” – Once I looked out the window, I could not get out a word to respond. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would travel to Paris before I graduated from college but, now I have been twice and plan to return again some day.
Getting there: October- December are usually the cheapest months to fly to Paris, check out Wow Airlines for some killer deals ($600 round trip from SFO) This airline is based out of Iceland and gives you the option to make a “stopover” in Reykjavik (Capital of Iceland) on your outbound or return flight. This gives you a chance to explore Iceland on your way to another destination- SUCH A COOL IDEA!
Stay: Trust me you don’t want to stay in the hostel that I stayed in. It was a nightmare – make sure you are reading reviews when booking hostels in Paris. I would suggest looking at Airbnb for accomodations in Paris (They are cheaper than hostels!) Here are some less expensive hostels – all with high ratings on Hostel World.
Transportation: The Paris Airport (Charles de Gaulle) is located quite a ways from the city center. I have always taken a taxi (costing around 60 euros and giving them a 3 euro tip for helping with my luggage) Find out more about public transportation from the airport here. Once you are in the city, the metro in Paris is fairly simple to learn and goes everywhere, the yellow line (line 1) will be your go-to metro line for all the touristy areas.
Day 1: Pick up some wine, champagne, cheese and/or sandwiches and start your day with a picnic at the Eiffel Tower, take line 6 to Bir-Hakeim. After your picnic, take the yellow line (line 1) to Palais Royal Musee de Lourve. Check out this Admission Fee Schedule to see if you qualify for free admission to the Lourve. We went on a Friday: 6 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., admission to the permanent collections is free for under-26s(upon presentation of ID). You could really spend days in the Lourve but, we only had about 4 hours so we moved very quickly to see everything! Eat: At least 2 crepes on your first day in Paris.
Day 2: Take the yellow line (line 1) to Charles de Gaulle Etoile, here you will find the Arc de Triomphe. From the Arc you can easily follow Champs Elysees (some of the most famous shopping in the world) to the Concorde. Take your time and go in shops, restaurants, bars and eat the street food. We spent an entire day wandering down Champs Elysees and still had more to see. I suggest you visit the Eiffel Tower every night during your visit, it’s very easy to get to on the metro – take line 6 to Bir-Hakeim Eat: Late lunch/Dinner at Frog XVI (right near the Eiffel tower)
Day 3: Definitely start your morning with a tasty croissant (or 3)! Take the yellow line (line 1) to St-Michel Notre Dame. There is so much to explore near Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris, plenty of shopping, restaurants and even a children’s park that we had a blast in (whoops!). Eat: Enjoy French Cuisine for dinner at Le Coude Fou (try – honey goat cheese) After dinner take the blue line (line 2) to Blanche to visit Moulin Rouge!
Day Trip: Palace of Versailles – A MUST see just outside of Paris! Unfortunately the day that we visited the inside of the palace was closed but, we wandered around the palace grounds until dark. Be sure to check the hours and schedule before your trip – here! Admission is FREE – the first Sunday of every month from November to March. Getting there: take an RER line C5 train to Versailles-Rive Gauche station – it takes about 40 minutes and the round trip ticket costs €5.60.