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Tigrest Travel Blog

This is a blog about destinations, food and travel tips

Category: France

Bordeaux Region France Travel Guide

Bordeaux Region France Travel Guide

Source: pixabay.com

The Bordeaux Region and the city of Bordeaux have earned the reputation for being one of the most beautiful destinations in France.

Known for its world-class wine, charming vineyards, dreamy villages and the city that has gone through a major transformation, Bordeaux stands proudly alongside Napa and Champagne regions.

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The best Three Day Paris Itinerary For First-Time Visitors

First time in Paris France #paris #france #paris in 3 days #things to do in paris #paris attractions

Paris is a huge city, full of great museums, galleries, things to do and places to eat. We arrived here from Nice by train and stayed for two nights near Latin quarter. I would certainly recommend this area if this is your first time to explore Paris attractions, as it’s really lively and relatively safe. It’s also very close to the Notre Dame de, which is one of the best Paris attractions and not too far from Louvre. First we chose the Hotel du Commerce, which was one of the cheapest properties in this area.
When we arrived, our room was under renovations, so the hotel offered us a room at another property of their chain – Hotel Moderne Saint Germain.


Instead of writing a typical “How I spent my holiday” I will list a top 5 Paris attractions and suggestions how to spend a few days in this wonderful city if you just arrived here for the first time. Welcome to The best Three Day Paris Itinerary For First-Time Visitors!

Paris attractions

Paris attractions nr. 1: Eiffel Tower

This was high on our list from the beginning on. The tower, it’s construction and history are really impressive. So here is how to get there from, let’s say, Notre Dame. Option 1: walking. It’s going to be a long walk! We only made it halfway and ended up taking a bike taxi. By the way, if you care about your life, don’t take these! The drivers don’t really care about traffic and keep going even if they should give way! We nearly had a heart attack when he started left turn into the traffic, some cars stopping only 20cm from our feet! There is no protection of any kind. Really scary!


Another option is to take a bus 63. It will only cost you 2€ and will take you to this amazing Paris attractions in around 20 minutes. Last but not least, a metro is also an option. Didn’t try it that way, but should be just as good. Metro tickets are a bit cheaper (1.90€).

eiffel tower by night Paris attractions

Eiffel tower by night – photo by Tigrest

We were lucky to get to the tower by sunset, allowing us to take very nice pictures. The tower is really pretty when lit up, so make sure to stay until it’s fully dark, too. If this is your first time in Paris, you might find numerous security checks unusual. Before entering the tower, you will have to go through security gates. We decided to take the lift all the way up (17€), there is also an option to go just half way (so called 2nd floor) for 11€. The lifts are rather slow and getting back down involved a lot of waiting in the queue. It’s totally worth it, as Paris at night is magnificent. Although there are warning announcement every now and then, watch  out for pickpockets. It seems to be a big problem.

first day in paris Paris attractions

The best Three Day Paris Itinerary For First-Time Visitors – by Sightseeing bus of course!

This seems to be a popular option for travelers, who are first time in Paris, as well as people with tight schedule. You can circle around Paris for a few hours and see all main attractions. I noticed at least three different bus operators. Most of them start from Notre Dame. The prices are quite different though. We checked the green line (green buses), and their day pass cost 33€ per person. That’s quite a lot. Good news is that there is a cheaper option – bus line called Foxity. Their daily pass costs 20€ and takes you to all major sightseeing’s, such as Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Champs Elysees, Notre Dame, Place de Concorde and shopping district near Opera house.


