Paris is the fourth stop of my one-month Famous Hostels Eurotrip!
Paris is one of those cities you can come back to every year and still enjoy it as much as you did the first time. I lost count of how many times I’ve visited the French capital but it must be somewhere between fifteen and twenty times.
With my InterRail Global pass I took a train from Nice straight to Paris Gare de Lyon, it took only 5,5 hours and on the way I could see the temperature dropping like crazy. I’ve been chasing summer the last year and had such good weather in Athens, Rome and Nice that I needed to take a good look at the bottom of my backpack to find some warm clothes again.
I stayed at St. Christopher’s Inn Canal Paris and as soon as I arrived I got the best welcome I could’ve asked for. Two Dutch girls at reception immediately recognized my Dutch passport and welcomed me to Paris. I barely met any Dutchies the last months so I was very happy to meet these really nice girls. They told me about the social event the hostel organizes every day at 5pm at Belushi’s bar (in the same building) and I decided to drop my backpack in my room and go there straight away.
Everyone staying at the hostel gets a colourful bracelet you wear to the bar where you get some free drinks.
The concept of this social event was brilliant. Because the bar is also open for locals and other visitors this makes it really easy to recognize who’s also staying at the hostel and in for a chat. I immediately met a fun group of backpackers who added me to their WhatsApp group of people staying in the hostel. We had a lot of beers and an amazing night out!
The next morning I had some French baguettes for breakfast in the hostel and was ready to explore the city. Even though it was cold, the sun was shining and it was the perfect weather to wander around Paris. The hostel is very well connected with all the main sites of the city so I took the metro to the Louvre, one of Paris most famous museums where you can find the Mona Lisa.
The walk from the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower is a lovely route of about 4km through Jardin des Tuileries (one of Paris’ beautiful parks) and along the Seine.
Since the weather was so good I decided to leave the museum and go for a wander to the Eiffel Tower. I can really recommend walking this route as it immediately gives you a good impression of the city without getting lost (you see the Eiffel Tower in the distance and just walk towards it).
When you make it to the Eiffel Tower and if you’re not afraid of heights (like me) make sure to go to the top from where you get an amazing view over the city. For the ones that don’t like heights, I will tell you about another spot you have to go to where you can stay a little bit closer to the ground.
This other spot is at the stairs at the majestic Sacre Coeur. Even though I love the Eiffel Tower, this is my favourite place in Paris. If you go for sunset it’s the best as you get a magical view over the city while drinking some beers and watching one of the many street artists perform.
You can also do a free walking tour here (or join the one that leaves every morning from the hostel). It’s a cool way to learn more about the area.
From the Sacre Coeur I walked into Montmartre, the most charming area of Paris. This neighbourhood became a popular hangout for artist and writers in the late 19th century (famous artists such as Van Gogh and Picasso used to live there).
There are a lot of small restaurants in Montmartre and I decided to have dinner at a place where you could already hear the pianist playing from the end of the street. After dinner I walked down the hill to the Moulin Rouge. However, the tickets are 90 euros per seat (which is a big bit over my backpacker budget) so I decided to have another beer in the hostel instead.
After sitting there for a while I walked to the Notre Dame, which is a beautiful walk along the Seine as well (can really recommend walking there too). The cathedral can be visited for free.
The next day went to Musee D’Orsay, where I would be able to see the art of all the famous artists from the Montmartre. Unfortunately the employees were on strike and the museum was closed. Luckily, there was a jazz band playing on the street and I joined the other disappointed museum visitors listening to their amazing performance.
After three amazing nights at the hostel, I had to leave Paris again. I took the Eurostar to London and went through the world’s largest underwater tunnel! I will write more about that soon. In the mean time make sure to follow my journey on the Famous Hostels Instagram!
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