Moving on to Paris, we took a high-speed train under the English Channel and were to Paris before we could catch a few winks. Just a note on high-speed trains…they don’t feel high speed!

It was raining in Paris upon our arrival and I remember being semi-lost, wet and wishing that there was a little less dirt, grim and doggy do-do on the ground so I could roll my suitcase to our AirBnB. Of course, what fun would it be if we always got what we wanted?

Eventually we made it to the street of our apartment and our host was waiting for us – all smiles. As my other half speaks French quite fluently, he spoke with her to find out everything we needed to know about our apartment. As we walked up the four (or was it five) flights of stairs to our flat, I was nothing more than excited to just sit down and dry off.

After a bit of relaxation and washing off my face – we traveled to one of the many local crêperies. Although it was a bit of a wait for our meal – it was delicious! Talk about a sugar overload.

We stayed in Paris for six full days and thoroughly explored the city. Here is a list of most of what we did:

  • Musée d’Orsay
  • Notre Dame
  • Pantheon
  • Luxembourg Palace (and surrounding gardens)
  • Champ de Mars
  • École Militaire
  • Gourmet Chocolate Museum
  • Musée des Égouts
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Cruise along the Seine
  • Big Bus Tour Paris
  • Château de Versailles
  • Sacré-Cœur basilica
  • Avenue des Champs Elysées
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • The Louvre

Of course, the above list is just the main sights. I would have to say that walking around Paris is simply the best way to discover all it has to offer.

Paris was steps. Lots of steps. Steps up to Notre Dame, steps up the Arc de Triomphe, steps steps and more steps! The city is fairly dirty – more so, at least, than London. Of course, that comes with the city territory.
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Paris is art. Prepare yourself ahead of time to walk through countless museums filled to the brim with art from ages and ages ago. Oh, and prepare yourself to get lost in The Louvre. It happened to us, it’ll probably happen to you. One other note about The Louvre, go when you’re most awake. This place is deceivingly giant and to be able to properly appreciate the place – you’ll need energy.
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If you take a trip up to the Sacré-Cœur basilica, be sure to walk up Rue de Martyr – the street that (kind of) leads to it. This street is filled with all sorts of shops and lots of wonderful food.A note to all you foodies out there…Paris is expensive. My other half and I would treat ourselves to bakery delights for breakfast, grab a fresh baguette, a few apples and some meat and cheese from the local market to make ourselves a sandwich for our lunch/dinner. We only actually ate out a few times in Paris. And that was okay! It worked for us – and our wallets thanked us.

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You might be wondering about our bank accounts after visiting so many museums…thankfully we learned of the Paris Pass before our travels. It gave us free entry to all sorts of places – and (what we didn’t realize), it gives you a transportation pass for Zones 1-3 of the city…which is really all you’ll need!

Probably our favorite part of Paris was the Big Bus Tour. As touristy as it was, we picked a sunny day and spent about two hours seeing all the big sites of the city. It was a perfect way to get pictures, hear a little history and understand (better) the layout of Paris.

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Finally, we took a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower as everyone should (at least once). We chose to do our visit at night time to really be able to properly take in the “city of lights.” If you’re planning to travel to the Eiffel Tower, I suggest you make reservations well in advance.

Overall, Paris was a very interesting experience. The culture is thick and neat to see. The buildings are practically all historic and the art is everywhere. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the Pastry/Bakery shops…those baguettes!

Stay tuned for a special post on safety in Europe, as well as our next stop – Belgium!