Joey's 28 Days in Europe | Paris 4-days Itinerary

Hello hello! This will be my first official Europe trip itinerary post. I will highlight some important tips and tricks to get the best out of Paris! Just keep an eye out for highlighted texts like this if you're bored of me talking about what we did. I am trying my best to organize things in this post, hopefully it's easy to understand! 


Worth a look | Paris Museum Pass (skip-the-line) - 4 days 56€

Transportation | Metro | Bicycle | Bus |

Tickets T+ (Zone 1) - €1,80 per ride, €14.10 per 10
Mobilis Day ticket (Zone 1-2) - €7 per day per person
Ticket Jeunes weekend (Zone 1-3) - €3.85 per day per person (only for under 26 years old & 
weekend/public holiday)
Return ticket to Versailles - below €8 & depending which zone you start to travel from

You'll only be needing to travel in Zone 1 as most of the attractions are inside this zone. The only exception is Palace of Versailles (La Vallee Village and Disney Land) which is in Zone 4. In this case, you'll need to buy a return ticket to that particular place. 

Compulsory fee - 1.70€ per bicycle per 24 hours
Free first 30 mins ride per journey

You'll need to use a credit card or a local debit card for rental! Yes, the bicycle rental is only 1.70€ for 24 hours but you must always pick and dock it at the docking stations and make sure each journey is below 30 mins. There are plenty of docking stations in the city center so it is not a problem to find one. 

What to eat! | Croissants, baguettes with fresh cheese and cured meats, warming soups, casseroles, steak frites. Macarons, eclairs, French pastries, nutella crepe.

(Info added are found in official website and is true as of July 2015, please check the official website again to make sure the information you have is the updated one!)

image Recommended place to eat 
image Recommended place to visit
image Find the compilation of tips I have to offer at the end of this blog posts! 

What lies beneath Paris - Les Innocents 

We've bought a first-class train ticket and the journey was longer than 50 mins (the time of our journey coincide with munch-time too) so we were entitled to a set of free food (it's just a simple set of food consisting of bread & butter, cured meat, cheese, and yogurt). At first, we thought we had to pay for it but the waiter told us it's complimentary. 

Interchange at Mannheim

Arrived at Paris Est!
Welcome to Paris! And hey, there's a lot of other tourists there to welcome us. It was overwhelming at first because of the people walking here and there. If you can, it is always a good idea to stop by at the Tourist Info Centre to get a map and some relevant brochures. There will be a lot of people below Paris Est station buying tickets but don't queue up just because everyone is doing it! Go to the metro line that you want to take, there will always be ticket machines just before you can enter the metro stations. Though some ticket machines only accept coins and card! In that case you can go to the ticket counter to buy your tickets. There will be people wearing an orange vest (or something similar) and say they will help you to where you want to go. I was a bit skeptical at first because first rule, don't trust anyone easily but we followed him anyway since we can ditch him anytime if he were to mislead us. They will offer to help you to buy the Paris Visit tickets and will insist that you do, and your reply should be a big no. It is very expensive and it's not worth it unless you want to spend your days in Paris public transports and not anywhere else.
I was pestered by the guy who brought us to the metro station and he kept on asking me which ticket I want to buy. I told him that I want a day ticket, he lied to me that the Paris Visit is the one I need. Luckily, I know there was the Mobilis day ticket option. I ignored him and buy the ticket myself. It was pretty chaotic during our first metro ride as our luggage got stuck at the metro gate. But we lived through that.

Stay ibis budget Paris Porte de Vincennes
The hotel room is very small but they really utilize the spaces well! The toilet and bathroom are separate so it's easy to access for the three of us. We slept comfortably there and the place was pretty clean. This particular branch is located in Zone 2 but we have no problem with accessing the metro.

Time to explore!

image L'Avant Comptoir
Sorry guys! But as I said, half of my photos are gone because my laptop was stolen and I deleted the data on the camera. Therefore, no food pictures for this particular shop. Cry Cry. But the lunch crepe is awesome! GET THE CHEESE ONE YOU WONT REGRET. We ate standing up and we only bought a sandwich and a crepe. There are other food but since we didn't know how to read the menu and also we were very full, we didn't order anything else. Here's a tip, don't know how to read the menu? Just see what the others are ordering, point at the food and tell the waiter you want "that".

