There is no such romantic and at the same time clichéd place for Valentine’s Day than Paris. While I was looking for some travel deals, I noticed a rash of cheap airline tickets to love capitals of Europe – Rome, Paris and Venice. Well, February 14th is coming up. Even I once tempted to spend a low-budget Valentine’s Day under the Eiffel Tower. Was it a good idea?
Paris is a city which you will never fully discover. When wandering the streets, you encounter a monumental building, a historic square, an elegant boutique or a charming café. The admiration shows on your face and hands are glued to the camera. However, before we started to explore, we settled at our Polish host place. He put us up for 15 euro per person, which in the Parisian conditions is very affordable. And so for three days we stayed in the suburbs of Paris in the district largely populated by immigrants.
Later that evening we went to the city center to see the Eiffel Tower. Even -20 degrees °C didn’t discourage tourists from a trip to the top. So we stood in a queue, which counted several hundred people.
Strong wind wanted to tear off our heads, but didn’t prevent some men in love to kneel on their knees (in front of hundreds of tourists) and ask the most important question in life. It didnt end without thunderous applause.
The next day we went to the Louvre – one of the oldest and largest museums in the world. We were able to save some money, because admission for EU citizens under 26 is free. I liked the department of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt the most.
The famous Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was hung in a glass case to protect it from tourists. There was a wreath of people waiting for their turn to take pictures. Louvre brags with its exhibits so you will need more than one day to see all of them. After six hours of sightseeing, I felt a big deficiency. I need to come back here …
There is a great metro system in Paris, which stops at all of the city’s attractions. Getting to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame was faster and more fun than I thought. The Cathedral is my favorite Parisian building after the Eiffel Tower. Personally, I love raw, Gothic interior and stained glass windows.
The saddest view was a lot of homeless people asking for money in front of the monument.
Dinner was waiting for us in the red light district. Yes, it is quite unusual place for a Valentine’s Day dinner, but it was really nice and tasty. In this area, you can find a lot of sex shops, go-go bars, so this is a place that attracts curious tourists. It looks much better than the red light district in Amsterdam. I mean you don’t get to see so many half-naked women smiling at men walking by.
The famous Moulin Rouge cabaret located on the main street, offers musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world.
The next day run in an extremely lazy atmosphere. The main goal we have chosen was to visit the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, where you can admire the beautiful panorama of the city.
Then we walked through the streets of the artists’ quarter set on the Montmartre hill. This historic piece of Paris has definitely a different character than the rest of the city, formerly a center of bohemian artists today it is dominated by the tourist industry. It’s a perfect place to stop and refer to prominent figures who lived in this area, among which is found Vincent van Gogh, Frederic Chopin, Camille Pissarro, Pierre – Auguste Renoir, Dalida, Liszt, Vaslav Nijinsky, Hector Berlioz and Jean Marais.
At the end of our trip we went to the Palace of Versailles – the greatest work of French classicism and baroque. The gardens look fabulous even in winter, although I know that I will definitely come back to this place in spring or summer. Unfortunately, we arrived around 5 pm, so we weren’t able to visit the palace inside. Another reason to come back!
Flight: 50 euro, Krakow-Paris-Krakow
Bus form the airport to city center: 16 euro
Accommodation: 45 euro for three nights
3-day metro pass: 30 euro
Food, wine, souvenirs: 35 euro
Eiffle Tower ticket: 14 euro
Total: 190 euro per person for a three day trip
Go yourself and fall in love with Paris!