The city of love, home to the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, and last but not least, my summer destination this year. Paris was the city that my boyfriend and I chose for our first holiday together and also somewhere to celebrate my 21st birthday. It was a perfect fit – providing a rich history, dynamic streets and breath-taking scenery. It ticked all of our boxes.
We got a really good deal on our city centre hotel, as we booked our hotel and our Eurostar tickets in a package deal. As part of our Eurostar tickets, we got free entry to a number of museums, and because we were younger than 25 we were also allowed free entry into every museum apart from The Louvre. One tip I would give anyone wanting to visit the Louvre is to book in advance – the amount of people who turned up thinking you could buy tickets on the door was astounding, and the queue was so long it disappeared out of sight. I loved that all of the different museums had beautiful architecture in addition to having stunning exhibits, paintings and statues.
We walked everywhere, from the Basilica Sacré-Cœur to the Arc de Triomphe (also free entry for EU residents under 25) from the Louvre to the Musée de Orsay and then to the Eiffel Tower. We walked 25-30,000 steps a day, and we were exhausted. I loved every second of our wandering – walking in the sun and feeling the breeze on my face as we walked alongside the river Seine. I felt like I was dreaming the whole time I was there, and I believe that is exactly how you should feel when you go on a city break.
The food we had in Paris was also incredible – the pastries, the steaks, the crème brûlée, the champagne and Aperol. We were living the life of luxury, and the best part about it was that I didn’t spend as much money as I was expecting to. I had heard that Paris was expensive, but I didn’t think that it was any more expensive than eating out in England. Winner winner steak for dinner. We ate from a range of cafes and restaurants and found that the independent places provided the best cuisine and atmosphere.
The most unexpected element of our trip was that we fell in love with the Eurostar. Queuing up and making our way through security was a breeze – I was even allowed to take my full coffee through with me. The train itself was spacious with comfortable seats and plug sockets. It was the most seamless travel I have ever experienced, and it only took us two hours to get to Paris from St. Pancras.
I would recommend Paris to anyone looking for a short trip away, with an abundance of culture – both contemporary and historical. I can’t wait until I can go back and explore the streets of the city more.