This year I decided I wanted to do something big for my boyfriend’s birthday. I knew it’d be travel-related as we love to give each other experiences for birthdays rather than buying lots of presents, and a trip to Paris seemed like a great idea.
After cancelling a trip to Paris in 2018, I decided that we’d try again, but this time it’d be a complete secret until we got to the airport.
How we got to Paris
After weeks and weeks of creating a false story that we were going to Dorset (that was torturous!), the day finally came where my Mum drove us to Heathrow ready for the surprise. He knew instantly that something was amiss the moment he saw my Mum up and ready at 4.45am!
I handed my boyfriend a scratch card, and our destination was revealed within seconds. Big, sleepy smiles ensued and we were ready for our trip to Paris.
We flew from Terminal 5 with British Airways and landed at Charles de Gaulle airport at roughly 9.30am. From there, we took the Roissybus straight to the Opera which was only a five minute walk away from our apartment.
Where we stayed in Paris
We stayed in a lovely little Airbnb on a road called Rue Volney which was the perfect location for us and near everything that we wanted to see. It was very small but just what we needed, and it even had a traditional balcony and kitchenette. Although we didn’t spend much time in the apartment it was a great base for us and I’d definitely stay there again!
After we’d had a quick look at our apartment and dropped our bags there, we headed straight out into the city to explore. We’d both already been to Paris on school trips (at the exact same time which is a strange coincidence), but we were around 14 and our priorities were to have a laugh rather than soak up the culture. This was our chance to see the sights we’d missed before and pack as much into the few days we had there.
We got so lucky with the weather – it was hot and sunny for the majority of our trip which meant that we either walked or scootered everywhere. Paris has electric scooters that you can rent and they were so much fun! We got around so quickly which saved our feet from the miles and miles we covered.
- Saw the Eiffel Tower and wandered around the surrounding area
- Walked across Pont Alexandre |||
- Roamed around the Musée d’Orsay and found the most amazing ornate room
- Walked through Jardin des Tuileries
Our first full day in Paris. We walked for miles and saw so many sights. The first thing we did in the morning was head to the Sacré-Coeur. Despite getting targeted by scammers (luckily we knew what they were trying to trick us into), we had a lovely time looking around and exploring Montmartre afterwards – we even bought a watercolour painting of the Eiffel Tower from an artist who was painting the pictures right in front of us.
- Went inside the Sacré-Coeur
- Looked at the artwork in Montmartre
- Saw Moulin Rouge
- Walked around Galeries Lafayette – an amazing shopping centre. The building is a piece of art itself!
- Saw Notre Dame but sadly couldn’t go inside since part of it burnt down
- Browsed the street markets along the Seine
- Finally got to go to the Shakespeare & Company book shop – a place I dreamed of going when I was a teenager
- Sat by the river and watched the Eiffel Tower light up and sparkle
Another busy day for us, and despite feeling a bit under the weather we still crammed in as much sightseeing as we could before we collapsed with tiredness. We were so lucky to get in to many of the attractions for free as we are both under 26 and currently part of the EU. This saved us a lot of money and encouraged us to visit more museums – plus we got to skip the queues!
- Did a whistle-stop tour of the Louvre and obsessed over every ceiling in the building
- Visited Sainte-Chapelle, a royal chapel made mostly of stained glass windows
- Saw Conciererie – a former prison
- Re-visited the Centre Pompidou, but we weren’t impressed. The views from the top were amazing though!
Our last day in Paris was quite a quiet one as my boyfriend was really not feeling well. We took it easy and just spent the morning getting souvenirs and then headed to the airport to catch our flight back to London.
- Saw the Arc de Triomphe
- Walked along the Champs-Élysées
- Went to a few shops
- Flew back through a bright pink sunset
We both had a great time on our trip to Paris and can’t wait to visit again one day to see all the things we couldn’t manage to squeeze in this time.