The City of Love was made with a whole lot of love. And learning about the history of it can be so fun and awe-inspiring.
Since the posts from my last trip to Paris (nearly a year ago…) already covered the essentials: the city, the eats, the fashion, and the film, I decided to be a little more specific this time around. The next few posts will consist of some of my favorites in this city that has my heart. Here is my guide of the monuments and the “must” sees in Paris:
The Eiffel Tower: The obvious Paris “must” and the symbol most associated with the beautiful city. An icon, nonetheless. One of my favorite things to do is grab a sandwich, a coke, and some pastries and have a mini picnic in the grass below Tracadero square. Spend an hour (or the whole day) with a great view of the tower and some delicious Parisian food. Another way to see the city is from inside the tower, climb up (or take the elevator) and see a 360° view of the famous French town. But my personal favorite time to see the tower is at night. Every hour, on the hour, the Eiffel lights up and sparkles for five minutes. I recommend watching it up close, as well as, farther away from Trocadero square. These 5 minutes are pure magic and right when the clock strikes, you can hear an audible gasp from those watching. It gets me every time. There really is nothing like Midnight in Paris…
Arc de Triomph: Napoleon wanted to make Paris the most beautiful city in the world and ordered the creation of a triumphal arc. I think he succeeded in his plan. This arc sits at the end of the Champs Elysees (best shopping and cutest restaurants btw!!) and creates a vibe of splendor for the whole city to see. Buy a ticket and climb up what seems like a million stairs to stand on top in triumph. Its not hard for the view to take your breath away (considering you will already be out of breath from the seemingly never-ending climb). But really, watching the sun go down from up top is so beautiful and worth every single step.
The Louvre: Another famed spot of the city. Not gonna lie, this one is slightly over hyped. It is super cool to go into the palace and see so many esteemed pieces but honestly everyone goes in hoping to be dazzled by the Mona Lisa and met by the reality that you have to shove your way through tourists and cameras to get a 10 second glimpse at a painting that is much smaller than your larger than life expectations. That being said, the Louvre is still a Paris “must,” so go and decide for yourself if it lives up to the hype and how much people seem to “Louvre” it.
Notre Dame Cathedral: A beautiful church located on the island in the Seine (île de la Cité). The cathedral is adorned with incredible stainless pieces and so much detail. The intricacy in the building is incredible and will make you ask “how did they make this in 1163??” It would be impressive today but I will never understand how they built it back then. Make sure you check the dress code and hours before you head over but you must check it out! Walk around inside and pay respects to each station. This last trip, my apartment was 2 streets over from the Cathedral so every hour, I heard the church bells and could see the front opening from my window. It was so incredible- the best wake up call everyday and the cutest coffee view!
Musee d’Orsay: My all time favorite museum in the city. Located right on the Seine River, the museum is home to masterpieces created by Van Gogh, Monet, and countless other brilliant artists. It’s always so exciting when something you spent hours learning about and always seemed so distant comes to life. Each part of d’Orsay is so different and I love visiting all the rooms. My favorite is the one dripping with chandeliers and beautiful gold decor. Im also a sucker for the room with a floor to ceiling clock that doubles as a window towards the Seine. I could spend hours in this place (and I usually do).
France is filled with beauty, magic, and splendor. The icons of this special city add to it and going to see them all adds to my appreciation every time. I can never leave Paris without some sense of awe. And somehow again, this city manages to steal my heart. I can’t stay away long- see you sometime soon, Paris!