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8 Day Paris Itinerary: Celebrating New Years in Paris!

When Visited?

December

Price Point?

Luxury

Travel Size?

Solo Female

Duration?

7 Nights

How I Got Around The City?

Mode: Metro | Uber
Rating: ★★★★☆

ℹ: Paris Metro System: What You Need To Navigate It

Review

Review: The train from Charles de Gaulle into the city was $15-$20 I think, but the tickets for metro in the city are very inexpensive for most fare.

I ended up getting a week-long Navigo pass which was about $40.

How I Got To Paris?

Round-Trip Flight

Price: $355
Flight Path

New York City → Paris, France (Norwegian Airlines)

Rating:

★★★☆☆

Review

Review: Norwegian is decent, pretty mid-range for a budget airline. I bought my tickets pretty early also, which helped.

I would recommend it and use it again. Comfortable seats, ample storage, (no wifi) but lots of entertainment options. The food wasn’t great.

Where I Stayed?

Hotels & AirBnbs

❂: I stayed in a few different spots. I’ll elaborate.

Hidden Hotel

Breakfast Incl.: Yes
Room Type: King
Price: $200/night
Rating: ★★★★★

Details & Review

1 Guest | 2 Nights
Review: Very nice hotel, centrally located if you need to use public transit or want to be close to the Arc de Triomphe – BOMB brunch spread. 🙂

Housing

I stayed in a few different spots. The first night, I stayed at Hidden Hotel, smaller, boutique, but with an awesome breakfast selection.

This was also about a 3 minute walk from the Arc de Triomphe and several metro stops.

This was close to 200 euros a night.

Le 1er Étage Sopi

Breakfast Incl.: Yes
Room Type: Queen
Price: $284/night
Rating: ★★★★★

Details & Review

1 Guest | 3 Nights
Review: I was at a small boutique hotel called Le 1er Étage Sopi.

This was in the 9th arrondissement, a short walk from Montmartre. I stayed there 3 nights, leaving on New Years’ Day.

I paid closer to 240 euro a night. Remembering I was there during a holiday week, prices were higher than they might otherwise usually be, but every place I stayed was very comfortable and conveniently located with nearby proximity to the things I did every day.

Housing

After leaving Le 1er Étage Sopi, I stayed at an AirBnB in the 11th Arrondissement, nearby the Charonne metro stop.

Also very cozy, not terribly expensive.

Private studio in a home

Breakfast Incl.: No
Room Type: Entire Apartment
Price: $100/night
Rating: ★★★★★

Details & Review

1 Guest | 2 Nights
Review: This is the AirBnB I stayed in for 2 nights recovering from NYE2K17.

It was low-key, one of the best AirBnB’s I’d stayed in.

It’s located nearby the Charonne metro stop (pretty high-volume easy access to most of the city) in the 11th Arrondissement.

Lots of nearby groceries, food options, and densely residential.

Housing

After two nights there, I stayed at Hotel Montalembert, a very nice hotel centrally located in the 7th arrondissement.

A very expensive place to stay (again, because of the holiday), but it was a lovely send off before coming home.

What I Did?

Activities

Paris Activities

Bike Tour

Price: $63
Rating: ★★★★★

Day ➊

Review

Review: Dress appropriately! It was really cold the day I went, but I still enjoyed myself. Only wished I’d worn leggings.

The history you learn about is awesome, and it’s much easier to navigate the streets of Paris than you’d think – plus the bikes are electric, so minimal effort is required.

Just keep your wits about you. It was about 6-7 hours in total.

Sightseeing

We biked all over the city to inside several chapels, into at least 2 cathedrals, the Louvre (outside, not inside), Notre Dame, Palais-Royal etc.
Day ➊

Wine Tasting

Price: $94
Rating: ★★★★★

Day ➋

Review

Review: This was an AWESOME venue and experience that I’d highly recommend if you enjoy wine.

The sommelier Gerald shares a wealth of knowledge in a pretty intimate setting with about 10-12 people. It’s in a closed off room, and included lots of bread, cheese and meats to accompany the tasting.

Lots to learn about wine, bottling, history, and regions within France that produce wine.

There are several experiences on Airbnb that will offer this also.

