PARIS - The City Of Love
The capital city of France definitely needs to be on every travelers bucket list. Paris - as one of the most multicultural cities we've ever seen - offers so much things to see and of course we could have spent much more than our 5 days.
Whether you're interested in arts, history or culture... in Paris you'll find just everything. Dozens of museums, ancient architectures, historic monuments, millions of cafes and restaurants, as well as several different cultures.
Paris might be a challenge for the one or other, whether if you need to decide, what you wanna see, or where to get there... but it ain't, if you'll follow our little Paris guide.
Use the following map for a rough overview and for your planning.
Info#1: This travelguide is mainly for the guys, who wanna come along with a camper, mobile home, caravan or van and wanna stay on a campsite, but it'll work for all others as well 🙂
Info#2: This blog does NOT contain any affiliate links, rather than links to usefull informations about the so called "Paris Pass" or a "Metro card" etc.
- Red: Campsite
- Green: Port Maillot | Your Metro Starting Point
- Orange: Places To Visit (POIs)
- Turquois: Special Photographic Point for The Eiffel Tower
- Dark Purple: Other POIs we didn't visit
- Yellow: GetYourGuide - Paris Museum Pass Pickup
- White: Train Station To Versailles (RER)
Camping Paris And Its Shuttle Service
At first you'll need a place to stay. Whether it shall be a hotel, hostel, BnB or whatever... you definitely will find, what you're searching for.
We decided to stay on a campsite, as we further wanted to enhance our travel through France along the Normandie and Bretagne.
The very best campsite (4 stars) we found so far, was the "Camping Paris", which lies directly at the Seine river and is only ca. 5KM away from the Eiffel Tower.
It offers a shuttle service to Ponte Maillot, the closest Metro station.
The shuttle costs 2€ per ticket and person, but if you'll buy a bunch of tickets immediately at the reception, you'll be able to save quite a few euros. For 10 tickets you'll pay 18€.
We bought 20 tickets in advance for 36€ and saved: 4€
The shuttle departs every 30 mins and starts at 08:30 in the morning.
The last shuttle bus goes at 10:45 pm, starting from Ponte Maillot to the campsite. From Camping Paris to Ponte Maillot and vica versa it'll take r.a. 15 mins.
The campsite itself is very big, very tidy and well equipped, with a supermarket, laundry, a food truck, restaurant and several leisure facilities.
We booked for 6 days, got 100qm with electric power and paid: 253€
The "Paris Museum Pass: 2, 4, or 6 Days"
If you don't have weeks for exploring Paris, you'll need a plan, as Paris offers unnumerous attractions.
We already knew, what we definitely wanted to see, but after calculating the costs for the attractions below, we decided to go with a Paris Pass, which is available for specific time frames, depending on how much time and budget you've got.
There are several passes for several time frames available, which do not differ so much in terms of attractions, but in terms of prices and additional features.
We don't wanna speak about all the other passes, which you'll find here: (german comparison)
With the "Paris Museum Pass" you're able to visit more than 60 top museums and monuments in and around Paris (except the Eiffel Tower which isn't included in ANY pass).
All orange POIs shown on our map, we were able to visit without waiting in queues, as we got special access.
So we booked the "4-Day-Paris Museum Pass" and paid: 67€ p.P.
(the very first day, we explored Paris without entering museums, but just for getting a quick overview).
After visiting all our POIs, we later calculated again and with the Pass we saved: 124€.
The biggest advantage of the Pass (beside saving lots of money) is, that you don't need to wait in endless queues. So at the Louve for instance, we just waited approx. 10 mins rather than 2-3hours.
With the Pass you'll get a separate entrance nearly everywhere, but not so at the Eiffel Tower, nor at the Chateau De Versailles.
Once you ordered and paid the pass online, you can pick it up at the small office of GetYourGuide, which is easily accessible by Metro.
23 Rue d'Aboukir, 75002 Paris | 48.866706, 2.343581
The earlier you'll arrive, the less time you'll spend on waiting! Keep in mind, that from approx. 11am on the queues can be pretty long already. A waiting time of about a few hours isn't unusual.
When visiting museums, you'll need to go through several security checks, no matter whether you've got a pass or not. These checks are the same as at the airports, so just bring only what you'll need!
The Parisian Metro - Not As Chaotic As It Seems
Exploring Paris afoot might be charming of course, but be prepared to walk a lot... I mean... really A LOT 🙂 We always used the Metro Pass and still walked 57 KM within these 5 days. Aching feet and lots of sore muscles have been the result.
In our "Paris Museum Pass" there wasn't Metro access included.
We therefore decided to buy a so-called "Pass Navigo".
It costs basically € 5 p.P. and can always be recharged for a week (Monday to Sunday).
For this 5 days we paid 22.80 € p. P., all zones included.
We highly recommend the "Pass Navigo". More information can be found here.
After you arrived at the Port Maillot, enter the Metro station to the left (downstairs). You'll see the desk immediately. Bring a passport photograph and a few minutes later, you'll get the pass (see images above).
