Was ditching a date and taking a mate to Paris a good idea?

Whoever says Paris is the “City of Love” is lying… Well, according Laëtitia, a 24-year-old Parisian who claims to have NEVER used the words “I love you” (Je t’aime) before. “But it is a beautiful city” says the friendly Mathematics student.

It’s 10pm, Valentine’s Day and I’m sitting across the road to a glistening Eiffel Tower in a lovely bar situated in tourist hotspot, Trocodero.

Eiffel Tower from Trocodero
Eiffel Tower from Trocodero

Thousands of couples look up at the world famous attraction, as 5 billion lights sparkle bright, like a burning strip of magnesium. It’s a 300m giant, considered by many as the most romantic icon on the planet.

I’d agree. But we’re not here for that. It’s f****** freezing and Shane needs to hurry up and finish his pint so we can make our way to the Latin Quarter, one of Paris’ most popular student areas.

The Latin Quarter Paris
The Latin Quarter Paris

Having recently been dumped by the missus, Shane was left with a spare ticket to the French capital – which he’d decided to advertise on Lads Hols and travel dating app, MissTravel.

Despite the surprising amount of responses, the newbie single decided to ditch any potential date and take a wingman (me) instead.

So after a couple of Metro journeys and a short walk, we finally arrive at the Latin Quarter. And we’re not impressed. Since when did students go to bed at 11pm? Well it is Sunday I guess.

We managed to find one busy bar, but wasn’t keen on the male to female ratio (10:1) so took the barman’s advice and left for a suspicious town, Chateau d’Eau.

Chateau d'Eau metro station in Paris
Chateau d’Eau metro station in Paris

Sadly, the Columbian’s suggestion was almost as bad as his “special” cocktail – I certainly won’t be taking his advice again.

We celebrate the last minutes of Valentine’s Day in a strange pub, before deciding where next – Pigalle or the student hotspot, Bastille.

Rue de Lappe Bastille
Bastille (Rue de Lappe) is a student hotspot

After little debate, we opted for home of the Moulin Rouge, Pigalle – as we’d already experienced Bastille the night before.

As soon as we step out the taxi, we were approached by people trying to lure us into stripclubs. €50 a private dance apparently. No thanks.

Lee and Shane at Moulin Rouge
Lee and Shane at Moulin Rouge

I’ve never seen so many sex shops lined up in a row before, it’s crazy! But don’t be fooled, as very few of these places actually offer anything more than just an expensive tease… F*** that!

We walk the strip in search for anywhere that looks half decent, but there wasn’t much going on. We settled for the liveliest place in sight, O’Sullivan’s but on arrival noticed the place was full of couples and blokes.

Pigalle, home of Moulin Rouge and a load of sex shops
Pigalle, home of Moulin Rouge and a load of sex shops

The Irish bar was reasonably priced at first, but after each round of Desperados, we noticed an increase in price. I challenged the barmaid who told me the cost of booze goes up the later it gets (#bullshit).

We decided to hang around until 3am, after finding entertainment watching a French guy who wore a top hat, bleached dungarees and a large ring over a single black glove.

O'sullivans bar in Paris was the best on the Pigalle strip
O’sullivans bar in Paris was the best on the Pigalle strip

Now we’ve all heard of ‘peacocking’, but seriously… The Parisian Casanova’s questionable dress-code and impressive dance moves certainly earned him attention, although like me and Shane, doubt he managed to pull that night.

As 3am approached, we decided it was time for food. “Nowhere is open at this time round here” says the doorman – who suggested going to Le Marias for a crappy kebab!

Fortunately however, the beasty bouncer was wrong, because we found an absolute gem of a restaurant, Le Carlous, a short 5-minute walk (right) from O’Sullivan’s.

An incredibly tasty pizza at Le Carlous
An incredibly tasty pizza at Le Carlous

€11 got us an insanely tasty Margarrita and glass of orange juice to restore our Vitamin C levels. The perfect way to end a fairly shit night.

Perhaps Shane had been better off taking one of the girls from MissTravel after all?

Click here to find out why Shane disagrees!