Living in London comes with many perks: not only exploring all it has to offer but also exploring the surrounding and different cities in the UK and not only as it is very well connected. After visiting a few English cities, we decided to try something different for one of our Mondays. Given the fact that Paris is only 2 hours and 30 minutes away with the Eurostar and a return journey can be bought for as little as 58 GBP we decided to give it a try. In many cases, a trip like this is shorter and even cheaper than a trip to another English city.
We arrived in Paris Gare Du Nord at 11 am. The first thing to be done is to buy a travel ticket which costs 7.5 Euros per day for zones 1-2. I find the Metro system a bit complicated so it helps to have a friend who can show you around (Thank you Co), but of course, people are helpful so don`t hesitate to ask someone for help.
The first stop was Notre Dame Cathedral which is free to enter. The architectural style is French Gothic with stained glass and sculptures that are characterised by naturalism, this is one of the best-known churches in the world. Some of the most important Catholicism relics can be found in the cathedral treasury such as the Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the Cross Jesus was crucified and one of the Holy Nails.
After having lunch in one of the many reasonable priced restaurants that can be found in Le Quartier Latin we headed to Centre Georges Pompidou from which we only visited the workshop of Constantin Brancusi. The time did not allow us to queue in order to visit the other exhibitions, but also we were more invested in visiting this workshop as Brancusi was a Romanian sculptor and a major artist in the history of modern sculpture. The workshop is free to visit as well and it “features a unique collection of 137 sculptures, 87 pedestals, 41 drawings, 2 paintings and more than 1,600 photographic glass plates and original photos by the artist.”
The next stop was the Musée de l’Orangerie, an art gallery of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. Tickets cost 9 Euros for adults, 6.5 Euros Concessions or Free for under 18 and 18-25 who are European Union nationals. One of the most famous rooms are the ones exposing the 8 Water Lilies murals by Claude Monet, but there are also works by Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Rousseau, Alfred Sisley, Chaim Soutine, Maurice Utrillo and many others. The gallery is located in a very beautiful spot, right next to the Seine in the old orangery of the Tuileries Palace on the Place de la Concorde near the Concorde metro station and the Tuileries Gardens. Just a short walk through the Tuileries Gardens, you can find the Musée d’Orsay (which unfortunately is closed on Mondays) and Louvre Museum (which we did not have enough time to visit and I would suggest if visited to allow a few hours to discover its wonders). 20 minutes along the Seine in the opposite direction, you can find the Eiffel Tower – the most visited paid monument in the world, and the global cultural icon of France cannot be missed while visiting Paris. This is the tallest structure in Paris with 324 metres. We did not have time to go up the tower as the day was coming to an end. We took bus 42 towards Gare du Nord for a half an hour drive in central Paris and the last chance to admire its beauties. In the train station you can try different types of baguettes and the traditional gaufres (waffles) for a quick and delicious dinner before saying “au revoir” to Paris and heading back to London at 9.30 pm.
Tips or Good to know
- Keep an eye for very good offers in January and February on Eurostar tickets to Paris or Brussels.
- This journey is infant friendly so don’t let your little ones stop you from exploring the world.
- The Eurostar Channel Tunnel is 50.54 km, the highest speed reached by one of the trains was of 334.7 km per hour and the deepest part under the sea level is at 75 meters (equivalent to 107 baguettes on top of each other).
- Use your Eurostar ticket to get 2 for 1 entrances at different museums and attractions both in Paris and London.
- During the German occupation, Hitler ordered General Dietrich von Choltitz to demolish the Eiffel tower along with the rest of the city but Von Choltitz disobeyed the order.
- The puddled iron of the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tons, and the addition of lifts, shops and antennae have brought the total weight to approximately 10,100 tons.
- There is definitely more security in Paris so expect to have your bags checked at the entrances of the attractions and shopping centres.