Planning a Weekend Trip to Paris

Dec 5, 2019 Paris, France

Ah Paris! 

I am here in south of France for a month for work. There are lot of great places to see around here but this is my first trip to Europe so, I had to visit Paris. I did not do a lot of research before reaching. Here is what I learnt with first-hand experience. Hope this helps if you are planning a weekend trip. 

To reach: Paris has two airports and is well connected with most major airports all over Europe. But, the airports are quite far from the city. You will have to pay extra to get in the city. Reaching by bus (Flixbus or Blablabus) or by train is a better option. I wanted to go by train because it is faster but the price of the tickets go up exponentially near the travel dates. Booking in advance is the key. Bus in general takes a long time to reach but the prices are low. For Bus, choose an option that reaches at Berny Seine or other stop within the zone 1 or 2 of Paris. This will save you precious time in Paris. 

Travel pass: Paris is divided in zones. Keep that in mind while getting your travel pass. I purchased mine from Berny metro stop. I had to travel to zone 3 to stay with my friend so, I purchased the one for zone 3 for two days. If you want to roam around the popular tourist destination then zone 1 or zone 1 and 2 is enough. The travel pass allows you to take the bus, tram, metro, and even the funicular (available at Sacre Cour. More on that in a later post)

The trip around the city: I booked the two days BigBus trip where you can sit on top of a double-decker bus and enjoy the city while listening to their guides (prerecorded or live) telling you about the area you travel to. You can get down at their designated stops. You will get another bus in 15-20 minutes. It can be easily tracked using their apps – the routes, stops, how far you are from the nearest stop and how long it will take the next bus to come. They cover two routes and also a river cruise. But, I was out of time to enjoy the cruise plus it was getting too cold so, skipped it. The tickets are for 44 euro but I paid 35 euros because of some discounts on their websites. There are other companies that offer this but do check their frequency and routes before you book. They do not stop unless it is the designated stop so, at times you might have to walk a lot. 

What to see: It all depends on personal choice. My top priority was the summit of Eiffel tower and visit Louve especially for Monalisa. Then, enjoy the city and walk around. In the end, I did a lot more than that in two days and I am content with the trip. I will do a post on the places visited soon. Do let me know if you have anything in mind that you wish to know. 

Safety precautions: The city is full of thieves and pickpockets. The city with its posters, warning on public transport, and even the good-hearted by-passers will caution you about this repeatedly. Take a light backpack which you can either hang in front. If you keep it on your back, make sure there is nothing important. Keep a fanny pack with some cash and important documents. Luckily with the coat that I was wearing, everything is concealed. Keep your money in different places. Some even told me to keep some in my socks in case I lose things.

Stay: Luckily, I had on colleague staying in Paris Zone 3 (also here in France for work). I stayed with her. But, whatever place you choose please check which zones it fall on so that you can easily travel around. Airbnb also has a lot to offer around the place. 

I will add more things as and when I recall them. 



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