HGAT Guide to Paris
Who here hates cliches? Me! BW has been wanting to take me to Paris for ages now, but I’ve kept on refusing. Everyone goes there – be it for their 3 day, 2 month, or 25th wedding anniversary, romantic valentine day date, proposals etc. – everyone but me. This year, however, he tricked me. His birthday happens to fall in line with our anniversary, and there was no way I could escape the trip he had planned for us. But, this ended up being one of my favourite trips we’ve had so here is my guide to Paris!
Paris is perhaps the easiest journey to make – a short 2.5 hour train journey from St Pancras via Eurostar. We got the 16:30 train and arrived in Paris at 8pm, just in time to squeeze in dinner before passing out.
Where to Stay
Being the difficult person that I am, I told BW I wanted to wake up and see the Eiffel Tower. He delivered! Check out our Eiffel suite at the Le Metropolitan Hotel:
Le Metropolitan is a modern hotel amongst all the classic French architecture, with a heated indoor swimming pool and chic and sexy interior.
The hotel is a short 5 minute walk from the Eiffel tower and another 10 from the Arc de Triomphe; maybe a little far from the other landmarks, but otherwise a great location!
What to Do
If it is your first time in Paris, you must see all the popular landmarks, but if you’re short for time, I suggest seeing the following:
- What cheese is to macaroni is what the Eiffel tower is to Paris. You just have to do it. Come night time, they have a spectacular 5 minute show at the start of every hour.
- The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum and amongst the sea of tourists, you may get a glimpse of the Mona Lisa. There is also an Islamic Art exhibition on the lower ground.
- Notre Dame Cathedral
- Arc de Triomphe
Where to Eat
The typical Paris diet consists of cream, butter, cheese, and carbs. My dream city come true!
We started our morning at Carette, a little fancy cafe just down the road from our hotel. BW kept it light with a pain au chocolat, and I went for the crispy tartine with fresh butter and strawberry jam. To say that this was the best bread I have ever had would be an understatement.
If you’re on the hunt for breakfast places, here are a few options (you MUST get the scrambled eggs/omelette in Paris – I really regret not getting some whilst out there):
- HolyBelly Cafe 19
The best croissants in the world are in Paris and I would happily grab a basket full and picnic in front of the Eiffel tower. You can also expect to find numerous patisseries that are halal friendly (use fish gelatine and no alcohol!). Here are a few that are worth the visit:
- Yann Couvreur – these are the BEST croissants I have had.
- Berthillon – Paris’ best ice cream
- Du Pain et Des Idees – pistachio escargot is a must!
- Angelina – beautiful setting with delicious hot chocolate
- Pierre Herme
- L’eclair du Genie – fantastic eclairs with no alcohol and made with fish gelatin
- Patisserie du Reves
- Michala K
As for the halal (I know you scrolled all the way down for this), you’ll be happy to know that there are dozens of halal establishments all across the city and good ones too! I managed to visit three on my short trip out there – Le1818, Le Crystal, and L’Echappee Belle – which were really good, but I’ll tell you about those in the next few posts. Check out this page for a full directory of halal restaurants in Paris (map included!).
Our short but sweet trip had finally come to an end, and as much as I made a fuss about NOT going to Paris, I really and truly loved the city. It has a certain charm about it, a relaxed and beautiful one, that places like London and New York will never have. And considering it is only a short 2 hour train journey away, I’m already planning our next trip out there!
HOTEL IN PARIS
- Hotel Le Metropolitan – 10 Place de Mexico, 75116 Paris, France
MOSQUES IN PARIS
- Grande Mosquée de Paris – 2bis Place du Puits de l’Ermite, 75005 Paris, France
TIPS FOR PARIS
—> As most cities in Europe, Paris is a place for walking so pack some comfortable shoes!
—> Keep a close eye on your bags and valuables as soon as you leave the Gard Du Nord station as this is a hotspot for pickpockets.
—> Most phone operators have data roaming when in Europe so make the most of your google maps and download the HGAT Paris map on to it
—> Be sure to make the most of any Eurostar deals you see floating around – you can even catch a train for as little as £29!
—> You MUST eat the croissants out there, it would be a crime to leave Paris without having one.