HOW TO SPEND A WEEKEND ALONE IN PARIS
This is a very overdue blog post that I have had in my drafts since October 2018. I guess posting this on the anniversary of my first solo trip is as good as any.
Sometime over a year ago, I decided on a whim to book my first ever solo trip. The thought was scary, but I had it on my bucket list to at least once in my life travel alone and experience what it’s like to be in my own company in a foreign city. I had been checking plane tickets for fun and found some tickets to Paris on sale. It was too good to pass on, so I booked the tickets.
I had been in Paris so many times by then that I felt like I knew the city enough to feel confident and safe travelling there alone. I have therefore decided to update my city guide for what you can do when in this beautiful city of light.
Where to stay
Hotel Duminy Vendome
☞ 3/5 rue du Mont-Thabor, 1st arr., 75001 Paris, France
I followed my own tips from my last Paris blog post (here) and booked a hotel in the 1st arrondissement, by the métro station Tuileries, not far from the central point of the Paris Métro map.
The staff was helpful and friendly, while the room had perfectly good natural light coming from the huge windows and a big comfortable bed in the middle of the area. I was lucky to get a room on the top floor, so I was well shielded from the occasional street noise outside.
Where to eat
To be completely honest, I did not care too much about what to eat during my time here, as most of the time I just had some random stuff for dinner and night snack (mostly KFC, to be honest). Throughout the day I rather focused on finding cozy cafés to rest my feet inbetween the adventures around the city.
Here are my absolute favourite café finds:
Le Pain Quotidien
☞ 5 Rue des Petits Champs, 75001 Paris, France
I found this café by accident, and what a perfect accident that was. I had this delicious almond croissant and it was perfectly combined with a cup of cappuccino. As I sat there, I made some quick calls to my family to check in with and update them a little bit about my trip.
Le Pain Quotidien is actually a chain, but I found this one that’s located close to Jardin du Palais Royal as the best, because I could just simply walk out of the café and take a stroll over to the garden and enjoy the crisp autumn air.
☞ 10 Rue Croix des Petits Champs, 75001 Paris, France
This café jumped up when I googled for a good place to have breakfast in Paris. Again, I just had a simple croissant with some freshly-pressed apple juice and a cup of coffee. The mood at this café was calm, and it was a perfect place for me to start my day.
☞ 78-84 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France
I discovered Paul in January of 2018 when I visited Paris with Olav and Camila, and found out that, despite me not having a sweet tooth, this place actually made such good jumbo macroons that I just had to re-visit. I grabbed a big chocolate macaroon and cappuccino to-go, and just walked around the area while taking in the beautiful scenery.
What to do
Jardin du Palais Royal
As I mentioned above, I took a break at Le Pain Quotidien before making my way over to Jardin du Palais Royal. This park is quite grand and with the sun out, taking a walk around here felt really nice and therapeutic.
This is also the place where you often see people take pictures on the black and white pillars.
Jardin des Tuileries
Since I only lived a few metres away from Jardin des Tuileries, I had to take advantage of that and take several trips to the garden. The Tuileries Garden is technically a park located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. One thing that a lot of people do, and that I did as well, is sit on one of the chairs by the fountain and just do some people-watching and relax.
Place du Trocadéro
The first times I visited Paris I didn’t quite know where to go to actually take in all the beauty that is Tour de Eiffel. I did some research and later found this place called Place du Trocadéro, an area across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. You can see some pictures below and even more pictures I’ve taken here in my previous Paris post (here).
SHAKESPEARE and company
Personally, I love paying this store a visit every time I visit Paris. It can be very crowded in the middle of the day, but if you visit during the early hours then you’ll get a nice time to comfortably walk around and check out all the books that they have there. And if you like cats then you can also try catching Aggie the cat taking naps around the shop.
As always, I encourage you to just get lost in the city and walk around town with a hot beverage and a jumbo macaroon in your hands.
The métro system in Paris is also very practical so do take advantage of that if you don’t want to walk around too much.