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Monday, May 14, 2012

Paris, Je t'aime!...Euro Trip Part IV-Sep2011-

Bonjour Madame! Bonjour Monsieur!We were greeted by the immigration lady the moment we landed in Paris Airport (CDG). !The city of love, I am finally here!! It was 12.30pm in the afternoon, and we straightly headed to the information counter to see Ludwig, our AirBnb host (Oh, he's actually working in CDG airport, what a coincidence!). He offered us the service to send our luggages to the apartment, so we could straightly enjoy our day in Paris. It's a bliss.

Accommodation...We have previously booked "Tour Eiffel Apartment" which offers a one-bedroom apartment for a price of 45USD a day (and centrally located) and it was cancelled by the host at the very last minute. I think its a blessing in disguise. Ludwig's one-bedroom apartment, located near Bastilles and Marais area its even better!

Skip hotels, or hostel for those in favour for cheaper option!I hate spending big money on accommodation (for the fact that you will just use it for sleeping),and I also hate the fact that most hostel are providing double-decker beds for cheaper price. Try AirBnB! and to be specific, book Ludwig's!.It makes you feel like living at home and cheap too! Check out or or call him at 06 32 02 83 28 to book for Ludwig's. The apartment its conveniently located, not located at the central Paris, but close enough to 3 metro stations; Voiltaire, Phillipe Auguste, Pere-De Lachaise, which connects you to almost everywhere in Paris. It has all you need for your stay; nice and modern-looking apartment, comfy sofa-bed (I wanna get one of these, seriously!), Wi-fi equipped, fully furnished kitchen (you can even bake!), TV, nice shower, and nice view (two big windows!). Its big enough for two person, and you can even hold a small party!And yeah, he even provides these equipments to my surprise; blender, iron, Italian-classic coffee maker, microwave oven, vacuum. There are couple of supermarkets, restaurants, laundry shop nearby and its walking distance to Bastilles and Marais area. Away from hustle and bustle of a city, but still close for you to enjoy it. We really enjoy our stay, and if we were to come again, we will make sure that we book Ludiwg's apartment. Ludwig's apartment is a place to feel the ultimate true Parisian living!

Ludwig's super comfy sofa bed

Ludwig's kitchen
Ludwig's Parisian living

Transportation...Dont worry, Paris city is well-connected by subway, busses and taxis. There are few options to get to Paris from CDG airport;
  • Taxi - Excellent door-to-door service especially to those who want to skip all the hassle and it gonna costs you around 40-70Euro. Simple note: Get your address written in French, because not all drivers could speak English
  • Train - The cheapest mode of transportation. Look for the sign "CDGVAL" means airport shuttle at Terminal 1, and get off at station "RoissyPole""Paris Par Train" or "Paris by train". There is a shuttle bus that gets you to RER B (Blue). RER B will stops at 7 stations;Gare du Nord, Châtelet les Halles, St Michel/Nôtre Dame, Luxembourg, Port Royal, Denfert-Rochereau, Cité Universitaire and you can find metros connected to it. This will costs you 9.10Euro per person (just for the RER ride to Paris) . Kindly also note that the first and last train from CDG to Paris is 04:56 and 23:56 respectively.For Terminal 2, look for the sign ""Paris Par Train" or "Paris by train" at the airport terminal.
If you happen to be arriving via Terminal 2G, the new Schengen (Euro Borderless Zone) terminal, you’ll need to take a shuttle bus to Terminal 2E/F in order to catch the RER train. The shuttle buses, circulating every 4-5 minutes, can be found just outside the arrivals area of 2G.For transportation around Paris, simply use metro, it connects you to almost everywhere in Paris. And if you have planned to travel to many places in one-day, just take the unlimited daily pass for metro, or "Mobilis" for 6.10Euro(reduced price for under 26) or simply take Paris Visite Pass for 12.90Euro per person (this covers Metro, RER, bus, tramway, and regional SNCF trains and also provides special offers at select museums, attractions, and restaurants). Check for early booking. One standard T+ metro ticket gonna costs you 1.70Euro per person, so its gonna save a lot!