Luxembourg Garden 

We bought the Paris Museum Pass here and the Pantheon is included in the pass. You can also buy the pass at various locations, just check the official website.

The line to enter Les Catacombes

Situated twenty meters below ground, the ossuary contains the remains of approximately six to seven million Parisians, transferred there gradually between the late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries as graveyards were being closed because of the risk they posed to public health. Even though we had to queue up for an hour and a half, I think it was worth it. May the innocents rest in peace (although there's so many tourists walking around everyday).    

spotted a really cool hipster-ish souvenir shop when we exited the catacomb and this was the winning quote 

And that was the first time I've ever seen an automatic public toilet. I was genuinely surprised because the toilet has the function to clean itself! How? I'm not sure but I think it will spray water at the toilet seat or something after every use. Though, the toilet doesn't seem to be clean even though it has a "cleaning" function.

I'm so random.
waiting for the metro

Dinner time at the very popular Cafe Constant
image Cafe Constant
Again, no pictures! But it was one of the best restaurant we have ever dined in. The cafe is very well-known and they do not take any reservation, so there were many people queuing outside. We waited for an hour to be seated. Food prices are higher than normal but the food is exceptional.
We even had the chance to chat with two strangers who was eating at the cafe while we're waiting for our seats. It was pretty funny as we were chatting while looking at them having their dinner. Haha. But anyway, they gave us some recommendations. But overall, all the food we ordered were really delicious especially the foie gras on toast (that was my first time trying foie gras).

It's a must to have a cliche romantic photo with the famous Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower
Even though the process of it was not romantic at all!!! It was so awkward. Can you even imagine the situation? His one hand was holding the GoPro stick and when he pressed the timer, we have to pose for a few seconds. Repeat this process for at least 5 times. LOL. There were so many strangers walking around and some of the pictures were spoiled because of the photobombers. *Sigh* The things we do for Instagram.

The view from Champ de Mars

The Eiffel Tower lit up like a Christmas tree when the clock hits 11pm! 

Up close


Marché is the place to be.
If you think the market is a lame place to be then you are so wrong. It was one of the best thing we had done during our travels. Why? Because there are so many awesome local foods and fresh fruits! Not to mention, it's so cheeeappp. To be honest we found the best macarons (yes, it beats the ones we bought at a fancy dessert shop), and roasted chicken here. Until now, we still yearn for them again. Be sure to visit the local markets when travelling around Europe!

The one we visited is near Saint-Mande metro exit. We discovered it by accident when we were heading out in the morning. We were very hungry so we went to the market to find some simple breakfast, and it was the best decision we've ever made. 

Yummylicious pastries!

Enjoying the fresh peach we've bought. Lol, that candid though

Like I said, the best macarons and roasted chicken leg. 

The owner of this cheese shop invited my mum to take a picture with him and asked me to post it up online. LOL

It's true that we Malaysians do not really enjoy cheese because I bet majority of us thinks that all cheese taste like Cheesedale. At least that was what I thought last time. HAH. After being in Europe, I've learned to love brie, feta, fresh mozzarella, Comte, and Gruyere cheese. All of them tasted very different and they have very unique flavors (you will know the difference if you are a cheese enthusiast). So guys, don't be skeptical, try a cheese.

A popular tourist spot! Truth to be told, nothing special. But we never went in because the line was super crazy.

Walked around the perimeter of the church, the area was quite vast!

Spotted a random cafe selling nutella crepe, so we thought of ordering one

Look at that nutella-goodness
Fun to interact with
Crypte archéologique du Parvis de Notre-Dame
We went in there as it was included in the Paris Museum Pass. A lot of interesting information about how Paris came about and the construction of the church and other buildings.