Here is my review of this bus line on Google Maps:

Totally OK bus tour. Yes, there are no clearly marked bus stops, but if you just remember the place you went off, just need to come back to the same spot. We never had to wait for the bus more than 30 minutes. The audio worked on all 3 buses we took during the day. All drivers were polite to us and we didn’t have a single problem. Their only minus to my opinion is not too many stops and the route doesn’t go to Mont Martre/Moulin Rouge. Otherwise great tour and much cheaper than other buses.
montmartre Paris attractions

Montmartre

This is your chance to try out Paris metro. Here is how to get there from Notre Dame: go down to the metro and take Line 4 (direction Porte de Clignancourt) from Saint Michel/Notre Dame. Get off at Barbès – Rochechouart station and walk along Boulevard de Rochechouart until metro station called Anvers. Turn right and you should see the Sacré-Cœur cathedral. Walk up the stairs and enjoy the view over the city from the hill. Facing cathedral, on your left there are some cozy restaurants and artists selling their paintings. You should certainly check them out, even if you are not going to buy. These are small pieces of art, you can see artists at work. If you continue on Boulevard de Rochechouart, you will eventually reach famous Moulin Rouge.

moulin rouge Paris attractions

Although we visited this area during daylight, you could feel it’s not really the same as back in Latin quarter, where we stayed. There are a lot more shady people moving around, so it might not be the safest place during evening/night hours. Unless you are visiting Moulin Rouge for the show (one of the best and known worldwide Paris attractions), I would only recommend visiting this area during the day.

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Walking along Seine

There are only so many museums you will have time to visit during your first time in exploring Paris attractions. Instead of wasting your time in long queues, trying to catch every possible attraction, you should really just try to enjoy the moment. You stay at Paris will be unforgettable, if you manage to get the taste of what the city is all about. In order to do that, you need to just be, walk around, do some people watching. Did you know that there are 37 bridges over Seine, of which 5 are pedestrian only and 2 are rail bridges. Some of those bridges are true works of art. The oldest-  Pont Neuf – Paris’s oldest bridge, built between 1578 and 1607.

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All the way along the cost of Seine, there are numerous green kiosks. Among souvenirs, you might find some pretty old collectibles, such as antique books, journals and comics. Working hours are quite unpredictable and depend on the weather. It’s among the cutest Paris attractions!

For around 15€ you can have a boat trip – nice way to spend an evening, have dinner or just relax from long day of walking.

Another cool idea for your Paris visit – Visit Disneyland! Here is Disneyland Paris at Christmas review by Girl Gone London

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First time in Paris – Eating out

Lunch deals

Many restaurants are offering lunch deals – for 10-15-20€ you can have 3 course meal. Sounds great? Well, here is the thing. These lunch deals are not quite the same as normal menu. They are meant for quick bite. So when you order one of those (especially for 10€), don’t expect too much out of this. If this is your first short stay in Paris, I’d recommend avoiding those menus and trying something great instead. It’s not that you won’t get what you pay for, but the food won’t be that great and will leave you with “nothing special” memory. And that’s not the kind of memory you would want to leave Paris with. There is so much great food to try here!

escargot snails

Snails

There is hardly any shortage in places to eat out in Paris! The place we stayed in – latin quarter – has some short streets with different kinds of restaurants coming one after another. Whether you would like traditional French, Spanish, Mexican, Japanses or any other cousine, you can easily find it here. If this is your first time, don’t miss your chance to try snails! That’s right – snails (or escargot, that’s how they call them). I now, it might sound crazy to even think about it, but this is just first thought. Truth is – they are are really tasteful. Just mention to the waiter that this is your first time. He will be happy explain and show you how to eat a snail. By the way, snails are just an appetizer, so make sure to order something else or you might leave hungry. Price for 6 snails: 6-10€.

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Mussels

We didn’t try mussels in Paris, we only had them in Nice, but I don’t think there is much difference. Mussels are really great to try, if you like seafood. I say some restaurants offering them in mussels+beer package for 10€. Go for it, you will most probably enjoy that. I have never tried them before and loved them!