The pass works with NFC (Near Field Communication).
Just hold it at the gate onto the sensor (images below) and a sound occurs, which gives you access to the Metro. Simple as that.
There are lots of apps that help you with connections, metro stations and foot-navigation. You also find a metro plan everywhere at the stations.
Search for the direction you wanna go and keep the last station of the line in mind and follow the signs. Metros arrive and depart every few minutes, so practically no latencies 🙂
The Train To Chateau De Versailles
Once you left the shuttle bus, keep right and surround the "Place de la Porte Maillot", until you'll see the train station. Go downstairs and keep right. Follow the signs as you need to change the train one time.
After leaving the train station "Rive Gauche" in Versailles, cross the street and keep right, until you'll reach the "Avenue de Paris". The walk from the train station to the Chateau just takes 10 mins or so.
Be as early as possible.
Dozens of guided tourist groups as well as school classes will arrive and flood the chateau. Most of the rooms are just too small for such a huge amount of visitors. If you are too late, you'll need to hassle with less space to walk, as well as masses of people shooting selfies and blocking your way.
|| Further Tipps||
Even if you always take the metro, you'll probably need to walk roundabout 12KMs a day, when you wanna see all the POIs, which we did see. Don't take too much with you and prepare yourself with good walking shoes.
At the one or other POI (especially at the Sacré-Cœur), you'll be bothered by "pretended deaf" beggars, asking you for signing a paper for "whatever" (?). After you signed (do NOT do it), they try to force you to pay money!
At every corner in Paris you'll find rentable "E-Scooters" (40.000 overall) . You'll need a special app for renting them. They're very fast and easy to use. The price for 15 minutes is 3,25€ in average.
Distances In The Underground
Do not underestimate the distances in the metro stations. Mostly you just need to walk a few meters, but sometimes your're on the run for 15 minutes and more. The metro station at the "Place De La Concorde" is one of the bigger stations, where you need to walk "a bit more" than usual.
Carrefour And Salad - Will Make You Poor 😉
Do NOT buy salad in the Carrefour supermarkets... they rip off all your money ( 😀 )
Gas Station With Height Limit
Lots of gas stations in Paris do have height limits of 1,50m to 1,90m.
As we ran out of gas and didn't find the station, the reception at the campsite recommended to us, we needed to drive to Versailles for the next gas.
Everybody wants to shoot the Parisian skyline from the Eiffel Tower, which we didn't. It's far better to shoot from the Arc de Triomphe. At first, the arc is better located in terms of Paris's street symmetry and secondly, when shooting from the Arc, you'll get a beautiful picture of the Eiffel Tower too. Of course, you can do both, but just mentioned, because, the Eiffeltower isn't included in any pass and is pretty expensive, as well as it has horrific waiting latencies.
If you're curious about finding the best Croissants in Paris, I need to disappoint you. Everything has been getting so touristic, that you really need to know THE place to go.
That said, the best Croissants ever, we got in the Yellowstone National Park, which is - obviously - on a totally different continent.
Common bakery isn't any better than in germany, just our 2 cents 😉
Champs-Élysées Without Cars
Every first sunday of a month the Champs-Élysées is blocked for cars and gives access to the pedestrians.
Traffic In Paris - YES!
Even if we wouldn't mind to drive in Paris, the traffic is as horrible, as the urban legends are telling us. Starting at 8 in the morning, especially the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, from the Arc De Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde is flooded with millions of cars. Take care, as the french are driving like crazy 😉
From time to time you'll need to pee, but take care and do not protract your natural desire, as it will rip off a lot of money. Paris has lots of public toilets, but of course the most are not for free.
Be prepared to pay 2€ per pee, no matter what 😉
The only free (and really strange, but tidy) toilet, we've found, is located near the "Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées", in a small park, exactly here.
There's also the one or other smartphone app availabe, which shows all of Paris' toilets on a map.
Last Words - Conclusion
We liked Paris so far and we didn't get disappointed. OK, it's not as nice as Rome for instance, but definitely worth a visit and should be seen.
In 5 days you should be able to see the most of the very important attractions and monuments without getting into too much stress.
The parisian people are OK, but not super friendly, mostly won't speak any english and do NOT understand the word "Hot Dog", if it's not pronounced in a french way (ött-dög)... NO JOKE 😉
Some MC Donalds will have toilets with code-access... so no pee, if you didn't eat something there, as the code is written on the bill. The toiletts are watched by guards, who are standing close to the "shit-temples".
Paris is a multicultural "Sodom and Gomorrah", a cauldron of hundreds of sub cultures with lots of police and army presence.
It's coloful, it's shrill, it's hectic.... simply french, simply Paris 😉
- Campsite - Our Jeep And 2 Persons - 253,05€
- Shuttle Bus - 36€
- Paris Museum Pass - 134€
- Metro Card - 55,60€
- Food & Drinks - 151, 25€
TOTAL - 629,90€