Get ready for a whole lot of Francophilia this week!
I’m sharing recipes, travel tips, and lots and lots of photos from my recent trip to beautiful Paris, France.
As a kid, Paris was always at the very top of my travel bucket list. There was just something about the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Palace of Versailles that completely mesmerized me.
At the age of 12 I was given the opportunity to travel to Europe with my best friend, Samantha, as part of a student ambassador program.
We visited Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, England, and, of course, France.
I recently had the pleasure of visiting The City of Light with my younger sister, Emily, for a few days on the way back from Kenya.
(Here’s Emily at the Eiffel Tower!)
We spent the perfect 3 days in Paris… minus one or two things I *really* wanted to do but missed out on!
We arrived in Paris very early in the morning, so we left our luggage at the hostel and set out on foot to explore the local area: the neighborhood of Montmartre.
Definitely take the time to hike up the hillside (or be smarter than we were and take the tram) to see the Sacre Coeur Basilica. We took a stroll through the interior, then climbed the circular staircase to the top to check out the view of the city.
This was where we got our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower; an exciting moment for both of us!
After a lunch of cheese, bread, and wine eaten in the park we decided to freshen up and hop on the Metro towards the Eiffel Tower.
It’s easy to stop at the Arc de Triomphe on the route between Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower, so we hopped off, took some pictures, then returned on our journey.
In the spirit of YOLO (<– look, I’m so hip!), we decided to take the lift all the way to the very top of the tower (when you purchase tickets they give you the option of going up to the observation deck or going all the way to the top).
The view from the very top is OUT OF CONTROL.
And very windy (see that selfie!?).
Paris is a beautiful city with many, many tree-lined streets. It makes for a great view!
The tower was even bigger than I remember it being (which seriously never happens!). Once we descended back down to sweet, sweet solid ground (heights aren’t really my thing), we decided to stick around and watch the sunset.
The nearby lawn is a fun place to hang out. Sit on the grass, listen to local musicians, open yet another bottle of wine, and take in your surroundings. It will be an experience that you’ll never forget.
After a breakfast of SO MANY CARBS we decided to head over to see The Louvre.
I remembered it being a pretty big museum, but you guys… it is *ridiculous*.
We were there for hours and didn’t even see a quarter of it. After accidentally walking around in circles for a while, we decided to hit up the main attractions (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, etc.).
I really suck at art appreciation (I mean, you can’t eat it…), but I was still completely blown away by the museum and it was my second time visiting.
And yes, the Mona Lisa is completely underwhelming.
Fun fact: did you know that the Louvre used to be a palace? And before that it was a fortress dating back to the 12th century?
So after getting lost, tired, and wearing out our feet we decided to stop at a McDonald’s and get some french fries. This was the first fast food I’ve had in 3 years and it was worth it.
Next up was Notre Dame!
Words can’t even express the enormous impact this cathedral will have on you when you visit. This is really a *can’t miss* item on any trip to Paris!
After you’ve seen Notre Dame, take some time to saunter along the Siene river and cross over one of the walking bridges.
Hop back on the Metro and prepare yourself mentally for a trip through the Catacombs of Paris.
The remains of more than six million Parisians are entombed within these catacombs. Walking through these underground tunnels is a very eerie experience!
For us, day 3 was all about relaxing, walking around, shopping, and taking in our surroundings.
We stuffed ourselves from sun up to sun down with croissants, bread, and cheese.
We had Croque Monsieurs for lunch and Boeuf Bourguignon for dinner. I ate more goat cheese than I’d care to talk about.
We bought beers and explored some terribly touristy shops.
We rode a two-story carousel just for the heck of it.
We parked ourselves on the patio of a cafe and spent hours ordering and consuming coffee and wine in an alternating fashion.
As it was the last day of our 14-day trip, we lacked the energy to do much else. However, if we maybe had a few more coffees and a bit less wine, I would have liked to take a day trip to see the Palace of Versailles again.
The only other regret I have is missing out on seeing the burlesque show at the Moulin Rouge.
I’ve twice now stood outside the Moulin Rouge without going inside to see a show. The tickets can be pretty pricey and if you don’t plan ahead you might find that the shows are sold out.
Emily and I both agreed that the outside of the building was very underwhelming.
And yes, I have my jacket tied around my waist LIKE A BOSS.
Also, I like to wear my hair in braids whenever I travel. It is convenient and it allows me to sleep pretty much anywhere because I don’t have a big bun on the back of my head preventing me from getting comfortable.
Not sure why I felt the need to share that with you, but there you have it.
Maybe I’ve had too much coffee. Perhaps it’s time to switch to wine!
For those that made it all the way to the bottom of this post, I applaud you! I hope you found my experiences and advice useful, and that I’ve inspired you to get out there and see a little bit more of the world.