Saturday, January 11, 2014

Europe pre-wedding trip Day 12 (Paris)


Itinerary of today:
Apartment @ Rambuteau
Musee des Arts et Metiers
Lunch @Caffé Soprano
Archives Nationales
Hotel de Ville
Notre Dame de Paris
Pont de L’Archeveche
Aux Grands Hommes la Patrie Reconnaissante
Afternoon tea @Soufflot Cafe
Dessert @Amorino
Jardin du Luxembourg
Dinner @Léon de Bruxelles

Taking night train from Munich to Paris was a kinda good experience despite what happened to us. We saved the cost booking accommodation for a night and at the same time, saved the time on transport. We had quite a good sleep though the train went jiggly. (Maybe we were way too tired) At around 8am, there was an announcement waking us up for breakfast and wash up. But as I mentioned, sharing a washroom with a whole lot of people was a nightmare, so we had our breakfast first before we could get a chance to do wash up.

Finally arrived at Paris. We compared Paris Visit Pass and Paris Museum Pass + Bullet tickets, and made a conclusion that the later choice fitted our itinerary most with lowest price. Buying a bullet ticket cost EUR1.7 but carnet for 10 tickets was only EUR13.3, which made each trip cheaper costing only EUR1.33!  

From Paris EST we walked to metro station Gare de Nord, then headed to Rambuteau station for our apartment. (2 tickets) Actually the metro network in Paris looks complicated but some stations in different lines are just several minutes walks away from each other. The interactive metro map is definitely a good tool to plan the shortest route taking the metro to planned destination. 

We booked an apartment via airbnb (no longer available for rental) again and this apartment didn't disappoint us at all. (HKD3645 for 5 nights) It was clean, spacious, with all the amenities available and in good condition. The location was great, just next to Centre Pompidou, taking us just 15 minutes walk to Cite Island. The only thing to comment was that it was on the roof but there was no lift. We gotta take all the heavy baggage up and down on our own. (But luckily the host helped us out for that) The host explained to us on how to use everything in the house and gave us some suggestions on sightseeing ensuring we were fine with everything before he left. Then, we had a quick shower before we started our adventure in Paris.

We gotta catch up the time buying Paris Museum Pass (EUR39/ person) in Musee des Arts et Metiers, where we could have free and direct access in over 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris. We were both starving and so, we bought a pastry (EUR1.5) in a bakery we passed by. It was the first thing we ate in Paris! 

Musee des Arts et Metiers was just 10 minutes walk away from our apartment. Unfortunately, it didn't attract us to get in and all the way we got there was just because of the museum pass. Anyway, we did take some photos with that.

We planned to go to Rue des Rosiers to take a look at the coulourful Jewish Quarter, but we finally lost our way and pumped into Caffé Soprano in Rue Dupetit-Thouars. A giant pizza with a cup of espresso was just EUR9.9. We could resist the temptation and sat down for lunch. That became our first meal in a restaurant in Paris!

On the way to Cite Island, we saw Archives Nationales, but we had no idea on what it was. Just got there by accident.

Hotel de Ville (City Hall) is the building housing the city's local administration. It serves multiple functions, housing the local administration, the Mayor of Paris (since 1977), and also serves as a venue for large receptions. It was under construction during our visit, so it didn't look as magnificent as I expected.

Walking through Cite Island, we saw Notre Dame de Paris right away. We gotta save the visit 2 days later according to our plan using museum pass, so we made our way to another tourist spot.

Pont de L’Archeveche is the narrowest road bridge in Paris. After the Pont des Arts was cleared of its display of padlocks in 2010, and similarly the Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor, lovers started to place their 'love padlocks' on this bridge.

We made our way up to Aux Grands Hommes la Patrie Reconnaissante. 

Passed by Soufflot Cafe and we were hungry again! Ordered a grilled chicken with salad for afternoon tea. (EUR13.4) Not worthy and the chicken was not tender enough. 

Amorino was next to the cafe. We got a floral gelato for dessert. (EUR3)

Down the road we could find Jardin du Luxembourg. It is the second largest public park in Paris. We went all the way to enjoy the green in the park and watch children playing with their remote controlled boat at the pool in front of the Palais de Luxembourg.

Léon de Bruxelles was 15 minutes walk away and we decided to have dinner there. Established more than 100 years ago, it was a small bistro devoted to mussels and typical Belgian dishes. Very quickly, its specialty made its reputation. Today, the brand has more than 60 restaurants. Of course, we tried the signature dish and we still can't forget how tasty it was! It was not expensive at all and the whole meal cost us only EUR38.1 with service charge! 

Mussel pot with unlimited fries refilled EUR17.9

La Leon EUR15.3

We didn't take metro but chose to take a walk back to our apartment as we were both stuffed. Could explore the beautiful night scene in Paris on the first day with my love really made my day.

Total expenses for 2 =HKD3645 + EUR159
Metro tickets                                                  EUR13.3 X2 =EUR26.6
Apartment @ Rambuteau                                 HKD3645 for 5 nights
Paris Museum Pass @Musee des Arts et Metiers  EUR34 X2 =EUR68
Lunch @Caffé Soprano                                     EUR9.9
Archives Nationales                                         /
Hotel de Ville                                                 /
Notre Dame de Paris                                       /
Pont de L’Archeveche                                      /
Aux Grands Hommes la Patrie Reconnaissante    /
Afternoon tea @Soufflot Cafe                           EUR13.4 for 2
Dessert @Amorino                                          EUR3
Jardin du Luxembourg                                      /
Dinner @Léon de Bruxelles                               EUR38.1 for 2


  1. Replies
    1. I miss Paris too! It's such a great place to stay in. Did you try the mussels in Leon? Seems like many tourists go for it!