This post is part of our Eurotrip Series. You can find the rest of the series here.
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On Eurotrip Day 13 we definitely took it easy. We slept in, then walked through Picadilly Circus to the National Portrait Gallery and The National [Art] Gallery. We made our way to the train station in the afternoon, where we took the Eurostar high-speed train from London to Paris. Paris was a bit of a culture shock compared to Ireland and the United Kingdom… mostly because this was the only country during this trip where English was not the primary language. Upon arriving at our hotel, we immediately downloaded Google Translate!
- AirTravel/Transportation – How we got there and how we got around.
- Adventures – Write-ups of the activities we enjoyed during our visit.
- Hotel Spotlight – Where we stayed and our review of the accommodations.
Eurostar Train – $90 per person x 2 (Paid with 18,000 Arrival+ Miles)
The train was pretty much the only mode of transportation we had not taken, so we thought, “Why not?!” The highly-efficient ride was about 2 hours and 15 minutes, and it even went through a tunnel under the water! We departed London St. Pancras International Station at 5:30PM and arrived at Paris Gare Du Nord around 8:45PM (one time zone ahead).
National Portrait Gallery
London’s National Portrait Gallery is reportedly the first portrait gallery in the world. Here you will find an endless supply of paintings of famous British people. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time marveling at the works, but did enjoy the more recent portraits of the royal family. The free admission and free wifi were also nice bonuses.
Next door to the National Portrait Gallery was The National Gallery, one of the most-visited art galleries in the world. We saw paintings by many of the greats: Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Monet, da Vinci, and Michelangelo. This gallery was also FREE!
**Neither of us are huge art buffs; sorry for the lack of detail on the museums. You’ll just have to visit them yourself 🙂
Acadia Hotel – €100 per night x 3 nights (Paid with 34,125 Arrival+ miles)
While planning our time in Paris, we looked endlessly for good hotel point redemption options, along with AirBnB’s. We generally found that most of the hotels in decent locations were outrageously priced on points. AirBnB’s were all super small and pretty drab-looking. Needless to say, we couldn’t agree on a place to say, so I turned to “boutique hotels.” That is when I ran across this seemingly great deal at €100 per night.
Upon arriving in Paris, we walked to the Acadia Hotel – part of the Astotel Hotel Collection. When I think “boutique hotel,” I am picturing The Joule in Dallas. So I was pretty excited about this place. We quickly realized that the Acadia was no Joule, but we still felt we got a good value for the cost. The Acadia was situated in the Opera District, so for us, the location was within walking distance of everything we needed (train station, Paris landmarks, and great food options). We also had free wifi and breakfast included in our room rate. The downfalls to the hotel were that the bathroom seemed a bit dated and the walls were thin, but neither of those things were deal breakers.
Day 13 was an easy day. We enjoyed our leisurely stroll through the art galleries and the efficient train ride to Paris. While our hotel wasn’t exactly what we expected, the location was convenient to everywhere we wanted to go. We were able to get a good night of sleep for our next two big days in Paris.