last year in September two of my best friends and I took a little 3 day trip from Germany to Paris to go to Disneyland for a day and explore Paris the other two.
We started planning this trip after we’d already bought the tickets to Disneyland.
My first tip is following “travel deal” pages on Facebook and downloading their apps.
I found our Disneyland tickets on a page I frequently check called Urlaubspiraten (I believe there is an english page called “travelpirates” for the US or “holidaypirates” for the UK though I am not sure how good they are because I only frequent the german page) but I am sure there are many in whatever country you live in.
I stumbled upon a post of their showing a Disneyland Paris deal where you could get admission tickets for one day as an adult for a children’s price of 42€ for one park.
So I texted my friends and asked if they were interested and shortly after we bought our tickets.
It makes a lot of sense to scan for these deals especially if you’re a college student and a little more flexible when it comes to travel dates.
The tickets weren’t set to a specific day just certain periods of time within which you had to just show up and show your online ticket to receive a day pass at the gate.
We found a date that worked for all three of us and bought the tickets.
Since it was semester break and I was back in my hometown my high school friend and I bought hand-luggage-only plane tickets with eurowings for 100€ (they had been 60€ the week before, like always waiting spikes the price up even though I did delete my browser cookies before searching for tickets the second time – another tip: always delete your cookies after every flight search!) and my college friend who lives a few hours away decided to take the train to Paris, which was easier and possibly quicker if you consider time spent at the airport and travelling to and from each airport.
The airport was a little desaster, after arriving the recommended 90 minutes before the flight (we had checked in online and had only hand luggage so we would only have to go through security) but we almost missed our flight thanks to severely understaffed airport security taking well over 1,5 hours and a line that went around the entire terminal.
The airport was actually in the news for this and I struggle with anxiety and fear of crowds so thing got very stressful for me when we were crushed between masses angry people who were getting more frustrated and anxious by the minute due to all flights leaving around 7am and it being 6:45 at this point.
We were last people who were able to make it onto our flight before the plane took off half empty without the rest of the passengers stuck in security.
But fortunately we did make it and arrived in Paris 1,5 hours later.
We flew to Charles-de-Gaulle airport and I can really recommend the airport. We found our way to the metro and train station fine and buying tickets for the train was made easy by mulitilingual ticket machines and employees selling the tickets for cash as the machines only accept cards.
My tip for travelling out of the airport into Paris is taking the RER B train to Paris (and back to the airport once you’re returning from Paris).
It’s 45 minutes and costs 10.39€ for a one way ticket.
You can also use the same ticket for the metro in one direction to get to your target location if it’s in one consecutive trip.
The ticket machine lets you pay in credit or debit card and you can buy the tickets and pretty much any train station and even buy them cash at the information desk or with the employees of the station.
Once we got to Paris to get around we relied on the metro entirely and I can really advise you to do the same.
We bought day ticket “mobilis” for zones 1-2 (that’s enough to see the louvre, eiffel tower, arc de triomph, champy de elyssees, notre dam) and it cost us 7,50€.
We would spend the first and last day in Paris and the second day entirely and Disneyland so we decided against getting the zone 1-5 ticket that would get us to Disney as well.
Once we arrived we picked up my friend at the train station and went straight for the eiffel tower.
I had downloaded an app with the metro plans and timetable so getting around wasn’t difficult, also since roaming charge within the EU are a thing of the past, thankfully, we were able to google which metro stations would be closest to wherever we wanted to go.
I recommend searching the app store for offline “Paris” apps with metro plans, metro statiosn for the sights you plan to see and offline maps if you get lost at home or at the airport while you have wifi if you’re not from the EU because the data roaming charges might be incredibly high.
When we made it to the Eiffel tower we did not actually go inside it (you can climb the stairs to the top or ride the elevator up) because we had a long day on our feet ahead of us and we didn’t really feel like it was worth the money or time standing in line because the Eiffel tower is really the most beautiful from the outside and we actually got to see it from above 2 days later.
We had a little photo session at almost every view of the Eiffel Tower and made our way to the Arc de Triomph.
Because we were exhausted by afternoon we bought our tickets to montevrain, where our hotel was. The hotel was the Ibis Budget and it’s only 1 metro station so only a few minute metro ride away from Disneyland! We payed 50€ a night (!) and stayed 2 nights so each of us only payed 33 in total for the room.
It was a very small room and breakfast or food were not included but it was very clean, room service came every day and it was modern and the beds were comfortable.
The name already states it’s a budget friendly hotel but we were really impressed!
You check in and get a pin code for your room’s door instead of a conventional card.
The walls are pretty thin though and the shower situation is a little awkward (bathroom is one small “room” with only the toilet, the sink is in the room right in front of the bathroom door and the shower is a seperate “room”.).
The bathroom and shower are very small and tight but clean and it was more than okay for a 2 night stay.
The beds are one queensized bed and a single bunk bed right above it.
