There are few places that I like visiting more than Paris so when my friend invited me over for a weekend to celebrate her 30th I jumped at the chance! I planned to go with one other friend, Hannah, and we thought we would spend 4 days in Paris and then head home but as soon as we started looking at options our plans spiralled and suddenly we were spending 3 days in Paris and then taking the Eurostar to London to spend a whirlwind 24 hours there before we headed home. We also acquired a new travel companion too – when Hannah’s best friend Erinna heard about our plans she decided to come along too.
We started with a very early flight to Paris, direct from Aberdeen, which was perfect because we arrived nice and early so we had most of the day to explore. We stayed at the Generator Hostel which had just newly opened. I have stayed at this chain of hostels in Dublin, Venice and now Paris and London and would highly recommend them. The common areas feel like a boutique hotel more than your standard hostel and the dorms are well laid out with a plug, light and individual trunk for each bed. The location of the Paris Generator was great as we were close to the Gare du Nord and the Gare de L’Est and had a metro station on our doorstop (Colonel Fabien).
On our first day we decided to do a typical tourist activity and go on an open top bus tour. The weather wasn’t perfect but it stayed dry most of the time and the tour was such a good way to see the majority of the sights with very little hassle. It wasn’t hugely expensive (around €35 each for the 3 day pass) and it was so easy to see all of the major sites and really get a feel for the city, rather than being stuck underground on the metro. After a while on the bus (and many selfie stick photo ops) we headed to Laduree on the Champs Élysées for some Afternoon Tea. We all had macarons (of course) and I had one of their signature teas while the others had Chocolat Chaud. (A word of warning for the French Chocolat Chaud – it is literally melted chocolate and can be quite bitter so don’t expect it to be anything like a Starbucks hot chocolate! Personally I would not order it but it’s certainly worth a try). Laduree was beautiful and it was a great experience but it wasn’t the best afternoon tea I’ve ever had – I still think the Brits do it best, but then I’m biased! At this point we were exhausted so headed back to our hostel for a quick nap… Which accidentally turned into a long nap making us late for our friend’s party. When we were finally ready (just over an hour late) we started walking along to the party which was supposedly less than 10 minutes from our hostel. 25 minutes later we still hasn’t arrived so we gave up and hopped in a taxi – only to discover we had been walking the wrong way. Very embarrassing. By the time we arrived at the party, everyone else had had a few (!) drinks so we had some catching up to do. The party was on a docked boat on the Sienne and we had a private area of the boat for the party. The wine was extraordinarily cheap (€2 a glass!) and there was a great atmosphere so we had such a fun night despite the rocky start! It was also really nice to see Bremmo and meet all of her friends in Paris.
The second day was a bit hard going after a great first night! We got back on the tour bus and saw all of the sights we hadn’t made it to on the first day like The Eiffel Tower! The rain was pretty bad but I think it just made for a better picture!
That night we went out for dinner in Saint Michel with Bremmo which was so much fun because we tried lots of French cuisine like snails, frogs’ legs and foie gras. It was really fun taking it in turns to try each thing and I was pleasantly surprised to find I actually really liked them all.
We spent our last day in Paris at Disneyland, which was probably the worst day of our trip. The queues to get into the park were very very slow so I would definitely say it’s worth getting your ticket before you go. We spent about €90 each for the one day pass to both parks, which I thought was very expensive but I expected it to be worth it. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that it was. There are three large rides in Disney and two of them were not running: Space Mountain was being refurbished and Thunder Mountain was broken. There are also three large rides in the Disney Studios and again one of them was not on. I found this very disappointing because the main reason we had gone was for the rides. This obviously also affected the length of the lines at the other rides too as everyone was forced to go on the same few that were available. We were also disappointed with the lack of characters in the parks. We saw a parade very early on in the day which we enjoyed but then we only saw two more characters (who we queued up to see) for the whole day. We still had a nice day because we made the most of it but I certainly won’t be rushing back to Disneyland next time I’m in Paris.
One thing that is very convenient is that you can get the Eurostar from Disneyland which meant that we didn’t have to go all the way back into Paris to travel to London. It was also very cheap when we booked it – only £34 each! The journey only took about three hours but with the time difference this meant that we left Disney at around 4pm and were in London just after 6pm – in time to see a show! We were very very close to missing our train (because we spent too long in the gift shop) but we were unbelievably lucky that the train was delayed by 15 minutes! Because of this we would have missed our connection but they held the next train so that the passengers from the first one could still get on. I thought the service was great and I will definitely be taking the Eurostar again.
We had a fabulous trip to Paris and throughly made the most of the amazing food and wine while in a beautiful setting. Despite the disappointing display from Disney, we still enjoyed ourselves and the trip wasn’t even over yet – For my post about what we did in London, click here!