One of my resolutions for 2018 was to travel more and that is exactly what I did. I am so lucky to have found friends that love to travel and always have trips planned. Every few months, we go somewhere new and get to make insane memories together (like icing each other under the Eiffel Tower).
My friends texted our group chat and mentioned going to Paris but Sarah and I didn’t think we could financially swing it… until we realized the roundtrip tickets were $350 (we flew Norweigian Airlines)!!!!! We went in mid-November, which definitely seemed to help the pricing of our tickets. I was really nervous about the weather being painfully cold but it was perfect! I wore a leather jacket and scarf for a majority of the trip and was absolutely fine.
My friends are the best kind of crazy and created a google doc so we could organize an itinerary and make sure there was time for everyone to do what they wanted. I highly, highly suggest doing this beforehand – it allows you to make the most of your time. We didn’t follow ours to the T but having a rough idea ensured we didn’t waste time trying to figure out our next move!
How to get there:
We flew out of Newark and flew into Paris Orly Airport. Upon arrival, we bought a bus ticket for like 6€ and took the OrlyBus right to our AirBnb. It was super easy!
We stayed in the 14th Arrondissement near the Catacombs. I would definitely suggest staying closer into the city if you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing like the 1st Arr, 2nd Arr, 9th Arr, 7th Arr, etc. The Paris Metro is super easy to use and relatively cheap – we ended up Ubering everywhere but it got really expensive really fast.
What to do:
Champagne Cruise on the Siene River: https://www.bateaux-mouches.fr/en/cruise/paris_champagne_cruise
It’s 48€ for a 2 person ticket. Each ticket comes with a bottle of champagne and two little flutes! We did this on our first night and I cried three separate times. Popping a bottle of champagne while cruising through Paris and having the Eiffel Tower sparkle behind you is an emotional experience. I highly suggest this – especially at night.
Fat Tire Bike Tour: https://www.fattiretours.com/paris/tours/paris-day-bike-tour
I hate being active and I haven’t ridden a bike in like 10 years. When my friends said we were going to do this, I was extremely close to saying fuck nah but I am so glad that I didn’t. We did the three hour day time bike tour – I know this sounds like its 2.5 hours way too long but it was AMAZING. It was a great way to get comfortable with the city and I learned SO MUCH. The tour guide knew so much about Parisian history and kept it so fun and interesting. It’s definitely one of my highlights of our trip. (Don’t drink the night before, we were all severely hungover – one of us threw up and I genuinely thought I was going to die halfway through). I also hate touristy stuff and this let me see all of that without taking tons of time to do it!
Picnic under the Eiffel Tower: FREE AND FUN!
This is another favorite moment of mine. My friends and I stopped at a grocery store near by and grabbed snacks and a few bottles of wine! We sat under the Eiffel Tower for a few hours laughing, eating and pretending to be locals. I honestly find myself daydreaming about that time regularly.
This is hands down one of my absolute favorite things we did in Paris. We all knew we wanted to do a wine tasting of some sort but a lot were very pricey, really far or really long. We all love wine but also didn’t want to sit for hours drinking one sip and listening to someone talk nonstop. When I found Wine Touch, I was so excited. They have well over 75+ bottles of wine, all ranging from different types. You take a preloaded card and choose whichever bottle you’d like to try and pick how much (a taste, half glass or full glass) and drink away! They have glasses as cheap as 2€ and very expensive ones. They can provide cheese plates or you can bring your own! I went to vegan grocery store and picked up some cheese of my own and brought it! The owner Phillipe is almost always there and can answer any questions about the wine and was amazing with suggestions as well! I cannot suggest this place enough.
Moulin Rouge/Montmarte: Just a 20min Uber from central Paris!
I heard Montmarte was beautiful and we knew it was close to the Moulin Rouge so on one night out we headed that way! The nightlife there is insane. As soon as we got out of our Uber (they don’t have Lyft in Europe yet 🙁 ), we felt the high energy surrounding us. We bar hopped all around and had the best time. A bartender Iced me at one bar, not so fun. Everyone was really friendly and the vibes were really cool! We ended up just sitting and hanging at Le Chat Noir! It was a diner styled bar open SO LATE and we sat and drank so many beers and ate so many fries and it was a blast. I suggest going there with no plan and just letting yourself freely explore!
Hanks Vegan Pizza: 18 rue des Gravilliers75003 Paris
This was the best vegan pizza I have ever had. They have a menu with tons of options and it’s super reasonably priced! I got the La Mama because I’m really picky and boring and Sarah got the Le Costaud and the La Montagnarde. She’s Italian and from Staten Island so you know if she thinks it’s good, it’s good.H
Un Monde Vegan: Un monde vegan, 28 ter Avenue de Versailles 93220 Gagny
This was a super convenient little vegan grocery store located between the 10th and 3rd Arr. It had more vegan cheese in it than I have ever seen in my entire life. Anything you could possibly need while on your trip, they definitely have here. They have an assortment of tons and tons of different grocery items! So many things I’ve never seen in the states.
We were only there for about three full days so we didn’t get to explore anywhere outside of central Paris. The rest of the time we were there we just wandered around and explored the city freely. We didn’t strictly plan dining because we wanted to go to places that seemed cute and local. Anywhere we went had at least one vegan option or the chef was super accommodating! My nonvegan friends were in heaven with everything they ate.
Paris is the most beautiful city with so much life, culture and fun. Sarah and I talk regularly about how we can’t wait to go back. It’s always wine and carb o’clock there so obviously I felt right at home.
Have you ever been to Paris? What was your favorite part? Tell me all about it in the comments below!