Stayed here for 4 nights, 29th Oct- 2nd Nov. Got the hotel last minute and at a great price- think it was the last room availkable. The room rate was way more than we paid, about 3 times as much. So we felt very happy we got a good deal. We stayed on the 4th floor- stairs are a pain after sightseeing all day and the tiny lift stopped working on the 2nd day. Comfy bed, clean towels daily, friendly staff. There were no drawers in the room, the shower leaked leaving the whole floor wet. Location is fantastic! One block from Notre Dame Cathedral and 5 min walk to the Latin quarter where we thought the best and cheapest restaurants were. Great to wander round here at night.
Lots of deals in the restaurants- 3 courses at 10euro, 16euro and 20/24 euro. We always went for the 16euro set menu, where there's a few choices for each course. Food was great- i had moules mariniere, steak then tarte tartin in one restaurant. Couldn't fault any food we had in Paris. And the boulangeries!!! (bakeries) Amazing, delicious and reasonably priced.
We did all the sightseeing things, i'd put these in order from the best-
1. Napoleon's Tomb (absolutely stunning! p.s use the toilets in the armour museum- NOT the ones in the cafe that you have to pay for and are horrible)
2. Museum D'Orsay
3. The Louvre
4. Notre Dame Cathedral
5. Eiffel Tower ( we walked to the 2nd floor from the south pier, stairs only, cost 5euros, great fun and i am not fit!)
6. Night time bike ride around Paris - includes 1hour on boat down the Seine with wine! (Big fat tire company- well organised and lovely staff) My boyfriend would put this much higher! If you do do this i'd recommend it for the 1st day, we'd already seen a lot of the sights previously but it was great and the boat was lovely. I was so scared of the Paris roads before we started but there was about 20 of us and 2 tour guides so I felt very safe and was able to enjoy it rather than being in pure fear! I am not a biker, don't own one and i would not go on a bike on the roads in the UK so anyone can do this bike ride)
7. Saint Chapelle in Palais de Justice
8.Sacre Coeur and Monmatre
9. Moulin Rouge (don't bother, very seedy, run down and such an anti-climax)
Get there early for d'orsay, louvre and eiffel tower. We got there 1/2 hour before gates/doors opened and we were near the front and left the attraction to see sooooooo many people in the line to get in!
One HUGE tip we got given on our night time bike ride was where to go in for The Louvre. Don't bother going in through the pyramid, go to the Denon wing (if you're coming through the archway from the river it's the building on your left, if you're coming through the archway where the 'jelly baby family' artwork/sculpture go past the pyramid, cross the little road and it's the building on your left) In the first main doors by the lions (lion's entrance) there's an entrance. Absolutely noone was there and we bought our tickets and went straight in. Straight up to the Mona Lisa before the crowds got there. Such a good feeling! We were in there about 2 1/2hrs and when we came out there were hundreds and hundreds of people lining up to enter through the pyramid.
The glass pyramid connects all 3 wings of the Louvre Museum so you don't miss out because you walk through it and we left through that way. The top tip of our trip! An absolute must. They don't check bags so take in food & drink to eat in the cafe area. Oh, and go to toilets in the wings rather than the centre pyramid- the amount of people is unreal!
Metro is easy to use once you've been on it a couple of times. We were all set on getting a paris visite pass for the 5 days, but it was more expensive than what was said online so we got a book of two 10 tickets for 12euros each- this was for 2 of us for 5 days which worked out much cheaper. Maybe our fantastic location on St Germain contributed but i'd definitely buy as you go now. Metro was safe for us, we got on one night after our bike ride at midnight and it was fine.
We decided to line up to go up the Notre Dame Tower (this and the line for the Saint Chapelle were the longest we stood in, about 45mins), after all the winding small stairs you're hit with a stunning view when you step out. I really liked this view because you got the eiffel tower, the sacre coeur and the rest of the city.
Saint Chapelle in Palais de Justice was recommended by our bike ride guide, the line on the street is just to get through security, then you've got to wait even longer to get in the actual church. I personally think it was overpriced and the wait was way too long for the amount of time you actually spend in there. It was lovely, but i would've lived without it.
Overall we loved Paris. It met all my expectations. I thought i'd just do the one trip to Paris, but i'd love to go back again and wander around more and visit Versailles also.
- Also Known As:
- Abbatial Saint Germain Paris
- Abbatial Saint Germain Hotel
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