Who doesn’t know Paris in France? Who doesn’t want to visit The City of Love? It appears in a lot of movies. A lot of tourists go there every single day, at least in a much normal days with Covid-19 out of the pictures 😂 In my first trip to Europe (who knows there’ll be a second, third, or even more right?!? 😆), I stayed in Paris for 3 days. I split my itinerary in Paris to 3 themes:
- Tourist day
- Local-living day
- A day trip outside Paris
What a lot of people might not know is…there are a lot more of Paris than Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, and other tourist spots. In fact, you can visit all those spots in 1 to 2 days. After that? The real adventure begins~
1st day: Tourist day
Well, you can’t deny Paris is a tourist city. Though I don’t really like tourist spots, it wasn’t that bad at all. At the very least you can say that you’ve been there🙈 and I have my photography to be experimented on with my friends. You should be careful all the time, tho. The thieves are no kidding.
The first agenda was Versailles Palace (Chateau de Versailles). Let me say 1 thing about it: It’s SUPER HUGE. It can be overwhelming to your feet, especially if you wish to venture to the deepest part of the palace. At a point I thought we’ve walked far enough, but when we looked our position on the map it was only a small part of the garden, side garden at that, not the main one.
But worry not, you can take an inside-mini-train inside the palace for EUR8,00 (yeah, it was that huge that you can take a drive with a no-rail mini train named Les Petits Trains).
Here, you can take your moment and relax for a full day, or you can also save some time for afternoon agenda in Paris. In my case, we went back to the city. That’s why, although I wanted to explore Queen’s Hamlet part of Versailles Palace, we couldn’t make it because we didn’t come early enough (around 11AM). If you want to explore Queen’s Hamlet, don’t be like me and do your job to wake up and prepare early😂
Icon Of The City
Can you guess our next agenda? Yes, the icon of the city, Eiffel Tower! We didn’t get too close to it, but obviously we searched for the best photo spots.
The best part was we had Seine Cruise experience at the right time for sunset at 7PM. It was truly charming! The sky turned purple and pink, blending with yellow and orange as we got further away from the dock. The cruise will take us to see some of the highlight of Paris from the Seine River’s view, like Notre-Dame Cathedral and Pont Alexandre III to name a few. After 1 hour, we would get back to the dock at the right time for Eiffel Tower to light up.
Tips: look for the sunset time, then make sure to enter the queue half an hour before the closest departure schedule to sunset
Another things you can do in tourist kind of day:
- The Louvre
2nd day: Local-living day
Alright after following my friend’s agenda and be a tourist for a day, it’s time for something a little bit different: local experience!
The concept of this local-living day was culinary experience and…bookstore-hoping!
I looked for a food market, and I went to one of the best: Marche des Enfants Rouges. It’s said to be the oldest food market in Paris, dated to 1628! If you’ve been to Tsukiji Market in Japan, this market is actually not as near big as Tsukiji Market. But it surely has that great atmosphere that made me go all enthusiastic. A lot of things to be absorbed here. People eating, merchants cooking and serving their customers, the food, the menus, and the conversations, made the list. This means more things to be photographed 😍
Located on Marais, Marche des Enfants Rouges was quite a feast that boasts culinary from all over the world. Parisian food? Check. Italian food? Check. Asian food? Check. Mexican food? Check. You can choose whatever invites your saliva the most. In my case, I chose Lebanese food. Lebanese food in Paris bcs why not? Lol I’ve never eaten any of it before and it looked delicious. Didn’t regret it one bit 😆
I found some friends there too. The seller of the Lebanese food was very nice. They talked to me as if we’re long-time friends. They’re from Egypt and although they only spoke in French, it’s always nice to discover kindness and warmth from strangers in a city you barely know about.
For bookstore hoping, I wanted to buy one book, at the very least, but I don’t understand French a bit. So, it left me no choice but to look for bookstores that sell English-language books. I went to 2 bookstores: The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore and San Francisco Book Company. If you have more time, you could also go to Shakespeare and Company. They’re all close in distance.
It’s a new experience for me, honestly, especially in The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore. It’s nice to actually be able to ask for book recommendation directly to the storekeepers and talk about it. We could also hear other people talking about books with the storekeepers. In a way, the bookstore felt really alive. In Indonesia, we don’t usually have bookstores that let you talk about books with its storekeepers. Bookstores in Indonesia are more like a supermarket that sells book.
3rd day: A day trip outside Paris
It was raining that day, but thankfully not that bad that I had to cancel my plans. For one day trip, I wanted to do something unordinary. Something that’s not your usual trip if you think about Paris. And so, I found this gem, a village (seriously) just one hour from city centre:
Not that far from capital city of France, but let me tell you Chevreuse is totally different. You could easily find a vast field of green grass with black-and-white cows grazing on it. Seeing those cows instantly reminded me of Harvest Moon, a PlayStation game I used to play often on my childhood 🙈 and it got me all excited! It gave you a total village vibe, something you can’t find in Paris. It’s still even included in Area 5 of Paris Metro Zone, so you can get there with no additional fee at all (if you already have Paris Pass). Quite a shock to me, honestly.
The town centre itself is quite a walk from the nearest train station. You have to walk for 2.7km one way. It’s really hard to find info of the bus on the internet, so I went there with the mindset I had to walk all the way to the town. But there is actually a bus route from/to the town centre. It’s only once every one hour, tho (more frequent in summer holiday season). Unfortunately, my train was not on the right timing to catch the bus.
Finally, 2.7km later, I arrived on the Tourism Info Office. Decorated with muddy soil colored brick down to the houses, I’d say Chevreuse is a very medieval town. The vibe was one of a kind for me. I asked for a cute street that made me wanted to go here in the first place. It’s called Chemin des Petits Ponts.
If you have more time, you can actually go to Chevreuse Castle, a medieval castle, icon of the town. But, it was located on a hill with quite a hike. As I arrived at the town at 5PM, there was no way for me to risk taking a hike in the dark. The castle was getting closed, too, at that time of day. So, if you have 2 or 3 hours more, I reckon it’d be nice to go to the castle.
If you have more time…
Yup that’s all! I covered all those 3 days I was in Paris. If you have more time, you can also go to Disneyland, like what my friends did on the second day. I’m not really a theme park person, that’s why I chose to go with local-living route. What is your version of Paris itinerary?