Friday, 11 August 2017

Four days in Paris

Last week I was in Paris for a few days, with my oldest friend (we met in teacher's college and have been friends for 19 years now).

We have been on holidays together before and this has always been good fun, and I am happy to say that Paris this year was no exception!

So what did we do in our four days in Paris?

Day of arrival
We are very lucky that there is such a good connection between Amsterdam and Paris. With the Thalys you are in Paris in a little more than 3 1/2 hours. We took the 8.17am from Amsterdam and arrived at 11.35am at Gare du Nord.

We booked an hotel near the station, as I hate having to cross half the city with my suitcase before I can get to my hotel. We stayed at the Mercure Gare du Nord Lafayette and this is just 5 minutes from the station and is an excellent hotel.

That afternoon we went to Montmartre. We visited the Sacré Coeur, and then we walked the little streets of Montmartre. We really enjoyed our visit to the cemetery of Montmartre and were surprised by the seize of the cemetery.
After a good meal we walked back to our hotel.
Steep steps in Montmartre
In total we walked 12.5 kilometres. (more than 7 miles)

Day two
This morning we took the metro to the north, to visit the Basilica of Saint Denis (more information HERE).
In this amazing church you can find 15 centuries of French history, since many of the French kings were buried here. From Clovis (500 AD) to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
The church was beautiful and I loved this visit, especially since it was new for me.
Admission for the part of the church where the graves are is 9 euro's.
Basilique du St. Denis

Several graves of French kings and queens
Then we took the metro to the Champs Elysées, because we booked a guided bicycle tour that afternoon. Being Dutch, we are known to love our bicycles and we were looking forward to riding a bicycle through Paris.

We booked the Secrets of Paris tour and this was really good. It took us from the Eifeltower to the little streets of Saint Germain and the Quartier Latin, and along the Seine back to the Arc de Triomphe. We stopped regularly at interesting spots and the guide would explain a little history. We also paused to get something to drink for half an hour.
Visiting quiet little squares during the tour.
We booked through Baja tours (more information here) and they also have tours in English and German. The tour we took was 32 euro's per person.

Warning: Make sure you are comfortable on a bicycle if you want to do something like this. The traffic in Paris is much more used to bicycles now than it was ten years ago, but you still have to be careful. If you are not a good cyclist, don't do this.

The tour was supposed to take 3 hours, but it was 4 1/2 hours later when we handed in our bikes!! But is was amazing. I loved the little streets, but we also cycled on the Boulevard St. Germain and even for a little part on the Champs Elysées. (how cool is that!)

In total we walked 14 kilometres (over 8 miles) and we cycled for 16 kilometres (over 9 miles)

Day three
This morning we took the metro to the cemetery of Pére Lachaise. We wanted to find the grave of Jim Morrison, but somehow we missed it completely. We also did not find the graves of Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde or Yves Montand. Yes, I know, I am not sure what we did there, but we did enjoy it!
At Pére Lachaise cemetery
Afterwards we walked toward the Galerie Joseph, that had an exhibition about Steve McQueen. I had seen the posters of the exhibition the previous day and I was very pleased it was in the middle of the centre. This was an unexpected little gift, since I am a huge fan of Steve McQueen. It was a very interesting an divers exhibition and I loved it. My friend, who is not a fan of Steve McQueen, also enjoyed herself very much.
Galerie Joseph is located at 116 Rue la Turenne and the admission is 8 euro's.
Part of the exhibition
After a good cup of coffee in a little café, we walked towards the Jardin du Luxembourg. We visited the park during our cycling tour the day before and both loved how beautiful the park looks. It is a very chic park, picknicking on the grass is not allowed for example. But there are plenty of chairs and benches to sit on and this is what we did. We sat in those lovely green chairs and read and rested and looked at people for the rest of the afternoon.
Jardin du Luxembourg
After dinner in the Quartier Latin we spend some time sitting near the Seine and then took the metro back to the hotel.

This day we walked for 18.5 kilometres (almost 9 miles)

Last morning
The last morning we did not have a lot of time, because our train would leave Gare du Nord at 10.25am, but there was time for a short stroll along the Canal St. Martin. This is one of my favorite spots in Paris and I have a little tradition that I will visit the Canal St. Martin every time I am in Paris.
Canal St, Martin
Afterwards we picked up our suitcases at the hotel, walked towards the station and at 3 pm I was home again.
This morning we still managed to walk 4.5 kilometres (2 miles).

Four amazing days in one of the most beautiful cities on earth!

4 comments:

  1. What a great trip! I love Pere LeChaise and your bike tour sounds awesome. I bet you were tired when you got home. :) Thanks for sharing all your amazing pics!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was so tired!! :-) But it was a very good trip and the perfect mix of culture, history, doing something new and just enjoying Parisian life.

      Paris is always good! :-)

      Kind regards,

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. It sure was, but I am so sorry we seem to have missed eachother! Hopefully we will be able to meet up next time I am in Paris. :-)

      Kind regards,

      Delete

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