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Solo in Paris

Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. Most of her free time at home she spends walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences. 

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I was never really that solo-traveling, adventurous kind of gal. Honestly, while I was younger, I considered it a bit strange and couldn’t imagine having fun without my friends, boyfriend or any other kind of traveling partner. However, these days, I can definitely see the appeal. Visiting a city as big as Paris requires lots of planning and sticking to a certain schedule which would be impossible in a larger group. This trip was a turning point for me, mostly because I’m a huge art lover, so when the opportunity presented itself I wasn’t a tiny bit hesitant. Going to Paris on my own turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I took the risk and it paid off, so now, I’m sharing with you my unique perspective of this amazing city which will hopefully encourage you to have a little solo adventure of your own.

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What to see?

I’ve decided to place myself in the center of the action, so I rented a room in a wonderful little bed&breakfast less than 5 minutes’ walk from the Eiffel Tower. You can find tons of great b&b places all over Paris, suitable for everyone’s pocket. Usually I love exploring on foot, however since Paris is huge and I was limited by time, I purchased a carnet, which is a pack of ten tickets you can use for all public transportation. As a first timer, I really wanted to get acquainted with the city, so I started from my own neighborhood and climbed the Eiffel Tower. After that, I went to see the Opera Garnier, Notre Dame and had lunch in the Latin Quarter, took a walk through beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg, the second largest park in Paris, then saw the Arc de Triomphe and went on to Champs Elysees to do some light shopping. The day ended on the river Seine while the sun was setting down in one of the most beautiful cities on earth.

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What to do?

As mentioned before, I’m a huge art lover which was the biggest reason why I’ve decided to go on this trip alone. I really wanted to take all the time I needed and enjoy museums and galleries without any pressure. So, no surprise there, I went to The Louvre. A masterpiece in itself, it was all I imagined it would be, and more. I also visited the Centre Pompidou, one of the best-known sights in Paris, home to the largest collection of modern art in Europe. I’ve only had time for one more, so I’ve decided to visit the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais mostly because of it’s amazing architecture and famous glass-roofed central hall.

After all that time spent inside, I’ve decided to go on a nice field trip. There were so many interesting Paris day tours to choose from, like the D-day landing beaches private tour or Versailles and Giverny private tour but in the end, I’ve decided on Versailles half day private tour, simply because I wanted to explore the city a bit more.

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Where to eat?

Paris is well known for fine dining, therefore you are obligated to try some of its delicacies. And it doesn’t have to be expensive at all. There are a number of restaurants suited for solo travelers offering you the opportunity to spoil yourself without having to spend too much. The first one I’ve tried is Les Cocottes amazing for its perfect menu consisted of salads, soups, verrines (light dishes served in jars) and cocottes (served in cast-iron pots), all at bargain prices. For some true Parisian feel, go to Verjus, a cozy little winery. I was amazed by its light, inventive and creative meals like creamy cherrystone clam soup and ambrosial cardamom honey panna cotta with prunes, pears and walnuts. Legendary for its friendly atmosphere, Frenchie Bar à Vins is a great place to eat and have some interesting conversations with the locals. I had a very pleasant evening talking to a wonderful couple who I was sharing a table with.

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Don’t be afraid to try something new and exciting. Take it from me, traveling alone can be a wonderful experience you’ll treasure forever. All you have to do is take that first step and all the rest will come to its place, I promise.

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