I had been dreaming of Paris for a long time; walking along the Seine, eating crepes, and visiting the world class museums and churches. Luckily, Paris exceeded even my best fantasies!
Day One: The Notre Dame and The Louvre
We flew into the CDG and struggled hard to figure out the metro system to get down to where we were staying. All I really knew was that our place was near the Notre Dame. Eventually we got our tickets and rode the subway to the Notre Dame stop. Honestly, I wasn't in the best mood. We were both frustrated after our delayed flight and our difficulties with the metro. But, as we exited the underground stop, my mood shot back up. The Notre Dame was standing in front of us!
After dropping off our bags at our hotel we set out to explore! We walked back to the Notre Dame (just a couple streets away from our place) and then walked along the Seine until we stumbled upon the Louvre. Paris is like that. You'll be wandering around with no plans, turn a corner, and end up staring up at one of its amazing sights!
Wanting some relief from the intense heat (who knew Paris got so hot?!) we decided to find a restaurant to sit down in. We chose a little outdoor spot under a canopy where we could enjoy our snacks and drinks while also people watching. Below is the cheese plate we ordered and then devoured. I mean, cheese and wine are basically the top two reasons I wanted to visit France.
As we headed back to our hotel for an early night, stopped at a few bridges to take in the view.
Day Two: The Eiffel Tower and The Arc de Triomphe
We were up early to take full advantage of our first full day in Paris. And because we both have our priorities straight, we set off to find some breakfast. This was not a hard task as all the streets are lined with creperies, which is exactly what I wanted! With full bellies we started our walk to see the number one tourist attraction. That's right. The Eiffel Tower.
It was a long walk from the Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower. But another traveler had suggested walking it instead of taking the metro so that you get to see all the streets along the way. He was right, all the streets of Paris are beautiful! Finally we made it to the base of the tower. It is massive and truly an impressive piece of architecture. The line to go up to the viewing platform was out of control so we choice to continue on.
The next stop on our self guided walking tour was the Arc de Triomphe, another architectural gem of Paris. I wish that we had decided to go up to its viewing level since we skipped the Eiffel Tower but it too had a long line and I have no patience for waiting. We did take our time to walk around and see it from all angles to really appreciate its beauty.
Our plan was to head back in the direction of our hotel with one more stop at the Musee d'Orsay. However, when we got there, it was closed! Apparently the museum isn't open on Mondays... oops. Learn from our mistake and always check hours for the attractions you want to visit! Luckily for us we had almost another full day in Paris so we could still see it later.
Day Three: The Musee d'Orsay and Sacre Coeur
This was our last day in Paris as we caught an overnight train to Barcelona at 9:30 pm. We booked it that way on purpose to maximize our time in each city. After missing out on the Musee d'Orsay the day before we decided to make it our first stop.
Aaron had the "great idea" to rent city bikes to make our travel faster and easier. Unfortunately, this time saving idea turned into a 2 hour nightmare. After renting our bikes, we rode over to the museum in about 15 minutes. So far so good. However, we couldn't find any spots to park our bikes because all the city racks in a kilometer radius were full. I would not recommend bikes in Paris as a method of travel. Opt for the metro or just walk!
The d'Orsay was amazing. It is mostly known for its iconic clock window on the top level. I patiently waited for my turn to look out over Paris while my cooperative husband snapped a photo (I think he felt bad after our bike mishap).
The clock and the Monet paintings were my favourites. After working our way through all the incredible exhibits we caught the metro up to the Montmartre district.
We wandered through the streets and stopped at a bakery to buy a couple baguette sandwiches and macaroons! Then we continued up the hill towards our final goal: Sacre Coeur (The Basilica of the Sacred Heart).
This basilica was so different from anything I had ever seen. It's unique architecture made it absolutely mesmerizing. The sight of it kept us going as we climbing the steep stairs in the blistering heat. The views from the top also made all that hard work worth it!
After the workout up the hill we thought we had earned a good dinner so we headed for a highly rated restaurant I found using Yelp. It was said to have the best falafel in the world. Pretty high expectations to live up to! But I have to say, it was really good! And it was definitely filling!
With so much to do and see in Paris three days was hardly enough. I definitely hope to go back one day so leave me any tips you have for Paris in the comments below!