In this latest series, I will be going through all the countries I’ve travelled to on my mission to visit every single country in the world. In this article, we will be covering country #46: France. If you haven’t gotten a chance already, read this story first to find out why I’m trying to visit all 193 UN-recognized countries.
VIDEO – Country #46: France
Blog post on France
- How to Cross from Spain to Andorra and from France to Monaco
- My Complete Belgium, Spain, Andorra, and France Spending Breakdown
- Is It Worth Stopping By Nancy France?
- The Step-by-Step Guide to Seeing Mont Saint Michel Starting from Paris France
- 5 Reasons Why I Think Paris France is Such a Popular Tourist Destination
Train to Paris
After I finished the Switzerland portion of my trip, I took a fast train going to Paris. While standing on the train, a friendly young French guy started talking to me in English. He asked me where I’m from and told me some funny stories about why French people don’t like Americans. I thought French people don’t like speaking English? Maybe the stereotype isn’t real after all.
Arriving in Paris
As soon as we arrived, the French guy pointed out where I can buy a metro ticket. We said our goodbyes and I lined up to purchase my metro ticket. So far so good. My experience with French people has been positive so far.
A friendly American woman then started chatting with me and warned me about being pickpocketed in Paris. This made me a bit paranoid because of the stories I heard.
Immediately, I hid my cell phone inside my money belt. I’ll tell you right now, it is not comfortable having your cell phone inside your money belt.
Heading to my hotel
I bought a 24-hour metro pass and took the train to my hotel. I’ve got to say that the metro in Paris is very well organized. It’s probably the best metro system I have ever ridden in my life.
Because of the easy to use metro system, I made it to the stop where my hotel is located. Unfortunately for me, I did get lost once I arrived. For some reason, I couldn’t find my hotel.
I used my Marriott certificate to get a free night stay at the hotel in the Paris business district. Because I didn’t have a sim card here, I had to rely on maps.me to find my hotel and it was just not cooperating with me on that day.
After getting lost for half an hour, I finally made it to my hotel.
Because I was only spending a little over 24 hours in Paris, I quickly dropped off my bags and headed towards my first destination: the Eiffel Tower.
There are two viewpoints for the Eiffel Tower and I decided to visit both of them. My first stop is the furthest viewpoint followed by the close up one.
I think I liked the close up one better because I enjoyed looking at the imposing size of the Eiffel Tower up close.
After the Eiffel Tower, I headed for the Louvre Museum.
I was going to try my luck and purchase a ticket to the Louvre in person. This turned out to be a disastrous idea. I couldn’t get a ticket because the line up was way too long.
Then I paused to think. Do I actually want to go inside and look at art? I don’t really care about art. Even seeing the Mona Lisa isn’t that exciting for me. After giving it some thought, I decided that I don’t need to feel obligated to go inside the Louvre just because it’s the thing to do in Paris. I left and headed towards Notre-Dame next.
Again, the line up to enter Notre-Dame was way too long. It was also raining outside. I thought to myself, “you know what, I’m happy just seeing it on the outside”. To this day, I have no regrets about that decision.
The remainder of my time was spent walking the streets of Paris before calling it a day and heading back to my hotel.
Journey to Rennes
I was excited for the next part of my journey in France. I love castles and this time, I will be travelling to Mont Saint Michel to see this big castle surrounded by water.
To get there, I took a fast train from Paris all the way to a city called Rennes. This city is the launching point for anyone who wants to see Mont Saint Michel.
Best Western Le Saint-Antoine Hotel & Spa
I used my Best Western points to get one free night stay at the Best Western Le Saint-Antoine Hotel & Spa. It was a pretty good hotel and I had a relaxing time there swimming and relaxing.
France is not a cheap country to travel to. I’m so happy that I managed to save up hotel points for use to book accommodations during my time in France.
Mont Saint Michel
The following day, I left my luggage in the hotel and made my way to Mont Saint Michel. To do that, I went to the central train station and booked a bus that was going all the way to the castle.
The drive wasn’t that long and it gave me a nice glimpse of the surrounding area.
Before long, I arrived at the highlight of this trip which is Mont Saint Michel.
I love this castle! Every step of the way towards it was a dream come true. For all the castle lovers out there, you will love Mont Saint Michel.
Last stop on Nancy
After Mont Saint Michel, my next destination would be Luxembourg and Belgium. However, it would be too late for me to take a train to both those places. I decided to stay one more night in France in a small city called Nancy.
This was an interesting turn of the event because the city square in this place is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site. After waking up the next morning, I decided to explore the city square for a bit before taking the train to Luxembourg.
The city itself is pretty quiet. I think most people probably just go to Paris and that’s it. I wouldn’t say this city square is a must-see. But, if you are backpacking in France and plan on going to Luxembourg or Belgium, then this is a neat little pitstop on the way there.
During my trip to Europe, I would transit through France two more times. I also spent a night in Toulouse and a night in Nice. Both were pleasant cities but Nice definitely takes the cake as one of the nicest cities to visit in France.
I only went there to visit Monaco but I was surprised at how beautiful this place is. I would return given the opportunity.
My time in France was great. I know some people say that French people can be snobby but I personally did not experience any of that during my time there. In fact, they were really nice to me which enhanced my experience travelling in France.