Take three girls, €100 and a European city. Shove em together and what do you get? A totally awesome 48 hours in Paris!
My friends and I were definitely going through a rough patch of the Ibiza blues a few weeks back, so one of our weekly skyscanner search sessions led us to stumble on a Ryanair flight sale. There, we found some little bargains, including £9.99 each way flights to Paris. Being a little bit mad as we are, we took the plunge and booked flights for a short Monday to Wednesday trip at the end of November, to begin our festivities.
We decided to search for our 48 hour home using airbnb.com – the site is full of little beauties all around the world. For just £61 each, we found a stunning parisian apartment just 300m away from the Eiffel Tower. We could not get over how wonderful our accommodation was: fully heated, stunning decor, the worlds comfiest bed and my personal favourite, an espresso machine! Our host even provided us with a few necessities and a bottle of wine for our arrival. You can see where we stayed (or even book yourself) here.
After an hour transfer from Beauvais to Paris, the first thing to check off our list was Tour Eiffel. With the infrastructure glowing and sparkling by night, we went up to explore. We went right to the very top, battling the icy winds to get a good shot for instagram, which was totally worth it. By night, Paris was illuminated, adding a little bit of magic to the city.
After a wonderful evening of excitement, we decided to call it a night, purchasing fresh baguettes and pizzas for an evening in of Christmas tunes and The US Office.
Tuesday was our full day of being the classy trashy tourist. We started the morning by taking a trip to see the Notre Dame. The weather was winterly crisp, providing the most beautiful landscape and light – not even a filter could outdo it! The architecture of the monument was incredible inside and out. The little details and stained glass definitely were a thing of beauty. Inside the church, the calming zen atmosphere and sermon made you feel at piece momentarily, and hearing the soft tones of prayers and sermons in multiple different languages from the many visitors was enchanting. The notre dame is truly a thing of beauty.
Our second stop down the river was Pont Neuf, aka Love Lock Bridge. Whilst many couples embraced and placed their love locks beside the river, myself and my friends decided to lock our own love onto the bridge, captioning the lock with “0161”. Literally putting Manny on the map. However, reading the locks and memories was capturing, you could not help but wonder about all the love that has been made and lost over the many years of the locks being secured on the bridge.
Our next stop was Musee d’Orsay. Previously a railway station in Paris, this beautiful building has been converted to an art museum. To our surprise (and joy!), if you are 18-25 and an EU resident, museums are free in the city (well, they are for us until we leave the EU…… stupid Brexit). We pondered around the museum admiring the works, some more interesting than others. Personally, I prefer the more abstract pieces of work from the 20th century, and architectural works, but paints from famous artists such as Da Vinci were equally as captivating. My favourite piece was by Pompon – L’Ours Blanc (a huge Polar Bear replica!). We also had great fun producing some memes out of the more amusing works for the hilarity of our snapchat selves. Totally not in our twenties or anything…
After a light lunch in a quaint French bistro, we headed to the other side of the river to explore. We stumbled upon a gallery called Petis Palais, which was hosting an Oscar Wilde exhibition amongst other pieces of treasure hidden underground. We were also taken slightly aback by the captivating ceilings and artwork through out the building. Unfortunately, we arrived at the museum 20 minutes before it closed, so we didn’t have as long as we would have liked to explore!
Our last stop (and possibly my favourite) for the night was an evening at the Paris Christmas markets, which were M A G I C. The whole atmosphere was Christmassy joy, with carol songs and christmas tunes being blasted all around. Each stall was quirky and elegant, with SO many food and craft stores around. There was many rides, ice skating and mini exhibitions to explore on that crisp winters night, all surrounded by my favourite thing in the world – fairy lights. We sang and could not stop smiling all night (except for when I was eating the worlds largest cone of Chichis (Churros!!).
In what seemed like a blink of an eyelid, it had already come round to our last morning in Paris. Our first stop for the day was Arc de Triomphe, a monument in honour of those who fought and died in the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars. Once up the 27 floor high spiral staircase (what a work out!!), you were graced with a totally stunning view again of the city, however this time in a beautiful, crisp winter morning light.
After a brief but wonderful visit to the arc, we set off to our final museum of the trip, Musee du Louvre – that big famous glass triangle infrastructure you’ve probably seen all over instagram. Famous for being the home of the Mona Lisa (which definitely wins the award for the most hilarious anticlimax anticipation moment), the Louvre is also full of statues and works by many famous artists. Yet again, our inner children thought as well as interpreting and admiring many pieces of work, it would be amusing to create a little portfolio of snapchat stories for the more amusing pieces of work. Trust, there are many strange naked babies on those walls. Never the less, the building was totally stunning architecturally and a lovely stop on our mini tour.
Sadly, after a quick lunch and a few trashy tourist purchases (Eiffel Tower keyring FTW) it was time to depart and head home to Manchester (after nearly missing our flight and suffering from lung failure on our mad run to the terminal, only to find the flight delayed anyway). The trip was packed but absolutely brilliant, a definite self deserved break from the stresses of life and third year. Overall, we spent just £170 on the trip including spending money, which was pretty decent to say Paris is on the pricey side of the world. We picked a brilliant time of year to visit, and France has definitely triggered our festive spirits, all ready for Christmas in a (surprisingly) much warmer North England.
Au Revoir to our travels for now, we’ll be back around the globe very soon! x
Emma is a Registered Dietitian and Registered Associate Nutritionist based in Cheshire, England. Emma works in community healthcare and writes freelance alongside her work: topics including Dietetic life, nutrition, mental health and lifestyle. Emma also writes and photographs recipes for the platform, as well as being the author of the ‘Mummy and Me’ series for SR Nutrition. Emma’s Food Stories is PR friendly brand.