Lucie Loves... Travel // How to make the most of 4 nights in Paris with my altercities guide
Where to go? What to eat? Who to see? Where to stay?
Argh! So many questions whizz around your head when trying to plan a city break. You want to cram so much in. Not waste a moment! But at the same time you want to be able to feel rested, after all, it wouldn’t be much of a break if you didn’t stop and enjoy the view once in a while.
I was asked by the iDBUS team to put together my own alternative guide to Paris. I took to the challenge as I would any other - with gusto and enthusiasm! We booked a couple of seats on the iDBUS - which left from London Victoria Coach Station at around 11:30pm, and planned it so that we would arrive in Paris at approximately 9:30am on Saturday morning.
I’d started compiling my alternative guide to Paris about a month or so before we were due to go. I received some brilliant recommendations and decided to pin them all to using Google maps. Being able to access My Places on Google maps meant that we had more freedom to explore the city by foot and plan our adventures so that we ended up near to a place that was guaranteed to serve great coffee or provide a superb lunch.
Here are a few of the recommended places that we visited:
- Crêperie des Arts
- PNY Hamburgers
- Le Relais de l'Entrecote (steakhouse)
- Blend Hamburger
- L'As Du Fallafel
- Georges (rooftop)
- The Great British American Comedy Night - every Saturday at 9:30pm
Where to see
We arrived at a rather quiet looking Paris Bercy station, in the south east of the city, and proceeded to plan the route to our hotel. We took the advice of our friend Paul and purchased a book of 10 metro tickets each to last the 5-days we were there. JMG & I are both Three mobile customers and made best use of their Feel At Home service, which means you can continue to use your phone abroad at no extra cost. We swapped our Citymapper app from London mode to Paris, and set about trying to find our hotel, a simple Ibis, located walking distance from Montmartre, in the Simplon area. To be fair, this wasn’t the nicest part of town. Had we researched areas a bit better, we would have chosen to stay somewhere near République, Oberkamf or Marais. These areas have a better cafe culture scene going on - think east London hipsters and you’ll know what I mean. Cool bars, art galleries, well-mixed cocktails and brilliant vintage & independent shops.
Our trip was kicked off with a cafe au lair and a croque monsieur for JMG and a croque madame for me. And then punctuated with delicious, freshly-baked pastries throughout the trip. We got to see a couple of our friends - Paul and Adi, who live in Paris, and got the grand tour of the beautiful city and its incredible sights.
JMG found out that a couple of bands he liked (Pulled Apart By Horses and Dinosaur Pile Up) were playing the Paris leg of their Dr Martens #StandForSomething tour, whilst we were over there. He’s got this great app called Song Kick, which basically looks at all of the music that he’s got on his iPhone, and then tells him when any of them have a gig coming up. The gig venue, La Maroquinerie, also do amazing food! If you’re there try the pulled-pork! OMG!
One of the main things I wanted to do whilst in Paris was visit Centre Pompidou. It’s literally my favourite art gallery - out of the ones that I have been to visit so far. I’ve never been to New York yet, so I can’t compare it to The Met, MoMA or The Guggenheim, but I’m sure the Paris collection is one of the best in the world. Prove me wrong people!
This year, I had the absolute pleasure of spending my 29th birthday in Paris with JMG. It was such a treat waking up, on holiday, to a lovely birthday message, the smell of coffee, fresh pastries and a brand new bottle of Jo Malone Oud & Bergamot perfume. Spoilt rotten I was!
A few other places that we didn’t get time to visit, but would really like to…
Disclaimer: Thank you to iDBUS for giving us complimentary travel, and inviting us to experience Paris and write about our city break. We had a brilliant time! Find out which other destinations iDBUS travels to and take advantage of their group booking offer - buy four seats and pay for three! One-way tickets to Paris from £29!