Christmas in Paris

Tour Eiffel Paris
Tour Eiffel

Hello, today we want to talk to you about our trip to Paris. On a hot August day, browsing on the websites of the various airlines and taking advantage of a volagratis.com voucher, we came across a mega offer to spend Christmas in Paris. We started from Lamezia Terme on 24 December 2017 with a Ryanair flight to Milan Malpensa and then continue with Easyjet towards Paris Charles de Gaulle. Arrived at the airport, we took the RER B train to get to the center (cost € 11.50 per person) and then the metro to get to the hotel Terminus Orleans. The hotel is located in a strategic position, not very close to the center but well connected by metro, as the Porte d’Orleans metro station is just a few steps, about 100 meters.

We recommend when you decide to travel during the holidays, to organize for dinner, in fact all the supermarkets in the city were closed and the various restaurants were full or closed. It was 10 pm and the hunger was felt, from afar we noticed an Italian flag with a “Pizza” sign and then we flicked; to welcome us we found Pakistani, certainly the pizza was not like in Naples, but it was not to be thrown away. After dinner, we decided to take the metro and take a very fast ride close to the major points of interest, including the Eiffell Tower, the Triumphal Arch and Champ Elisee.

Exploring the city.

The next day, December 25, the first thing we did the day ticket at the automatic ticket machines of the metro (multilingual, even in Italian) for zone 1-2 at a cost of € 7.50.

The city is very well connected by metro, depending on the area where you want to go you can buy tickets. We have chosen zone 1-2 because the main attractions are here and also because we had a few days available. More information on the official website.

In the hotel we did not have breakfast included, so we decided to have breakfast in a typical Parisian cafe, Cafe d’Orleans, where two beautiful cappuccinos served in fantastic glasses and two excellent empty croissants cost us ‘only’ € 15.90 .

Parisian breakfast
Parisian breakfast

First step: Notre Dame.

Notre Dame is the cathedral of the city. We arrived almost at the end of Christmas Mass, the organ was playing, it really seemed to be in a movie, the atmosphere was very suggestive, immense and very nice was the crib. Entry is free, to enter we had to carry out the control by security agents equipped with metal detectors. For a fee, however, are the visit to the tower and the crypt. If you want to venture out, we want to tell you that there are 387 steps to go. More information on the official website.

Notre Dame Paris
Notre Dame

Second stage: Shakespeare and Company bookstore

A few steps from the Cathedral, about 300 meters, there is the most famous bookshop in the world, the Shakespeare and Company that has hosted world famous writers such as Hemingway, James Joyce and Ford Madox Ford. Obviously, December 25th was closed.

Shakespeare and Company Library Paris
Shakespeare and Company Library

Third stage: Louvre.

We went to the Louvre taking the nearest metro which is the Chatelet station and then get off at the Palais Royal Musee du Louvre. Even the station looks like a small museum, as it houses some very beautiful works of art. The Louvre is one of the most famous and visited museums in the world. Inside it contains several important works such as La Gioconda by Leonardo Da Vinci. Also the museum on December 25th is closed. In any case, the cost of the ticket on site is € 15.00 per person, instead online from the official website costs € 17.00, the audio guide costs € 5.00 more. Information on schedules and prices on the official website.

Louvre Museum Paris
Louvre Museum

Fourth stage: Bridge of the artists.

The bridge of artists has become another point of interest in the city. Here various street artists take refuge, animating the various tourists present every day, and it is also a meeting point for couples of lovers who have begun to attack the padlocks here as a sign of eternal love.

View of the bridge of the artists Paris
View of the bridge of the artists

Fifth stage: Piazza della Concordia.

Continuing in our stages, we took the metro line 1 that took us to Piazza della Concordia. Here is the Egyptian obelisk, and two beautiful fountains. The square is at the end of the Champ Elisee. During the Christmas period there is also a large panoramic wheel.

Place de la Concorde Paris
Place de la Concorde

Sixth stage: Operà Garnier.

To get to the Garnier area we took the metro line 8.

The Opera Garnier is a theater in Paris. The exterior of the building is characterized by various statues that portray various deities of Greek mythology.

The cost of the visit is between 12.00 and 14.00 €, the audio guide costs € 5.00. Information on schedules and prices on the official website.

Opèra Garnier Paris
Opèra Garnier

Seventh stage: Galleria Lafayette.

We arrived in front of the Lafayette gallery, the biggest shopping center in Europe, obviously on December 25th it was closed too. We were still fascinated by the huge windows and full of super fantasy animated games, seemed to be children. It hosts real fashion shows every Friday at a cost of € 12.00 with reservations required. Official site.

Eighth stage: Montmartre district.

To get to Montmartre we took the metro line 12 and went down to Abbesses stop.

This neighborhood is very famous, it is full of tourist attractions, restaurants and souvenir shops.

Walking in the neighborhood we find:

  • The Basilica of the Sacred Heart which is one of the highest places in Paris. Admission is free, only the visit of the dome you pay 5 euros, you have to climb 300 steps but the view will inspire you.
  • Le mur des Je t’aime (Wall of love) which is a wall of 10 meters by 4 meters which contains 311 sentences of “I love you” written in all languages and dialects of the world.
Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, - Le mur des Je t’aime - Moulin Rouge Paris
Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, – Le mur des Je t’aime – Moulin Rouge

Near Montmartre, in the Pigalle district, stands the Moulin Rouge, born as an entertainment venue, now it has become a real tourist attraction. The famous can can was born here.

Ninth stage: Pere-lachaise cemetery.

To get to the cemetery we took the metro line 2 and went down to Philipe Auguste.

It is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, where some of the most important figures in the world are buried.

Despite the maps found at the cemetery entrances, it is really difficult to get oriented, as the numbered divisions and sectors do not always match. Furthermore, it is not kept very well.

Tenth stage: Christmas Mass in Italian.

It’s still Christmas, so we decided to look for a church that celebrated mass in Italian, and we succeeded. The Church is that of St. Pierre de Chaillot, 31 Av. Marceau, where to celebrate Mass we found a very nice Roman priest.

Eleventh stage: Tour Eiffell.

To end our day on a good note, we went to the Eiffell Tour. That evening, there was a lot of wind, as a result, we opted to get on the elevator, but for those who want there is also the possibility of climbing up to the second floor on foot.

Needless to say the beautiful feeling and the view from up there, it’s really exciting.

The cost of the ticket up to the third floor in the elevator is about € 25.00. Prices and timetables on the official website.

Panorama from the third floor of the Eiffel Tower Paris
Panorama from the third floor of the Eiffel Tower

And in all this you wonder if we had time to eat something, well to tell the truth at lunch we “arranged” with a sandwich on the fly, just to try to visit as many places as possible, and in the evening we relaxed and we had dinner at a local downtown.

The next day, December 26th, we had breakfast with the Pain au chocolate, a delight to say a little. We bought a nice baguette with various meats and we went to the airport to return to Italy.

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