3 days in Paris
3 days in Paris sounds like challenge – said my friends. Yeah, they were right, but if not couple of unexpectable things, then probably the plan would be made in 100%, not just in 90% :). Despite this, I consider my city break as successful, although the weather was not good and our wallets became significantly slimmer. Now comes few questions: Why do I like Paris so much after this trip? How did we plan our 3 days? Where we spent so much money? And what we haven’t seen? All answers you will find in this post! 🙂
At first I would like to recommend you a brilliant app – Triposo 🙂 I use it on every trip and I have not failed me yet! Easy to use and free. You can save on the map all the attractions, pubs, hotels, etc. Even if you do not find something and you want to visit, you can create your own point on the map! It also works Offline and shows locations on the map 🙂 Thanks to it, we don’t have to get the maps in the tourist information anymore!
Paris Beauvais + Hotel D’Anjou = Wizz Tour
Those who have already read the truth about Paris – my personal thoughts, know how we got to Paris. We bought the package in November on the Wizzair website for 480 zł (109 euro) for the first weekend of March. In a nutshell: two-way flights from Chopin airport to Beauvais (departure on Friday and return on Monday) + 3 days in a two-star hotel with breakfast. Just a regular hotel, nothing special, but quite ok (no complain)! The tragedy was for me the cost of bus to Paris from the airport, which costs 30 euros in both directions and takes an hour. I recommend to buy tickets online, because after the flight arrival, the queues are very long.
Having fun in undeground…
Before you will take a subway, I highly recommend you to download or pick up at the information a map. Same thing with buses. If you want to save money on tickets, I advise you to think carefully about how much you will traveling. You may find more profitable to buy, for example, 10 journeys instead of one or two days ticket. We bought 10 journeys (for 14.5 euros), but we had to buy 1 additional ticket and 4 tickets we found 🙂 A few trips were also wasted due to mistakes and other accidents. Check here what kind of tickets you can buy in Paris.
Almost like New York, but still Paris…
Before leaving, I visited a lot of websites and blogs to prepare well for my trip. When I noticed that Paris also has a statue of liberty, I couldn’t believe it! I wanted to see it and compare to the original one from New York. Ok, but first let me ask the question: what this statue is doing in Paris? Well, the original one was given by French to the United States after proclamation of independence (They wanted to grumble England :D). In memory of this event, in Paris also stands the Statue of Liberty, but so much smaller than this one from New York! That was our first stop in Paris 😀
Definitely the most recognizable attraction in the world. The tower is not only considered as a symbol of Paris but even of France! Hard to believe that at some point they wanted to dismantle it … Well, that did not happen and it was our second point of the tour. Actually it is a “pile” of iron, but I have to admit that it is quite original. I definitely enjoyed the night version of Eiffel Tower when it was lit up. Yellow-orange color definitely highlights its beautiful shapes :). The Eiffel tower was built in 1889 for the Parisian world exhibition. The tower was built also due to commemorate the French revolution and demonstrate the level of engineering knowledge and technical ability of the 19th century. For 41 years it was the largest building in the world! There are 3 viewing terraces. We didn’t enter the tower. Yes, we wanted to see the Paris skyline, but together with the Eiffel Tower, so that is why we entered the Montparnasse Tower. However, I must admit that on Friday afternoon, the queue for the Eiffel Tower was not that big. Although, we still spent so much time there, just to take pictures of Eiffel Tower from every possible perspective.
Definitely we spent too much time next to the Eiffel Tower, considering that we had only 3 days in Paris. Nevertheles, we quickly moved further. Our goal was a Triumphal Arch, but we wanted also to see other attractions that were on our way. The first one was Les Invalides, which used to be a hospital for war invalids. It was built in the 17th century. Today it is a museum complex. We confined ourselves to admiring it from the outside. Although we couldn’t come to close, due to the strike on the square. There were plenty of people and police, and the firecrackers shot from time to time. That is why we saw Les Invalides from the safe distance and then we went to the Alexander III bridge. By the way we stoped for a lunch. It was expensive and not tasty at all 😛
Alexander III Bridge
Like the Eiffel Tower, the bridge was opened to the world exhibition. It symbolized the Russian-French alliance, hence you can spot on the bridge French and Russian symbols. Despite this, we saw a lot of resemblance to the Charles Bridge in Prague (well, but definitely less tourists than in Prague). The bridge attracts not only tourists. The bridge is often used in movies as well as in music videos. For me it was also a must because of the Midnight in Paris. Those who watched, should know that in this place was played last scene. Besides this, the bridge itself is a beautiful attraction and you can admire from it a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides!
