We are so happy to share with all of you the travel diaries of our amazing trip to Paris just last week. We are both going through some serious vacation withdrawal, since everything about our trip is still so fresh in our minds.
Bianca and I are trying to get back to the regular groove of school and housework and writing for our blog, but on most days we usually just end up daydreaming about the long walks we took around the Eiffel Tower trying to decide which angle had the best view, the charming cafes on every corner, the beautiful ornate buildings, and the way the sun didn't set until almost 10:00 p.m., rightfully proving that Paris is indeed the City of Light.
We visited some of the most incredible places. Every street in Paris is photogenic and you won't be able to resist taking snapshots every chance you get. It was our first trip to Paris, and to Europe, and we'll be doing a couple of posts about some of our favorite places and things to do.
Where we stayed
We stayed in an apartment in the Montmartre district which we found through AirBNB.
We wanted to stay in a quiet residential area that had easy access to a bus stop with nearby shops and cafes. We also wanted to stay in a place that had a functioning kitchen that would allow us to prepare simple meals, mostly for breakfast so we could load up before a full day of sightseeing and walking. An important consideration was that the apartment building must have an elevator. Most Paris apartments are accessible by stairs only, so if your apartment is on a higher floor then you might have a hard time lugging up your suitcase.
I was initially scared of renting an apartment, preferring that sense of security you get when staying in a hotel. But everything turned out perfect and afforded us to stay in Paris for a whole week at half the cost.
For our first day in Paris, we decided to explore our area first thing in the morning, to check out all the nearby cafes, markets, boulangeries, and fromageries to stock up our kitchen.
Cyn & Bianca wearing outfits by Bayo Clothing
We had so much fun familiarizing ourselves with our neighborhood and we were happy that there was a supermarket, a pharmacy and a newspaper stand just right around the corner. We became regulars at the boulangerie across the street where we would buy hot out of the oven baguettes and my favorite fresh apricot tarts for breakfast every morning, as well as some basic grocery items at the Carrefour supermarket nearby.
We put together a quick lunch from our happy purchases back at the apartment and after a short rest, we were off to explore Le Marais, a charming neighborhood with narrow cobblestone streets and beautiful architecture.
For this entire trip, we chose to go around the city by bus. We found taking the taxi to be quite expensive so we reserved our cab rides from the airport to the apartment and back. Bus stops can be found all around the city and most are equipped with an electronic information system that tells you what time to expect the next bus. Going around by bus is also more scenic and made it possible for us to see more of Paris as compared to using the Metro. Bus routes and neighborhood maps are displayed at each station and tickets can be purchased in advance at any Tabac- a cigarette/newspaper stand which also sells postage stamps, lottery tickets and sometimes coffee.
If you are disabled or an elderly traveler, the bus may be a better option for you. The buses we took were relatively clean, comfortable and accessible if you are using a wheelchair.
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Coming up next- Part 2, The Louvre and Tuileries Garden