I am now and for the foreseeable future a city break person. I never thought it would happen but here we are. My recent trip to Paris has given me a renewed sense of "ffs sake Bex you're 30 you need to see the world!" City breaks are great and thanks to apps like AirBnb and Citymapper they are cheap and easy to navigate.
Still, the world of city breaks are new to me and there are a few things I noted during my trip that I'd like to share with you all. My 5 tips to making the most of Paris (and any other city break destination)
|Watching the Euro 2016 on the streets of Montmarte.|
Allez les bleus!
Watch your step.
I'm an architecture fan and love walking around with my head in the air taking in my surroundings but unfortunately Paris is not a city fond of level surfaces. I lost count of the number of times I tripped on an unlevel pavement slab. It was tremendous graceful. So do me a favour look down.
You may or may not see tricolor chickens.
That being said you really do need to pay attention to your surroundings. Paris isn't what you would call a tall city but it is a beautiful one. Even when I was sitting in my flat I'd head out to the balcony and just take it all in. I don't know how they've done it but they have managed to keep the olde world quaintness in a bustling modern city.
Stay above ground
They say Paris is a city to discover on foot and whether you walk or get the bus my recommendation is definitely to stay above ground. The metro may be tremendous fun (it really is fun and ridiculously easy to navigate) but you'll never see the whole city if you spend 80% of your trip travelling underground. The bus routes are amazing also, I was able to get from my flat in Montmarte straight to the Champs-Elysée in one trip and by buying a stack of 10 tickets (Carnet de 10 tickets can be used on all city based public transport) for just over 10€, it's mega cheap too.
Eat cake every day
It's sounds like pure gluttony but, when you think about the sheer amount of walking you will do around the city, you are completely justified in your decision to grab that Croissant aux beurre for breakfast. Paris has not escaped the "artisan" trend so you'll see Artisan Boulangerie's on every street.
You'll see both Croissants and Croissant aux beurre on offer. Trust me, pay the extra 10 cents and get the buttery version. Heaven.
Can you think of anything worse than standing for two hours in a queue to see an attraction? I love museums and I love landmarks but there are always better ways to spend your time than queuing. When I tipped up to Versailles early on Tuesday morning there was no less than two thousand people (I'm not even exaggerating) waiting to get in to the main house. I strolled around the back and entered the gardens about 30 seconds later. 3 hours after that, having done most of the gardens and all the surrounding terrasse/houses, I strolled straight into the house. No queue.
My biggest regret was not buying one of the electric golf carts to tour the gardens. My calves hated me as did the Andy Powell in me.