Paris, France – When people think of Europe, usually Paris is included in that list. The city of love has been featured in so many films, novels, and more. Everyone talks about the streets of Paris, French cuisine, and the fashion scene here. So what does Paris have to offer? This was my last stop for my first trek to Europe.
- From Brussels I was able to take a train that took me straight to Paris. If you plan on doing this, buy your ticket ahead of time to save a lot of money! If you’re flying you can also fly into Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport which is also has trains that take you into the center of Paris.
- Public transportation in Paris is very useful and easy to use.
- Everywhere you walk you’ll find restaurants, shops, and beautiful architecture so opt to walk in certain areas to explore more.
- People warn tourists about pickpockets and scammers but I didn’t have any issues. Just be mindful of your surroundings and you will be okay. Don’t keep anything in your back pockets just in case.
- Visit the Eiffel Tower! Why? Because you’re in Paris! It lights up at night on the hour so don’t miss the short light show.
- If there are attractions you know you will visit, buy your tickets ahead of time to save money.
- Visit Notre Dame during a mass to get the full experience. The inside is absolutely gorgeous.
- Not all parts of Paris are fancy and clean. Be sure to figure out which areas you should avoid when exploring as well.
- Visit the Louvre at night to get some amazing pictures of the outside of the museum.
- For the Arc de Triomphe, be sure to go underground to you can go right to it to get a different perspective as seen in the photo below.
- If you want to shop go to Champs-Élysées, this is where you’ll find all those luxury brands. Still expensive but cheaper than anything you’ll find in the states.
Places to Visit as a Tourist
- Eiffel Tower
- Louvre Museum
- Notre Dame
- Arc de Triomphe
- Palace of Versailles
- Place de la Concorde
- Moulin Rouge
- Luxembourg Gardens
- Tuileries Garden
- Disneyland Paris
French cuisine is well known if various parts of the world but how does it taste at the source? Amazing but pricey! Be prepared to spend if you’re planning to wine and dine.
However not everything is expensive so there are lots you can try at local shops too:
- Crepes (Try both sweet and savory)
- Macarons (Visit St. Pierre)
- Crème Brûlée
- Croissant (Get both the plain and chocolate ones)
- Steak and Frites
- Various duck dishes
- Baguette Sandwiches
- French Onion Soup
- Foie Gras
- Frog Legs
- French Coffee (Café)
- Tip for “Mat Surfing” is to always call or contact the school ahead of time to see if you are even allowed to take a drop-in class or come by for an open mat session.
For this trip, I visited Cercle Tissier to train. This facility offers various martial arts including Karate, Judo, Aikido, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The school is actually located outside of Paris at 108 Rue de Fontenay, 94300 Vincennes, France but is just a train ride and short walk from the station. Be sure to look for the building number as Google Maps will take you in circles since it will think the location is in the middle of the block.
The interesting fact here is that this is the oldest BJJ academy in Europe as this is the first location Rickson Gracie ever taught at in 1995.
The class here was taught in French but the instructor was very helpful in making sure I understood what was being taught. The class was ran by Matthieu who focused on stand-up techniques and takedowns for the day. As the class was almost completely in French, I was lucky to partner with Arthur D. who is a fellow BJJ Globetrotter that is close friends with Christian Graugart.
After drilling several takedowns and counters, the clock came on and it was time to roll. We went five rounds with five different opponents and everyone here at Cercle Tissier felt solid and technical. Definitely really good training here. I even rolled with Matthieu for one of the rounds.
After class, a few of the students stayed around for a bit to chat and share stories of travel and training. Really great people and it was also great to see that next door there was a black belt karate class going on at the same time. In the locker room I was able to talk to a few of the karatekas as well.
Really cool place that you should visit. It’s a little out of the way but once you get on the train it’s not that far from Paris.
Paris is a unique and somewhat magical place. The city is lively and is rich with history and culture. Food here is great but the downside is as this is city that attracts so many tourists that things can get pricey. However, this should definitely be on your list for a Eurotrip.
Paris, France – September 2018
Return to Homepage