Traveling has a way of making you look at life so different. It allows you to experience things and places you thought you would only see in travel magazines. It opens you up to learn more about yourself. You learn more about your comfort, tolerance, and most importantly, your individuality.
I can attest to this and much more through my most recent trip to Paris, France. Everyone’s experience is sure to be different, but hopefully my experience and my Maverick Tips will help you when planning your future venture to the City of Love.
Day 1: Tourist Mode, Trains, and Tasty Eats
My short trip (4 days to be exact) to the shockingly small country began with transferring my US dollars to Euros followed by familiarizing myself with the Paris Metro. Traveling with a group of 5, it was practical to purchase a 10 pack of tickets and split it instead of a one or 2-day pass. Surprisingly, Paris Metro is easier to understand than NYC Transit. It was mastered in less than an hour. Their unique trains with self-open doors arrive in to the clean stations every 4-7 minutes. We experienced absolutely no delays. However, we did burn off a ton of calories from climbing up and down their almost never ending spiral steps.
We entered the Pigalle station, which is close to the Moulin Rouge and Paris’ version of “The Red Light District” (if you’re in to those sex shops and other freaky things). That area also holds tons of exchange places for your money. Within the area of Euros and Exoticy, we found a French brasserie called Pigalle. And where is Pigalle? Directly across the street from the Pigalle station. This restaurant automatically became the go-to and last resort restaurant for us. That’s how great their food and drinks were. The two most important things were out of the way: Getting Money and Learning how to get around; preparing us for an epic short adventure.
Day 2: Baguettes, Basilicas, and Beautiful Views
The Cardinal Breakfast Rule in Paris is: Baguettes or Croissants with a Tea or Coffee. I don’t think there was a morning where I sat down and had a lavish breakfast spread (you know…the eggs, the bacon, the waffles, etc.). If you are a bread lover like myself, you will be happy to know that it’s OK to walk down the streets of Paris eating a whole baguette loaf. It’s the norm; like walking and eating a pizza or a hot dog in New York is the norm.
We walked and ate breakfast to our first stop, Sacre-Coeur, an old ancient basilica church that sits at the top of the Paris hill between Montmatre and Pigalle. Sitting at the top of the hill means hills and steps galore to get to the top. Good thing there is a tram that rides you up and the hill. I wish I knew that beforehand.
The key element of this trip was to get lost; Literally. Paris is a city where you can walk and totally get lost while discovering new sights and dines. Aside from your main tourist attractions, there is so much to see that you wouldn’t find in a travel tour guide/map.
Our 2nd night in Paris ended with the Eiffel Tower and nightlife (somewhat). The Eiffel Tower, Paris’ main tourist attraction, is a beautiful sight at night. The Skip the Line tour is strongly recommended. You not only get to skip the line. You also get a great history lesson on the Eiffel Tower and the other surrounding landmarks. Every hour on the hour, you will find the Eiffel Tower charming you with its shimmering light show that is sure to captivate the ones that don’t even believe in love.
Day 3: Fine Arts, Fashion, and Foreign Feets
Sneaker heads will get a thrill out of the many sneaker stores in the Rue de Berger area. It reminded me of a mini Downtown Brooklyn with all the different sneaker stores ranging from Foot Locker and Nike to the exclusive spots like Size? Official. You are bound to find sneakers in Paris that are not sold at all in the U.S.