I had another opportunity to go to US for work in Feb. As this round, I was going with a colleague, Sally, we made plans to take Air France, then spend a day in Paris, before flying to Atlanta for work.
My French colleague provided us the necessary information to maximise our stay there, so that we can see the key sights within a day.
So here is what we did on our 1D1N trip in Paris.
We stayed in Ibis Gare du Nord TGV near the city; the hotel is about 200m from Gare du Nord, station along the RER B train to the city from the airport. We got a day pass at the airport station (Euro23.50) when we arrived in the morning, which allowed us to travel on RER and Metro (and I believe bus too although we didn’t take the bus). And from Gare Du Nord, it was easy to get to the city centre via the metro.
Gare Du Nord is a big station, and we had to ask for direction before we could even get to the exit.
Gare du Nord viewed from across the road.
There are a lot of Ibis hotels around Gare du Nord, the one we stayed in, i.e. Ibis Gare du Nord TGV is along the road on the right of Gare du Nord, about 1minute walk away. This is the view from across our hotel entrance.
The hotel is a small hotel, with narrow walkway between rooms.
However, the room is of moderate size and very clean. We booked a triple room, which came with a queen bed and a single pull out bed.
After we’re done with our check in, we started our tour.
We took the subway from Gare du Nord (RER Line B + Line C) to Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel. The Eiffel Tower is not far from the station. It was a beautiful day, but oh, so cold.
It was below 0C that day. My teeth were chattering, and my bones were aching, this was the closest we got to the tower.
♥Arc de Triomphe♥
My French colleague actually asked us to walk to Trocadéro (which is across the River Seine or La Sein from Eiffel Tower) to take a bus from there, but we couldn’t find the bus station, so instead we went to the nearest Metro station and found our way to Charles de Gaulle Étoile.
Right above the station, is Arc de Triomphe.
This is where the Champs-élysées Avenue begins, and so did our shopping.
We had something to eat at Publicis Drugstore, and it was my first time trying out Pierre Hermé macarons. Oh my goodness! It was much much much much more nicer than Ladurée. For Euro2 per macaron, I bought 8! They seemed to be less sweet, the shells were softer, and the filling much creamier and flavourful.
Later when we went passed Ladurée, I wasn’t even compelled to go in.
We entered a couple of shops, and spend most time in Loius Vuitton, Sally got herself a bag, while I was tempted, my frugality got the better of me.
We found it really nice that in all the shops, pets are welcome, even in Louis Vuitton, you can stroll in with your dog and no one will stop you.
We took the metro from Charles de Gaulle Étoile to (actually, any metro station along the Champs-élysées Avenue which is on Metro Line 1 will do) Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre. From there, we walked Musée du Lourve.
I’d been to the museum more than 12 years back, and since we have limited time in Paris, we have no intentions of visiting the museum, but more to just take some photos around there.
In the afternoon, the weather has turned slightly warmer, so it was more comfortable to walk around. From the Lourve, we walked back to the Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre, and took the Metro Line 1 to L’Hôtel de Ville, and then walked towards Notre Dame.
We walked pass an outdoor skating rink near Hôtel de Ville. My first time seeing an outdoor skating rink. Later I realised this is Patinoire de L’Hôtel de Ville, the most popular seasonal ice skating venue in Paris. Aah, if only the girls were here, I’m sure they would enjoy skating there.
It was a short walk across the River Seine to Notre-Dame.
There was a big crowd in front of the cathedral, some just to take photos of the facade, some were queuing to get into the cathedral. For us, we just walked around the cathedral, trying to spot the gargoyles.
That was our last stop for the Paris tour. We were kind of tired, and wanted to go back to the hotel for a rest. From Notre-Dame, we walked towards Saint-Michel (the Latin quarters) and then took the metro (line 4) back to Gare Du Nord.
After a short rest, we were out again, to go to Hard Rock Cafe Paris as Sally is a Hard Rock Cafe merchandise collector. We took the metro (line 4 then 8 or 9) from Gare du Nord to Grands Boulevards, then walked there.
We wanted to have a good French dinner around Grands Boulevards, chose a restaurant which we thought was decent, but the food turned out pretty disappointing.
If it wasn’t so cold, we probably would have gone back to Eiffel Tower area to enjoy the night scene. But it was bone chilling cold! So instead, we went back to the hotel to have an early night.
The following day, we had to check out early to go to the airport for our flight to Atlanta. I was actually loosing hope of having a good meal before we leave, but good thing was Sally spotted this cafe, Cafe la Chaufferie, just behind our hotel; and we had a scrumptious breakfast there.
Bread with crispy crust and chewy inside, and the crumbly croissant were freshly baked. I had a chunky piece of cheese that came with my breakfast and it was good cheese.
Now we can leave Paris happy and satisfied.