Yet another travel and a new experience. But when you travel to a new country, you experience a whole new culture and obviously food. I never had any travel bucket list but after I spent that evening in Paris I ensured to make that bucket list. Because , This world is full of amazing places and it teaches you lessons that fewer schools could do. The whole Europe trip was definitely an unplanned one and so was the Paris visit. By the way, it was my First international travel and I was lucky to visit Europe. I thank my stars for that.It was my first time in Paris and i wanted it to be magical and dreamy.
It was my First and time stood still in Paris
For all the people who are visiting Paris for the first time , I have listed down Touristy Places to see as well as my personal experiences. Well, I started my Journey from Stuttgart ,Germany. Now, The average travel time between Stuttgart and Paris is 5h06 minutes. And The quickest route is 3h40 minutes. The first train leaving Stuttgart hbf is at 01:35 while the last leaves at 18:55. I chose to take the morning train. My arrival, the destination in France was Paris nord (112, rue de Maubeuge 75010 Paris). These trains are not normal metro trains in fact they are high speed trains which takes less time than traveling via Flight. And the Frankfurt airport was farther than where I stayed – Si-Suites in Stuttgart. You can buy tickets for trains from here .
The High Speed Trains have speed upto 300 km/hr
Most Trains offers breakfast, lunch or dinner menus with many German Specialities. They also serve beverages and snacks
First class staff serves food to your seat.
Folding bikes can be taken onboard with prior reservations
These trains are well equipped with
Childrens Play area
Restaurant and Bistro
Welcome to Paris !
I reached Paris Nord Train station and now the whole culture change was about to set in. I had no idea that Germany was different than France. And there were different cultures. I along with my fellow travellers, went straight out of the Station and asked a passer by for our Hotel cum Dormitory address. To our delight , he didn’t bother to respond. We asked the second person and he wanted to help but he didn’t knew English. And what happened after that stunned us. We legit saw a TV being thrown out of a random building on the road. But Everything was normal.
We picket Hostels instead of Hotel in Paris
Fast forward, we somehow reached our Stay at Le Montclair Montmartre and fell in love with it. It was colourful and rooms were cute with two beds and a small cupboard and a bathroom. When I opened the window , I sighed and took a deep breathe. All these passed hours ,and I didn’t realise I was in PARIS. An effusion of culture, couture and cuisine. A place whose name alone conjures up images of whirlwind romances and infamous scribes. Yeah, Baby, you got yourself in Paris. I was on cloud nine but I wanted to see the whole paris from the clouds. You can book hostels from Hostel world, it has a wide variety of hostels at an affordable rate.
Where is the Eiffel ?
There is no point of not being touristy when in Paris. Definitely The Eiffel tower was in my Top list. But I was hungry so the search began to get some real Indian food in PARIS. Also I had planned to see the Eiffel tower in the evening. So, A lot of you might think whether were there any Indian restaurants in Paris. The answer Is No, Not Really. But you will find a lot of Middle eastern restaurants serving the best shawarmas, kebabs, doners, falafels. But we decided to eat it later in the evening and started looking out for Indian restaurants.
Did I find any Indian Restaurants in Paris ?
The answer is YES. So Apparently, If you want to eat Indian food you will have to find restaurants that have Himalayas as their name. But its not necessary that these restaurants are operated by Indians. The Restaurants owners could be Indians, Pakistani or Bangladeshi. The one in which I landed was run by a Pakistani owner , Au Palais de l’Himalaya. It didn’t matter to us because we wanted to eat something familiar and that fills up our stomach. We ordered Biryani , Seekh and Tandoori Chicken. What really intrigued was, there were couple of Non Indian /Pakistani tourists lined up for Indian cuisine. That really made me proud of Indian food.
I still had some time to explore the place and the very famous Sacré-Cœur was not very far.
How I Spent few hours in Sacre Coeur?