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Pastries

Paris, like any other French city, is filled with Pâtisserie’s – bakery that specializes in pastries and sweets. You will virtually find them on every corner. You could say, ut’s a Paris attractions of it’s own! Among other amazing desserts, one of the most popular ones are Macaron’s. These are great to try and bring back home as souvenirs. The prices are quite high, especially if you by from the bakery rather than from supermarket. While walking along Saint Michel street we stumbled upon an open air market and one of the stalls was selling those. I paid 12€ for 14 pieces, which is not too bad. As I said, you might find cheaper and pricier options.

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Conclusion

Paris is great at any time of the year. However, I would highly recommend visiting at late September, when the weather is still warm, but the tourist masses have gone. September is a great month for most of South Europe – you can combine a bit beach holiday like we did in Nice and then take the fast train up to Paris and enjoy this gorgeous city – all in one week.

Read next – Best Rome attractions if you only have few hours

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First time in Paris France

 

A Day Trip to Eze and Monaco from Nice by bus

First day in Nice was really wonderful. However, we decided to explore the area a bit more. This is also partly because we are not much of beach lovers, and Nice itself is mainly a beach holiday destination. Anyway, for the next few days our goal was to visit famous Eze Village with it’s cobblestone streets and lovely galleries, shops and cafes and famous Monaco with it’s luxury properties, supercars and yachts. Here is our guide to A Day Trip to Eze and Monaco from Nice by bus.




A Day Trip to Eze and Monaco from Nice by bus – Eze Village and Nitsche path

To reach the famous village, there are several possibilities. There are organized tours, which are a bit costly. Another option is to take a train, but that would mean either climbing the Nitsches path (4km uphill) or taking a local bus. We went for the third option – taking a bus directly to the village. The bus in question is number 82 and it is leaving from the bus stop Boyer located near Garibaldi square (which can be reached by tram). Here is it on the map:

eze village

In fact, we were not alone on this trip. Most passengers were heading to the village, as it is famous for it’s cute tiny streets filled with galleries. The place feels like it barely changed in the last couple of centuries. It still has the unique atmosphere of tiny, isolated world and exists on it’s own. You forget about the time and everything else.





eze village eze village

Nitsche path

Strolling through the village, depending on your shopping needs, will take between one to four hours. So what to do afterwards? If you are adventurous and enjoy long walks and hikes, Nitsche path is not to miss! Caution: not a great idea if you have problem with your knees, as it involves a lot of steep stairs! Otherwise amazing hike down the hill with great picture opportunities. make sure to bring some water and snacks. The hike will take, depending on you speed, from 1 to 2 hours. The sun is quite hot towards the end, so make sure to wear some sunscreen and a hat.

eze village

eze village

You will meet some fellow travelers on their way up – true heroes to my opinion!





Once all the way down, you can either take a bus or a train back to Nice. Please note that bus number 100 (from Monaco) will only take you to the port area. You will need to walk up the Rue Cassini to reach Garibaldi in order to have access to the tram.

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Monaco from Nice

Visiting Monaco from Nice is really simple. There is a direct bus as well as train connection. Bus is cheaper – only 1,50€. Make sure to avoid peak hours, as that’s when a lot of local workers will be coming back to Nice after work. The bus can take you as far as Monte Carlo, which is where the king’s palace is located. It’s possible to walk through the whole Monaco – it’s really tiny. However, there is a local bus line and some people are riding their Bentley’s and Ferrari’s.

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Once up the hill, make sure to check out the famous curve known from the Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 – right in front of the Fairmont hotel. You can recognize the race track by the white and red stripes on the sides of the road.

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If you are coin collector or considering to be one someday – I recommend checking out coin store for the Monaco coins. They are quite rare and are potentially a good investment. However, you might get lucky and get some local coins as a change.

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Some things that I notices different about Monaco, compared to France:

– People are generally better dressed and seem to have more money

– There are many apartment blocks versus villas and private houses

– Less people on the streets (mostly tourists)

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On the way back

Now here is a bit of a warning – if you get easily dizzy and seasick, please avoid the bus. The road from Monaco to Nice is a bit like a rollercoaster, and you might get sick from constant jumps (road blocks to slow down traffic). If you know this is not for you, better take the train. It’s also faster and not too expensive (3,90€). We made the mistake of taking the bus and ended up walking for an hour from Villefrancge on the motorway the remaining 6 km, since it was impossible to continue riding that bus. The view was amazing by the way, so it was a nice walk.