Grand Palais i Petit Palais
On our way to the Arc de Triomphe, we passed two halls, which, like the Eiffel Tower and Alexander III Bridge, were built for the World Exhibition. The exhibition hall (Grand Palais) used to be closed for a long time, but it was opened again in 2005. The Petit Palais works as a museum, where we find paintings divided into four sections according to epochs. The building is quite similar to the Grand Palais. For my part, I will add that both buildings are really beautiful and it is worth giving them even a few minutes of attention.
Laduree Boutique with sweets have treated almost like a monument and the obligatory pointwas very impartant part of my visit in Paris! I was so happy when I found out that it located on our way to other attractions. I mean boutique, which is located on the Champs Elysees. It is quite visible and you won’t skip it. My plan was to lose some money (well, because unfortunately prices in Paris are cosmic, especially in places like this) for a coffee and sweets. But we quickly resigned, because the place was overcrowded. Even the queue for macaroons and other sweets, seemed to have no end (approx. 30-40 minutes of standing). Although this place looks amazing! Full of colors and nice smells. The interior was also outstanding. But we couldn’t stay that long 🙁 . Sorry – 3 days in Paris could not afford such a big waste of time. I decided to visit another boutique (there are several in Paris), or come at a different time again (although I wasn’t sure if the que is all the time or it was just because of late friday afternoon). I also recommend having a look at their official website and read the interesting history of macaroons 🙂
Arc de Triomphe
We finally arrived at the Arc de Triomphe. Unfortunately, our calm and lazy photoshooting was dramatically interrupted by demonstrations, which came from Les Invalides (yeah, the same the we passed few hours earlier). Overall, we didn’t have anything against their protests, but we didn’t feel up to the end safely. We managed to take some pictures, or pass under the arch, but really fast. After 15 min of strike, the police entered and started to disperse demonstrations. In this case they completely closed the Arc de Triomphe island. We also had to leave Arc de Triomphe 🙁 . The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
Our last stop for today was the Louvre. We didn’t accidentally chose it on Friday evening. However more information about our visit you will find in a separate post 🙂.
Saturday didn’t start too kindly for us. The weather was just horrible! Heavy rain, quite dark and not very warm. Additionally I had a terrible migraine. We wanted to leave the hotel before 9:30 am, but after all we left at 11.30 am. Now our plan (3 days in Paris) was a lil bit delayed.
The catacombs are opened at 10. We knew it was a a popular attraction of the last days, but still we didn’t decide to buy tickets online. And it was a big mistake. The morning rainy Saturday tempted so many people to visit the Catacombs that the queue was for 2.5 h waiting !!!! Now I’m wondering if we had came along with the opening, would it be possible to avoid these crowds? Anyway, rainy Saturday noon is not the best idea. Unluckily, we skipped Catacombs and went straight to Montparnasse 🙁
We always like to admire the city from above and Paris gives a few possibilities in this field! We choosed Montparnasse tower, because it offers the most beautiful panorama of the city (with the Eiffel Tower). We didn’t buy tickets online, but due to the rainy weather, we were alone at the ticket offices. Looking at the disassembled straps and the number of lifts I find that during the season, it can be as busy as the Catacombs. Of course the price is horrible (but overall I do not know why I did not get used to it 😛 ). Entrance costs 15 euro, but with a clear conscience I recommend it! There are two levels: one glazed and the other open. There was also an ice rink and a bar with magical prices. 😀 I wish we could have a better weather for this panorama but still views were breathtaking! 🙂
I don’t hide that when I was planning a tour of Paris, I wanted to check the places where the scenes of the Woodie Allen movie – “At midnight in Paris” where shot. That is why I visited the Luxembourg Gardens. Despite the winter aura floating in the air, the gardens welcomed us with beautiful and juicy greenery. It is no wonder that the place was chosen to shoot several scenes, because in a warmer time it must be really beautiful here!!
On the way to the gardens we stopped for a meal. Main dish + drink + dessert = 18.5 euros.
Our next stop was Pantheon. However, we also found other attractions on the way. This time we met the oldest university in Paris – the Sorbonne! The Sorbonne was founded in 1253 as one of the colleges of the University of Paris. Over time, people has started to call the whole University as Sorbonne. It is worth to see this extremely old scientific institution. Maybe some of you were studying there? If so, I would be happy to hear about your impressions.
It is a church erected by Louis XV at the end of the 18th century, on the place of an old church dating back to the sixth century. It is a neoclassical building that is based on the Roman Pantheon (many of these buildings in Europe are modeled on the Pantheon 😀 ). In the basement of the Pantheon are buried famous French citizens, which of course we didn’t know that well 😛 . Although, we were able to find some more familiar surnames like: Jan Jakub Rousseau, Wolter or Victor Hugo. Besides this, the Pantheon is a huge church with a beautiful dome and altar. It is worth to look at it, especially since people under the age of 25 have free admission. Adults have to pay 9 euros.