Sacré-Coeur is open from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily, and admission is free. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica and often simply Sacré-Cœur, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France. The architect Paul Abadie is the one who designed the Sacre-Coeur. The Sacre Coeur Basilica is 85 metres (279 feet) long, 35 metres (115 feet) wide and has a height of 83 meters (272 feet).
Dress code and Photography in Sacre Coeur
People should be respectful and dress appropriately even though there is no dress code one must respect the beliefs and cultures. Photography is not usually authorized inside the Basilica, out of respect for the perpetual prayer taking place before the Holy Sacrament, which has been on display for over 125 years.You can take photographs outside the gates. We spent 2-3 hours, there were a lot of people. After all it was a tourist attraction.
Be careful of Travel Scams in France
String bracelet scam in France
If this the first time you are visiting Paris. You will find a lot of people claiming to be magicians. They are touts. they ask, if you want a “friendship bracelet” or “friendship ring”. If you say yes, a string or a bracelet will be tied so tightly around your wrist/finger that makes it impossible to remove. Money is then demanded. Stay away from such magicians and scams. Travel safe.
Hey, Don’t make me wait ? Take me to the Eiffel. It is my first time in Paris
You need 4 hours in all to explore the Eiffel Tower. We wanted to build up the enthusiasm in ourselves. So We walked to the Eiffel. We had to take tickets. Yes there was a big queue which we knew was worth the wait. The tower is open from 9:30 a.m. until 11:45 p.m., with the last elevator ascending at 10:30 p.m. You can get the Tickets from here . Large items of luggage and pets are not allowed within the Tower. To our delight , We found a lot of Indians in Paris and at the Eiffel Tower. I clicked as many pictures as I could while my fellow travellers were getting the tickets. From All angles and sides.:D
Stairs or Elevators?
It was our time to get in the lift. Did you know ? There are 2 lifts that operate to take you to the Summit. There is a Gift shops and a café on the first floor. You can get souvenirs, Mini Eiffel towers, Mugs, Books, etc. We got in the lift with around 100 others. It was a spacious lift. And all it took 5-10 minutes to reach the level 1 which is about 57m from the base. Another few minutes to the 2nd floor which is at 116m from the base. But we had to reach the summit. At a height of 276m. We finally reached the Summit and you guys, it was a breathtaking view from the top.
I could see the whole Paris. Literally! East, West , North , South. It was a surreal experience. People from all regions were found taking photographs, We saw the Seine River Cruise. We also saw People dressed and getting married on top of the Eiffel tower. Some of them were celebrating birthdays. Others eating icecreams or drinking hot chocolate at the summit. I could feel the whole adrenaline rush. Apart from that it was chilling. Really cold and our timing was perfect. I got to see Paris while Sun was being Set. And then if you are lucky enough you can also see the light shows up.
Lights show occur during evenings in Paris
Every night from sundown to 1 a.m., at the beginning of each hour, the special illuminations burst into view on the horizon. This means, of course, that the light shows are more frequent in the winter months than in the summer. the sparkling lights appear at night for 5 minutes every hour on the hour until 1am, although for the 1am appearance the Tower is dark and you only get the sparkle, not with the full illumination of the Tower. So midnight is the last time to see the full effect of the sparkling lights on a fully-illuminated Tower. We spent around 4-5 hours including the ticket queue. If this is your first or second time to the Eiffel in Paris , Plan your day well in advance so that you get to see both the views from the top of Eiffel.
Did I enjoy the trip?
Do I need to say more? Ofcourse. Apart from these there are many other places to see in Paris like
- Seine River Cruise,
- The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum.
- Arc de Triomphe
- Notre Dame Cathedral
- Sainte Chapelle
- The Wall of Love
And many more. All in all you need good number of days to really explore this city of love and arts.
Even though this was my first time , I didn’t really get the see all the places in Paris due to limited time. But I am looking forward for a full fledged Europe Trip very soon.