Hi Guys! This is my blog about my trip to Paris and tips on things you can do there, as well as travelling.
I am going to do my best with telling you everything to do in Paris however just after I booked my flights in December 2018 to go there with my mum we were told that there were riots there on the news! Therefore because of this there was limited public transport which was available in the centre so we had to walk to the Eiffel Tower which was fine to be honest, apart from the protests! 😂
I flew from my local airport and flew into the Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris. Once we were there we found the train station and asked within a ticket office which train to get to Paris. We stayed in ‘Hilton Paris La Defense‘, as I was working for Hilton at the time, I managed to book this for 40 pounds per night through my staff discount. I had already researched which train we needed to get so I did have a rough idea how to get there.
We purchased a ticket from Charles De Gaulle Airport to ‘Chatelet Les Halles’ on the RER B train. We then got off the train at ‘Chatelet Les Halles’ and got onto the RER A train to ‘La Defense’. It is a little confusing when you get there to know where to go but if you research it enough and have an idea this makes it a lot easier for you. These trains are really easy to get and when we were on them it was rarely very busy, but of course, this is probably because of everything which was happening at the time there.
The RER trains tend to be slightly quicker than the metro, as well as not stopping at stations so often, the metro, however, is still an option if you would prefer to get this. The RER train took us about 40 minutes to reach La Defense train station. I’ve added an image of the tickets which I purchased for the RER train.
Once we were at La Defense station we then used our mobile sat nav to try to find the hotel. This wasn’t too easy late at night so I asked a local french lady and she helped us to find the entrance. Hilton La Defense has two entrances, one which is a normal entrance to any hotel and one entrance which is the shopping mall it is connected into. This can be confusing if you don’t know this.
Once we had checked in with the receptionist we then got into the lift to go to the floor where our bedroom was which was on floor 7. We pressed the floor 7 button which took us to the floor which had the gym room on. We then pressed the reception button, which took us back down and tried again. It again kept taking us to the same floor and back down over and over again 😂. We were crying with laughter by this point! I was just about to go and ask the receptionist how to stop on our floor when it dawned on me that in some Hilton hotels and other hotels you have to put your room key in a small slot in the lift which allows you access to the level for bedrooms. It is for security. This is a good tip to share with you all, although you may be aware of this already and it’s just me! Haha.
So our first day we knew there was no public transport into the centre of Paris, as well as taxi’s. After we discussed what to do, we decided we would walk to the Eiffel Tower, during the riots this would be the safest option as we could turn around and come back if need be. We said we would go and make the most of it so that’s what we decided. We planned to go to the Eiffel Tower on our first day so we wanted to stick to our itinerary if we could.
This hotel was great to stay in, nothing was too much trouble for them and they were very friendly. The bedroom was very clean and comfortable, we stayed in a twin room. Breakfast was freshly cooked, a great variety of different foods and the staff were attentive here too. I would recommend staying here, although there are plenty of other cheaper options in Paris which are just as good!
Walking to the Eiffel Tower wasn’t too bad at all, there was a big police presence but that was okay 😅. The Eiffel Tower was closed but we still managed to see it. It took us about an hour to get here but it was great to see. It isn’t far at all by public transport if you stay in La Defense. By the Eiffel Tower, there are lots of little restaurants where you can sit down and get some food or drink.
Whilst in Paris there were lots of Christmas markets which is one of the main reasons we wanted to go. They had lots of things to sell ranging from foods, drinks, clothing, lots of Christmas decorations and lots more! It felt very Christmas like whilst we were here which was really nice :).
On the last day, we decided to go to see Notre Dame cathedral. We got the RER train there as the metro was still all closed due to the riots. When we checked out we decided to take our luggage with us to Notre Dame as it was on the way to the airport. This was a huge mistake because although we only had hand luggage we were not allowed to take this into Notre Dame for security reasons which was understandable! Therefore we had to retrace all our steps back to the hotel again to leave it there, then make our way back to Notre Dame. As you can tell, things didn’t really go to plan as we had thought this weekend. So, don’t make this mistake guys! We should have researched it beforehand.
It was a very wet day when we decided to go to Notre Dame as you can see! Notre Dame was very impressive inside with all of the stain glass windows, they were amazing. I’m really glad looking back that we managed to go inside because just afterwards Notre Dame had a large fire where a number of things were destroyed which was very sad for the french.
I know this blog isn’t much due to the circumstances when we went to Paris, along with the public transport not working, however, I hope it helps you a little to show you what there is to do and see in Paris. I always would rather take something good out of a bad situation and try to make the best out of it than not try at all, so that is what we did 👍.