Tips for a trip to Paris and Istanbul?

posted 3 years ago in Travel
Post # 2
Member
35 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2014 - Istanbul, Turkey

I am getting married in Istanbul this summer also…are you sure you’re not coming to my wedding? 😉  I’m from Austin, TX btw…funny coincidence.  I guess Turkey is getting to be a pretty hot destination.

Most airlines will allow you a 3 day free stopover…so you could do your IAH – PAR – IST flight and just stop for 3 days in paris each way 🙂

Have a blast!

Post # 3
Member
602 posts
Busy bee

Even though this was posted 2 months ago, I never turn down the oppertunity to talk about how amazing Paris is. My husband and I spent a week there last spring and it was incredible. I don’t know what tips you’re specifically looking for so I guess I’ll just throw out random stuff that I remember…

The touristy stuff was surprisingly cheap. Like, the equivilant of around $20 p/p for the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Siene River boat tours, etc. We were thrilled with the prices since everyone always talks about how expensive Paris is. It’s definitely possible to explore the city on a budget. 

The food is seriously out of this world. We actually ate a lot of pizza, which is weird, but it was all delicious. We had several legit french meals and they were awesome too but super expensive. Then again, it all depends on where you go. It’s easy to spend a lot on food but it’s also easy to stick to a budget and still be more than satisfied. 

Public transportation was magical. The US seriously needs to mirror Paris’ metro in all major cities. It’s foolproof. Honestly, impossible to get lost. If you’re feeling adventerous, there are bike rental hubs all over the city. We didn’t use them but I think they were just a couple bucks p/day. 

You can buy tickets in advance to the Eiffel Tower, which I HIGHLY suggest. You’ll wait in line for hours if you don’t. They only sell so many advance tickets so once you know when you’ll be there, you should buy the tickets. We ended up only being able to get tickets for like 10pm but it was actually really beautiful to see the city all lit up. The next time we go (and there will be a next time!), we’ll be sure to get daytime tickets. If you’re going to The Louvre, there’s another entrace that a lot of people don’t know about. We didn’t use it since the main line wasn’t so long but I think we just happened to catch it at the right time. The other entrance is around the back of the museum so you could look into that if you’re interested. The Louvre is overwhelmingly huge. We only spent a few hours there since we’re not really that into art but it’s kind of a must when you’re in Paris. You can’t go to Paris and not see the Mona Lisa, ya know? Speaking of ML, it was WAYYYY smaller than I thought it would be. Kinda meh, if I’m being honest but like I said, I’m just not much for art so my opinion doesn’t really matter. I highly suggest the lock bridge (google it if you’re not familiar), but defintely bring your own lock. Sketchy vendors sell locks but they’re like 5x more expensive than what you can get from any hardware store in the states. I decorated ours before we left home so it was all ready when we got there. 

We didn’t do much shopping when we were there but we did come home with a few really awesome paintings from street artists. There were a bunch of artists set up down by the river and on the pedestrian bridges. I think we paid like $60 for two pretty large paintings. They look great framed in our living room. 

Before we went, we had several people warn us that the French hate Americans. It’s totally not true. We tried to speak as much french as possible when we were there but we stuck out like sore thumbs and no one was anything but kind and courteous to us. It helped that we tipped well, and tipping isn’t customary over there, but even those who weren’t waiting on us were really great. 

I was so paranoid about being mugged since I had read all of these stories about crimes against tourists but we had no issues. Just be smart and act how you would in any major city. 

This is long enough so I’ll stop now. If you have any specific questions, let me know and I’ll try to answer. Even though we were only there for a week, I did a ton of research since we were thinking about moving there. 

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