Oct 30th, 2018, 02:00 PM

The Best Parisian Staycation

By Kathleen Sharp
Fall alongside the Seine, Paris. Image Credit: Flickr/Frankieleon
How to spend your Fall Break in Paris.

FOMO: fear of missing out. It's a normal thing to feel when it seems like the rest of your friends and classmates are traveling far and wide this fall break. But when did staying in Paris become a bad thing? Paris is the third most visited city in the world and there's a good reason for that. Here's some advice for how to spend your break exploring Paris:

1. Take the RER to Poissy

Poissy is a great day trip. The small town is a western suburb of Paris and is easily accessible by RER A. You can take the RER all the way out to Poissy without a supplemental charge if you use your Navigo pass. Once there, you can find the charming Parc Meissonier with its big grassy spaces and a pond full of wildlife and birds. For those interested in architecture, you can also visit the Villa Savoye, a modernist villa designed by the Swiss architect Le Corbusier, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret. Its striking white exterior is the perfect photo opportunity. Entry is free for European students between the ages of 18 and 25. Before you take the train back to Paris, stop for dinner and a drink at one of the town's restaurants, such as Little Eataly & Co. An added perk is how the pricing compares to restaurants in Paris!


Parc Meissonier in Poissy. Image Credit: Kathleen Sharp

2. Go to the Cinema with Lost in Frenchlation

Lost in Frenchlation is an organization that makes French cinema more accessible to anglophones by offering film screenings with English subtitles. On Friday, Nov. 2, they will be screening Gilles Lellouche's "Le Grand Bain," or "Sink or Swim," a French comedy about a group of middle-aged men who decide to form their local pool's first synchronized swimming team. The event is located at Cinéma Studio 28, 10 Rue Tholozé, 75018. Doors open at 8 p.m for drinks and snacks, and the show begins at 9 p.m. Regular tickets cost €9 but with your student discount they are reduced to €7.50.

Movie Poster for Le Grand Bain. Image Credit: Lost in Frenchlation

3. Go Indoor Ice Skating

The ice skating rink Patinoire de Boulogne-Billancourt is a short ride from Paris. Accessible from metro stop Marcel Sembat on Line 9, the large inside rink is the perfect place to do some exercise and to have fun. They play music for the skaters and offer free helmets with ice skate rentals. When you get tired of skating, there is a cozy café where you can take a break and order a hot chocolate to warm up. General admission is €6.15 and rental ice skates cost €3.25. 

AUP sophomore, Kathleen Sharp, skates her way around the Patinoire de Boulogne-Billancourt. Image Credit: Kathleen Sharp

4. Visit La Défense

La Défense is only three kilometers outside of Paris with plenty of monuments and skyscrapers to admire. The area feels much less touristy than Paris with its 20,000 residents and 150,000 employees, industrial buildings, and corporate headquarters. Step out of your comfort zone and explore the business district! Line 1 goes straight to La Défense, so you can get there and back with a Navigo pass or two metro tickets. While there, check out sculptor César Baldaccini’s strange 12-meter-tall sculptureLe Pouce,” in English "The Thumb!" At night, grab a drink at Hotel Melia's skyline bar. The bar itself is ritzy but its delicious cocktails and its views onto Paris are worth every cent.

La Grande Arche de la Défense, Paris. Image Credit: Wikipedia/Coldcreation

5. Disneyland Paris's Halloween Celebrations

Meet your favorite villains as Disneyland Paris celebrates Halloween from Oct. 1 to Nov. 4! The park's website calls the occasion "Disney’s Halloween Festival: A Spooky Mouse Skelebration!" You have just the right window of opportunity to catch the last days of the "skelebration" with friends or on your own. The park is decked out in pumpkins, scarecrows, and other autumnal decor, making it the perfect place to spend a day or evening. 

The Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland Paris. Image Credit: Unsplash/Skyler Sahakian

Don't let FOMO keep you from having your own fun in Paris this late October and early November. Remember that plenty of other students are also staying in town. This is the perfect moment to take time off from your schoolwork and to really explore the city you live in! Whether it's skating, partying with Mickey Mouse, or watching subtitled French movies, you'll have something meaningful to contribute to the conversation when your peers come home with tales of their own adventures. Have a great staycation!