Bonjour! If you know me, you know that I love spontaneous travel. Whenever I see a cheap ticket, I just book it and go. Luckily, being a freelance writer lets me work from anywhere that has a WiFi connection. I spotted a bonkers deal on Norwegian for Paris this summer and JUMPED at the opportunity. Seriously, roundtrip New York City to Paris for less than a ticket to Los Angeles? Yeah. I'm taking it.
I spent four days in Paris and it was tres awesome. Can you tell I don't speak French at all? Sorry, I took Spanish in school. It was my first time in Paris. I went solo and unlike Carrie Bradshaw, I had a great time by myself. I stayed in the Latin Quarter in the 5th Arrondissement which was close to all the tourist spots. In a few days, I was able to hit the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre Dame, Seine River and eat more croissants than one girl should ever have.
Here's some tips:
- Wear comfortable shoes: Paris is a walking city. You'll kill your 10,000 steps a day goal every single day so wear comfy kicks.
- Charge it: Pretty much everywhere takes credit card but it's smart to take out 100 Euros at the airport for small purchases like pastries and coffee.
- Learn a few French phrases: The French are notorious for not liking Americans and that's totally not the case. I found people to be super friendly (They're obsessed with New York) and accommodating especially when I tried to pull out a few key French phrases: Bonjour! Merci! and of course, Parlez-vous anglais?
- Get a selfie stick: Yeah yeah. I know you don't wanna look like a lame but it's the only way to get photos when you're traveling solo. Here's the one I got. Just whip it out and hide it real quick so you don't look like an annoying tourist.
- Uber everywhere: Über in Paris is super easy and affordable. Most of my drivers didn't speak English but it's no big deal once you input the address into the app.
- Forget calories: Eat Berthillon ice cream for breakfast. Eat croissants every single day. Thank me later.
- Eat like a local: Eat when and how the locals eat. That means pain au chocolat in the mornings, long and leisurely lunches in the afternoon (think 2 hours or more) and late dinners that start after 8:00pm. I made sure to do one splurge meal at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Think steak tartare and rich, velvety cheese plate) but the best food was a simple croque monsieur and creme brule from a corner cafe called Cafe Saint Medard. Kir Royal, sandwich, fries and dessert for under $30. Bam.
- Skip the line: The line at the Louvre is worse than 1Oak. Pay a little extra and skip the line.
- Research is your friend: I can't think of a better tour guide in Europe that Rick Steves. Dude has spent like 20 years traveling through the continent. His Paris walking tour and Louvre tour were legit better than any paid tour you'll find. I also spent the flight listening to his Paris podcasts which taught me important things like: Croissants sell out by 9:00am and a latte is called a "cafe creme."
- Be smart: Paris is a big city and a lot of people freak out that it's not safe. It's totally safe but you have to be smart. Don't go walking around in weird neighborhoods at night. Don't wave your wallet or passport around to attract pickpockets. Just be smart.
Tons more pics on the 'gram. Bon voyage!