  • Bus - Some people prefer bus since metros in Paris are all about stairs and connecting line, so it is easier if you just take one trip off without much hassle.
  1. Roissybus, (Paris city bus) makes trips from CDG Airport Terminals 1, 2 or 3 to central Paris location of Opéra (corner of rue Scribe & rue Auber). Cost of Roissybus is 10,00€
  2. Les Cars Air France (Air France coach line) makes trips from CDG Airport Terminals 1, 2 or 3 to central Paris locations of Arc de Triomphe (Charles de Gaulle Etoile), Montparnasse and Gare de Lyon. Cost is upwards of 19€. See article more
  3. Bus 351 (Paris city bus) stops to pick-up/drop off passengers at CDG Terminal 1, in between CDG Terminal 2A & Terminal 2C, in between Terminal 2B-2D, the Terminal 2 TGV train station, and Roissypole (RER B train station).  Cost for Bus 351 from CDG to Paris is three “Ticket t+” Metro tickets at 1,70€/each or 5,10€ total.  Tickets for the Roissybus can be purchased within the glass enclosed bus stop via the vending machine or from the ticket window (which may or may not be manned at the time of your arrival).  Bus tickets can also be purchased from the driver onboard.  Tickets are 10,00€ each.  
So we skipped all the transfer process since Ludwig was so kind to drop us off at the RER station, so since its already 1.00pm in the afternoon, we straightly went straight to our first destination: Notre Dame Cathedral. The closest metro is St.Michel Notre Dame which is the 3rd stop if you take RER B from airport (no need to change to any metro), so it has to be your first stop too! Notre Dame Cathedral is a church that contains the cathedra (official chair) of the Archbishop of Paris, currently André Vingt-Trois, finest examples of French Gothic architecture in France and in Europe, and the naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture. The first period of construction from 1163 into 1240s coincided with the musical experiments of the Notre Dame school which I this cathedral was named after that school. There is no entrance fees, and you can actually pay too for the audio guide (which we didnt take because we were more interested with the structures and architecture).

Notre Dame's Cathedral - inside view
at Notre Dame's Cathedral

So after taking couple of photos, we went straight to nearest metros to get to Musee de Louvre. I suggest that you walk across the bridge and get to the other side of Notre Dame (heading St-Michel Notre Dame metro). You'll see there's a lot of souvenior shops selling souvenirs at cheaper price compared to others. And there is a street behind the building (your landmark: behind the Perfecture de Police building) where you can find lots of Paris restaurants (we were just walking by when we discovered this street). And the most important thing, the street also has couple of restaurants selling halal food, and there we stopped for lunch (of course, kebab again).

Food street near Notre Dame

hei, my name without the "na"

Nyum2 kebab at Notre Dame

It was also nice to see everyone has started wearing their autumn attire. I bought one mustard jacket myself, and of course, this is my time to shine..hahaha...The weather somehow, was weird. Its hot and cold, so you can see some people are still in their shorts..haha

Actually it will be easier for you if you walk a bit to take metro at Chatelet (Line 7) since you dont have to change lines to get to Palais Royal Musee de Louvre station which eventually will take you to the famous Musee de Louvre. Initially we have planned to visit Louvre at night (since its opening hours extended to 9.45pm on Wednesday and Friday) to avoid big crowd, but we went in at 4.30pm since I noticed that the big crowd has started to diminish. I think most people prefer visiting Louvre either early in the morning or afternoon, since it is normally closed by 5.30pm. So we bought the ticket for 10Euro per person (no need to book in advance since there's a lot of places selling the tickets) and audio/multimedia guide for 6Euro per person. This place is a lot bigger than Vatican Museum, so I dont suggest you to just walk through without any guide. Its Musee de Louvre!Spend some time, spend some money babe!I know some of you find museums boring,well, its your call.

Louvre - Gladiator's seat

Louvre - Me and hubs

Louvre - the famous Mona Lisa (La Joconda)

Louvre - Greek statue

Me n hubs in front of Louvre
The multimedia guide was very helpful even though I think the one that we had in National Gallery London was even better (see my London blog). Not all sculptures and paintings have numbers to refer to audio/multimedia details and the descriptions in the wall are all written in French. Too bad, else, I would have enjoyed Louvre more. The famous art that you can see in Louvre Museum are as follows;
  • Leonardo Da Vinci's famous painting: Mona Lisa
  • Aphrodite, known as "Venus de Milo"
  • Rembrandt; Self potrait of him
  • Cupid and Psyche
  • Michaelangelos's
I love listening to the details especially paintings. I just love the fact that all the paintings have their own stories and some interesting fact behind it (i.e. the original name of Mona Lisa's painting is "La Joconde", the wife of Francesco del Giocondo). We spent all afternoon in Louvre Museum (almost 3hours plus) and since we have promised Ludwig that we'll meet him at the apartment at 8.00pm, so we have to skip another half of the museum (we'll surely be back for more!)

