Un Séjour à Paris - Katie Passos guest post
Welcome to my Paris blog series, designed to help you plan the ultimate short getaway to Paris! Whether it was a flying visit on a school trip or a romantic mini-break, most people who visit Paris are here for only a short time. I want to find out what they loved, where they visited, and what they'd do differently. It'll give future travellers the perfect snapshot of a jaunt to Paris, warts-and-all!
Today's guest blogger is Katie Passos.
She's a Brit living in Amsterdam, working as web content manager and can often be found riding her bike or drinking coffee with friends.
Tell me a few details about your trip to Paris...
15 April 2016 - 18 April 2016. My husband and two children came along too, we travelled from Amsterdam Centraal Station to Paris Nord on the Thalys train. It took 3 hours 17 minutes and the train stopped in Brussels on our way to the city of lights.
Which arrondissement did you stay in?
The 15th, chosen mainly for its location.
Where's your favourite place to eat in Paris?
We had way too much sugar but lots of fun at Cafe Angleina at the Musee de Luxembourg location. We could walk off our gluttony at the gardens nearby and the kids could sail a boat on the pond.
Where was your favourite place in Paris?
The Montmarte carousel, the kids got to ride on an old fasioned merry-go-round while my husband and I had a coffee and watched the kids having fun. After this the kids decided to 'collect' as many carousels as they could which became an obession for the rest of the time in Paris.
What was your most-used French phrase while you were there?
What are your top tips for a first-time visitor to Paris?
Plan your activities before you go, especially if you have young children. Make sure your accommodation is central, after walking for the most of the day no one likes to end the day with an extra long walk home to the hotel! If travelling with kids try and talk to them about the significance of what they are going to see and take them through the juiciest parts of the guide book. The look on their faces when they see something they recognise from a book in real life is pricelss.
Is there anything you wish you'd done differently?
Not a thing, it was the best holiday we've been on as a family. Nearly two years after this we still talk about it and plan to go back.
What surprised you most about Paris?
The locals were friendly, Parisians have a bad reputation but we were treated well and made to feel very welcome in the city.
Any other awesome things to add?
City breaks with little kids can be tough and stressful but they don't have to be. I found that balancing a rough schedule for the holiday helps to keep everyone happy. We would spend one morning at the Arc de Triomphe, for example, have lunch then relax in the afternoon with a croissant while the kids played in one of the many gardens and parks in the city.
Thanks so much to Katie for being this week's guest blogger. Don't forget that you can see more of her work Twitter.
I'm always on the lookout for Francophiles to contribute to the blog, so please do get in touch if you'd like to get involved!