Ooh-la-la, Paris. One of my favorite cities in the world. People who are well-traveled make a habit of traversing new terrain, but I’ve been to Paris 5 times and I will be back again and again and again.
Truthfully I considered cancelling the trip because of the floods and the forecast for rain every day, but I’m glad I didn’t. If it rained, it wasn’t for long and besides it was refreshingly sunny.
Everything we did on this trip, we had never done before. Hence this is not your typical touristy city guide. Plus we were there during the Eurocup and watched (in a bar) France beat Albania 2-0. France plays Germany in the semi-finals this Thursday. So exciting. GO FRANCE!
We stayed at the super cute boutique hotel Le Caron de Beaumarchais in the Marais district in a top-floor room with a private balcony. Service was excellent. The breakfasts were to-die-for. Only problem was the wifi, which was spotty. Sometimes we weren’t able to access the internet at all.
Take Uber. Everyone does: locals and visitors. We got around easily and with an average ride of $5-6 euros, it was affordable and convenient.
Eat and Drink
It pains me to say this, but the food and wine in Paris does not compare to California. French food in San Francisco is better than the food in Paris! We went to a steak restaurant recommended by 3 different sites. They make your steak (either medium rare or rare), then they proceed to drown your steak in a heavy sauce. Disgusting. Might as well cook up some hamburger helper and disguise it with sauce.
I am a spoiled California native. Go ahead and shoot me.
- Breizh Cafe. Damn good crepes (both entree-type and dessert). At least the French reign supreme with their crepes. Yummy. Not to be missed.
- La Jacobine. One of the very few meals I truly enjoyed. Discovered when we got lost and yelped for a good restaurant.
- Derriere. Recommending more for the ambiance than anything else. This is a house where you can eat outside in the patio or inside in one of the living rooms or bedrooms. There’s also a foosball table and a bar in an adjacent building. Dean befriended a local who introduced us to her friends. That girl had struck up a conversation with the couple at the table next to her. We all ended up playing foosball for the rest of the night and we closed the bar down. Way too much fun.
- Lastly, if you stay at Le Caron de Beaumarchais, get their breakfast: coffee, hot chocolate, fresh-squeezed orange juice, plain croissant, chocolate croissant, pate, cheese, and egg.
Like I said, it rained and we weren’t up for doing any of the big attractions. We kept it low-key.
- Catacombs. This is the only big attraction that we did. We waited at least an hour to get inside! But I recommend it. In retrospect, it’s a bit strange smiling and taking pictures surrounded by a bunch of dead people, but it didn’t seem that way at the time. Probably because we’re all taking pictures.
- Retro Tour. OMG, a tour of Paris on a motorcycle and sidecar. Highlight of my trip.
- La Gaite Lyrique. Mind-blowing art in a cutting-edge museum. WOW! I haven’t seen art that good in a long time, probably since the last time I went to Burning Man. I recommend, when traveling, going to some of the smaller museums to get a feel for the art and culture of a city.