AirBnB led neighborhood tour

Price: $75
Rating: ★★★★★

❂ After leaving the wine tasting (sufficiently buzzed) I went to another AirBnB led neighborhood tour of Goutte D’Or
ℹ: It’s a neighborhood in the 18th Arrondissement, north of the city center right next to Montmartre, about a 20 minute metro ride from my hotel.
Day ➋

Review

Review: This neighborhood has a somewhat precarious reputation amongst Parisian local for being unsafe, dirty, or poor, according to what my guide told me.

The neighborhood is predominantly African and Caribbean residents from French-speaking nations.

I had a wonderful time, and Yaqui was an excellent guide. She took me to a handful of shops with awesome merchandise, a Moroccan restaurant, traditional batik fabric shops, and more.

I’d highly recommend this – but not if you’re squeamish about lots of dark-skinned people being around.

I never felt unsafe, but like being a tourist in any cities, it’s wise to keep your wits about you any time of the day or night.

Sightseeing

One of the shops we visited with dope clothing and other merchandise, called La Maison Rouge, is in this neighborhood.

They have a really cool mission and pretty awesome clothes. A little pricey, though.
Day ➋

French Revolution Walking Tour

Price: $18
Rating: ★★★★☆

Day ➌

Review

Review: This is a walking tour, so I’d make sure you have comfortable shoes.

This was another small group (maybe 5-6 total) and the guide speaks decent English.

It’s basically a walkthrough of important events leading up to and during the start of the French Revolution.

Again, probably only really interesting if you like history.

Sightseeing

I didn’t have anything really scheduled for the first part of the day, so I went up to Sacre Coeur.

The line looks long but it moves pretty quickly, so I wouldn’t get discouraged. People are rude and cut a lot though, too.

I’m not Catholic, but I believe you can attend a mass there if you go in the morning.
Day ➌

Guided tour of Musee D’Orsay

Price: $60
Rating: ★★★★★

Day ➍

Review

Review: The line at Musee D’Orsay gets long very quickly, so make sure you get there in enough time.

The price of the experience includes a ticket for entry which Charlotta gives you when you get inside.

She’s a doctoral Art History guide so has a wealth of knowledge on the Impressionist movement (which I’m fascinated by).

She points out a lot of the heavy-hitters and world-famous artists, but once the tour is over, there’s plenty of time to walk around yourself.

Unlike the Louvre, you could probably see the entire thing in one day.

Sightseeing

The only places in Paris I wish I’d had time to explore in greater depth would have been the catacombs and some of the more off the beaten path smaller galleries or museums.

I intentionally did not go the Louvre, which might shock some people, but I have no regrets. Maybe I’d brave the elements in a warmer season.

🙂 There are several local guides who have widely known but “secret” tourist hacks for getting into the Louvre without needing to wait for more than 10 minutes, much less being forced to stand in any lines.

But to do the entire museum justice required more time than my packed itinerary would allow – it’s massive.
Day ➍

Street Art Tour

Price: $45
Rating: ★★★★★

Day ➍

Review

Review: One of 2 walking street art tours.

Really neat experience if you’re new to Paris but are interested in seeing more ‘alternative’ areas of the city.

A group of 6-7 are basically guided in a really informal “local’s” perspective with their knowledge base of local quirks and street-art-world trivia.

This was slightly better than the other one I did.

NYE Recovery & Neighborhood Walking

❂ Honestly, Day 5 was a never-ending escalator ride back to complete sobriety, but I had myself and foresight to thank for not planning much of anything but moving myself to my first AirBnB stay and doing more neighborhood walking-around–a usually pleasant, sensory overload in Paris.
Day ➎

Notre Dame/Ile de St.-Louis Walking Tour

Price: $63
Rating: ★★★★☆

Day ➏

Review

Review: This was a walking tour through the area around Notre Dame, including Ile Saint-Louis and old Paris.

The host of the tour is an artist/photographer who shares some local history throughout the tour, while periodically taking photos (which was a little awkward), but I still enjoyed myself.

Street Art Walking Tour #2

Price: $52
Rating: ★★★★☆

Day ➏

Review

Review: This was the second and last walking tour I did.

Honestly, it was a lot longer than the guide originally said it would be, which was odd considering our group was only 4.

The areas where the art was the most visible seemed much further apart than the first tour I took, but this experience included a live demonstration with a street artist who basically was working on a variety of pieces at a private studio.

