PARIS TRAVEL DIARY | prices, photo location maps, things to do in Paris

Our time in Paris was everything I hoped it would be and more. Paris had been on my bucket list ever since I watched Anastasia has a little girl. I definitely plan to go back and stay longer. My friend, Michelle and I booked a $360 Norwegian airlines flight (which we booked through kiwi.com) from Chicago to London. We left for Paris after spending some time in the UK (check out my other vlogs about our trip), we flew from Manchester to Paris with EasyJet for about $84 then a EuroStar train back to London for about $83. Flying for six hours on Norwegian airlines was okay but our biggest problem was before we got on the plane. We were not told that they weight carry on bags and it was $100 for an oversized bag. Which is ridiculous because it cost $70 to check-in a big size bag. So, Michelle and I spent a long time moving our stuff around and ending up carrying some of our clothes in our hands in order to check-in. But the moment, we got our carry-ons back we put all our clothes back into our carry-ons. A-ha! We finessed the system. Also, since the flight was very cheap things like food and headphones were sold during the flight. We were good because we ate before boarding and we brought our own headphones. What can I say? Finessing is my favorite hobby. 

Where We Stayed?
Finding a place to stay was the most difficult part of our trip. Michelle and I spent several days looking at hotels and airbnbs. We finalized our list to three airbnbs because booking directly from a hotel’s website seemed to be more expensive. Bob Hotel was about $117.50 for a night. Luckily, Michelle had a $40 airbnb coupon, which made our one night pay cheaper. Paris is an expensive city and that applies to accommodation. Since, we visited during a low-tourism season (February-March), most things were cheaper compared to if we visited during summer. 

Bob Hotel was everything we needed and more. We wanted to stay somewhere that gave a luxury vibe without the luxury price. The staff was amazing and spoke both French and English. They helped us with all our questions and at one point I needed an umbrella and the receptionist went out of her way to find one. Before arriving, Michelle and I where excited for the decor and it looked just as stunning as in the pictures. The only downside was everything was a lot smaller compared to America and this applies to most spaces in Paris. Everything was still gorgeous but I had to remove my American way to seeing space and size. Another thing to consider when staying at Bob Hotel is that the location is not extremely close to the popular tourist attractions. We were able to get around thanks to the amazing train system, which you can pay for with visa and mastercard. I honestly preferred staying further away because we felt more in tune with the locals and it was nice getting to practice my French. In the touristy areas, almost everyone can speak English although the further out you go the less English is spoken. 

Bob Hotel Information:
  • Price: $117.50 - varies based on season

photos from bobhotelparis.com

What We Did?
We spent most of our time walking around and taking in the city. Paris is a city that you do not need to spend money to be entertained. Of course, there are certain places that require money but we spent most of our trip walking around and looking. Our first stop was the most iconic Tour L’Eiffel a.k.a Eiffel Tower. You are crazy if you visit Paris and choose not to go see the Eiffel Tower. Even if you have already seen it. Personally, it was one of my highlights and the best time is to see it at night when it sparkles at the start of every hour. I thought it would be overrated and a letdown but I was wrong. Check out my vlog for more detail! Next, we saw the L'Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile followed by The Lourve. We missed out on seeing the Notre Dame because we did not have enough time and in most recent news I heard it burned down. That was very sad to hear. There are many more places we wanted to see but due to time we could not go and when we did go to places like the Modern Art Museum is was closed due to Paris Fashion week. 

Where We Ate?
Food and drinks, that is how most of our money was spent. Below, I list out three of our favorite spots during the trip. Cafe du Trocadero was the most pricey place we went and we got hot chocolate for $9. The hot coco was out of this world. The best hot chocolate I have ever had. It was a great spot to really feel Parisian and it had a great view of the Eiffel Tower. Our next spot was Le Losserand Cafe, which is the embodiment of a true French cafe. It was like something out of the movies. From looking around and picking up some conversations in French, I guessed it is owned and run by a family. The food was delicious. My meal cost around $15 - $20 for orange juice, hot chocolate, croissant, omelette and a small salad. The final spot is Lokita, a Senegalese restaurant. The owner was so kind and it was wonderful to see another African in France. Paris is an extremely diverse city with people from all over the world and native French speakers with different backgrounds. The food and drink also cost around $15 - 20 at Lokita. 

Cafe du Trocadero:

Le Losserand Cafe: