I’ve always wanted to visit Paris, but it’s portrayed as a place you can only go…in a couple! I’m single and have been for a few years now so why should this relationship status stop me for going to this beautiful city? Yes, it’s full of couples! Yes, everywhere you look screams romance. But I’m not going to not go just because of what other people think!
Luckily, I found a tour which was perfect for me. I bought it through TourRadar and it’s Operated by UK Study Tours. It was a coach tour from London so I didn’t have to fly at all! They sorted out the driver, the accommodation, the transport and we had a tour leader to show us around the city. The itinerary included all the highlights I wanted to see and it got me back to London on Sunday night. I didn’t have to take any holiday dates! Perfect!
I met the group at Victoria Station in London at 9pm on the Friday night after work. There was about 20 other travellers who were all international students. The tour is for anyone but mostly aims at students wanting to travel at the weekends which was fine by me.
I met some lovely people on the tour who were mostly from Brazil, USA, Korea and Portugal. We got a train with the guide to Gatwick and then got a coach to Maidstone. We met another coach there were we met other groups who were picked up from Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Oxford. Some passenger were going to Paris with me and another to Amsterdam.
Once I was on the correct coach, we all headed off to Dover to get the ferry to Calais. The whole journey took about 12 hours. Honestly, I hated it. I was so tired but the rest of the trip was amazing which made up for it.
Our first stop was the incredible Notre Dame. I love the Hunchback of Notre Dame and I was singing a long to myself while I waiting in the GIANT queue to get inside. The tour guide said queue size is misleading and it would take less than 20 minutes to get in. It took nearly an hour. Liar!
However, once we were inside the building was incredible! So beautiful. However, it doesn’t beat the Sagrada Família in Barcelona but it was still fantastic and you don’t have to pay to get inside.
Next, we went to the Seine River cruise. For 10 EUR, it wasn’t bad! It was a lovely day and went up and down the river where I got my first glance of the Eiffel Tower and other incredible sights around Paris. We got a discount price as apart of a tour group but even if we didn’t it still would have been worth the money.
After the river cruise, we had a look at the Love Locks which had been moved from the Pont des Arts aka the Lover’s bridge just across the river at Pont Nerf. They had to remove them a few years ago as the bridge couldn’t take the weight of the locks. Make sense. Physics.
However, they don’t have the same effect as them being on the bridge. Still, it’s a beautiful display of affection from thousands and thousands of people from all over the world who have come to visit Paris over the years.
Next, we walked down towards the Louvre. I was so excited about this stop as I am a massive movie geek as you all should know. So, all I could think about was Tom Hanks had been there filming for the DaVinci Code which I absolutely loved! Such a great movie about the Mona Lisa which was within the museum.
It took us a hour to get into the famous Pyramid entrance and when I eventually found the Mona Lisa, it was madness! OMG! It was like everyone had seen a celebrity and trying to get selfies….with a painting. Super weird!
After the Louvre, we had some free time. This was my opportunity to explore the city at my own speed and do what I wanted to do. I spent a lot of time at the Eiffel Tower but I didn’t go up it. I didn’t see the point.
If you going to have a sky view of a city, you want to have something as iconic as the Eiffel Tower in the picture. It’s like getting a picture of New York and taking it up the Empire State building. Makes no sense to me.
I wanted to go to the Catacombs but I didn’t have enough time as the queues for this attraction are very long apparently. I’ll have to come back to go there. Instead, I opted for a meal in a nice restaurant close to the Tower. Perfect.
I had to get back to the Hotel between 7-8 to collect my bag from the coach and check into the hotel. We stayed at the Ibis hotel in twin share rooms. It was in a great location and wasn’t too far from the centre.
It was really easy to get to on the Metro but as a London girl, once you can figure our the London Underground everything else is easy! Hotels in Paris are famously small and crapped. I was sharing with one of the Portuguese girls from the tour. She was lovely and get got on very well.
We had an option of an evening activity which was a light show of Paris. We took the coach around Paris and stopped at a few locations for photo opportunities.
We went past the Moulin Rouge which I was very excited about but we could stop. I was quite gutted about this as I love the film and I think this might have to go on the list for the next time I come back to Paris.
We ended the tour at the steps of the Place du Trocadero which has a great view of the Tower. Our tour leader Katherine suggested we get some crepes whilst we waited for the show to start. I got mine filled with Nutella. I was delicious!
The Eiffel Tower light show starts on the hour every hour at night for about 5-10 minutes. The tower sparkles! It’s so pretty. Prefect end to the first day.
The next day we spent the day at the Versailles Palace. We stayed at the palace for about 5 hours. The queue to get into the building was ridiculous! It was about 2 hours long. I opted to spend my time exploring the gardens instead which were equally beautiful and cost a lot less.
After the palace, we headed straight back to Calais to get the ferry back to England. We got back to London just after midnight which was disappointing as I had missed the last tube home so I got an Uber home instead.
The best part about this tour was the organisation. I wasn’t wandering around lost half the time. We did so much in such a short amount of time and we took in so much information about the city. There was always someone to talk to so I didn’t feel lonely at any point during the trip. But there was still free time so I could do my own thing in the afternoon.
The tour leader was always offering to take photos for us so we could be in the pictures and didn’t end up with countless selfies. It was a great, exciting, productive and organised weekend.
If your studying in the UK then tours like this will fit perfectly into your schedule or if you just fancy getting away for the weekend at an affordable price. Our tour leader Katherine was amazing! If you get her you’ll be in great hands.
I never felt lonely while I was in Paris. I have felt like this in other cities when I’ve travelled solo but this weekend away in Paris was perfect and because there was something going on all the time, it really kept my mind off everything. I really enjoyed my trip to Paris and is one of my favourite cities I’ve visited this year.
What a beautiful city! I would love to go back sometime soon. With a boyfriend? Maybe? Got to find him first….but if not, I’ll go solo again for sure! Maybe one day I’ll put a padlock on the bridge with someone special…
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Have you been to Paris? Did you go alone or with someone? Let me know in the comments below!