Hello all! I am finally coming back at ya with the last of my Christmas break travel series (Yes, I know it’s February. I’m doing my best, okay?) The last destination on the list was a New Year’s trip to Paris! Honestly, I hesitated before posting this, because there is not really all that might insight I can give into visiting Paris that most people in the travel blog universe don’t already know. But without further ado, here’s the lowdown of my time in Paris!
St. Chapelle and the Palais de Justice
After we dropped off our bags at the hostel, the first thing we did was head on over to St. Chapelle, since it would be closed the next two days for the holidays. Surprisingly, this is one place I actually have never been over the few times I have been to Paris, despite it being a big tourist attraction. Plus, I got in for free for being a resident of France under 27 years old. If nothing else. I think the stain glass windows pictured above make it worth the visit. While we were in the area, we also happened upon the Palais de Justice (it’s literally, like, right next to St. Chapelle.), so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to snap a photo!
Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris
I couldn’t take my friend to to Paris and not take her to Notre Dame, so while we were on a church streak, we walked over to Notre Dame. Despite it being incredibly crowded, I always like going to the Cathedral. Be prepared to wait in line when you go! Despite the length of the line though, it usually does go fairly quickly, so don’t be too intimidated by it. Tl;dr: old churches are cool.
New Year’s Eve in Montmarte and Sacre Coeur
Being stuck, cold and sandwiched in a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people on New Year’s Eve was quite honestly the last thing I wanted to do with my night. So that being said, we went online and managed to find a party that we could buy tickets for (60 bucks for entrance plus three drinks) that had a max number of 300 people. So instead of being cold and miserable all night, we were somewhere warm, inside, with a view of Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower! It actually turned out to be quite a nice evening, and I got to dress up for the first time in a long time.
The Eiffel Tower and lunch and Angelina’s
The next day, we had a leisurely breakfast and walked around a bit before finding Angelina’s, a seemingly very popular cafe for tourists that specializes in hot chocolate and desserts. Despite the amount of tourists there and the (very) long line to get in, I’d never actually heard of the place until recently, That being said, the hot chocolate was very rich, and the food was quite good as well, although a bit expensive for my tastes. Next, we found or way to the Eiffel Tower, and spent the majority of the day there! I’m not sure much really needs to be said about the Eiffel Tower, as it is arguably the most famous landmark in Paris.
The Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay
This section has a group of four things, because three of them honestly didn’t take all that much time to complete, so bear with me. Next on the list of touristy things I couldn’t not take a first-timer to in Paris was the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe. Now, the right was to do this, in my opinion, is to start at either end (either at the Champs-Elysées or at the Obélisque, and take a walk down the street, stopping into fancy shops as you like. It’s a nice walk, especially if the weather agrees. You can also go to the top of the Champs-Elysées for the view, but I usually choose to skip that part, especially since I am also getting the view from the Eiffel Tower. Next, we went over to the Louvre, which we didn’t actually go inside. Don’t get me wrong, the Louvre is an amazing art museum, but it is so gigantic that you have to take out an entire day and dedicate it to the art museum. Instead we dropped by what is my personal favorite art museum, the much more manageable Musée d’Orsay, home to many impressionist and post-impressionist paintings.
Walking around and Shopping in Paris
This last section is a bit of a photo dumb, but I always end up spending at least some time just walking around and seeing what I happen upon. On this “just walking” list of things that I saw, are Moulin Rouge (although I admit to going there on purpose, I didn’t just “happen to find it”), the Opera, and in general just some of the beautiful very French-style streets and buildings. While walking around in Paris, shopping and window shopping is also a very legitimate activity. I couldn’t resist going into Shakespeare and Company to buy a few things, as well as drool into windows like Louis Vuitton.
After doing a bit of shopping, I am sad to say it was time to say goodbye to my friend and go back to Strasbourg! (Although it was quite happy for my wallet that I didn’t spend any more money). There is no way to fit everything into three days in Paris,so there are always things I will miss, but I think I did pretty well in covering all the basics! Be sure to let me know if I hit or missed your favorite spots!