Church of St Étienne du Mont
Our next destination was Paris’s most colorful street – Rue Cremieux. Of course, we stopped at other places that were or were not planned. This is how we discovered the Church of St. Étienne du Mond, which is located just outside the Pantheon. Compared to Pantheon, this temple looks rather modest, but in this church are located the remains of the patron of Paris – St. Genevieve. Unfortunately, we didn’t enter the church because we were running out of time. Too bad, because it was worth it from what I saw on the pictures on the internet. We took some photos from outside and moved further.
Charming streets of the Latin Quarter
To get to Rue Cremieux we had to take the bus. However, to find a bus stop we had to walk through the charming streets of the Latin Quarter. Nothing more pleasant! Especially when you know that the scenes of the movie “At Midnight in Paris” were shooted here, and the main character was moving in time to another era. Full of historic and colorful houses. It is definitely worth to spend some time here.
Interestingly, I discovered this street from the instagram, because one popular traveler dropped a picture from this place. I couldn’t refuse to miss this place while visiting Paris, although I it wasn’t completely on the way. Due to not very pleasant weather, Rue Cremieux was not that crowded as we expected. Only few Asians were shooting thousands of pictures. The alley is full of colors. Each cottage is different and they are inhabited. I don’t know how the inhabitants endure the masses of photographers and tourists, but they must definitely prefer rainy and cool days when there are not too many visitors 😊
At the end of the day we finally reached one of Paris’s largest and most visited attractions – the Notre Dame Cathedral. We entered there literally at the last minute because the Cathedral is open until 18:45 and we checked in around 18:20. Fortunately, there was no queue at the entrance, but inside the cathedral was really crowded. The Cathedral was made famous by writer Victor Hugo (whom we visited in the Pantheon) in his story of the The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. The name of the Cathedral means Our Lady and refers to Our Lady. This amazing building was built between 1163-1345 (which is more than 180 years). For an additional fee you can enter the Towers, where you can admire amazing view of Paris (under 25 years is free of charge)!
Sainte Chapelle – Sacred Chapel in Paris
We didn”t have luck with the Paris Chapel, which is next to Notre-Dame. The chapel is open only to 18 and after that hour you can’t even admire it from the outside. Is completely sourronded by the walls. We checked it carefully by walking around the walls. The entrance is quite hidden and when we finally found it closed, we realized that it would not be able to see it from the outside. Shame 🙁
Paris by night – Eiffel Tower for the second time
The glowing Eiffel Tower is a must see for every tourist. In my opinion, the illuminated Tower looks even better than during the day. We managed to see even the sparkling tower, but we weren’t able to capture it in the picture. Interestingly, the sparkling Eiffel Tower is copyrighted and if we can take a picture for private collections without any problem, then the publication of such a photo (for example in social media) may have legal consequences 😊.
Unfortunately, getting to the Eiffel Tower was very complicated. At the Les Invalides station by which our train was going the abandoned luggage was found, which effectively paralyzed the movement of trains. We had to change to a bus that was, and no one refunded the canceled ticket.
Another morning greeted me with rain and migraine. Fortunately, this time pills worked much faster, so we managed to get out early, but not as early as it was planned. We had to hurry – it was our last day from 3 days in Paris and still so many things left 😊!!
Queue to Versailles
We left the hotel too late but also the train we were planning to travel to Versailles didn’t run for the weekend … so we had to get to Montparnasse and then took a “N” train. From the train station we needed approx 15 to reach Versailles. There would be nothing wrong with it, except for the fact that there was a terrible downpour and a gusty wind. Additionally, the queue to Versailles was at least for an hour of waiting, despite heavy rain, cold and wind !!! The free enter to Versailles (first Sunday of the month) acts on tourists as a magnet. Nightmare. As if this was not enough, strong wind broke my umbrella and we had to stand under one. I was soaked and frozen.
P.S. It is good to check if your ticket is valid for a trip to Versailles. In our case it was not, so we had to buy an extra ticket for 7 € round way.
