Day 5: Paris
Ah! Paris is the city of lights and love and today you’ll travel via Eurostar from St. Pancras Station in London (you were here on Day 2) to the Gare du Nord, or literally the Station of North, in Paris. It is recommended that you book the Eurostar tickets prior to departure for the best price available, and for the purposes of this guide, book the tickets for early to mid-morning. You can book directly through Eurostar here.
You will want to arrive at St. Pancras Train Station about an hour early and leave plenty of time to get there. After arriving at St. Pancras, find the train schedule board across from Starbucks. If the board reads, “Open”, you will want to continue to the Eurostar Departure escalator where you will go through airport like security.
After a quick two hour and fifteen minute train ride, you arrive at the Gare du Nord train station in Paris, France. Find the line for the taxi, or if feeling adventurous, the Metro to buy “billets” or tickets and make your way to your hotel to drop off luggage. The best way to see Paris is by foot, so relish this half-day of seated transportation and prepare your feet.
Luggage free, head to Rue Cler (pronounced “roo claire”, and grab a bite to eat at TriBeCa. Grab a glass of wine (you are in Paris!) and order a pizza, the pasta with white cream sauce, pear and Gorgonzola, or the lasagna.
Eiffel Tower: After a relaxing lunch, head to the Eiffel Tower, a relatively short but very beautiful walk through various neighborhoods and the Parc du Champ-de-Mars. There are several wonderful views of this city, but this one is iconic. For elevator entrance to the very top (with stops on the levels in between) it costs adults €13.50, children 4-11 €9.30 and students 12-24 €11.80. The alternative to the elevator is the stairs. If you are brave enough, this option is a fraction of the cost with adult tickets €4.70, Children 4-11 €3.20 and students 12-24 €3.70.
If you have braved the stairs, all 704 steps to the 2nd level, you probably have worked up an appetite for at least a snack. Proceed towards the carousel on the river side of the Eiffel Tower. Just to the right you will find a trailer that offer crepes. Split the Nutella and banana (Nutella et banane) or the cinnamon and sugar (cannelle et sucre). After filling up, head to the Arc de Triomphe.
Arc de Triomphe: After a few photo’s out front of the Arc de Triomphe, head to the pedestrian tunnel which connects you to the ticket office. At the ticket office, purchase a Paris Museum Pass, which will give you a fast track entrance at museums and in most cases it will prove to be more cost effective. This pass can be purchased to cover two, four or six days worth of entrances. For more info on the Paris Museum Pass, click here. After purchasing your ticket, head to the top for more fabulous views of the city including the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Élyseés. If you aren’t purchasing a Pass, this is probably not worth the cost individually.
Finally, as evening sets, meander through the Champs Élyseés, known foremost for the shops lining both sides of the street and the wide café sidewalks. When hunger strikes, pull up a seat at one of the cafés and enjoy the people watching and sights. This is Paris.
Note: Although most people in Paris speak English, you will find that they are more polite to you if you at least attempt to begin speaking to them in French.