It’s hard to deny that Paris is the IT city at the moment. Paris has always been a popular tourist destination. But recently it has definitely become trendy.
Pre pandemic it seemed as though everyone was going to Dubai and Instagram was overrun with quads racing in the desert. But now, thanks largely in part to the Netflix hit series `Emily in Paris`, Paris is now on everybody`s radar. Every other reel features room views of the Eiffel tower and breakfast at gorgeous Parisian cafés.
The truth is I have been to Paris but I didn't fall in love. Not even a little bit. But now, with an easing of travel restrictions and having binge watched season 2 of Emily in Paris, I had to go back. The influencers influenced me, PAREEE was calling
I decided to do it differently this time and hope to have a better impression of the city. So now I will give you a guide to how I approached my trip to Paris to ensure that I had a memorable weekend.
Have realistic expectations. Paris is a city with grim and grime. While the films and posts show a well manicured city, in reality it isn't just opulence, so just be aware of that. We took the train from the airport to our hotel and some of what we saw saddened me, to the point where I used taxis for the rest of the trip. The reality of how some persons survive in the city was a sobering reality check.
By the way Uber is cheaper than regular taxis so it may be worth your while getting the app
Your budget may not be the same as those influencers on Instagram so plan ahead. If you like eating and shopping it is very easy to get carried a way in Paris. So be strategic. I had a few items on my shopping list, I booked restaurants weeks in advance, looked at the menus before-hand and decided how much I was willing to spend. In some cases I knew exactly what I would eat!
And try to eat up, end your trip with the best meal experience.
Parisians are not giving away smiles and friendliness for the sake of it. Do not expect the same warmth as you would get in the south of France.
Paris sees about 30 million tourists yearly, it's not seasonal either, year round we flock to Paris so they are not impressed by us.
The best way to get rid of some of that parisian chill is to speak their language. They will not force themselves to speak struggle English or take the time to decipher your struggle French. Luckily for me this trip 3 of my friends are native French speakers so we were able to communicate with ease and that made the world of a difference.
Do the things that interest you. Do not spend an entire day at the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa when you really have no interest. The city has a lot to offer so tailor your trip to your taste.
Paris is a vibrant city with a rich culture. Food, fashion, Art, Architecture, you name it, Paris has it. Your time in Paris does not need to mimic Emily's.
One of my best experience this weekend was eating at an African restaurant and the food was AMAZING! France has a colonial history which means (among other things) that they have cultural influences from all over the world which can be enjoyed authentically in Paris.
Take your time. Do not try to see and do everything all at once especially if you are there for a weekend.
An evening cruise of the River Seine maybe the best way to see the entire city in a relaxing way as opposed to navigating crowds during the day to hit all the famous spots.
Where we stayed:
A boutique hotel very close to Arc de Triomphe. Easy walking to Champs Elysee
Where we ate:
The ambiance at the Peninsula is immaculate and there are several restaurants from which to choose.
Prepare to wait even with a reservation, the location is small but the food is SUPERB
Le Bar des Prés
best sushi in life! And please try the cocktail called VICTORIA MULE
Where we shopped:
Galeries Lafayette Opera and Samaritaine
Department store shopping at it's best.
Champs Elysees. Need I say more?
Le Marais for that chic shopping street with chic bars, galleries and hip boutiques.