I’ve recently returned from a one week trip to Brittany France, where I joined my parents on their longer three week holiday. My mother and I decided to head into Paris for a day, so caught the train from “Brest” early one morning. We were lucky with the weather as despite the constant wind and rain since touching down in France a few days earlier, our Parisian excursion wasn’t a washout, and infant we were graced with blue skies and sunshine!
We started out the day with a rough itinerary, helpful, as we had a fairly ambitious list of things to see. We used the Metro to get around town – once we had mastered the Metro it was a great way of getting around quickly and covering ground. Of course we did a lot of walking too (over 20,000 steps in fact), and as such I always recommend wearing comfy shoes when visiting Paris.
I planned our day on https://www.visitacity.com which was really helpful as it gave me a rough idea of how long it would take to get from place to place. This was important as we had a return train to catch at the end of the day, back to Brest. We were both really happy with what we managed to fit into our day, and in fact only missed one destination off our list – this was because we had underestimated the time we’d spend at the Louvre. I’ll share with you our itinerary of the day:
10:30 Eiffel Tower: The ultimate symbol of Paris so we checked it out quickly – I’ve seen it before but my Mum hadn’t. Quick look and a photo and we were off again.
11:30 Arc de Triomphe: This was a first for me. We didn’t end up going inside the monument as the entrance fee seemed pretty steep for what would be a 10 minute look around… max! Turned around and walked towards the Champs Elysees.
11:45 Champs Elysees: We walked down the avenue a little, and then stopped for some breakfast [morning tea]. Quick walk, well in theory, in reality we couldn’t find the metro sign….so long walk, and back on the Metro and on to the next stop.
12:30 Louvre: I had previously only seen the Louvre from the outside, so was very excited to get inside this time! [Particularly so as I have recently visited the Louvre in Abu Dhabi and it was really amazing]. Both of us really enjoyed the Louvre, and we spent longer than expected inside, walking the vast artwork lined corridors. Of course we also got a glimpse of the Mona Lisa! Visiting in winter was great as it meant we didn’t have to queue.
15:30 Sacre Coeur Basilica: This was our final stop of the day – we had originally planned to visit the Notre Dame beforehand, but ran out of time…one for next time I guess. We used the Metro to get to the Sacre Coeur, which conveniently has a station right at the base of the hill that the cathedral sits on.
17:00 Home time: We then headed back on the Metro to catch our train home [armed with Pret A Manger goodies for the ride home]. The train was fairly expensive, but it was money well spent for a great day and lots of memories. The trains were clean, comfortable and had free wifi…bonus!
Helpful Hint One: If you were planning to visit Paris for the day whilst on a layover at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), it may be helpful to know that you can pay to leave your luggage at the airport. Depending on what terminal you’re landing into, you can catch a shuttle to Terminal 2 where there is a luggage storage service.
Helpful Hint Two: We purchased a “Carnet” of ten tickets to use the metro in Paris. This was the cheapest option as we shared the 10 tickets between the two of us, and it lasted us the whole day.