Paris, always a good idea!

I remember being in Paris for the first time: I was six and I immediately fell in love with this city.

Since that time I have come back to the French capital in different occasions, and I had the opportunity to explore this amazing city.

Exactly one year ago, I came to Paris with my boyfriend to celebrate our first anniversary together and, even if it could sound like a clique, Paris is not only an incredibly romantic place to spend time with your love one, but it’s also a city that offers everything you could wish for: good food, cultural exhibitions, amazing walks and entertainment.

TRAVEL TO PARIS – FRANCE

  1. AIRPLANE to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (airlines such asTAP or British Airways flight there)
  2. TRAINto Paris (from London it is about 2 hours and it costs between £60/75€/85$ and £120/150€/$170)

From the airport to Paris

  1. TRAIN RER BFROM Paris CDG Airport to Paris takes around 45 minutes and it costs £7.90/10€/$11 (adult fare)

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Whatever you’re looking for Paris is always a good idea, and here there are some tips to enjoy a three day trip in one of the most inspiring cities of the world:

FIRST DAYLouvre museum (ticket: £12/15€/$17), Notre Dame (ticket: £2.4/€3/$3.40 full price/ under 26: £1.6/2€/$2.30) and Les Marais.

Breakfast at Angelina

Angelina is an elegant café situated in Rue Rivoli, very close to the Louvre museum. This is the perfect place to start your first day in Paris. The breakfast menu is very rich and it is not easy to decide between pastries, omelettes and croissants. I suggest you to try the hot chocolate (one of their specialties): it’s the best way to fully enjoy a Parissienne breakfast experience!

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Berthillon: the best ice-cream in the city

Enjoy a nice 20 minutes walking from the Louvre to Notre Dame and you’ll reach one of the most suggestive places of Paris: “Ile de la citè”, a small land surrounded by the Sienna River. Especially in the summer, you cannot miss what it is considered the best gelato place in the town: Le Berthillon. Be prepared to queue outside, but I assure you it will be worth it: I’ve tried the vanilla and raspberry flavors and it was one of the best ice-creams I have ever had!

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Romantic evening at Le Pompidou 

Museum ticket price: £11/13.80€/$15.50/ reduced: £8.7/€11/$12.30)

Le Pompidou is the most famous museum of contemporary art in Europe and it is interesting to visit it also for admiring its particular architecture. Le pompidou is located in Les Marais, a place where is nice to have a walk to enjoy the suggestive atmosphere of the city by night.

 

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Le Georges restaurant: In the last floor of the museum there is a restaurant that offers an amazing view of the city: the ideal place to enjoy a romantic cocktail with an amazing view!

Chez Omar, the best couscous in town: Chez Omar is a small Moroccan style restaurant located in Le marais.

SECOND DAY: Disneyland Paris (ticket price: £51/64€/$72 – one day ticket) 

Make your dreams come true and enjoy a magical experience surrounded by Disney attractions. Walking inside the princess’s castle and flying with Peter Pan made me feel like a child for one day.

The park is full of different attractions, shops, restaurants and various exhibitions that take place during the day.

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TRAVEL TO DISNEYLAND

From Paris to Disneyland

  1. TUBE – it is the best way to go from central Paris to the Park. The stop is Marne La Vallèe-Chessy and it takes about 45 minutes. Price: £6/7.50€/$8.50

THIRD DAYTour Eiffel (Lift entrance ticket (valid to 2nd floor): £8.7/11€/$12.3 Lift entrance ticket to top: £13.4/17€/$19 Stairs entrance ticket (valid to 2nd floor): £5.5/7€/$8), Montmartre and Champs-elysèes.

A walk through Montmartre: This place is surrounded by musicians, stands and tiny shops. Get lost around the streets since you find the basilica of Sacre-Coeur, situated at the top of a hill from where the view of the city is amazing.

Champs-elysèes: Have a walk through one of the most famous avenue of the world, here you’ll not only see the Arc de Triomphe, but you’ll find also cafés, restaurants, luxury shops and theatres.

Tour Eiffel at sunset: enjoy an amazing view of the the most iconic symbol of the city (metro stop: Trocadero)

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Paris, France – take a note

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. It is located on the Seine River in the place known as “région parisienne” (Paris Region). 

