(Seine is Paris’s main river… alright I’ll see myself out)
I had only been to Paris once before, for a mere 24 hours, where I stayed in a hostel near the train station for 15 euros. The shower was one tub shared by the whole floor and there was only cold water. Being 19 and on a college budget, I ate 1 euro sandwiches from the grocery store so that I could spend my dollars chasing after breathtaking architecture and pretty pictures.
This time around, I knew better. Dante and I were able to find flights to Paris for $800 (thanks, Delta!) and a four-country EURail pass for $300. The four country EURail pass allows us to travel on any 5 days within two months as long as the four countries we chose are neighboring. Stay tuned to hear where I’m adventuring in next 😉
We found an Airbnb for most cliche Parisian windows you can think of, and yes it had hot water this time (!!!). After a 9 hour flight from Seattle, we stopped by the Pancake House and enjoyed some crepes.
After checking in, we headed out to the Sacre Couer. We didn’t climb up the staircase inside, but we climbed the hill to get to the front of it, which is already high enough to get a view of Paris!
We had a quick stop at the Moulin Rouge, Parc Monceau, and Arc de Triomphe. The Arc de Triomphe sits at the intersection of 12 (!!!) streets and you access it by going underground first (what?!).
Other quick stops to see the outside architecture: Palais Garnier, Place de la Concorde, and Grand Palais. Also can we talk about the windows!? So charming *_*
And of course, we had to stop at the Eiffel Tower. Surprisingly, I didn’t stop here the first time I came. I saw it from afar and thought “welp, good enough” because how else can I see all of Paris in 24 hours? What they say about scammers is very, very real. If you’re going to Paris anytime soon, do yourself a favor and look up all the common scams in Paris. Everything from the “free Rose” trick to the deaf kids petition is definitely prominent and happens at all the local tourist places.
On Saturday, we allocated our morning to hit up the Louvre museum. If you’re only in Paris for 3 days, it’ll be difficult to spend the whole day at the Louvre, not to mention exhausting. The goal here was to prioritize – I picked my top couple choices, Dante picked his, and we hit those sections of the Louvre. Mona Lisa, Decorative Arts, Greek and Roman Sculptures, European Paintings, North American Paintings, s’il vous plaît! The outside and inside was like nothing you’ve ever seen. There’s just so many details in the architecture and design of the buildings and interiors. I was so in louvre.
We stumbled upon the Louvre lock – I mean love lock bridge after this! So we fell into the tourist trap and bought a 5 euro lock and wrote our names on it.
A couple of other stops: Sainte Chapelle – good to see if you are into Gothic styles, stained glass, or stories from the Bible (their stained glass depicts the stories!); Notre Dame – this is one of the largest church (Catholic cathedral) buildings in the world. We tried asking a tourist to take a photo of us, but… they didn’t know how to angle it in order to get the top of the Notre Dame, ha.
We were able to find an English bookstore called Shakespeare and Co, which is sort of like your typical bookstore, but set up a little differently (way more tight, cute, homey, and with little hidden nooks everywhere), and with a bit more Shakepeare books than normal (duh). There are also little notes placed around the bookstore from way back when this opened and some vintage decorations.
At this point, our feet were telling us to CALM DOWN. After a day of endless walking, we took a train to the Luxembourg gardens, where there’s an abundance of chairs and shade all surrounding the Luxembourg palace and the pool in front of it where kids rented little boats to push around.
We found a falafel place for dinner and hopped on over to Pierre Herme for macarons. I’ve tried Lauderee twice before, but I think I like Pierre Herme a little bit better because their fillings are a lot thicker and their macarons feel a bit more substantial. What Lauderee is good at though is there’s a lot more options for flavors.
Alright so no Paris trip is complete without a trek to Versailles, right? Given that we were only here for 3 days, we decided to just see the gardens of Versailles instead of going inside. The line to get in seemed unending, crowds were in the way no matter where you looked or tried to get a picture, all topped by 95 degree weather, and no food/water/restroom in sight – wait a second, is this Coachella?
The garden itself was already a large feat to get through, and we only saw half of it in the 2 hours we were there.
To end our Paris trip, we took a 1-hr night ride. I highly recommend Bateaux Paris for these rides because the seats on their boats are organized around the perimeter of the boat (and there’s seats inside if you want to eat or drink!) rather than in rows like the other boats. This is awesome because then you won’t have anyone blocking your view, you won’t be stuck in a “middle seat” kind of situation where you can’t get any good pictures and can’t move around. Since the seats are around the perimeter of the boat, you can stand along the railing or sit whenever you feel like it. We caught this around 10:30 PM, which was sunset time in Paris. By 11:30 PM, the boat arrived back at the Eiffel Tower and the sky was dark and the tower was lit up 🙂
This was a long read, so if you made it to the end, congrats and thanks for reading! Alright, hold tight, I’m already prepping the next post for our trip! 🙂
- – H&M Blue Dress with Sleeve ties – the dress is sold out, but…
- – Zara black dress with gold and white design
- – H&M White Scallop top