Dan & Alexis outside Berthillion, which is on our all-time favorites list.
So, we went to Paris! I wrote here about how I poorly planned this leg of our trip and only left us two days to explore all that is Paris. That aside, we had a really great time in Paris (& got engaged!). A few thoughts on making the most out of your trip to Paris:
- Location matters. We stayed in Le Marais by chance, I found a nice Airbnb and booked it without knowing much about the surrounding area. We didn’t use the metro and took a taxi once, because we were so well situated in the neighborhood. We walked to great places like The Lourve, the Notre Dame, Berthillion and Las du Falafel.
- Don’t expect Parisians to speak English. We were spoiled in Copenhagen where most people spoke perfect English. We picked up a few french phrases (“bonjour madam” before ordering anything and lots of “merci”s) but largely nobody spoke English. In fact, the first phrase we learned was “par le vous anglais?” which roughly means, “Do you speak English?”. We definitely looked like lost Americans a few times ;)
- BVA is an easy airport. I booked tickets out of Paris to Stockholm through Ryanair, which only runs through Beauvais airport (BVA). I was really nervous about flying out of there because it’s an hour outside of Paris and we had to catch our shuttle bus at 6 AM to make our flight. We bought tickets here and the bus picked us up at the Porte Maillot Coach Park. It was completely painless and they let us hop on an earlier bus because we were there early. The airport itself was small and so we got through security quickly. Since it’s small, the terminals weren’t posted until 10 minutes to boarding.
- Eat all the cheese. Food just tastes better in Europe, especially cheese. It’s partially because cheese doesn’t have to be pasteurized in Europe, which is problematic for pregnant ladies, but great for the rest of us. The taste is way better than anythign I’ve had here in the States. As a result, I ate camembert baguettes and brie baguettes and swiss cheese and ham baguettes for days. *This also applies to the pastries. Kent and I ate chocolate eclairs and hazelnut doughnuts and tarts and anything sugary like it was our job.
- Do the Touristy Stuff. The Eiffel, the Notre Dame, the Lourve, the Catacombs. They were all worth the expense/wait/walking. Who knows the next time we’ll be back, so I’m glad we saw it while we were there.
- Pickpockets? We were warned by many people about the pickpocket situation in Paris, especially near tourist attractions, but never saw anything or had any issues. We met another American couple at a cafe our first morning, they said they watched dozens of people get pickpocket’d at the Eiffel. We were lucky, but definitely keep an eye out.