Sunset at the Eiffel Tower

A Weekend in Paris – 70 Euros of Fun and Culture

A weekend in Paris doesn’t have to cost you a year’s salary. I’ve always heard it said that the health benefits of both a weekend and a vacation are destroyed by the prospect of returning back to work and while I never believed it before, I certainly do now…of course, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a wonderful time.

Sunset at the Eiffel Tower

I arrived in Beauvais, France. The RyanAir flight was late and when we arrived in Beauvais, much to my surprise, there were no taxis. I had booked a hotel in Beauvais since I would be arriving late and I figured that would be easier than going all the way to Paris by bus, arriving late, trying to find our hotel etc. WRONG!

At the airport no Beauvais taxis, just ones going to Paris and plenty of busses going to Paris so there was no way to get through the 5 km of fog to l’hotel Premiere Classe Beauvais. So I hitched a ride from a nice French man who picked me up at 10:30 pm ( I can never understand when people say the French aren’t nice, in my experience, they always are) – he was taking a man to pick up a car, but the other man’s car broke down so we had to push start it (or maybe I helped him steal it, not really sure since my French is passable but not great).

Anyway, an hour later I arrived at the hotel, walking through the last bit of fog shrouded streets surrounded on both sides with graveyards. The hotel, well, suffice to say that instead of a baby bed, they had provided a six foot high bunk bed with no rails and a double bed that sags in the middle. Travel Rule #894 – if it says Premiere Classe, First Class etc in the name – expect far less. Expectations met.

So, here I am in France again…now it’s almost time to go to bed.

Certainly in the future when we go as a family, I will either fly us into CDG or if we fly into Beauvais, we will take one of the many buses that go directly to Paris. Staying in Beauvais is a waste of both time and money – since the taxis to or from the hotel and to or from the train station and to or from the airport add up to significantly more than we saved by getting a hotel in Beauvais. But, if you’ve a mind to stay there – here is the hotel I stayed in which was a very cheap 37 Euros per night. Same price for 1, 2, or 3 guests.

Premiere Classe Beauvais

The taxi in the morning to the train station ran 10 Euros, the taxi from the airport would have run 10+ euro if I could have found one, and the train was 13 Euro – so an extra 36 Euro which just about puts you in the zone for a decent Paris hotel and the 15 Euro for the bus to Paris…worth thinking about.

Paris Sightseeing Pass

louvre pyramid
In terms of my time in Paris, since my family wasn’t with me, I met up with some couchsurfers for a Thanksgiving evening and beyond that, I found that a great way to enjoy a short stay in Paris was to get the Open Tour Paris Pass for two days and a Paris Museum Pass. These two together cost me right around 70 Euro and kept me incredibly busy, gave me access to almost all of the sites and museums I wanted to see and provided me with easy transport and a full itinerary. Highly recommended. Another way (but without the commentary – would be to grab the Paris Visite Pass- Metro travel and more so that you can have your transport fully figured out before you go.

For a full list of hotels and comparisons you can check out the hotel listings for Paris here.