1-day ticket for Velib bicycle!
We decided to cycle around and to nearby POIs. It was actually pretty cheap, I mean 1.70€ for a day?! But of course you have to have a debit card or credit card and pay 150€ as a deposit. There were a lot of docking stations as well, so it wasn't a problem finding them to park the bicycles. Although some times, the docking stations might be full. Just wait for some other people to take them out. We've even encountered some place that do not have a single bicycle, so we had to walk farther to find another docking station. Make sure you always have the ticket with you, else remember the code. We almost lost one of ours but luckily we backtracked and manage to find it. They do have bicycle lanes but it was a bit confusing for us so some times we were cycling on the main road which was kind of dangerous. But that's what tourists do, right

Cycling through Pont de l'Archevêché

Pont de l'Archevêché
This was not the famous padlock bridge but of course you guys must have heard that the padlocks are taken down on that particular bridge (called Pont des Arts which is near Louvre Museum). That's because it was putting too much weight on the bridge so they had to take it out for safety reasons. But no worries, you'll find a lot of similar bridges with locks anyway. 

Actually, we thought this place was interesting but it wasn't
Jardin Des Plantes
We didn't really planned to go to a lot of places that day so this was a very last minute decision. We were actually inspired by the information we saw in the Crypte and we thought the Grand Amphithéâtre looks beautiful in pictures. Little did we know, the actual building was quite tiny and can't be accessed by random people. Plus it was very different from the pictures because it was renovated a lot of times.

Since we were there, we spent our time in the park instead. Though payments are required to get into some areas, so we just accessed the free gardens. There wasn't much tourists so it was very nice without the crowds. Definitely a relaxing thing to do.  

I know, the girl is so vouge 
Came here and expected to have a Croques-Monsieur but... they didn't have it on their menu and we even asked the waitress. Apparently, they don't serve them. That was weird because it was recommended by people and their website did say that they do serve Croques-Monsieur. Not sure what happened. The food was just nice but.. just nice.

Chocolate eclair was perfect.

Egg benedict

Club sandwich was very filling. 

Next destination after lunch. to the place with the breathtaking stained glass 

The story of Adam and Eve

My aunt actually recommended this place so I made sure we went there. Plus it was included in our Paris Museum Pass and we can skip the line! Which was pretty cool and at first we didn't know that. There was a line outside and another one inside the building prior to entering the church. We basically didn't need to queue at all with the pass, just went straight in.
The magic basically happens in the first floor, so make sure you go up! The view is definitely a special one, you'll know once you experience it. Pictures do no justice to this place.

Walking around Ile de la Cité

And yes, this is the famous Pont des Arts aka ex-romantic bridge that was once lined up with padlocks.

Space, this place has a lot of space. Cour Carrée

Le famous pyramid entrance to Louvre museum which as always, crawling with people. It was quite funny when we saw many people doing the same thing. You know the famous pose where you stand faraway from the pyramid and you look like a giant in the camera while you try to pinch the top of the pyramid. Yeah, that's it. No, we didn't participate. It was too mainstream. LOL. 

Honestly, the reason why we even went in there is because it is, again, included in the Paris Museum Pass. We entered the museum around 4.30pm which is one hour before the closing time yet the crowd didn't seem to be diminishing. We went straight to see the Monalisa (typical tourist thing to do). My French friend did recommended the museum as well and he says that it would take you more than 1 day to truly enjoy the museum. Well, we were not really into paintings and sculptures plus all of the information are in French so it wasn't very informative or helpful.

Everyone was just trying to take a picture of the famous painting

Voila! Okay, nothing really special since I'm not an art enthusiast.

At the begining of Tuileries Garden, didn't really walk much into the area.

Chilled around as our feet were so sore

Then, we made our way to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Mostly just locals hanging around the park. I'm really not a fan of going to crowded areas so I really enjoyed being there. Unfortunately, there were a lot of construction works so some of the area were off-limits including the pathway to the top of the small island in the centre of the park (the small view point in the picture above).

this was in the park as well! I think it's a perfect place for hangouts. 

Somewhere near Bassin de la Villette
I was actually planning to go to Saint Martin Canal, but I realized that I have went to the wrong place as I am writing this down right now while checking google map. LOL, no wonder there was nothing much to see there!

image Corso
A lot of franchise of this restaurant around Paris. We just randomly chose a place for dinner so this was it. Surprisingly the food was very nice but the portion is smaller than expected.

