Traveling with my best friend for the first time….was a good idea…especially to a place as magical as Paris. Landing in Paris….our childhood giddiness and excitement bubbled over as we giggled and exited the plane. Janine and I have been best friends since 1988 and through multiple fights and me moving 600 miles away…we were able to maintain a great friendship throughout the years and distance. Us travelling together was a new milestone for us. I was a bit hesitant…. I have to admit because I didn’t know how we would get along during out 10 day adventure. But it was perfect.
We arrived at Palm Opera Hotel and was immediately impressed by the service at the hotel. Palm Opera is located in the 9th arrondissement and within walking distance to the Cadet metro stop. The real treat was the room we were assigned to…and let’s talk about this view:
I would strongly suggest this hotel because of its close proximity to the metro and the neighborhood is very quiet.
We settled into our cozy hotel room and slept like babies. Over the next few days….we got lostinParis….
After 6 days of getting lost in Paris, here are some tips:
-Safety: If you are going to roam around at night, don’t do it alone. This is a no-brainer in any city.
-Money: Always have some Euros on hand (bills and change). In the event that you have to use the toilet, you have to pay with cash.
-Bring a map or download a map on your phone while the WIFI is free.
-Food: Food can be cheap, depending on where you buy it. Try to avoid buying food near major tourist attractions….if you are hungry while you are out, buy a crepe or a ready made sandwich. Cafe Panis (near the Notre Dame) had great food…we loved their marinated chicken in ginger and lemon and Janine had a burger (yes, I know…but we were craving very familiar food).
-Transportation: We figured out the Paris metro system in a day…its cheap…figure it out and save your feet. Plan your day because a day pass is cheaper than individual passes. Also, we agreed that the Big Red Tour Bus was a good idea on a rainy day (just $28euro). We were able to see all of the attractions without getting too tired.
-Montmarte: Climbing up the stairs towards the Sacre Couer (free admission) into Montmarte was tiring, but so well worth it once you reach the top. Montmarte was a different world with its cobble stone streets, cool graffiti and an art market….this is where you need to buy your souvenirs. I can write an article on the talented artists and the vibe alone.
-Be careful! Paris is crowded and the thieves are out there! Keep your money hidden. I wore a cross body bag and I kept my hand on the latch when walking through crowds.
-Dance the night away at Wanderlust on the Seine River. If you are fan of hip hop, you would love it here.
-Don’t be afraid to meet new people. We met a cool tattoo artist named Jerome and we quickly became best friends. We sat in his tattoo shop for hours discussing the difference between living in the US vs. Paris and debating different topics. The next day, we returned and he took us on his motorcycle while giving us a quick tour of Paris. Imagine riding on a motorcycle at 70mph through the streets of Paris past the Moulin Rouge….close your eyes. Smile. This is life.
With 6 days, I feel like we could spent 6 more days to see the rest of Paris. We didnt to rush around and see everything but, we saw everything and did everything we wanted to do. Explore this beautiful city slowly and calmly. Meet new people and try to learn the language. That is how you travel.