Day 3 and we’re still without luggage. At least Amy buying a whole new (free) wardrobe from Paris sounds like not the worst thing in the world…
The center of Paris is really perfect for wandering… Pick any street and any direction and it seems you can stumble upon unexpected beautiful sites and cute cafés. Though there is much more to see, here are some of our Paris travel highlights:
I was almost going to miss out on the Louvre this time around, but I am so happy we ended up visiting. It is massively overwhelming (652 000 square feet) and can feel sometimes like a maze, but the art (and even the building) is truly amazing.
My highlight was Napoleon III’s apartments, that were so lavish and extravagant that I couldn’t help but stare at them in awe.
The non-highlight was the Mona Lisa. As we were strolling through the museum earlier in the morning, Ash mentions how the building is so large that you don’t really notice all the crowds. Well, that’s a lie. The crowds are just all at the Mona Lisa.
Entering it’s wing, the museum suddenly was full of large bench seating and people in all directions. It was neat to see a painting you hear about all the time, but at the same it seems funny that it’s all the result of a lot of hype.
Probably one of the most famous streets in the world leads you to the Arc de Triomphe, where 12 tree-lined motorways starburst out from the traffic circle surrounding it. The sidewalk is just as busy as the road itself, and full of never-ending shops and stores.
Sadly, we caught the Arc under construction so weren’t able to get a good look nor take a ride to the top.
So I’m sold on macarons now…
These meringue-based treats with two little biscuits sandwiching jelly and ganache were (debated to be) first started here in France. There are plenty of macaron shops throughout Paris, with Laduree being one of the best known macaron makers in the world.
It’s interesting that the Eiffel Tower was almost torn down in 1909 for the World’s Fair (and only kept in place because of a handy little antenna at the top) but now is the iconic symbol of France.
We sat in the grass at its base and watched the sun set behind the tower as we snacked on a little picnic… getting distracted by the numerous touts selling mini Eiffel towers and bottles of champagne.
City of Lights
After starting our night out with some scandal and champagne at a Cabaret show, we barhopped through the city to get a good sense of Paris nightlife. We were treated very kindly by the clubs, who made us foreigners feel welcome with private seating and complimentary champagne and water (must stay hydrated!). We danced the night away and landed in our beds as the sun came up around 6 am.
Though Paris is not at all known for having a great nightlife scene (does that suprise you as much as it did me?), we had a great time!
Sundays in Paris
We fit right in on our lazy Sunday following our night out, strolling through street flea markets, people-watching in cafés, and eating croissants in the beautiful Luxembourg gardens:
Is everything here so charming?
What: Paris Museum Pass
Cost: 2 days (42€) to 6 days (69€)
Includes: Louvre, Notre Dame, Versailles, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou, Musée Rodin, etc.
If you’re planning on seeing a few museums and sites, we’d recommend the Paris Museum Pass which includes admission to over 60 museums and monuments. We got the 2 day pass and found that since most sites cost an average of 10€, as long as we saw at least 4 in two days, the pass paid itself. What I liked most about it was that it allowed us to pop our head into a museum; if we weren’t interested, we could leave without feeling obligated to spend the day there because we’d spent money on seeing it. And the best part: for almost every site there was a fast track line for those with the pass!