Paris: Day One

In December, Stefan and I flew to Paris for a 5 day trip. Paris was #1 on my list of places to see while we were in Europe. I’d been monitoring the flight prices for nearly a year and kept thinking we’d have to shell out a small fortune to get there. Well, if you’re ever wondering if it pays to travel in the off season, it does! I found round trip tickets with Air France for only €150 euro! That’s more than half off what they are most of the time.

We landed in Paris around 1 pm. After eating lunch at a café in the airport (baguette sandwiches with an éclair for dessert) we boarded the RER train to the city center.  Paris is surprisingly easy to get around in.  Even easier than London I would say.  Upon exiting the metro we saw this right in front of our faces

Our hotel was very close to the Arc de Triomphe and the metro station. It was a very good location to stay in and if we were to go back I would stay around this area again for sure!  After checking into our hotel (here) we headed off to the Paris Catacombs.

I know what you are probably thinking. Why are you guys so weird? Who goes there first? Why not the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre? 

There’s a method to my madness. On Friday after 3 pm the line to get in is non-existent. On Wednesday after 3 pm the line is really short. If you go during the day you can wait in line for hours to get in. We arrived Friday at 3:10 and we were the only ones there!

When you first get to the Catacombs you walk down a spiral staircase with a million and one stairs. Then you walk through these long hallways for a really long time.

Eventually you start seeing bones.  So, in 18th century France, Saints Innocents Cemetery ran out of room. At the time, Paris had all these abandoned underground mining tunnels, some of which were caving in.  The tunnels needed support and the bones needed to be moved. To kill two birds with one stone they moved the remains of more than 6  million people here!  While visiting the Catacombs you only get to see a small section of the tunnels. The tunnel system is vast. So vast that people have entered in through the sewer systems or secret entrances, gotten lost and died!

After leaving the Catacombs of Paris we wandered through the streets a little bit. You exit a ways a way from where you enter. It’s fun though because the architecture in Paris is amazing! As it stared to get dark we stumbled upon a market selling fresh meats, cheese, wine and everything else.  We got stuff for dinner here, ate and then made our way to the Eiffel Tower for the evening light show. 

The Eiffel Tower is gorgeous at night! The light show is also great because you can watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle for about 5 minutes at the top of the hour!

After watching the tower for a while we decided to head back to our hotel and get some rest before the next day.

When we got off the metro we, of course, had to look at the Arc de Triomphe all lit up at night along with the Champs-Élysées!

That traffic circle is INSANE! We walked by it at all hours of the day and night. It was always busy and always crazy. I definitely would never want to drive in that mess!

Of course, Cartier is one of the places you have to walk by and dream about when on the Champs-Élysées! It was a great first day in Paris!

More from Paris:

Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame

The Louvre, Sacre Coeur, and Moulin Rouge

Disneyland Paris

4 Responses to “Paris: Day One

  • Danielle – What a great post with good tips…We have Paris planned for June….I’ll remember the Paris Catacombs after 3PM…all alone with the bones. 🙂

    • You’ll love Paris! Being alone in the Catacombs is a little creepy, but fun at the same time

  • Rhonda
    5 months ago

    So much exciting activities!