Where: Paris, France
Who: Mr & Mrs Wanderlust together with the whole fam
When: Oct 2019
What: Paris take 2 with the whole family!
After our stay in Amsterdam, the final leg of our trip and the most awaited by our companions who likes shopping - Paris. Many things to look forward to such as their food! And of course the family's scheduled pictorial at the Eiffel Tower. We tried to do this at a slower pace not booking any tours outside of the city and just mostly shopping, and roaming around the city with the kids.
How To Get There
We came from Amsterdam and it was a 3-ish hour train ride. Though there are also many ways to get to Paris such as direct flights if where you are coming from is really far away. And since this is our exit point, our flight back home to Manila will be via its CDG Airport Paris.
Getting around is also easy as they have wonderful metro trains a bit confusing at first but they have maps and guides to help you but we got a bit lost on some of the subway exits, it was still fun and got the feel of the city and its people. Another (favorite) way of transpo was the e-scooter sharing apps that are available around its streets.
Where To Stay
Mr & Mrs Wanderlust's Review
Le Grand Hotel de Normandie
+ Staff were all helpful
+ Easy check-in in their lobby, and their cafe/breakfast also located in the foyer
+ Rooms are a bit cramped and old feels, but has a french window for fresh air
+ Bathroom was clean and no leaks from shower,
+ WiFi was working great and alright
+ Open 24/7 reception
+ Excellent location near trains, and shopping in the center of Paris
+ Near lots of shops, and even the attractions nearby are within walking/train distance.
+ The next best alternative if you want to avoid expensive hotels in Paris
- The complimentary breakfast was not really good, and had few choices.
- Lobby was small and it is also the breakfast area
- Small corridors on the way to room with sensor activated light so lights are off at first which was a bit creepy considering hotel looks old.
- The window was a bit dusty and not thoroughly cleaned
Price: €€ €180 - €200 / night for 2 adults 1 child
Service: 3.5 Star - Service & staff were helpful at times, but doesnt clean thoroughly
Facilities & Amenities: 3 star - Old building, small rooms, but location is perfect
Restaurant (foods): 2 star -Free breakfast had really few choices and not so satisfying
Bar: 1 star - No bar in the hotel
Overall: 2.4 /5 Excellent location, but hotel is not so modern and feels old, but for the price, it is good to stay in Paris avoiding the extorbitant hotel rates.
What To Do
Indulge in French Cuisine
Definitely when going to Paris, you might want to avoid the fast food and other convenience store foods and try french restaurants. The French take pride in their cuisine and rightfully so, as they are truly masters in their own right, from steaks, to french soup, and even sweet creme brulee will always make all your tastebuds celebrate.
Shopping In Paris
Shopping in Paris has been a grand affair even since centuries ago. 1900s, when its famous grands magasins (dept. store) opened. Many high fashion are always from Paris so might as well shop at the place where they are made. The latest will always be found in the city.
The huge street with the Arc de Triumph on one end which is already a tourist attraction on itself, plus the huge street will also be walk of many stores and sights around the place.
River Siene Dinner Cruise
The sumptuous dinner on a boat with glass roof gently moving along river Seine, and of course along its way would be famous tourist spots and buildings and nice view at night in Paris. All this while sitting down on a 3 course dinner with family.
Palace of Versailles
An hour away from the city, booked via a booking app, to see this opulent palace residence of French royals centuries ago. A bit of rain was to be had as it was not summer anymore in october.
Early Morning Visit to the Tower
To avoid crowds we decided to get our photos of the Eiffel tower early in the morning, also had more photos done by a photographer booked from an app for us and the whole family, it was a fun experience, and most of all had some beautifully taken photos to take home
Quick Night Out at Paris
Can't really party hard as we brought our family and kids, but sneaked a night out just on the side street with a view of the beautiful building as well as the locals going about their walking.
Platter of different French dry cured meats / saussages they are really hard to slice, like wood, and also not the best tasting, sorry France but Italy is better at the meat curing game. All in enjoyed while sipping a local beer and a french cocktail with the cool autumn breeze.
Try their Public Transport
We checked out their city trains/subway and their train stations' buildings are already beautiful with its French whatever you call it kind of architecture. And inside are still countless shops, just make sure you review your route to where you are going to avoid getting lost.
Find Beautiful Viewing Spots
There are so many beautiful viewing spots in Paris, just waiting to be found out by you and your companion, do some research or googling around your area and you'd be surprised.
We took these photos from the top floor of Galleries Lafayette a huge shopping mall / department store and on the top floor is a very breezy spot that serves delicious vegan friendly food.
May have forgotten to mention others, but definitely Paris is a city that you should discover, but honestly you shouldnt just get stuck in the city and try to venture further into other beautiful french provinces. Which is what we plan next time we get a chance to be in Paris again.
Thank you for reading and hopefully you have enjoyed and learned something. Cheers! Read more of our travels below.
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