When I tell people that I’ve never been to Paris they usually react very surprised. Paris weekend trips are so easy?! But everyone has been to Paris?! It’s such a good city for weekend getaways?! Well, that recently changed, because I went to Paris for the weekend. So this is kind of a city guide for all of you that have never been to Paris before. I’ll talk you through how to get there, where to stay and what you should definitely see during your Paris weekend away. And if you’re interested in going to London read all about it in my blog post: Premier Inn Kings Cross: Best place to stay in London!
But first some information about Paris
Paris is in the top 5 largest cities of Europe. With Istanbul and Moscow in first and second place and Paris as the third largest city in Europe according to Statista. Paris has a little over 11 million citizens and you can easily get there by train from Amsterdam. I’ll talk more about how to get to Paris by train later in this post. The city center of Paris is full of beautiful buildings and museums that you need to see. The banks of the Seine are a Unesco World Heritage site and beautiful to just walk along and enjoy. I think Paris is definitely a city in France that must be on your bucket list!
Getting there by train
As I just mentioned getting to Paris from Amsterdam by train is super easy. You can definitely plan a Paris weekend and take the Thalys* to get into Paris in just 3,5 hours. If you take a very early Paris train and a very late one back, you could even do a Paris day trip or use the Thalys to go to Roland Garros for example. Taking the train compared to the car is a very easy and sustainable option. Since we try to reduce our carbon footprint to slow down climate change it’s good to think about these sustainable alternatives. Taking the train to Paris is not only a much more sustainable option it’s also super easy because you arrive at Gare du Nord right near the city center of Paris. It doesn’t take too much time to get to your hotel near the city center or a hotel located near Gare du Nord. But more about where to stay later in this post.
Traveling by Thalys is very comfortable and feels luxurious. You have assigned seats, which makes this train journey a lot less stressful. Besides that, you can choose if you want to travel standard, comfort, or premium. Where the standard fare already has very spacious chairs and very good wifi. While the premium fare includes a meal, drinks, and entrance to the lounge. Due to the pandemic, there were extra safety measures including having to wear your facemask at all times, except while eating or drinking. This made traveling by Thalys even during the pandemic feel very safe!
Where to stay during Paris weekend trips?
We stayed in Hotel Avalon, which is very close to Gare du Nord. It was actually a couple of minutes away from the station, so you didn’t have to walk far with your luggage. The hotel was simple, yet very clean and the beds were very comfortable. From the hotel, it was very easy to take the metro from Gare du Nord towards the city center. You can even take the train from Gare du Nord for some day trips outside of Paris.
Paris weekend itinerary
There are many things you absolutely need to see in Paris, but the most obvious and famous one is the Eiffeltower. In the area of the Eiffel tower, there are many other things to see. For example Louvre, Champs Elysee, Arc de Triomf, and of course the beautiful bridges over the Seine. A little walk along the Seine will take you to the Notre Dame Cathedral. You can’t go into the Notre Dame right now, because they are still renovating it after the fire a couple of years ago. Besides that, I’d highly recommend going to the Moulin Rouche in the evening, because it looks beautiful with all the lights on. And if you’re already there you can walk towards the Sacre Coeur. I also find it very nice and relaxing to just wander around the streets and see where they take you. We did that during one evening and came across Place Vendome, with all the beautiful shops. And when you walk a little further, the Paris Opera House is also very beautiful in the evening.
Have you ever been to Paris? If so let me know in the comments below! And would you take the Thalys to Paris for some Paris weekend trips?