In my last post, I said there was more to share; I’m a woman with integrity, so I am here to wrap up my most recent series with a recap of our trip to Paris! During our 2-week stay in London, we wanted to venture out and take a trip to the city of love, Paris. This part of our trip was planned last minute, so we challenged ourselves by seeing how much we could check out in just 24 hours.
If you have been keeping up with my last few posts, you probably know that the majority of this trip was planned with the help of Delta Vacations. If you would like to get up to speed with how we planned and set a budget for this trip, check it out here. Our journey from London to Paris was decided at the last minute, so we planned this outside of Delta Vacations. We booked round trip train tickets with Eurostar for about $150 each, departing from St Pancras station in London and arriving at Paris Saint-Lazare. The station in London was incredibly packed, and there were a few delays with departures. However, from our experience in London as a whole, they are very organized, so we were able to get through smoothly.
Arriving in Paris was a different story, their station was hectic, and we noticed a lack of order. We also found out that you have to pay to use the public restroom, so if you are traveling to this city (and other cities in Europe), make sure you have some loose change and cash. From the train station, we were able to catch an uber to our hotel.
Our hotel was LUSH! Not only was it in a great central location, everything from the entrance to the bar/restaurant, and the rooms exceeded our expectations. We stayed at Hotel Banke Opera, which is owned by Marriott. With that, my friend was able to book the hotel for a deal using his employee discount. I can’t stress enough that if you work for any type of corporation, check your company perks. You will likely find discounts for countless hotel chains, car rentals, restaurants, and many vacation spots.
Hitting up the Hot Spots
Seeing that we had less than 24 hours in this city, we knew that we wouldn’t be able to see everything, so we made sure to get the prominent landmarks checked off. I saw online that the Eiffel Tower sparkles with beautiful golden light every hour on the hour at night (the light show ends at 1am, after that the tower goes dark). This was perfect as by the time we settled in our hotel and ate dinner, it was dark out. We stuck to uber the whole time we were here as we were limited on time, and this was the quickest way to get around. For the best views (and pictures) of the Eiffel Tower, I recommend going to Place du Trocadero.
Arriving in Paris was pretty hectic, and we had a long day. After arriving at the Eiffel Tower, we all got a little emotional. Although our day was stressful, seeing the Eiffel Tower grounded us and allowed us to be grateful for the simple fact that we were there. We happened to end up being there on the day of my late Grandmother’s Birthday. At that moment, I felt her there with me, proud that I was traveling and seeing the world. It was beautiful, and I am still grateful that I could go there and travel anywhere for that matter.
We woke up extremely early the next morning to get a look at the Louvre Museum. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go inside and see famous works of art like the Mona Lisa. Still, we did take some time to appreciate the architecture outside.
Like London, Paris is a lot of walking so take some comfortable walking shoes with you.
We didn’t have a lot of time to do everything in Paris, but we made sure to make time to eat! I will say Paris impressed me with the food. My stomach is rumbling just thinking about it. One thing I want to point out is the Crepes. These crepes were like nothing that I ever tasted before. Super light and fluffy with fruit that tasted like it was just picked out of a garden.
I was also a massive fan of their croissants as they were extraordinarily light and flakey. Honestly, they make the croissants here in America seem a little disappointing.
One other thing I noticed in every restaurant we sat in and every cafe we walked by was how the people of Paris interacted with each other over meals. They were extremely present! Here, we see most people on their phones, taking photos, and not very engaged in the conversation of their company. In Paris, no phones were on the table. The conversations looked deep and engaging with people leaning in, genuinely listening to each other. The people seemed to be truly connected. The cultural difference here was astonishing, and my friends and I agreed to a no phone rule while having meals.
Back to Londontown
Our experience at St Pancras while trying to travel back to London was an experience we will never forget. We waited in line for about 5 hours. It was extremely unorganized, security was not very secure, and their drug-sniffing dog wasn’t even trained! By the time we got to the front of the line, EuroStar had announced that the train was so delayed that there were no longer any assigned seats. If you make it on the train and claim a seat, great, if not, you’re stuck in Paris another day…we ran for our lives. Luckily we made it on the train and made it back to London safe and sound.
I want to be completely honest and transparent when it comes to my thoughts about Paris. Overall, I was not the biggest fan of the city. Granted, my trip had a lot of bumps in the road, and we didn’t spend a lot of time there, so maybe if I went back, my feelings would change. However, the city itself was a little congested. Personally, I would probably enjoy the countryside of France a little more.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to visit. I’m also thankful for the lessons learned during this trip. What would I have done differently? For one, I would have planned and bought a train ticket a little more in advance as we could have gotten it under $100. Two, I would have planned to stay longer than a day. Three, I would have planned to venture outside of the city of Paris to see more of France.
This wraps up the 3-part series of my trip to London and Paris. Through this, you saw how we planned and created a budget, conquered London, and barely made it in Paris (haha, just kidding). As I sit here and type this in the middle of COVID, I, like many others, are missing the freedom of traveling wherever we want. Just like many hardships in life, remember, this too shall pass. As far as future blog posts, oh don’t you worry, I still have plenty of trips and adventures to share!
Until next time…XO – Kat
2 thoughts on “ONE DAY IN PARIS”
Sounds like a fun and interesting place to visit!
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Yes! It was amazing!