Also this summer you might have trouble deciding between the different types of holidays. You can take it easy in an all-inclusive hotel, fly to a warm island or decide to go backpacking in Cambodja or Nepal. But maybe your bank-account does not look so good at the moment and you want to plan something small. In that case it might be a great idea to visit Paris by car.
Mini-Roadtrip to Paris
Personally I think roadtrips are awesome. It gives you this special feeling of freedom because you can do whatever you want. Especially when you decide to go camping you do not have to book anything in advance and you can make spontaneous without any planning in advance. If you decide to make a roadtrip to Paris, it might be a cool idea to travel along the coast of Belgium and France. You can slowly find your way to a city like Le Havre and then drive more landward to Paris.
The coast of Belgium
Belgium might not be one of the most mentioned holiday-locations but the coast is defenitely worth a visit. Towns like Brugge, Oostende and Middelkerke have a great atmosphere and there are campsites on walking distance from the beach. Belgium has something cute: You will see these small houses with a lot of colors and the people are really friendly and have the greatest accent. If you just follow the coast of Belgium the weather will slowly get warmer and you will reach the French city Le Havre at one moment.
Le Havre is the second biggest harbour-city in France and has about 200.000 habitants. After chilling at the beach for a couple of days I loved to see learn more about the history of Normandy and the World War II. If you like history you should definitely visit Normandy once in your life. Le Havre also has a very impressive harbour where you can eat fish and watch the ships float by.
After some beach and some history you will reach Paris on your roadtrip through France.The city of love is a great place to stay for a couple of days (especially when you are a couple). The prices in Paris are a bit higher than in Berlin (obviously) so do not expect to get a beer for 2,50€ and a main-meal for 5€. But all in all the romantic atmosphere, the great touristic attractions and the musea make Paris a great stop on your trip. You can decide yourself if you want to stay in Paris itself, we stayed outside the city (see tips below).
Touristic attractions and Musea
The Eiffeltower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Conciergerie and the many different palaces and churches: Paris has a lot to offer if you like impressive buildings and attractions.Personally I was quite impressed by the Sacré-Coeur and climbing the Eiffeltower is also a nice experience. Besides touristic attractions I would also advice to enter the Louvre. It might be quite busy but standing in line for half an hour is definitely worth it.
Tips for a roadtrip in France
Hopefully this article showed you that you do not necessarily have to travel far to have a nice holiday. A roadtrip does not have to cost much and you can see many different and versatile things. Obviously there is a lot more to see in France but my trip is just a suggestion. To make your roadtrip in France even better I wrote down some tips below:
- Toll Roads: In France it is normal to pay a fee for some highways. These fees differe between 2-3 Euro and 10-15 Euro. My tip is, to avoid these roads and enjoy the countryside of France a bit more: It will take you a bit longer to get from A to B but you will see more nature and it will save you some fuel (only if the detour is not too long).
- Stay on a campsite: As mentioned before, a roadtrip is not complete without camping. Especially in the area around Paris it can be quite expensive to sleep in a hotel or hostel. Therefore you might want to consider sleeping outside the city on a campsite. There are many trains going into Paris and we enjoyed it very much.
- Dictionary: If you do not speak French it is advisable to take a dictionary with you. The people in France do not speak many other languages besides their own (especially the older generation) and it is always the best way to make friends if you can say some funny things in their native language.
- Rent a bike: Renting a bike is starting to be one of my recurrent tips. In my opinion it is just great to see a city like Paris when you are driving a bike. Compared to sitting in a train or metro you see a lot more and it fits into the freedom-feeling from a roadtrip as well. Bikes are available for 15-20 Euro a day in France.
If you do not have a plan for this summer, you might want to consider going on a roadtrip. Paris is just one of the many great destinations you can visit. We really enjoyed the mix between beach and sun and the larger cities. You can also decide to travel to the south of France or even Spain, it all depends on your budget and how much time you have. Enjoy!