City of Lights
I still remembered the day when my visa was granted, I was super excited with the trip and did quite plenty of homework for the visit. I arrived safe and soundly at the Charles de Gaulle Airport, and took one of the bus to reach downtown. I did not took a cab because the fare is quite expensive, especially when traffic is real bad in this city, I did not took a metro as well because I brought big luggage, so the wisest decision for me was to take bus/shuttle that only costed me around $16 at that time.
It was 8 pm when I reached my apartment in Champ Elysees that I rented from Airbnb, and it was awesome because Arc de Triomphe is just at the very end of the street of where I stayed.
I recommend you to stay in Champ Elysees area because it was very close to most tourist attractions, such as Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, as well as Musee du Louvre. Due to the accessibility, you would not be surprised if the hotel rates are quite pricey. So, it wasn’t a bad idea using Airbnb service to rent a room in Paris!
Since it was late, it was kind of difficult for us to find a proper restaurants to dine in, but we managed to find one.
The price of an ‘entre’ or main course is around $16 to $24 depending on what you ordered, and you could also order appetizer or dessert if you wished for. Dinner are usually more expensive than Lunch, also breads and drinking water are complimentary in the restaurants. In addition, it is very important for you to learn french a little, such as ‘le poule’ or chicken, ‘le poisson’ or fish, because most menu are not written in English.
Small cafes and restaurants are all over the Champ Elysees, and you could also spotted Guerlain, Bvlgary, Cartier, Gucci on the street and also the famous Ladure Cafe! It would cost around $30 for having some dessert there but definitely it is 100% worth it.
If you are on a very tight budget, there is a Mc Donald that you could easily find on the street. The price for a set menu are around $10, but you could also get a $1 Cheeseburger as well (Ketchup/Chili are not free, they cost 50 cents each). You could also find salads, rice meal, and bread in the convenient store and usually it cost around $5 or more, also Kebab around $7, so don’t worry about getting starved in Paris. However, if you went to cafes or restaurants, you won’t find such a deal!
Arc de Triomphe
I started my morning by visiting Arc De Triomphe, if you are early enough, the streets will be empty and you could take a clear picture of Arc de Triomphe. I paid tickets to enter Arc de Triomphe and went up to the very top of the building, as I remembered there is no elevator or escalators, so you have to take the stairs to reach the top. If you are a photographer and would like to take a clear shot of Eiffel Tower, then you got to be here.
I made two visits to Eiffel Tower, the very first one is my very first morning in Paris and the last visit is my very last evening in Paris. Eiffel in the morning is very usual and not really special, but you could take some good pictures as it is in the morning. You would find souvenirs sold everywhere, and if you would like to buy it cheaper, then you could buy it with the sellers without stores. They sold the Eiffel keychain for $3 each, but I managed to bargain for $1 for three keychains, and a friend of mine could get 6 keychains for $1 at that time, I seriously do not know how he did it! However, it does not necessarily always be the same, because every sellers are different.
You could go up to Eiffel Tower with an admission, but you do not need to pay if you don’t. You could go to the back of the other side to take a picture with this tower. After quite a long walk, we decided to have a good lunch near Eiffel, and I recommend you to come to this little french restaurant named ‘Cafe Constant’ located on 139 rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris, France.
They are super busy, crowded, but the food are excellent. The salmon pie, the beef stew, they are totally superb, I would rate 5 stars for the food, but do not expect too much of their service!
but if u prefer bigger portion foods with cheap price, then FLUNCH is definitely a good option for you, I spent only $7 and was real full.
Musee du Louvre
You could take this shot for free, you would only need to pay for an admission if you wish to enter Museum de Louvre, around $12. If you love history, it would not hurt to pay a little, because you could learn quite a lot here!
Ancient Egypt history, Greek Sculpture, also famous artist like Michael Angelo, Mona Lisa Paintings, they were all in the museums.
These days were one of the best days happen to me, Winter, December 2012, Paris, France.