Amazing Melanzane! Discovered another favorite dish

Risotto of the day

Snack platter

Shopping Day

image Du Pain et des Idees
The most famous bakery shop in Paris! They only open on weekdays by the way. They are famous for their croissants. Unfortunately the croissants were sold out when we arrived there! So, we bought the chocolate croissants and a few other pastries instead. The pastries do look very appetizing but I notice that they are quite oily as the paper bag was soaked in oil. Taste-wise, triple thumbs up! Sorry, no pictures of the food as they are lost!

Souvenir shops along the way to Sacre Coeur.

The Basilica definitely looks very grand as there was something like a park in front of it. It felt very pleasant to be chilling around there as well. If you are up for climbing 300 steps to enjoy a panoramic view, by all means, please visit the dome! FYI the access to the dome is outside the Basilica.
There were a lot of South Africans trying to sell some bracelets (as you can see in the background of our selfie picture), it was quite scary because of how they acted. They stopped my boyfriend and one even tried to tie a bracelet around his hand, he was confused as what was happening but luckily he shook him off and walked away. It was a quite aggressive approach. I've read that these people will use dirty tricks to ask for money so make sure you don't give any reasons for them to do so. Avoid eye contact and make sure all your belongings are in tact!

Random place we found around the area. 

Up up and above!

The view from the top of the dome.
It was a challenge to talk a picture with the Arc as there were a lot of other tourists that are fighting for the nearest place to stand! So, as you can see, behind us, there are a few more. If you haven't notice yet, we were actually standing in the middle of the road. Very dangerous guys! But when one person did it, soon everyone follow suit.

We walked a long way through the Champs-Élysées (no pictures!), we also did some shopping. Arc De Triomphe is also included in the Paris Museum Pass (it's really worth the deal honestly!). Though, be prepared to climb another few hundred steps! 

Behind us, a few more tourists were posing as well.

Up close

The view of the spiral staircase from above was actually pretty amazing.

Finally at the top! A very interesting view I have to say. If you've noticed in the map, there are 12 roads that lead to or out the arc.

Then we went to Trocadero for this view.
Trocadero is just basically another place for you to enjoy a view of the Eiffel Tower from another angle. Since I didn't take a picture of it with my Polaroid camera, I requested to go back for that purpose. Well, at least now we have seen it by day and night.

You'd be surprised by how tasty the Indian food are in Paris! We even came back to this place for the second time when we had to visit the embassy. 
image Mumtaz
We actually passed by this place for a lot of times as it was situated between our hotel and the metro station. We thought it was quite weird for us to eat Indian food as we have them in Malaysia as well so we didn't visit it sooner. But we were dead tired that evening so we decided to just eat nearby our hotel. To our surprise, the set meal was cheap, very filling and most importantly, it tasted like heaven. This is truly the authentic Indian cuisine, totally different from what we were expecting. Highly recommended!

Dead tired but still kuat internet.


You call that a fountain show?
On the last day in Paris, we decided to visit Versailles. It was actually the national day for Paris (Bastille Day!) and lucky for us, there were some special fountain show happening in the garden areas. There was also a parade going on in the city but we rather avoid that as the crowd is going to be damn crazy. But let me tell you the story of the fountains...

... please read on. I'm not gonna give any spoilers for now. Haha.

Arrived at Versailles Château/Rive Gauche
Regretted that we didn't wake up earlier to queue
image Palace of Versailles
The Paris Museum Pass covers this place as well but you will have to pay extra for the fountain show if there was to be a fountain show event that day. Else, it is FOC.
It was approximately 9.30am when we arrived there. The palace opens at 9am and the queue.... was super damn freaking crazy I tell you. The number of tour bus and tourists are incredible. They were f-ing annoying too as some of them were trying to act dumb and cut the line. People knew what they were doing, it's just that nobody can do anything. We waited for around an hour to get inside.

When inside the palace, it is just endless rooms filled with roof murals, paintings and self-portraits.

But the architecture was... wow.

But then at some point, you'll get numb to it and wonders if it will end already. 

