I just returned back to Barcelona from a weekend in Paris and the city truly lives up to its reputation. The romance on Love Lock Bridge, the smell of Nutella crepes on every street corner, and the energy given off from the Eiffel Tower at night all make up the exact experience I was hoping for.
We spent our first day in a quaint town called Montmartre. The city is one of the highest points in Paris and is home to the Sacre Coeur, talented artists, narrow streets, and the oldest chocolatier in all of Paris. We took the metro to the bottom of the hill, at which you have the option to either climb 250 steps or take a funicular up for only a couple of Euros. We decided to take the stairs and it wasn’t too difficult. Sacre Coeur is a Roman Catholic Church that sits right at the edge of the hill and offers an amazing view of the city. You can go inside and climb to the top (300 steps!) for an even more spectacular view. After visiting the church, we walked to the heart of Montmartre where all of the street artists are located and spent about an hour admiring all of the art, we even sat and had a sketch done. For lunch, we decided to escape the crowds and walk out of the busy area and down some side streets. We found a small Italian restaurant owned by a couple from Naples and had the most amazing pizza and gnocchi. Montmartre is not too big of a town, but I would definitely recommend reserving half of or a whole day for it! It truly feels like old Paris.
On our second day, we booked a tour for the Eiffel Tower. I would definitely recommend booking the Eiffel Tower ahead of time and skipping the line because the lines were ridiculously long when we went at 10:00 am. We took the elevator all the way to the top where we had a 360º view of Paris. We could see all the major monuments from there. Afterwards, we took the bridge across the river to Jardins du Trocadéro for a perfect view of the tower (and also perfect photo opp). By the time we were finally finished with the Eiffel Tower, it was already 3:00 pm and we were all extremely cold. We decided to walk around the area to find a little Parisan café to get croque monsieur and hot chocolate.
After the Eiffel Tower and lunch, we walked to the Arc de Tromphe. From there, we walked down Champs-Élysées, which is home to all of the major shops in Paris. The street leads straight into the ferris wheel and the Tuileries Garden and then the Louvre. Since it was spring break, the Louvre was extremely crowded and we decided not to go in (I can’t believe we skipped the Mona Lisa either). However, a friend of mine studying in Paris recommended we visit the Palais Garnier, which is the biggest opera house in Paris from the 1800s, instead of the Louvre if we only had time for one. The architecture was stunning and definitely worth going to.
On our last day, we visited the catacombs. The catacombs are underground tunnels with two parts to them, first, the history of how they physically hold up and support the city of Paris and second, and more gruesome, how they hold over 6 million human remains. We booked a guided tour through Viatours, so we were given more information than through the audio tours and able to go into private rooms. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when we booked the tour, however, I am extremely glad we did it. The bones were a little dark and scary, however, the history behind them as well as the architecture in Paris was fascinating and our guide was extremely entertaining.
Overall we had an amazing weekend in Paris and I cannot wait to get back!
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<p>I am a very adventurous person when it comes to traveling, trying new things, and meeting new people and I love to document my experiences. I am especially interested in fashion and entertainment. I have taken classes in both fields and gotten real life work experience. I plan to use my Marketing major to pursue a career in one of those fields.</p>