Versailles inside + Ladurèe
Right after entering Versailles, it turned out that there is a Laduree boutique. I was so happy, that we skiped this big queue on Friday and we bought few thing without wasting time. The macaroons were packed into a tasteful box and I got rid of 25 euros just to enjoy 12 colorful macarons🙂
Finally, we got inside and started exploring the palace. Versailles is full of splendor and beautiful chambers. Actually, it looks like most royal castles only that even richer 🙂 . Vivid colors, unusual exhibits and beautiful chandeliers are the main elements of the decor. However, the excess of colors and images is also a delicate kitsch. But it can be seen that for the kings were more important the amount of exhibits than a good taste. 😛 In any case, from the chamber to the room we changed colors (eg from red to green). This is a pretty eye-pleasing treatment that also aims to attract our attention again! If the rooms next to each other had similar colors, they would have the impression of one large room, so each one is different and original 🙂
Although, we went through many chambers on the way, we were still looking forward to the Hall of Mirror. It was full of tourists, but still exposed their beauty and wealth to us. It was worth hanging in the line for such a view 🙂
When we left Versailles, it was raining again. In the Versailles we managed to dried up just to got wet again. Fortunately, we had a long train journey, so we had a moment to rest from the hopeless weather. We had one stop at Montparnasse, where we had to change to undeground. We got off at Abbesses and headed straight for Le Consulat. This is how started our walk through the artists district – Montmartre. To our surprise, for the first time the sun was shining, but we had to eat something because we were starving. We went for a pancakes to Le Consulat. We got 2 modest pancakes for 6 € + tea for 6.5 €. Terrible prices for such a modest meal and the place was extremely loud. And it’s not because of the guests, but by the loud service. Too bad, I was a little disappointed, but the place (especially building) was pretty cool.
Of course when we finished our meal, it started to get cloudy and I had no more umbrella … we managed to get to the Basilica, but when we started to take pictures, a huge downpour occurred. All people rushed to the Basilica. Fortunately we managed to get in fairly quickly (yes, the entrance is free). The basilica is like a basilica, it’s beautiful, but it’s definitely more impressive outside. The thing that I liked the most inside the basilica was a beautiful altar.
The Basilica is located on a hill from where we can admire the view of Paris. Through this view you will easily realize how big this city is.
The famous Parisian cabaret – Moulin Rouge is located not that far from the Basilica. We couldn’t skip this attraction in our plan – 3 days in Paris 😊 Apparently, at night the place looks even better when it is all lit up, but in day it was not bad either! Still, for us it was the only chance to see Moulin Rouge.
La Fayette Gallery
From the Moulin Rouge we went to the La Fayette Gallery. You can also take the metro, but since we didn’t have a one-day pass, but only single journeys, we decided to take a quick walk! We didn’t go shopping, but we wanted to see the beautiful design of this amazing place. 🙂 Especially the dome of the Gallery, which contains all sorts of colors! It was designed to connect 4 buildings that used to be separate homes.
City Hall in Paris – Hôtel de ville
The day was slowly coming to an end, and we already knew that our 3 days in Paris was not fully realized, but we really didn’t miss much !! 🙂 Due to the late hours, we got up to the subway to see the City Hall, the Saint Germain Church and the Louvre before sunset.
Late afternoon hours are the perfect time to visit the City Hall. The sun beautifully illuminates the building, which means that it beautifully presents in the pictures! That’s why I recommend this place to fans of photography just in the later hours!
The building now has administrative functions, but various ceremonies are also organized. It was erected in the 19th century (like many other Parisian attractions).
It is a Benedictine abbey that was founded in the 6th century. Until today, from the entire abbey, only the palaces and the church remain. In this church were the remains of the Meroving family from the VI and VII century.
The church is not very special, but I think that for the fans of history is quite an interesting place. We visited this church, because it was on our way😉
Louvre and Arc du Carrousel at the end
Finally, we were in Louvre again! I wanted to have a picture during the day from Louvre and I did it! Although, it was getting dark, the photos didn’t go that bad. I will post a separate post about Louvre soon, because it is certainly an amazing place and worth more attention.
Arc du Carrousel looked fabulous on the background of the setting sun. I have to admit that it was good that we got there so late because thanks to this we managed to make unique photos! The arch was built by Napoleon and is to commemorate Napoleon’s military and diplomatic victories.
Beautiful townhouses and buildings
In general, I recommend to walked around Paris as far as possible, because you never know when you will find a treasure 🙂
What did we miss? 🙁
Well, as I wrote at the beginning, we missed a bit, but maybe someday I will be able to catch up on those arrears? 🙂 In any case, I am sure that without the morning migraine and fatal weather, our plan – 3 days in Paris would be made 100%. Nevertheles, I feel a great satisfaction after this City Break!
We missed Sainte Chapelle and the Catacombs – I mentioned about it above
Center du Pompidou – we wanted only to see the building of this museum
The Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation – so bad that we didn’t see it…
Royal Palace – it looks amazing 🙂
Palais de Chaillot – we saw it from the distance! Great place to take some pictures of Eiffel Tower 🙂
La Defense, the business district of Paris, definitely for fans of modern architecture! It was so close to our hotel and we didn’t go there!
Opera La Garnier – just beautiful 🙂
3 days in Paris is not an easy task, but can be done! I hope that my content will make it easier for you to explore this extraordinary and contrasting city. If I manage to get back to Paris (what I really want), then at least I know what I have to catch up 🙂 And what are your impressions from Paris? Check my thoughts here and share my blog with your friends!