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Paris was founded in the 3rd century BC by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city its name. In the 12th century Paris was home of the University of Paris, one of the first in Europe. In the 18th century the capital of France became an important centre of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts, a position it still retains today.

Paris is home of the most visited art museum in the world, the Louvre and along with many other famous museums it is also covered of contemporary art and many notable architectural landmarks. Paris is also known for its fashion, particularly the Paris Fashion Week, and for its high quality food having some three-star restaurants.

In 2014 Paris received 22.4 million visitors, making it one of the world’s top tourist destinations. 

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Sofia Casotto is back with us and on tomorrow’s post she is going to tell us all about her romantic trip in the city of Paris! Check out all the suggestions and ideas she has for you to do in the city as well as to where to eat and stay!

“You know, I sometimes think, how is anyone ever gonna come up with a book, or a painting, or a symphony, or a sculpture that can compete with a great city. You can’t. Because you look around and every street, every boulevard, is its own special art form and when you think that in the cold, violent, meaningless universe that Paris exists, these lights, I mean come on, there’s nothing happening on Jupiter or Neptune, but from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafés, people drinking and singing. For all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.”

From the movie Midnight in Paris (quote chosen by Sofia Casotto to describe Paris)

Country: France

Country’s capital: Paris

Official language: French

Currency: Euro (£1 = 1.29€; §1 = 0.90€ )

Population:  117,170 inhabitants

Total area: 105,4 km²

Lyon, a beautiful treasure of France

Lyon is a place worth visiting, due to its beautiful architecture, but it’s also an awesome city to live in, due to its atmosphere. It is a couple hours west from the French Alps, and an hour south from the Burgundy vineyards. 3 days are enough to visit most touristic sites, I’ve lived there 3 years and the city still surprises me with what it has to offer.

TRAVEL TO LYON – FRANCE

  1. AIRPLANE toLyon Saint Exupéry (Cheap airlines such as Easyjet and Germanwings fly there)
  2. OUIGO– low-cost TGVs from £8/10€/$11 (very fast trains) so you’ll reach the city in less than 2 hours, however they can only be reached in Paris Bercy and Marseille Saint Charles, and you’ll have to leave very early or arrive in Lyon very late.
  3. TER a tiny bit more expensive than Ouigos and take a bit more time, but there usually are a lot of them so you can choose to arrive early or late, it’s up to you. (for example Geneva – Lyon costs £22/20€/$32 and takes 2 hours)
  4. TGVs –expensive, super-fast, and numerous (for example Madrid – Lyon costs £101/127€/$143 and takes8h25)
  5. BY RIDE SHARING– many people offer a ride on Blablacar, usually it is not expensive – from £16/20€/$22.50 Paris – Lyon – (sometimes Flixbus is the cheapest, but it stops a lot a takes a long time), you might want to check it out (for your own safety, make sure they have been recommended by other Blablacar users)

From the airport to the center

  1. The Rhone Express, a tramway, will take you from the airport to the city’s main train station in 25 minutes, a one-way tickets costs about£12/15€/$17
  2. BUS Flixbus is available in Lyon

Once you reach Lyon there are many things to visit and see!

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The Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière. (Take line D until Vieux Lyon, then takes the funicular railway or climb up) There is an absolutely amazing view of Lyon in the back of the Basilique, and the interior is very impressive too, especially since there are 2 « churches », one on each floor. You can go there using the funiculars, but I personally recommend climbing up from Vieux Lyon and passing by the antique amphitheater, then go down through the garden straight to the Vieux Lyon, there’s plenty to see on the way.

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Vieux Lyon (Take line D and stop at Vieux Lyon). The atmosphere in the old town is really lovely. The area has several nice shops and restaurants, and, even if very touristic, there are not so many tourist traps. It’s a mandatory destination when going to Lyon. If you want Lyonnaise food on a budget, you might well find it here, however, some might not cook homemade or fresh food. If you want to try typical Lyonnaise and French food, I recommend Aux 24 colonnes (where you’ll most likely need to book a table) and Un Deux Trois. They’re both tasty yet affordable places!

