From Paris with Love: Flights with Feeling featuring Sally G
Updated: May 29, 2020
Paris holds a very special place in my heart. It is the first city that I traveled to solo and turned me into a solo travel addict. I was visiting a friend in London and she mentioned that Paris was only 2 hours away by train. I couldn't resist adding a second city to my trip. I booked the ticket and accommodation the day before the trip and off I went scared as my French-speaking skills were pretty much slim to none - this after studying French for 14 years in school in Kenya.
The Best of the City
I traveled to Paris via Eurostar from the iconic St. Pancras Station - any Harry Potter fans? It was a great way to see the English and French countryside. A nice gentleman helped me navigate my way through the station, customs and even gave directions to get to my hotel. This was most helpful as signage everywhere was in French once I arrived in Paris. PS: I don't recommend sharing your itinerary or accommodation info with strangers especially as a solo female traveler. I truly went with my instinct and was comfortable getting help from the stranger turned friend. I arrived in Paris and was completely mesmerized by the architecture and the general vibes I got. I became at ease. The hotel staff/concierge were crucial in getting me information on things to do and navigation around the city I cried on the train when I first spotted the iconic Eiffel Tower... I just couldn't help it! After seeing the Eiffel Tower on pictures and movies over the years it was hard to process that it was now a reality. The massive structure was within my sight. I had heard negative things about how the French people feel/treat tourists in general but everyone I encountered was kind and sociable. I got my pictures taken by strangers. Mostly other tourists:) I have been back to Paris 4 times since and it never gets old! PS: The Metro system in Paris was so much easier to navigate than The Underground in London. Even with a language barrier.
Where to Stay: My recommendation is to stay within the city limits for an easier commute and proximity to the attractions/shopping. There are great hotels in Paris and equally amazing AirBnB listings. I recommend the following neighborhoods: Trocadero, fashionable/hip Le Marais, Champs Elysee, gentrified St. Germain de Pres, student-friendly Latin Quarter, artistic Montmartre, Montparnasse, Canal St Martin, the Louvre, Tuilerie, and Palais Royal area.
Where to Eat: I enjoy more of the scene - sitting on the street side cafes eating familiar food, sipping on Rose while people watching. French bread is my favorite... it's usually RIP to the waistline once they place that bread basket on the table.
What to Do: I would recommend the Hop On Hop Off Bus tour - you can get a 24 hr or 48 hr pass. They have two routes which you can cover in 24-48 hrs to see all the attractions. The best part is that there are a ton of buses everywhere which makes it convenient for tourists to hop on/off from any attraction and pick a different bus when done. It is the most economical way to see the city at your own pace.
Sally G rates Paris a 5 out of 5 for solo, family, and girls trips as well as baecations.