It involved a metro trip which I didn’t realize was required, but overall not a problem.

I’d recommend this style experience in a warmer season.

Notre Dame/Ile de la Cite Walking Tour

Price: $36
Rating: ★★★★☆

Day ➐

Review

Review: This was a walking tour of the Ile de la Cite and the areas surrounding Notre Dame – it is NOT a tour of the inside of Notre Dame, which, as you probably would have guessed will require standing outside in a long line if you haven’t planned ahead.

The host, Virginie, is a knowledgeable and upbeat local who periodically photographs the people on the tour if you’d like to have photos of yourself around some of the monuments.

I was one of 2 on the tour, and it was her very first time, so some things may have changed.

Sightseeing

The very first bicycle tour I went on has a lot of churches and cathedrals from the inside on it, plus I visited Sacre Coeur, the church I wanted to see from the inside, so I didn’t feel pressed not going into Notre Dame.
Day ➐

Self-Guided Tour of Chateau de Versailles

Price: $20
Rating: ★★★★★

Day ➑

Review

Review: This was the last full day I’d planned for, so I left the city and went to the Chateau de Versailles.

I took the RER yellow line from Musee D’Orsay, about a 45 minute trip with no line changes.

Once you arrive, it’s about a 5-6 minute walk from the station to the gates of the estate.

I arrived around 11 in the morning and would strongly recommend arriving earlier in the day with a ticket you’ve purchased ahead of time on the website, as the timed entry passports should ensure you have plenty of time to see all of the grounds.

I spent several hours walking through the main chateau’s many rooms.

If you arrive too late in the day (after 2 or 3 PM, I think) sections of the estate are not accessible via self-guided tours.

This may not be the case depending on the season you visit, but it was while I was there right after the 1st of the year.

Where I Ate?

Restaurants

Ecluse Saint-Honore

Price Point: $$
Rating: ★★★★☆

Day ➊

Review

Review: This was probably the most “French” meal I had the entire time – wine, bread, foie gras, cheese, and a variety of meats.

It was a very low-key restaurant the tour guide recommended.

La Cafe D’Ici

Price Point: $
Rating: ★★★★★

Day ➋

Review

Review: We only had Moroccan mint tea while we chatted for a while, but the food looked delicious.

Who’s Bar

Price Point: $$$
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Day ➍

Review

Review: This was where my New Year’s Eve began and (for the mostly sober part) ended.

It was a rather flamboyant but simple celebration with “deals” on champagne bottles ($80 – $150 USD) and decent music.

I enjoyed myself for the most part. Their music selection left something to be desired.

The Little Italy

Price Point: $$
Rating: ★★★★☆

Day ➎

Review

Review: This is a pretty touristy-friendly chain and everything my hungover self needed. Carbs covered in melted cheese.

It was an overall pleasant experience.

La Cafe D’Ici

Price Point: $
Rating: ★★★★★

Day ➋

Review

Review: We only had Moroccan mint tea while we chatted for a while, but the food looked delicious.

Title: Eiffel At Night

Title: Esplanade des Invalides

Title: The Louvre
Caption: I was told by a few sources that A) you should get tickets in advance to avoid standing in line forever, and B) if you like museums, it takes more than a full day to get through the entire thing.

Title: Sacre Coeur
Caption: Wear comfortable shoes. If not driving, you’ll be walking uphill for a while.

Title: The Hall of Mirrors
Caption: Inside the Palace of Versailles

Title: The Entrance
Caption: It wasn’t very crowded when I arrived, and I stood in line for all of 15 minutes. Remember, the earlier the better!

Title: Walking Tour 2
Caption: Street art in Belleville.

Title: Walking Tour 4
Caption: The tour of Ile de la Cite with Virginie (who took this photo).

Title: Walking Tour 3
Caption: Street Artist known as Vision86 in his studio.

Title: Maison Chateau Rouge
Caption: A store I visited on one of the neighborhood walking tours, featuring awesome art, clothes, books, and jewelry…and Michelle Obama.

Title: The Eiffel!
Caption: Taken early in the trip, most days were a little overcast, common in the winter.

Title: The Grounds
Caption: Outside the Palace of Versailles

Title: Musee D’Orsay
Caption: Guided Tour inside Musee D’Orsay.

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