This is where my boyfriend discovered bacon quiche, which he fell in love with. #randomcaptions

Ah, finally, the gardens!
We thought that the palace was huge enough, but the size of the park was CRAZY! The gardens cover 800 hectares of the land and there are over 30 fountains in there!!! Man, the royalties are something. All these lands, I can build a town here. I couldn't imagine the maintenance work that is needed in this place.
Oh, I'll tell you some part of the fountain story. The fountains only works at a certain time of the day (twice per day). We've missed the first one as we were walking in the palace that time. The second one was at 3.30pm or something (I can't really remembered) and the brochure says that it will operate until 5pm so we made sure that we didn't strayed too far. There was still a part of the land that we didn't get to explore as the place was really too huge. It's impossible to visit all of the place in one day. You'll need at least two days. We tried covering all the 30 fountains but that was a crazy idea, maybe it could be done if only we have a buggy. 
They do rent bicycles and even buggy cars but it will be very pricey! Don't say I didn't warn you.

Why left side people photobombbbb

Almost in all the pictures we looked the same. It's only the background that is changing. HAHAHA

Somewhere in Marie-Antoinette's estate, which was far away from the gardens.
OKAY OKAY! Here comes the part where I show you the pictures taken before and during the fountain show! Get ready! We've chosen where we thought was the grandest place to visit first because there was loud classical music playing in this area and there was a sculpture of a man drowning or something in the middle of the fountain.

jeng jeng jeng!
The brochure said that the fountain show will run for two hours and a half so we thought we had time to visit all the big fountains to see the water show but... after 30 mins, the announcement lady came up and told us that in order to conserve water, they will need to turn off some of the fountains earlier than expected.
Potong steam! (That means something like "party-pooper")

I felt like I was cheated. We've actually missed quite a lot of nice ones because we didn't know where was the popular fountain areas. We even rushed back to the gardens while exploring the other part of the estate as we were worried we wouldn't have enough time. The estate was the same size as the garden mind you. Little did we know, our effort was all done in vain. 
Well, at least they have a finale show that was showing at one of the biggest fountain there at 5.30pm which was one hour before the closing time. 
I kept thinking "I could build three houses here, with the land that this fountain is occupying". 

Well, at least we can act like we own this fountain for 15 mins..... with an audience of strangers. 

Occupied the "front row" seats

Discovered this part of the garden when it was almost closing time, luckily we explored around a bit more as we totally skipped this area before! Even though our feet was sore as hell!

Lol, for your entertainment. 

That's the end of my 4 days Paris trip! 

Let's recap! I mean the advises and tips. Not the summary of my trip. Haha. I think it'll make things easier for my readers to have them all in one place instead of searching for them one by one in my long long long post. Of course, for you tl;dr guys too.

image Joey's Paris Travel Tips!

  1. Most of the attractions are in Zone 1 (except for Versailles) so make sure you don't buy the wrong tickets! Consider buying single ride or day ticket instead of Paris Visit pass. 
  2. To rent Velib' Bicycle, you'll need a credit card. Make sure to note down or take a picture of your ticket in case it get lost. You'll only need to type in the code that you have to rent the bicycle for every journey.
  3. First class train rides has complimentary meals if you are travelling longer than 50 mins and the time is corresponding to the meal time. 
  4. Visit the Tourist Info Centre at the train station to get a map of the city. 
  5. Skip buying tickets directly at the Paris main station. Instead, walk to the metro line you want to take and buy there instead. 
  6. Don't trust anyone easily! Make sure you know what you want so you won't get conned. Don't be afraid to say no! Avoid eye contact with those street sellers to discourage them. 
  7. No english menu? Ask for recommendations or look around to see what the others are having. 
  8. Visit the local farmers market! There are a lot of markets in Paris, one in each arrondissement. They will usually open early in the morning but will take a break during lunch hour. So make sure you time it right.
  9. The Paris Museum Pass is actually worth purchasing plus some of the places allow you to skip the line with the pass. The pass includes Arc de Triomphe, Louvre Museum, Crypte archeologique at Notre Dame, L'Orangie Museum, d'Orsay Museum, Sainte-Chapelle, Pantheon, Palace of Versailles and a lot more. Please refer to this list
  10. Arrive early (like half an hour before the opening) to Palace of Versailles to (maybe) avoid the long line! The ticket counter and the entrance is different so make sure you buy the ticket first before you queue up to get in. 

Places I think worth visiting!

Attractions and recommended places to eat

Places I think is mehhh....

consider skipping...?

Till the next one!

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