Bonjour mes amies and welcome to Paris!
To kick things off! We arrived in Charles de Gaulle. Paris should be well known as the place that hates luggage. Escalators (if you’re lucky) and barriers are very narrow and barriers close very quickly here so take care with your luggage or you can get stuck in the underground! (as i did…)
Time for our first stop! Disneyland! I know… “typical decision”… “when do they get to Paris” but bear with us we do get there. For us, long time Disney fans, a stop at Disneyland was a must. We decided to spend 2 days here and 3 in Paris itself so opted for the 2 day pass which allows access to both parks. The main thing to remember when travelling is go where you want to go. The main attractions are popular for a reason!
Where to stay! We decided to stay in an Airbnb in Chessy which is just behind Disneyland and around 10 mins in a car or taxi to the main park. Only cost us €45 a night staying here. A big saving on the Disneyland hotels! Taxi will cost you around €5 each way and there are a lot of options in Chessy although there are no real shops in this area.
“The main thing to remember when travelling is go where you want to go. The main attractions are popular for a reason!”
There are a lot of shows and they all run at different times! Having been here before I knew the layout and shows that were there but if it is your first time I recommend getting the Disneyland Paris app or visiting the website so you can check show times and plan around those. One of the highlights for us was “Mickey and the Magician” which is in the Warner Studios park. Think of it like a London West End show but based on Disney movies. Brilliant whether you’re 5 or 50.
Couples retreat or family holiday! For us 2 days was possible to see both parks but it was a very quick run around and we were exhausted at the end of the first day. Ideally take at least 2 days a park especially during a busy season. If you can only choose one I would recommend Warner Brothers unless you have young children <5 years old. The shows, rides and target audience are much better in Warner Studios and there is something for everyone there.
*Be warned that Disneyland and Warner Studios are both quite open parks in many areas. If you go in July, as we did, expect any weather to be amplified! 28°C will feel like 38°C and 5°Celsius, if windy, will feel like -5° so be prepared!
Seasonal events! We got very lucky when we went as it was the 25th anniversary of Disney so there was a firework show from 10pm-12am local time (varies depending on sunset). This was one of the best firework shows I have ever seen and they projected scenes from favourite Disney movies on the castle along with an amazing soundtrack.
PARIS – The City of Lights & Love
Onto Paris! Now we get to the part a lot of you are waiting for… Paris city centre! We moved to a hotel for this part of the trip as it was July and summer holidays made booking quite difficult. Staying in the Hotel Devillas, which is based in the 13 Arr section of Paris, was good as it is located within walking distance of the Louvre and Notre Dame and not very expensive. A blessing giving the 28°C heat.
First Day! This was both our first times in Paris so we choose to sight see a lot of the main places. After a quick breakfast at a local cafe we started by heading west through the botanical garden and make our way along the river towards the Eiffel Tower. We had a route planned out which took us through the Panthéon then to Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle. Notre Dame was quite busy when we got there around midday so if you want the solo experience you’ll have to get here early.
We then jumped back to the side of the Gare Musée d’Orsay which is a spectacular building. Not being into art ourselves we didn’t stay long however we did stay to see some of the Picasso and Monet works. All museums in Paris are free for EU members 25 and under so make the most of it! Moving further west we came to the Eiffel Tower. You can go up or eat in the restaurant but I find looking at the tower is a lot better than looking from it! Heading over the river you can stop at Place du Trocadero which has a great view of the Eiffel Tower and is impressive itself!
All museums in Paris are free for EU members 25 and under so make the most of it!
Moving further west we came to the Eiffel Tower. You can go up or eat in the restaurant but I find looking at the tower is a lot better than looking from it! Heading over the river you can stop at Place du Trocadero which has a great view of the Eiffel Tower and is impressive in itself.
For the family! There is the Paris Aquarium located at the Place du Tracadero and heading north up the Champs-Élysées at the Arc de Triomphe is an amusement park which has rides but also horseback riding through the park.
We headed down towards the Louvre at this point as it was getting dark so the lights would be up. It had gotten a lot stormier by this point and lightening was streaking through sky when we got there which gave the area a mysterious ambiance, as the french would say. Nearby we went to Les Caves du Louvre which is a brilliant little place where you can sample, and even create, french wines from the best parts of France. It’s a great place to try some wines and the sommelier will explain about each one.
Second day! After a busy day yesterday we decided to take a longer morning lie in. We decided to have a wander today and see some points we missed the day before and the less popular streets too.
The Arc de Triomphe is up next and a short(ish) walk north from this location. A visit to Paris wouldn’t be complete without the Champs-Élysées. This is where a lot of the high end popular fashion shops are located but be warned that it is very expensive in this part of Paris and better to eat somewhere out of the way not just for price but also quality. We went to Musee-Jacquemart Andre which is east of the Arc de Triomphe. The food was out of this world and the little garden area outside was a great addition to the sunshine.
Things we missed! Sacre-Coeur is a white Basilica which is a great landmark. There is also a haunted house which is located between 2 and 10 Arr. Both are great features and do seem like good places to visit!
A little street called Rue de Passy and the area of Saint Germain were up next. These are great streets to get away from the typical Champs-Élysées shops and into a more unique french style. Unfortunately, we were running out of time in Paris as we leave in the morning but we had one last stop for our last night.
A little boat trip along the river! For our last night we booked a boat trip on a boat called La Calife. This is a late night restaurant which takes you down the river and back during night hours so you can sail by Paris as it lights up.