Paris has been one of my favorite cities that I have been too. It was definitely the most memorable, as it was the place where Phillip proposed to me. The “City of Love” definitely lived up to its name! I studied French for 5 semesters, from middle school through college, but I definitely am not a fluent speaker. Taking French classes helped me appreciate the culture and gave me a couple skills while I was there, such as reading menus and signs and asking for directions. Although you can see the main attractions in a couple days, I think 4 days was a good amount of time for the first visit. I definitely want to go back at a different time of year to experience the city in a different season. We went at the end of December so got the chance to go to the Christmas markets. It was cold, but not unbearable.
When we arrived, we headed to get our Paris Pass that we previously ordered. Although this had its advantages, I don’t know if it was truly worth it for what we wanted to see and do. After that, we took the metro (best mode of transportation everywhere) to our hotel. We stayed at Hotel De La Vallee, which was very cheap and in a good location. If you just plan on sleeping in the hotel and aren’t picky, I would recommend this hotel. After checking in, we set out into the city.
In the afternoon, we were able to walk the streets of Montparnasse, take a stroll in the Luxembourg Gardens, see the Pantheon, walk around the Latin Quarter and Saint Sulpice, put a lock on the Love Bridge, and end our night in Saint-Chappelle and seeing City Hall.
After some sleep, we went out and searched for breakfast. In Paris, this is not a very hard thing to do. All of our eating breaks, we just picked something that looked good and everything was good for the most part. First thing we saw was Notre Dame. We opted out of climbing the tower, but next time I go back, I will definitely add this to the list of things to do. Going to Paris in and Off season would definitely provide a different experience as there were long lines everywhere we went.
After Notre Dame, we took the Hop-on Hop-off bus that was included in the Paris Pass. We took the bus to the Orsay Museum, which was neat but something I could have done without.
Next, we took the bus to the Opera, which was just something we looked at from the outside. Next, we went to the Wax Museum, which was very crowded, but something that I found very interesting. If you haven’t been to a wax museum before, this is a good one.
The bus then took us to the Grand Palais and Petit Palais which was the area where the Christmas Markets are. We grabbed a bite to eat, walked to Alexander Bridge, walked to Invalides Dome Church, and then went to the Rodin Museum. After taking the bus tour, we took the metro back to our hotel to freshen up for dinner. We made reservations at the restaurant on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, 58 Tour Eiffel. Our reservations included a lift ticket to the first floor, which we picked up at the welcome desk 30 minutes before the time of our booking. This dinner was absolutely fabulous! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience so we tried to think about how pricey it was. This was a great way to end the night!!
We thought if we were in Paris, we might as well go see Versailles too. We took an 8 A.M. train to Versailles, and did a self-guided tour at the Palace. Man, oh man, was it crowded. I do not like crowds, so we tended to rush through all of the rooms, because of how much I hated being shoved. The line was about a 2 hour wait to get in the place, which just wasn’t worth it for me. One day, I may go back in the off season, but I don’t recommend going in December. Luckily, it was a sunny day out, or I would have froze waiting outside in the line.
After we finished, we headed back to the Eiffel Tower, where we grabbed lunch at one of the food trucks. We wanted to go back, because we hadn’t seen it during the day yet, and we wanted to go to the very top. Again, this was another very long line. The line for the stairs was about a 3-hour wait and the line for the elevator was about a 5-hour wait. We decided to take the stairs. This was a great decision. The climb was not very hard. After waiting that long, we were ready to get moving. It only took about 15 minutes to get to the second floor, and from there, we bought a lift ticket to the top (only way up from there). The view was absolutely gorgeous. By the time we got up, the sun was setting, and this is when Phillip proposed to me!! Best moment of my life!!
After hanging out by the Eiffel Tower for a while, we headed to the area of Trocadero and then to the Arc de Triomphe. Afterwards, we took the metro to Sacre Coeur, where we walked around and stopped in quite a bit of souvenir shops. Then, we headed to Montpartre and Moulin Rouge.
The next time I go back to Paris, I also want to see a Moulin Rouge show!
Today we went to Pompidou and then the Louvre museum. Again, not the time of year to go, as the line to the Louvre was forever long. We decided not to wait in line. Next trip to Paris, this will be a priority of mine. We took the classic tourist pictures at the Louvre and then went to a wine tasting. Afterwards, we went to the top of Montparnasse, which was the best view of the Eiffel Tower. We ended our day by seeing the Royal Palace and then walking the Champs-Elysees, where the Christmas markets were.