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Read next – Paris attractions for first time visitors

You might also enjoy this amazing 10 Cheap (and free) Things to do in Nice by Andi on Adventure

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Things to do in Nice France for first time visitors

Our trip to Nice France couldn’t have started any better. After spending a night in Helsinki Airport, waiting long hours and having a sort of picnic on the airport bench, we were finally allowed to board the plane. So far so good, only three more hours and we’ll arrive in summer. Our airplane, however, had different plans. Soon after taking off, I realized we are not really moving anywhere, but rather circling around.
My doubts found confirmation when the captain spoke – “Sorry folks, our plane has warning sign on and we are contacting our maintenance department to check it out.” Oh well, how great could that be?


Long story short, it took 2 hours to “check it out” and land again in Helsinki for an actual technician to fix the bug. Apparently it was some sort of false alarm. We even made it to the Finnish News! 30 minutes later we took off again and three hours later landed successfully in Nice France. Bonjour France!

Arriving in Nice France

Out of the airport building, it struck us immediately with a 25 degree heat. Instead of heading for an airport shuttle (bus number 99, costing 6€) we made our way to a local bus stop right across the street for a bus number 23 (ticket 1,50€). This was the best bus to take if heading to the train station. It takes a bit longer, but is perfectly fine and air conditioned. During the ride we got a glance at promenade des Anglais, as the bus passed it for a little while before turning into the city.

nice france

We booked our hotel – Best Western Riviera – through expedia.com and found it fairly easily, as it is located on the same street with the train station. It was too early to check in, so we left our luggage and headed to the city center for a lunch. Eventually we found a busy street full of cafes and restaurants. As our first meal in Nice, we decided to try Italian pasta carbonara. It was really good!

We spent the afternoon discussing our plans and possible Things to do in Nice France for first time visitors. High on our list was a visit to Eze Village and Monaco before we head north, to Paris.




nice france

Things to do in Nice France for first time visitors – The beach

After lunch we headed straight to the beach – couldn’t wait any longer to see the famous French Riviera and the famous blue water! This is how the beach in Nice France looks like. Just lovely! Although it might look easy, it’s actually quite hard to walk on those little stones – they are quite sharp! So I recommend swimming (snorkeling) shoes.

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Center of Nice – to my opinion it’s Place Massena – is a starting point. Whether you are looking for some shopping on the main street, narrow streets of the old town or the promenade nightlife, this is a place you can start exploring from. The square is easy to recognize by the patterned floor. The trams also stop here, so it’s easy to reach the square.

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Now you can decide whether you’d like to take a walk up the busy shopping street (you can find cheap magnets in a 2€ store), some cool shops and huge groceries store called Monoprix. Alternatively, you can relax on the square and watch the kids play at the fountains. The view over the mountains is stunning!

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Another option is to head to the old town for some souvenirs and restaurants. I highly recommend trying out mussels with fries if you like seafood. They are served with different sauce and are super delicious! The price is between 10€ and 20€, sometimes there are lunch deals and you might get 3 course meal for the same price. Make sure to ask for tap water, unless you want to pay 4-5€ for one bottle. Glass of wine might be cheaper too.

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Day slowly turned into night as we discovered ourselves on the promenade again, taking a lazy walk, then finding a nice spot on the beach and enjoying the breeze and salty night air. It’s quite romantic just to sit there and enjoy a bottle of wine, looking over the airport with planes landing and taking off every few minutes. A perfect way to end the day!

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Read next – Eze Village and Monaco trips from Nice

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Holiday Guide for Nice, France #Nice #france #holidays #cote'd azur

 

 

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