November 28, 2009

The city of love & lights

Guess where I have been last weekend... ok that wasn't too hard ;-)
I spent 3 fun filled days in Paris and thought I should share some of my experiences and tips with you in case you plan on travelling there some time soon, too.

First thing you should do when arriving in Paris is to buy metro pass for as many days as you will spent there. This pass allows you to take all the metros at any time within the city of Paris and costs less than 10 € for one and 20 € for 3 days. This price does not include the outskirts of the city like Versailles but you can get tickets including this area as well or just buy a single ticket if you want to go there. With this type of metro ticket you can easily get to any sightseeing points in the city and save the money you usually would spend on one of the expensive bus city tours.

For all of you that love fashion as much as I do, I can highly recommend the exposition of the work of Madeleine Vionnet at the art museum "Les arts décoratifs". The exhibition will still be there until the January 31 and stretches over 2 levels to show Vionnet's spectacular fashion and pattern making skills. I was so impressed by this display that I had to buy the related exhibition catalogue. You can find more info about this exhibition here.

Of course, you will have to visit all the important sightseeing spots such as the Eiffel tower, the Champs Élysées (which is nicely decorated during christmas time), Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame etc. (just to name a few).

Once it gets dark, you should take part in one of the boat tours on the Seine as the city is especially beautiful during night time. From the boat you can see most of the important landmarks and get a good overview over the city. Make sure that you get a tour without food or drinks as both are highly overpriced and are better taken in one of the typical Parisian restaurants.

For a typical Parisian/ French restaurant, I can highly recommend "Je thé ... me". This is one of those tiny restaurants that you won't find in any travel guides. We only found it through the recommendation of friends of my friend who live in Paris and are chefs themselves. The restaurant is small over 2 levels and has a nice vintage charm (reservations are a must as it really is tiny). For 38 € you can get a 3 course menu and it is so worth it as it was the best food I ever tasted. The chef mixes common dishes with uncommon spices which mix in your mouth to an ultimate sensation of taste. French cuisine at its best!

Instead of waiting hours in line to mount the Eiffel tower, you should ascend the tower of Montparnasse, the tallest skyscraper in France. First of all, it is much cheaper and actually get to see all of Paris including the Eiffel tower.

If you have another day left after visiting all sightseeing spots within the city, Versailles and its gardens are certainly worth a visit. Unfortunately, we had bad luck with the weather when visiting it and couldn't see much of the gardens due to the rain. Hopefully, you will have more luck than moi!

Happy travelling!

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