Paris: Girls Trip Edition
My friend, Brittany and I planned a spur of the moment trip to Paris in late March (March 27-29). We had both been to Paris before and decided to make this trip more about eating than sight-seeing. The forecast also showed rain every single day so that made our decision pretty easy to stick with our plan of eating around the city rather than sightseeing in the rain.
Brittany was able to snag us some great train tickets (58 euro round-trip!) through Trainline. Train ticket prices usually go up the closer it is to your departure date, but she did some careful watching and was able to get us this great price.
We made our way from Paris Gare de l'Est - the main Paris train station, to drop our bags off at the Airbnb. If you plan on taking public transportation while in Paris, I suggest you buy at least 10 tickets upon arriving so that you have a few to get you by, rather than buying a single or two tickets at a time. Our studio Airbnb, was located at the very north part of the Marais neighborhood--while the apt itself was a great last minute find, the location seemed to be a little dicey. I wouldn't recommend staying off the Strasbourg Saint Denis metro line. Last time I was in Paris in September, Ara and I stayed in heart of Marais, off the Saint Paul metro line and I would highly recommend that area for a hotel/Airbnb stay.
After dropping off our bags, we made our way by foot to The Hoxton to grab a coffee and a quick breakfast. The hotel has a great little cafe in the foyer and some good people watching to take in while you rest and decide what to do next for the day. It looks like such a dreamy hotel to stay in--they've also got locations in London and Amsterdam. I've got it on my list to stay there when we check out one of those cities.
We trudged through the rain and headed for a late lunch at Les Philosophes. This is my favorite spot to grab a bowl of onion soup--and what better way to warm up on a rainy day? By the end of our lunch, the rain had subsided and there was even sun! We wanted to make the most out of unexpected sunshine and took to foot wandering around cute streets and corners.
My motto when in France is: you must eat at least one crepe a day. We had barely finished lunch but we turned a corner and I saw the cutest hole-in-the-wall creperie, La Droguerie. I love that it's an open window and I could watch in awe as my banana and nutella crepe was made.
Since the sun was still shining, we decided to just head on foot--meandering around the city. I somehow let Brittany convince me it was a good idea to walk from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower. We wanted to get a good shot of the Eiffel tower since the sun decided to come out and we decided, it's basically not a Paris trip until you get a picture with the Eiffel Tower. She kept saying, "I don't think it's too much farther, just past a few more bridges." Seventeen-million bridges later, we arrived to the great look-out spot of the tower. I looked the distance up on Google maps--4.7 km! Brittany also unveiled a secret I didn't know about for the "best spot for an Eiffel Tower picture" --located right off the Trocadéro metro station. A good, brisk walk later and we now have some beautiful pictures to commemorate our girls trip!
We hopped on the metro and headed to our dinner destination: Frenchie Wine Bar. The wine bar is attached to the very sought after, Michelin-star sister restaurant, Frenchie. The wine bar opens at 6:30 and it was recommended to be outside before it opens to ensure you get a spot before they fill up! Sure enough, by the time they opened, we were joined by several other parties ready to eat. We filled up on glasses of natural wine and small tapas style plates--all were very delicious!
We woke up and discovered it raining cats and dogs outside. We came up with our game plan of heading to a juice bar for breakfast--just a short walk away from our Airbnb. Sadly, when we arrived it was closed, despite Google telling us the hours and that it should be open! We stumbled into a creperie nearby for some breakfast.
Next up, lunch at The Clown Bar (reservation required)--a very trendy, sought-after restaurant in Paris currently. Ara and I had dined here for lunch on our last trip to Paris and it was fabulous. I couldn't wait to take Brittany there to try it out! However, the menu had changed (as it does seasonly) and we weren't feeling too adventurous that day. We may have been chastised by our un-forgiving waiter for wanting to order salads and cheese "at one of the best restaurants in Paris." But to our defense, it was a good salad and cheese! We finished our meal with some delicious desserts and headed out to explore more of the city.
I was excited to check out the Montmartre neighborhood. The neighborhood is a bit north of the city center and known for charming streets and the Sacre Coeur. We leisurely strolled through the streets and ended up at the Sacre Coeur with a great view of the city.
We ended our evening with a light-fare dinner at Miznon. If you read about our Vienna trip, you'll recognize that Ara and I feasted on the delicious pita sandwiches there. I became obsessed with this little hole-in-the-wall spot on our first trip to Paris. The pita sandwiches are out of this world and there's great vegetarian options, which Brittany loved!
Our train left early the next morning and we said "au revoir Paris" until the next time! I have high hopes of a trip with Ara next spring to catch the cherry blossoms blooming!