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The Vieux Lyon traboules. These small, “secret” passages are fun to explore. They are dark hallways between buildings, usually connecting courtyards. It is a completely different way of seeing the city, and you never know what you will stumble upon. Apart from their original use by the silk trade, they were used during WW2 for people to move around the city unseen by the Nazi invaders. But remain quite when taking them, people do live there.

Lyon

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Parc de la tête d’or (Take B line and stop at Gare Part Dieu, then take bus C1, C2 or C6 and stop at Parc Tête d’Or). Take at least half a day to explore this park (no entrance fee). There is an excellent walk around the lake with toilets and refreshments (expensive ones, you might want to get your own at a store before entering the park). After walking around the lake you can visit the free zoo and botanical gardens. The park is very popular with the locals and it is crowded during hot summer days. (It is allowed to lay on the grass).

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The Presqu’ile = Almost-island. (Take D or A lines and stop at Bellecour). This is the neighborhood which is between the Rhone and the Saone rivers, a peninsula that has the main shopping district for Lyon. I recommend taking the A line to Bellecour and then walk on the whole Rue de la République until you reach Hotel de Ville and the Opera, and the Place des Terreaux, where you’ll see the beautiful Bartholdi Fountain.

TRAVEL AROUND LYON 

1. TCLpublic transport of Lyon

  • Ticket costs£1.40/80€/$2 at the machines (2€ on the bus) and allows you to use any type of transport (bus, subway, tramway, funicular) for 60 minutes;
  • Day ticket costs£4/5€/$5.6;
  • The last subway/tramway/bus leaves the stations at 00:30am, and then you’ll need to get a cab or an uber driver, until 5am, when public transports start their shift.

2.VELO’v: public bikes

  • If you want to rent a Velo’v for60 minutes, it’ll cost you £1.20/50€/$1.70;
  • You won’t have to bring it back where you got it, you can just leave it at another velo’v station, and there are tons!
  • However, you’ll need to have at least£119/150€/$169 on your account, which the Velo’v company uses as a deposit.

I truly recommend you to not drive to Lyon, unless you are willing to drive for hours in order to find a parking spot, and unless you are willing to pay tons of money for parking…

When your stomach starts to ask for some food there are many places I recommend you to go eat in Lyon. The best ice-cream you will find at Terre adélice in Vieux Lyon (D line)

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For the best typical French restaurants I would recommend Paul Bocuse is a well-known restaurant in the surroundings of Lyon. However it is an expensive one. They opened many Bocuse brasseries all over Lyon (Le Nord, Le Sud, L’Est, L’Ouest) where you will eat delicious and affordable meals.

Cheapest/Freshest place to eat: Yaafa (A line until Hotel de Ville, walk until the Place des Terreaux, and it is right behind the corner). They make amazing vegetarian falafels. It’s a very good place to eat on the go; they also make homemade lemonade and iced-tea (you get free refills if you get a menu)

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Best restaurant for coffee/tea time: Café des Négociants (A line until Cordeliers). It is a bit expensive but their hot chocolate made with real melted chocolate is the best thing you’ve never had (yet).

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Lyon, France – take a note

Lyon is a city in east-central France. It is France’s third-largest city after Paris and Marseille. Lyon is the seat of the metropolis of Lyon, and the capital of both the department of Rhône and the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

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The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Back in the days Lyon was famous for being an important place for the production of silk. Since the late 20th century, it has developed a reputation as the capital of gastronomy in France and in the world.

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It has a significant role in the history of cinema due to Auguste and Louis Lumière, who invented the cinematographe in Lyon. The city is also known for its famous light festival, Fête des Lumières, which occurs every 8 December and lasts for four days, earning Lyon the title of Capital of Lights.

This Friday Kathrine tips about Lyon will be posted! Kathrine is from Lyon so she wanted to write about her home town to make sure everyone who goes there has the best out of it! She is a young traveler who enjoys life as if each day was the last! The best way to do it is by travelling as much as she can because traveling is the only things that makes us richer, wiser, happier and healthier – all at the same time!

“Lyon is a place wort visiting, due to its beautiful architecture, but it’s also an awesome city to live in, due to its atmosphere.”

Kathrine Jaffre

Country: France

Country’s capital: Paris

Official language: French

Currency: Euro (£1 =1.41 euro §1 = 1.11 euro)

Population: 484.344 inhabitants

Total area: 47,95 km²