Paris For A Week In August

I went to Paris with an old school friend for a week at the beginning of August, travelling on a Megabus for only £36 return each from London. The queuing/waiting at Victoria was a bit long, and the wifi on the bus only worked in England, but overall it was fine and definitely worth £36. It took around 8 hours.

We’d booked accommodation through the AirBnB website where people list rooms/properties for rent without having to go through an agency or rental company. We paid £150 in total for a week in a small studio flat with a bunk bed near the metro station called Gambetta. It was the first time I’d used the website and I’d definitely recommend it.

Paris itself is expensive – We struggled to find places to have lunch or dinner for less than 10 euros, whereas I tend to find stuff in London for about £7. After a recommendation from our watier one lunch time, we went out to the “cheap, student area”, a road called Rue Des Lapes near Bastille metro station. The cheapest double spirit mixer we could find there was 10 euros, and on the weekend, club entry on that road was 20 euros!!! I thought they were joking when they first told me.

Rue Des Lapes was so much fun that we went there 3 times in total throughout the week. There are about 10 bars and 3 clubs and club entry is free on week-nights. The bars and clubs play a mix of music, some of which I’d never heard before like zouk. I was pleasently surprised at the amount of dancehall they played! There was also hiphop, rnb, commercial and coupe decale.

We made friends with some bar men because we kept going back to their bar, so we were allowed behind it on our last night:

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We managed to get into a 20 euro club for free on the weekend by telling the staff we had no money etc. I’m guessing it only worked because we’re girls but I don’t know how many people actually end up paying the full 20.

The transport is similar to London, with the metro running until about 1am and then starting again around 5am, and night buses and taxis going all night. Bastille was still lively around 4am so on Saturday night we just stayed until 5 to get the metro home and it was fine. We paid about 20 euros for a weekly bus/metro pass.

Of course we went to the Eiffel Tower and we decided to walk up it instead of taking the lift. It cost about 3 euros (for a student ticket) and the walk up (only to the 2nd floor because that’s the limit for walking) took around 45 minutes including stopping to take photos etc. There’s a cafe on the 1st floor so you can rest half way if you need to. This is us on the 2nd floor:

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We also went to Paris Plages which is an annual event that lasts for about a month where they bring beach activities to the river. There was lots available such as a zip-line going across the river, kayaking, pedal boats, table tennis etc, but I think we arrived too late. We got there at about 4 and it was completely packed and the queues for all the activities were really long so we ended up just chilling on a hammock. I would recommend going to Paris Plages but definitely get there in the morning.

The only other notable tourist thing we did was go to the Champs-Elysees and we were disgusted to see that the longest queue there was for the Abercombie store!!! (I hate Abercrombie more than most things in this world but that’s another story). It was pretty much a bigger and posher version of Oxford Street in London and there wasn’t actually anything for us to do there so after wandering around we went to St Michel (a metro station near the centre of Paris) which is a quieter area with nice places to eat.

So basically my advice if you’re going to Paris:

1. Buy a Navigo card and put a weekly pass on it (or a pass for however long you’re staying there for). Don’t buy a tourist travel card because they’re more expensive.

2. Climb up the Eiffel Tower because the queue for that is shorter than for the lift and it’s not too hard.

3. If you’re aged around 18 – 27 and are looking to party, go to Bastille (Rue Des Lapes).

4. (I didn’t mention this but…) buy one meal a day from the boulangerie. It’s all freshly made and they have lots of things including croissants, baguettes, raisin bread, olive bread and quiche.

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