Funny thing happened to me in that museum, as I was approached by these two Malaysian interns, Malay to be exact, asking me directions to get the multimedia guide IN PROPER ENGLISH, and when I spontaneously replied "Bawah" means "downstairs" in Malay, they opened their eyes wide!Guess what, they thought I am Italian!And I obviously dont resemble one..haha..Italian huh?petite Italian perhaps..:P

Louvre - Tea at The Cafe
After having nice coffee and tea near Louvre, we went back to our apartment, and called it a night.

I just couldnt wait to get off apartment the next morning. Its shopping day!And of course, the visit to the famous Eiffel.After having a simple coffee early in the morning, we went straight to Champ de Elysees, which is accesible by taking metro line 2 or 6 to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile, for a visit to Arc de Triomphe. This place, which is located on one end of the Champ-Elysees is one of the most famous monument in Paris and obviously a must-see. Located at the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle, this monument was built to honour those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

Before leaving the apartment..:P

Arc de Triomphe
Champ de Elysees
Obviously, simple coffee in the morning wasnt good enough to make us feel full so we stopped for brunch at McCafe which is located nearby. French fries (its American food btway..haha), was my first option (it makes me feel full for quite some time, croissant doesnt work for me..haha), and cappucino has become one of my favourite drink (i dont drink coffee that much anyways).

So we strolled down the road for a sneak peek before the actual shopping activities after Eiffel visit. We have purchased Eiffel ticket online so we didnt want to show up late (Please and please buy online tix earlier, it saves lots of queuing time)

Eiffel Tower

Me @ Eiffel Tower

Me and hubs at the top of the tower

Eiffel Tower visit was awesome! We climbed up to top of the tower and could see the whole Paris City. It's quite windy and cold, so we didnt really spent the entire afternoon upstairs. Visit for a complete info on Eiffel Tower visit. I would love to try out the classic lunch and dinner but I know its quite expensive. Well, gotta save it for the next visit. Oh ya, Bir-Hakeim (line 6) is the closest métro station to get to the Eiffel Tower. Along the way, you must make a stop at this shop, for the best chocolate crepe i ever tasted..nyum2

Stop here to taste the best choc crepe in London

Of course, right after that we make a shopping stop at Champ de Elysees..the damage was huge!Bought my 1st LV (Neverfull) and loving it!Yeay..(oh, and couple of other handbags from H&M..hehe)

Blair from GG loves this!

It's already late in the afternoon and we decided to eat-in and spent our quality time at the apartment. The apartment is quite fully furnished, the host even provided us with full kitchenette, you can even cook rendang...haha...Of course, we've planned for a night walk near the apartment but watching TV was always the best option.

We went out to Hard Rock cafe that night, located at boulevard Montmartre. From the Metro/Subway, take Grands Boulevards lines 8 and 9, Richelieu-Druot lines 8 and 9, or Bourse Line 3.

One thing you shouldnt miss when visiting Paris, is a Night Tour Bus (of course the best choice would be an open-top tour bus)...Bought a tix from online, and the experience was just superb. Its very cold that night, and it was raining the first half, wearing trenchcoats, gloves and comfy baret, and a shared umbrella, it felt like drama, we fell in love again...

View from top of the bus...touring the city
Arc de Triomphe at night

Riding on a night tour bus

So we went back to the apartment and called it a night, after having the most romantic night with my husband in Paris city..we'll surely be back for more!



  1. Salam

    Read yr piece on Paris. Loved it.
    Gonna help a lot, as tomorrow my family and i are travelling to Paris city fr Disneyland area.
    Whatever u've written would be beneficial
    So..thanks. an Architect fr KL..



  2. Salam Zul,

    I'm really glad I cud help. Would be best if you can share anything I have missed out..happy travelling!

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