Staying in the heart of Paris
When we made it to Gare du Nord in Paris, we grabbed a trolley for our bags and headed towards the taxis. The queue was LONG.
A man approached us immediately to ask if we wanted to hire a mini cab. He took a glance at all of us and of our luggage, asked our destination and then declared it would cost about 75 euros. We paused, and then remembering what the exchange rate is (about 1 euro = 1.3 US dollars), declined. No sooner did we turn around, but another mini cabbie was there to ask if we needed a ride. His quote was even steeper! 106 euros!
We decided our best bet would be to take the Metro from Gare du Nord to Chatelet Station. It was a bit of a juggle with luggage, kids and collapsed stroller in tow, but we managed it like the amateurs that we were, groaning and agonizing until we arrived! Chatelet Station! The apartment we rented was only a five-minute walk. We were within walking distance of an H&M and a Zara (always a good sign, I believe), some good looking brasseries and little grocery stores. It was urban and positively pulsing with activity!
We rented through Airbnb.com – a charming two-bedroom, one-bath place, which also provided a cot and air mattress for the kids. What looked like a regular wall in the building’s lobby hid a secret flight of stairs to get to the apartment! The owner was very welcoming and gave us a tour of the place, before she handed us the keys and her cell number in case we had any questions.
We slept like logs! The next morning, we texted her to ask if there was a cafe that she would recommend for breakfast. She promptly suggested L’Acanthe, a stone’s throw away. It was chic and small, yet comfortable. The staff were welcoming and spoke English the moment we attempted our French. We ordered their basic breakfasts – baguette with butter and jam, freshly squeezed orange juice, café crème. The kids enjoyed chocolate chaud (hot chocolate done the traditional way) – a rich molten chocolate lava in pourer and milk in another so you can mix it to your liking!