This series of posts will detail my 4 days in Paris; what I loved and what I didn’t! They will all be linked to each other! I can’t publish them all at once because of the length!
This post will detail Montmartre, Sacré Cœur, the Moulin Rouge, Canal Saint Martin, my experience watching a UEFA EURO 2016 match in Paris with locals, and my departing thoughts about Paris and solo travel.
This morning I woke up later, because I finally realized one of the best parts about traveling, especially solo: you need/get great relaxation time.
I took the metro to the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur before the crowds and odd keychain sellers emerged. In the end, it was worth it. Yet, in the beginning it was a little scary. Walking from the metro to the cathedral in the early morning was a watered down version of what it would be at night.
What I Learned: beating the crowds in the morning is worth it only in more central locations where it is easy to find your way around (I.E. Notre-Dame, Arc de Triomphe, ect).
However I did get beautiful views of the cathedral as well as the city quite easily.
As a huge fan of the movie, this was a must see for me. However, if you are with children or not specifically excited to see the place, I would not go. What no one tells you is that the street is full of sex shops. People who live in this area only have one choice for a grocery store because there is no room for any others between the sex shops.
Canal Saint Martin
I hopped on the metro and went to Canal Saint Martin- a beautiful area with shops, food, and (you guessed it), a beautiful canal. This was definitely one of best areas as far as a great balance between beauty and low number of tourists goes. This is one of the few places in the city where I saw a lady selling some antiques beside the canal but not targeting tourists at all. I had a coffee at Café Craft, where the baristas were very friendly, and took the metro back to my hostel once I had satisfied my urge to visit almost every shop.
Watching Football with the Locals
Luckily my hostel mate also wanted to go somewhere for dinner and football, so we went together to a café down the street from our hostel! I ended my night with a 5-2 France victory over Iceland and an amazing burger.
This day was a travel day, with my train leaving Paris at noon, but it left plenty of room for amazing reflection about Paris and solo traveling!
First, after breakfast with my hostel mates and a sad departure from them, I did some Productive Roaming.
As I will be returning to Paris in about 1 month, I decided to walk around the streets with no other aim but to absorb the surroundings and write down names of hotels I liked. (Insider note: I chose and booked Le Clos Notre-Dame Hotel, which is in a great location, yet because it is slightly hidden from the main street, the prices are reasonable!)
Shakespeare and Company Take 2
As an English Super Nerd, this was the place I chose to spend the last few hours in Paris.With a great view of the Siene River and Notre-Dame Paris, how could you not? Arguably better than my first visit, I had a great pot of peppermint tea and wrote about my weekend.
Thoughts on Solo Travel
As my first trip solo, I honestly can’t wait to do it again. Solo travel leaves so much time, and personal time, for you to experience the places and things that aren’t possible in a group. I will be writing about the small details soon in a separate post, however I would like to leave this topic with:
Never be afraid to travel solo.
it was difficult to leave such a beautiful city when it seemed I had just gotten the hang of it, but the hardest part was saying goodbye to my hostel mates. I am so glad that I spoke to them and said yes to hanging out with them.
Paris is a gorgeous city, the architecture prevails whether you are surrounded by other tourists or lost. It was a great experience that I will cherish for a long time to come!
Not sure what to pack for your weekend in Paris? Check out my post about packing for Paris that includes a great downloadable checklist!
Interested in biking in Paris? Check out this post about how to use the city’s bike system.
Have you ever been to Paris for a weekend? Do you have any questions/suggestions for me? Let me know by replying to my blog post below!