A few weeks ago I was drinking french wine with my friend Lauren and I jokingly said, “Hey, I wonder if flights to Paris are cheap right now since it’s winter.” It turns out yes, yes they were. So I made the wise and mature adult decision to buy a last minute flight to Paris for the weekend (I swear they were on sale!).
The goal of this trip was to only do things I haven’t done before. I walked/ubered/scootered past soo many of my old favorites and I forced myself to keep going. Paris has almost 20,000 restaurants, I do NOT need to keep going to Les Deux Magots every time I’m there. So, here’s what I did on this trip that was different from what I’ve done before:
This is a classic french bistro in my favorite little hidden alleyway in St. Germain. It’s right next to Le Procope, which is my favorite restaurant in Paris (but that I did NOT go to this time). I had the goat cheese salad, the salmon, and the raspberry crumble. They were all AMAZING and so quintessentially french.
I met a lovely girl from NYC named Lisa on the train (more about her below) from the airport to the city center and she told me that she was going to a pub crawl that she found on airbnb experiences. I immediately signed up for it, and it was a BLAST. There’s just one gritty picture from the night but if it was crisp and clear that would NOT be a clear representation 🙂 Our host did an awesome job showing us around her super cool neighborhood, from what I can remember
Have y’all tried these? I was honestly just utterly terrified the first time, since these things go up to 20 mph and Paris has really bumpy cobblestone type streets. But after about my third time on one, it got a lot easier and less terrifying. For your money, it’s the quickest/cheapest way to get around an urban city.
I researched ‘best crepe places in Paris’ and this one was just the closest to my airbnb, one neighborhood over in the Latin Quarter. It was a 45 minute walk made longer by the fact that halfway there I realized I forgot my wallet 🙁 BUT the crepes were AMAZING once I finally did get there, and it was well worth the many miles of walking. The crepes were amazing even though we had to sit outside, but there was heaters and blankets and it was super cozy.
Delacroix was a french painter in the 1800s. There was just a Delacroix exhibit at the Met in New York that I went to several times because I loved it so much, so this museum was a no brainer. Also, it’s free on Sundays! It’s very small – it’s actually in the last apartment he had before he died in 1863. It had a lot more memorabilia and photos of him than it did his actual art, but it was cool to continue learning about him after his huge exhibit at the Met.
This bar, located within the Ritz Carlton hotel, has the coolest story of any bar I’ve ever been to. The story goes that Ernest Hemmingway himself liberated this bar from Nazi rule in World War II. I’m not sure how that even works but I am sure that the drinks were amazing, the bar was elegant and rich in history, and I felt incredibly swanky.
Open Air Market
To be honest I did not plan on this, but it was super cool and brought me back to my study abroad years. My absolute favorite item to buy at a french market is dried strawberries. You canNOT get these in the US, I swear. They’re not freeze dried – they’re dried like how you can get dried apricots or peaches here. They taste like gummy bears and are just so good.
This was a bit weird. But I figured it would be good for me to live with people who know I came home every night, since I was a solo traveling female. This room was RUSTIC y’all and I’m not bragging about how posh it was by any means, but it got the job done and was less than $200 for two nights in central Paris. My host was adorable and gave me croissants every morning.
Make friends with a stranger
Walking out of the airport, I noticed a lost looking American girl and an old french dude who was not being helpful. ‘Go ask that girl over there’ he told her. And that girl was ME! Turns out this girl is from Texas, lives in NYC, and was on my same flight coming and going. We hung out basically the whole weekend and it was so fun to have a friend on a trip I thought I’d be flying solo on. We also made friends with so many other people at our pub crawl, and I think this has shaped my view of traveling along. You won’t be alone long if you make friends! Thanks for making this trip even better, Lisa!
So now, if you’re wondering how I packed everything into essentially a two day trip, here’s what my schedule looked like:
- Flight takes off at 10:30 p.m., sleep on the plane with the help of Pinot Noir and Advil PM
- Flight lands at 11 a.m.
- Sightseeing, dinner, pub crawl from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. that ends up lasting until 2:30 a.m. (yikes)
- Sleep in and suffer the consequences of last night’s pub crawl, but other than that a full day of sightseeing
- On Sunday night, I did. not. sleep. I went to bed around midnight, and ended up tossing and turning until about 4:30 a.m.
- Wake up at 6:30 (so yes, 2 hours of sleep), sightsee until 2:30 and then went to the airport
- Flight leaves at 6:30 p.m.
- Flight lands in NYC at 8:30 p.m.
- Arrive home by 10:30 p.m., immediately fall fast asleep on top of the covers
- WORK BY 8 A.M. *I love my job I love my job I love my job*
This trip was an absolute whirlwind but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love Paris with my whole heart, and will go whenever I get the chance. If you ever need any advice about traveling to France, please let me know, or ask questions in the comments below.