3 Days in Paris
After spending 3 wonderful days in Rome, we continued our European vacation to spend the next 3 days in Paris. We took a flight from Rome to Paris and then took public transportation into the city. The metro in Paris is super easy to use. Finding our hotel was a little more difficult because ALL of the buildings look the same. After wandering around and checking Google maps every minute, we found our hotel. We stayed at the Mercure Paris Opera Grands Boulevards, which I thought was a very lovely hotel.
Well, more like night #1 since we didn’t get into the city until the late afternoon. First stop: The Eiffel Tower. I’ve pretty much obsessed over Paris since I was a kid and couldn’t wait to see the Eiffel Tower. We walked around, took a TON of pictures, and then strolled around next to the Seine while sipping hot chocolate (it was a little chilly in April). The best part was the Eiffel Tower at night… it lights up and for a few minutes it SPARKLES. So beautiful and magical. It lived up to all the hype, and more. If you visit Paris you have to see the Eiffel Tower! (And go at night if you can)
We finished our evening by eating at an amazing moroccan restaurant near our hotel.
Day #2 was our first full day in the city. We headed out early to see the Paris Catacombs. There was already a line when we got there, about 30 minutes before they opened, so go early if this is something you want to check out. We purchased tickets at the door but they may have been a little cheaper online. The Paris Catacombs were really cool, and really weird. The city moved all of these skeletons into the old mines in order to reduce the amount of cemeteries in the city. Then artists moved the bones around to create interesting and visually appealing shapes. It was definitely an odd feeling to walk around so many human skeletons but it was a neat experience as well. The area visitors are able to walk around is only a small portion of the entire Catacombs.
We were pretty hungry after checking out all of those skeletons so we stopped at a nearby cafe for lunch. Sitting outside of a cafe and relaxing is what a lot of Parisians seem to do. So, taking note, we ate outside and enjoyed some local dishes – I don’t remember what we had but it was good.
The afternoon was spent enjoying art at Musee d’Orsay. I LOVED this museum. The building is a former railway station, so that in and of itself was neat, but I loved the artwork on display and the overall layout of the museum. We easily spent 3 hours walking around and appreciating some of the beautiful artwork. I’d highly recommend! It was SO much easier to navigate than The Louvre and less crowded.
We ended our day by walking around Champs-Elysees and checking out the Arc de Triomphe. Champs-Elysees is a shoppers dream, including many high-end stores, and it’s a nice walk to the Arc de Triomphe at the end. The Arc de Triomphe is a massive structure but it really didn’t hold our interest for long. You also have to walk down one of the tunnels under the road to get there. All in all, I enjoyed seeing both of them but I would not rank them as a must see stop.
The beautiful Notre Dame was our first stop on our last full day in Paris. The cathedral’s french gothic architecture and stained glass left me in awe. It is truly a beautiful site to see and would highly recommend to anyone visiting Paris and it’s free.
We made it over to The Louvre next. The Louvre is MASSIVE. The biggest museum I’ve ever seen in my life. If you have only a full day to spend here you probably would not see everything. I’d suggest to plan ahead to see the major pieces you want to see. The Mona Lisa is obviously the painting most people want to see but there are so many other wonderful (and better, in my opinion) artworks to see while you’re there. The Louvre is definitely an awesome museum to visit but there are a lot of other amazing museums in Paris, too. I think The Louvre is the most popular choice, especially if you only have time to visit one museum.
The early evening was spent visiting Sacre Coeur and admiring the awesome views of the city from Montmartre. I simply love the feeling of Montmartre. It takes work to get there (walking up LOTs and LOTs of steps!) but it is absolutely worth it. It is a quaint, charming area in an otherwise busy city. Many of my favorite artists such as Picasso and Van Gogh lived here. The heart of the square is full of artists as well, selling their artworks on the street. I’d love to go back and explore more of this area one day… such a perfect place.
I love Paris. The city is so beautiful, the people who live there are beautiful and friendly, and there is so much to do. It’s full of life, art, and adventure. 3 Days is really not enough time to see everything. I can’t wait to visit Paris again in the future.