People flock to Paris for a reason. It doesn’t matter the season, Paris is always a good idea. So when my mom asked me if there was anywhere else I wanted to visit during our Eurotrip2017, my answer was Paris. From the food, to the architecture, to the art, the French know how to live. All it took was a few hours of walking the streets to make me want to uproot my life and live there.
A fatty’s adventure in Paris, France
This was not my first time in Paris. I had visited on a family trip when I was 9 years-old but like most kids who travel, don’t remember much. We ate snails, and my brother ordered chicken patte thinking it was a chicken pattie. I still laugh about it today.
Plus size fatties traveling to Paris have little to worry about. The food will have you saying “oh.” The sights will have you saying “oh my.” And the experience of it all will have you saying “oh my god.” My only suggestion, is bring a warm jacket. There are few stores in Paris that cater to plus size fashion so shopping is a no-go.
I loved everything about my trip to Paris. Even when we got caught in the rain while walking through Champs Elyse, and having to hide in Sephora for cover. I especially liked all of the little adventures mom and I stumbled upon while we visiting the main attractions. We spent four days in Paris and stayed in an Airbnb near Bastille.
Top 5 things to do in Paris, France
Paris is a beautiful city with so much history and delicious food. Spending just a few hours there makes you imagine how much cooler your life would be as a bike-riding, baguette-eating, barret-wearing Parisian. Here were my favorite things to do in the four days I was in Paris for:
1. Walk the Catacombs under Paris
The Catacombs has always been a dream of mine. You know I love me some morbid tourist sights. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to walk deep below the city of love’s streets to see the final burial site of 5,000 unnamed individuals? My mom was a little creeped out. In fact, after we had journeyed below (haha anyone seen As Above, So Below?) she was convinced she was seeing dead people.
Address: 1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France
2. Buy a book from Shakespeare and Company
My trip to New Orleans and Baltimore has only fed my addiction to eat, drink, and travel like The Lost Generation. Of course, I had to buy a book from Shakespeare and Company. The bookstore was a frequent of American literary royalty Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and Gertrude Stein.
Address: 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France
3. Enjoy a Mont Blanc and hot chocolate from Angelina
Angelina was a recommendation given to me by local Parisian and bar buddy Bilel. I featured his food tip in my Youtube video. He describe getting a Mont Blanc and hot chocolate as just a Parisian thing to do. In that it’s over indulgent and a beautiful way to appreciate a moment in Paris. Angelina is located across the garden from The Louvre as well as within the Palace of Versailles.
The Mont Blanc was one of the lightest most pleasant desserts I’ve ever had. The marzipan topping has the texture of the playdoh people where you would push the people over the dough to make hair. The inside is light and sweet. The hot chocolate was so thick and so sweet, I took three sips and couldn’t drink anymore.
Address: 226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
4. Have a picnic at the Eiffel Tower at sunset
When we landed in Paris, my first words were “we have to go to the Eiffel Tower.” But I needed to do more than see it, I needed to be overindulgent and extra, I needed to enjoy a bottle of wine and fine French bread while watching the tower shimmer at sunset.
The park was under construction and blocked off, so I went to the other side and grabbed a seat on the bench in Trocadero. Trocadero is a great place to take photos, and a frequent for newly weds and couples.
Address: Place du Trocadéro, 75016 Paris, France
5. Antiquing by Versailles
The CUTEST antique store sits on the main street between the Palace of Versailles and the train station. It’s easy to miss, as we did on the way there. This antique store was the perfect place to pick up a non-cliche souvenir from my trip. I left with a Paris magazine from 1911 and a Kodak camera from the 1950s.
Address: 12 Rue des Etats Generaux, 78000 Versailles, France
There are the other staples you MUST-DO when visiting Paris — Notre-dame, Palace of Versailles, Champs Elyse, The Louvre etc. But I’m sure you already knew/read about those in other blogs so why beat a dead horse?
Where to stay in Paris
I did a lot of research on Paris arrondissements before picking an Airbnb to stay in in Paris, France. I have yet to have a terrible experience with Airbnb hosts, so I am a huge fan. Some people are not into home sharing when traveling and I totally get that. My mom is still coming around to Airbnb. Of course, if I wasn’t a poor 20-something I probably would opt for a hotel whenever I travel. Who doesn’t love a freshly made bed and new towels every day?
I chose to stay in the 11th Arrondissement. It is still a pretty local spot and there are tons of restaurants and cafes that geared toward locals and not tourists. On our way to the metro, my mom and I were often mesmerized by the smell of the rotisseries right down stairs from our Airbnb. Notre-dame and Shakespeare and Company were so close we could walk. But the metro was too convenient so we took it literally EVERYWHERE.
This Airbnb I stayed at was well equipped, easy to find, centrally located AND had a washing machine.
Benefit of staying in an Airbnb
One benefit to Airbnb in Europe is that you don’t have to worry about people coming into your room and stealing your stuff. I remember when we did a family trip to Paris when I was 9 years old, my brother left his purple gameboy color with Pokemon game in his suitcase. When we returned to the hotel that night we found his gameboy missing. You can imagine for a 9 year-old and a 5 year-old this was a memorable experience.
Knowing that no one will be coming in or out of our room gave us peace of mind while we were exploring Paris. That peace of mind was well worth the micro shower, so small that if I dropped the soap I would have to get out of the shower to pick it up.
Getting around Paris with the Metro
Get a metro pass. Period. Don’t bother with the hop-on-hop-off tours like you would in other European countries. Mom and I utilized the hop-on-hop-off while we were in Barcelona since the attractions were spread out and metro was mediocre. In Paris, there is so much traffic and the sights are so close that it makes more sense, and saves you money, by just using the metro.
Save money and buy a multi-day metro pass. Double check where your Airbnb, or hotel is before buying it. There are two types of multi-day passes, one for zones 1-3, and 1-5. Zones 1-3 will cover most of your travel within the neighborhoods in Paris. Mom and I could have saved money if we recognized that. We bought the pull zone metro pass (zones 1-5) and it was 60 euros. But the extra zones will get you to out-of-the-way sights like Versailles.
Trust me. Using the metro is VERY easy. I have no sense of direction (ask my fiance) and was able to do just fine.