I absolutely love Paris. Love love love Paris. It’s charming. It’s authentic. It speaks to my Deveraux the way, Cuba speaks to my Kai.
If you can swing it, please go to Paris. If you can do some days alone... do that too. Go meet the people, struggle through the language, learn the history (including the Black history), eat the cheese, drink the wine, try new foods, travel to the suburbs and be great. Just go be great in Paris. When you do go, use my recap as your guide.
Things to Know
City Name: Paris
Country Location: France
Recommended Duration of Stay: 3-7 days
Useful Tools: Google Maps (download the offline map), Google translate, Duolingo and Yelp.
How Much Money to Bring: This place is expensive. Like on a level i’ve never experienced. I would suggest no less than $500-700 for a 4+ day trip.
Where to Stay
So this one is tough. I found Paris to be a dope ass city with a little bit of something for everyone. If you want to be in the midst of boutique shopping, then stay in the 3rd district. It gave me a bit of an NYC soho vibe. If you want to stay closer to the traditional tourist spots (Eiffel Tower, Champs Elyse or Arc de Triomphe) you can stay in the 7th or 8th districts. I found the Latin Quarter and Saint Germain areas (5th & 6th districts) to be ridiculously charming. They’re pretty much an exact match of what I imagined Paris would look like, before actually stepping foot, into the city. Chances are, I’ll probably stay in one of these two areas next time.
What To Do
Definitely go see the tourist spots. At least once. One way to do this is via bus tour. I know I’ve suggested this option before, but It’s my favorite way to see all the sites of a city in one day, without spending an enormous amount of money on cabs, busses and trains. General tourist spots to hit in Paris include: The Eiffel Tower, The Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, shoppes on Champs Elysee, Mulin Rouge, The Big Wheel at Place de Concorde. If you’re down for traveling about 30 minutes outside of the city, I’d also recommend visiting the Palace of Versaille. The place is gorgeous and I imagine, this is the origin of all things bad and bougie. That tour in itself will take half of an entire day, so package yourself accordingly.
If you’re looking to learn more Parisian history that isn’t discussed in the mainstream, I would strongly recommend you schedule a tour with Le Paris Noir. Similar to the theme of the black history tours I experienced in Panama and Cuba, Le Paris Noir gave me insight to Parisian history and culture from the perspective of African descendants, within the French Empire. Our tour guide Kevi, is absolutely amazing, informed and overall, just a cool dude with dope ass podcast.
Where to Party
After you tour all of the classic landmarks, do yourself a favor and entertain the night scene. Paris has no shortage of fun to have with great looking people. A few of the bars we visited, and intended to visit include:
Twenty One Sound Club
Scene: Dance Club
Music: Hip Hop, R&B, Reggae & Afro Beats
Scene: Hawaiian Themed Cocktail Bar
Music: Rock & Pop Music
Scene: LGTBQ Friendly Bar
Music: Dance & Pop Music
*2 for 1 Drinks Happy Hour*
Scene: Sexy Chic
Le Comptoir General
Scene: Art / Speakeasy/ Hipster... It’s in a barn lol
What to Eat
If you’re not careful you can find yourself on the right side of gluttony in Paris. There is food EVERYWHERE, and all kinds of it too. And allow me to be very clear...It’s delicious. All things are butter and all things are garlic, and it’s fantastic. I’ve listed some of my favorite restaurants below:
I Suggest: Escargo & Beef Tartare
Le bar à Huitres
I Suggest: Clams Platter
La Belle Armée
I Suggest: Cheeseburger & Tuna Tartare
Cafe de la Paix
I Suggest: A glass of wine and just going here to be classy.
Cafe de Flore
I Suggest: A glass of champagne and a pastry on the sidewalk seating
I suggest: everything that has eggs in it. They were soft and fluffy and amazing.
How to Get Around
Paris is a well established metropolitan city. Getting around is pretty easy. There is an underground subway system that extends to the suburbs, a bus system, a taxi system and my world favorite: Uber. I will say that I spent way too much money getting around via uber. Rides across the city can cost about 15-20 euros. The one time I did take the metro, the ride across town was a little under 2 euros. My takeaway from this for next time? Take the damn subway and use the money you saved to buy designer glasses from the shops on Champs Elysee.