Back to France: Paris, May 2017

My first time in France was on my senior French class trip in 2012 and it was a trip I’ll honestly never forget. It was the first time I ever traveled to Europe and ever went anywhere that far away without my family. Paris was magical and I had never imagined seeing a city so full of both beauty and history.

On May 26, I got to experience Paris for the second time in my life and it definitely didn’t disappoint. My family and I took the Eurostar train from London to Paris which is a high speed train that travels under the English channel and arrives in the middle of it all. We immediately had to figure out how to navigate the Metro and find our way to our hotel while also dealing with the language barrier. It was interesting to say the least! The first glimpse I got of Paris was of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower in the distance and it reminded me of all the beautiful moments I had in this city five years earlier.

On that first day in Paris, we wandered the old city streets to the Eiffel Tower and enjoyed some of the gorgeous views along the Seine River. The weather was surprisingly hot and most of the restaurants and hotels in Paris don’t have air conditioning which was definitely different for us! We had dinner at a typical Parisian cafe where I had Croque Madame and went to sleep rather early since we had a lot planned for the next day.

The next day was probably my favorite in terms of the activities that we did in Paris. First, we went to the Catacombs which is something I’ve always wanted to see and didn’t get to the last time that I went to France. It was both cool and creepy with a lot of history behind it. The Catacombs are a huge network of tunnels underneath Paris where bones were moved when cemeteries began to become too full. On the tour you only get to see a small part of it obviously, but you get the full effect.

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After the Catacombs, we got lunch at a traditional crepe restaurant called Crepuscule in the 7th Arrondissemont which was delicious! Later that afternoon, we went to the Eiffel Tower which is obviously a must do in Paris. Also, make sure you get a ticket for the summit so you can go to the very top for the best and most expansive view of the city and surround area. It really is an amazing sight to see.

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The next day we went to one of the best museums in Paris, the Musee D’Orsay which has some amazing art by Monet, Degas, Van Gogh and more. It is in an old train station so its bright and airy inside. There’s five floors so there are a lot of great pieces to see throughout the museum. Make sure to get there early and get tickets in advance if you can!

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The rest of this day was fairly relaxed. We had a late dinner at a lovely French cafe and saw the Arc de Triomphe at sunset which was breathtaking. Finally, we enjoyed some amazing gelato on the most adorable old, French street and headed back to our hotel to get some rest.

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On the fourth day in Paris, we went to a classic museum in the city, the Louvre! We took the metro to the museum stop and grabbed breakfast at a Patisserie before heading inside to see the amazing pieces by the likes of Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and many more. Definitely make sure you pick which pieces you want to see when you arrive because you could spend days in the Louvre and not even see half of it!

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After the museum, we found a delicious Italian place where we had pizza for lunch. There are tons of restaurants near the museum so it was easy to find some great options. Notre Dame Cathedral was our next stop which we walked to while enjoying the views of the Seine and city sights along the way.

Once we arrived at the Cathedral, it brought me back to my first day in Paris years before. It’s such a beautiful place with amazing architecture and stained glass windows. We went inside to see the chapels and the ins and outs of the still functioning church.

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This was our final day in Paris so we went to the Eiffel Tower one last time to see the sparkling lights. Every night at 11pm the lights on the tower twinkle which is absolutely beautiful and a must see if you’re in Paris. Leaving this city once again makes me want to travel to so many other places, especially in Europe, in the future. It’s such a unique place that I hope you get to visit in your lifetime!

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