Paris | What We Did in 5 Days

DAY ONE: ARRIVING IN PARIS

We left Amsterdam Airport Train Station on the 1:33pm train for Paris-Nord (via Rotterdam & Brussels). The train ride was only three hours and actually flew by. It was much cheaper than flying and it wasn’t anymore of a hassle than flying. Travelling by train is our new thing! Especially in Europe!

We arrived in Paris at 4:30pm, but only reached our hotel closer to 5pm, deciding that we would just find our way to the hotel by metro. While I do prefer my pre-booked hotel shuttle service, this too, was surprisingly hassle-free.

We had decided to try a new hotel, even though we had loved our previous stay at Hotel Secret de Paris, and booked at a new boutique hotel, Panache. Booking at a new hotel is always a hit or a miss – and even still, I am a bit unsure which category this hotel fell in. We had requested a room with a balcony and luckily got one. The decor was trendy and fun, but we kept comparing the service to our favourite Hotel Secret de Paris. Sadly, I don’t think we would return and I think that qualifies this particular hotel choice as a “miss”. Check back soon for a full review.

Having checked in, with a quick wardrobe change, we headed back out to explore the area. We decided to chill out with a couple of cocktails at the vibey bar, Le Brebant, up the street from the hotel. We even had dinner here, one of the nights, and it surpassed my expectations.

DAY TWO: A RAINY PARIS DAY

Even on our first visit to Paris in 2014, Hollybelly was on my to-do list. Back in 2014, though, we managed to find the cafe, only to realise they’re closed on a Tuesday and Wednesday – so, don’t make the same mistake as us! Also, get there early if you want to get a table – this place gets pretty full! (Apparently on the weekends you could wait two hours in a queue! And so many people say it’s worth the wait). Luckily, we arrived early on a weekday (that wasn’t a Tuesday or Wednesday) this time and managed to get a table straight away.

We had to return for a Hot chocolate at Laduree. It being a rainy, grey day was just a bonus and a reason to cosy up and take refuge in the beautifully-decorated Parisian Laduree Cafes. We knew better, after having order a hot chalet each before, that one was perfect to share. One pot pours two perfect-sized cups of decadent chocolate in a cup. We couldn’t resist the macarons either!

We needed to walk off all the food so we strolled down to Champs Elysees and got in some steps shopping. As we were walking along the famous shopping street in Paris, Craig spotted Tiffany & Co and dragged me inside. Needless to say, I am a very spoilt girl because I left with a turquoise box in hand and a smile ear-to-ear.

We ended off this incredible first day in Paris, with a dinner at Le George at our favourite hotel ever, Four Seasons George V. If you’ve read our previous Paris blogs, you’ll know that we fell in love with this hotel on our first visit, when we went for afternoon tea. Ever since, it’s been on our bucket-list to stay there. We started off with cocktails in the courtyard, sounded by purple orchids – it’s an incredible setting!

And continued on to our incredible four-course meal – one of our favourite dinner dates & top dining experiences we’ve ever had.

DAY THREE: THE LATIN QUARTER + MUSEE D’ORSAY

Breakfast this particular morning was across the road from our hotel at Le Comete.

Next, we stopped in at Merci, a one-of-a-kind hipster concept store in Le Marais, where you can buy clothes, stationery, kitchenware and furniture. Check out just how hipster they really are on their Instagram. Next door is a cute little cafe in a second-hand bookstore which we didn’t try, but might do next time we visit. The reviews are great!

On the way to the Latin Quarter, we stopped off at the Métro Arts et Métiers, a metro station on line 11 decorated in a steampunk style.

We didn’t get the chance on our first trip, so we made sure Musee D’Orsay was on our itinerary this time!

We grabbed a quick dinner at La Creme De Paris, up road the road from our hotel. Savoury crepes for the win! Nothing better than mince and cheddar on a crepe. Try it!

DAY FOUR: THE PERFECT SATURDAY

We spent our Saturday morning strolling along the cobbled streets of Montmartre, one of our favourite areas to take in the Parisian charm. Craig was excited to see inside Sacré-Cœur again, and I wanted to stroll through Place Du Tertre, to get a typical Parisian souvenir – a caricature.

From our hotel we took the metro to the Abesses station, and walked a few minutes (and a million staircases) to Sacré-Cœur. On our walk up, we came across the I Love You Wall, a wall composed of 612 tiles of enamelled lava, on which the phrase “I love you” is featured 311 times in 250 languages.

Before exploring anything, we made our way to a cafe located next to Sacré-Cœur, called Hardware Societe, for breakfast. It was on my must-do list, and it did not disappoint – in fact, Craig reckoned it was his favourite meal in Paris! He also might have preferred their hot chocolate to Laduree’s (I know right, shocking!).

We didn’t enter Sacré-Cœur again this time, as with heightened security, fences and entry fees have been added to many of the beautiful churches that have become busy tourist spots. Instead of queueing to go inside, we continued on to Place Du Tertre, the famous square in Montmartre packed with caricaturists and artists trying to sell you their works of art.

I had read up about how much and who you should get to draw your caricature and realised very quickly, if the artist approaches you in the street ‘selling’ the art to you, they’re usually not the best. Go to someone sitting in the square, and have a look at who’s style you prefer. We found a guy on the bottom corner who charged 40 euros and who, in my opinion, did the best style of caricature out of the lot.

Tip: Pick up a painting/sketch funnel (holder thingy) for 5 euros from a nearby shop or street-seller to keep the caricature safe after it’s done.

DAY FIVE: OUR LAZY SUNDAY

This might have been the morning we decided to opt for breakfast downstairs in the hotel and unfortunately, wished we had spent the euros elsewhere! With only one server at breakfast, you can also waste valuable sightseeing time waiting on service. But nonetheless, these things happen. And not every meal in Paris can be incredible.

We headed out early again back in the Latin Quarter, strolling around the streets until we found Shakespeare & Co. We had been wanting to grab an English book to read for our train ride back to Amsterdam so Craig and I both picked up a book. Afterwards, we popped into the cafe next door for a quick coffee.

Spontaneously, we decided to go visit the newly renovated Ritz Hotel. All the restaurants were full and instead we had to head off to their bar at the back of hotel. On a Sunday afternoon, books in hand, we sipped back on some alcohol-heavy cocktails and completely relaxed into the Ritzy-atmosphere. But note, I wouldn’t spontaneously decide to visit when you’re underdressed for the occasion. You’d better be wearing your Sunday best. Everyone else will.

That evening, before sunset, we raced off to the Eiffel Tower, to catch the lights glimmer on the hour. I had been wanting to get some photos during the day as I had only seen it at night before.

Our last dinner, we went completely gluten-free (even Craig)! Noglu, literally a god-send restaurant, was a short walk from our hotel, in a secret passage, Passage des Panoramas. In Paris, as you can imagine, it is quite difficult to find gluten-free options. This place, however, had everything you could think of! During the day, the bakery section offers sandwiches, baked goods, tarts and more, and in the evening, the restaurant opens for dinner. We both had a burger, because there is something about actually being able to eat a bun! And ended with a dessert each, just because we could.

DAY SIX: OFF TO AMSTERDAM

We had our last meal at Paris at the same crepes restaurant (above) just up the road from the hotel, before our train back to Amsterdam. This time, we had ‘sweet’ waffles – mine was a yoghurt berry one and it was amazing.

Keep checking back to see our 4 day visit to Amsterdam!

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Reminiscing about this dreamy Parisian holiday,

Leigh

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