My high school friend and I slept in the queensize bed and my college friend slept in the bunk bed above us. The bunk bed was not made and we had to put the (fresh and clean) sheets which was absolutetly fine for us.
We bought train tickets from Paris to Val d’Europe for the RER A train (the train station that is right in front of the hotel – like I said this hotel is perfect for Disneyland) for 11€ and took the 45 minute train ride down there.
Once we got to out hotel room and got situated we found a mall online that was in walking distance and made our way to the “Val d’Europe shopping center” where we had dinner in the food court and bought water bottles, snacks and breakfast food for the next days at the grocery store there.
When in Paris, do yourself a favor and get some authentic brioche!
We walked back to the hotel and had a good night sleep and got up and ready for Disneyland the next morning.
We walked down to the train station that was literally right infront of the hotel and spend 2.20€ on a train ticket to take a one station ride on the same RER A train that took us to montevrain from Paris, to get to Disneyland.
The train station is called “Marne-la-Vallée — Chessy” but there’s a mickey mouse symbol right next to it and it’s the terminal stop so you can’t miss it but do pay attention because there are two of the same train, one goes to Disneyland the other doesn’t so pay attention to the display board.
It was my first time ever at Disney while my friends had already been (one of them to both Disneyland and Disneyworld in the USA and the other to Disneyland Paris).
We had an absolute blast! We got lost a few times but it was honestly so much fun and so cute!
Unfortunately our cashier at the restaurant at Disney didn’t speak english so it got a little difficult communicating our dietary restrictions (both my high school friend and I can’t have dairy and she’s also celiac) so if you have food allergies or intolerances I recommend getting a “allergy” card there’s a website that has them ready to print for free in several languages I will link it here.
I can’t speak for the rollercoasters because I’m too afraid to go on them but the rides were a lot of fun and just exploring Disneyland was so much fun. All the characters were so well cast! The actors looked exactly like them!
Of course the parade was the big finale and so much fun to watch!
The weather changed on us constantly so it was pouring rain the one minute and sunshine the next and clouds in between.
While we were on a car ride it started down pouring and i mean POURING rain and we got entirely soaked while being on the ride and being yelled at to put our umbrella away.
So while I started my day with perfectly straightened hair, I ended it in crazy curls.
We brought our own water, which I would advise and our own snacks since we do have dietry restrictions and it’s also good for the budget but of course we gout ourselves some minnie mouse ears to wear all day.
My friend talked us into getting them (I was worried about fitting them in my hand luggage to take back home) and I am so glad she did!
While they went for the conventional black ears and red bow I got myself the golden sequined ears with a black bow.
(These were so popular that by the end of the day all but one shop had sold out of them we checked all of them while looking for one to buy for my friend’s mom on our way back and got one of the last ones.)
We had a blast and took the train back where we had to skip a train because it was too crowded since everyone seemed to make their way back to Paris after the parade.
Back at the hotel we prepped for the next day we were checked out automatically and made our way back to Paris with the RER A for 11€ and got another mobilis zone 1-2 day ticket for 7.50€.
Our first stop was the montparnasse tower panoramic observation deck.
It’s on top of the montparnasse tower where europe’s fastes elevator takes you up 56 stories in 38 seconds where you climb stairs another 2 stories to get to the observation deck with a view over Paris.
You can see the Eiffel tower and pretty much everything else.
It was so beautiful but incredibly windy. Up at the 58th floor the wind is really strong enough to make you hold on to the railing when it’s only a light breeze down on the ground.
I believe we payed somewhere between 11-15€ as students. It all looks very fancy inside and it beautiful when your up there! I do believe it was worth it.
After that we made our way down to see the Louvre, while we our schedule didn’t allow us to go inside and look at the Mona Lisa it was a beautiful architecture and my high school friend is in architecture school so she was able to tell us a lot of interesting facts about it.
We then made our way to Notre Dam cathedral were we did go inside and it was very beautiful to see.
Our next stop was the Arc de triomph again because we wanted to stroll down the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées, where we went to five guys for lunch (in our defense: we didn’t have five guys in Germany at that point in time yet and I just got back from Miami so I was craving it).
My friend wanted to get her parents some Macarons from Ladurée, who are famous for their fancy macarons. It was a very cute store and very popular and crowded.
I’m sure you can see many, many more sights in the timeframe but since we live in Germany Paris isn’t so far away that you can’t go again when you see a good deal of plane tickets and see the rest so we didn’t stress ourselves out since our main reason for the trip was to go to Disneyland.
But at that point it was already afternoon my friend made her way back to the train station to catch her train back to Germany and my other friend and I made our way to the airport again with the RER B.
Goind back our terminal was tiny and our flight was delayed twice so we spent a lot more time there than we planned and our flight took off only 30 minutes short of us having to spend the night.
I hope this was helpful for someone and I’ll have a post on my trip to Vienna, Austria with the same college friend coming up soon.