Paris is not so far from my home. With the high-speed train you can get there in 1 hour and a half. Yet I’ve only been there twice. And … Wednesday I go back, the first time I go there on my own 😀 My first time in Paris was a school trip (I was 15), the second time was a business trip with college (here I was 19, but didn’t get to see much of the city). In this post I will share the memories I still have (and very few pictures) of my school trip, which was already 7 years ago!
Hotel: B&B Paris Porte de la Vilette.
Transportation: the subway (near the hotel), about 25 euros for three days.
Museums: Louvre is free under 26.
Boat tour: Bateaux Mouches.
-Day 1: Disneyland Paris-
The first day was all about Disney. Personally I’m not a fan of amusement parks, but I guess it’s nice if you do like them, or if you have kids.
I’m not a brave person, I do not like the adrenaline, so roller coasters: no thank you. However, it was nice to go back to my childhood, during which I saw many Disney movies. I liked the attractions for the little kids 😛 I remember a boat with singing puppets, laser shooting with Buzz Lightyear and the best part: flying in the world of Peter Pan. I don’t really care that it might seem a bit ridiculous, I had a lot of fun! We had dinner in the Flunch near Centre Pompidou, it’s decent food for a good price.
(you might think at this point how I still know which hotel and restaurant we went to, one of my favourite souvenirs is tickets and booklets, I still have our entire planning of Paris, and even the ticket of the boat tour we did)
-Day 2: the classics-
The most popular museum in Paris is probably the Louvre. Good news for when your under 26, lots of museums in Paris will allow you to enter for free! The building of the Louvre dates back from 1190, when a fort was built for protection against the Vikings. You can still see the traces of the medieval building underneath the Cour Carée. Around 1360 the fort got transformed into a royal residence. Throughout the ages art got collected in this palace. In 1981 the pyramid in glass got added by architect Pei.
The Louvre is really gigantic. I think you can spent a week here, and still you would not have seen everything. Make sure that you select which art works or styles you’d like to see the most.
There are four floors in the museum. Some of the most famous works are: The Mona Lisa, the Venus of Milo, and les Chevaux de Marly.
The museum was very crowded. I guess because my expectations of this museum were so high I got a little disappointed. Especially seeing the Mona Lisa… There were so many people around it, and the painting was much smaller than I’ve imagined. I remember that right across from it, there was a gigantic painting that was as big as the wall. I found it ironic that everyone’s attention was going to the Mona Lisa, while mine was going to the other side. So be aware, don’t expect too much, know in advance what you’d like to see, make a selection, and expect lots of people.
I don’t remember exactly which sections we saw, but we really rushed trough it. I’m planning on going to the Louvre again, and just select the things I’d like to see the most.
We took our lunch in Beaubourg.
If you say Paris you say… Eiffel tower! In the afternoon we climbed the Eiffel Tower (ok, I didn’t because I am afraid of heights, at the moment I’m not letting it stop me anymore from getting pretty views, in New York for example, I went to the top of the Empire State Building) Some random facts: the Eiffel tower is 324 meters high, there are 1665 stairs to get to the top (great workout ;)).
Afterwards we walked along l’Ecole Militaire, Unesco, les Invalides and Pont Alexandre III, towards my personal favourite spot in Paris, Ile de la Cité. This is the historical heart of Paris, an island in the Seine. I adore the architecture of the Notre Dame. Although it is in a gothic style, it still has a certain modesty and soberness to it.
After our dinner in Forum des Halles, we took a boat tour on the Seine and saw Paris by night (near Pont d’Alma). Every city always gets a different dimension at night, with the many lights, it becomes sort of magical.
-Day 3: La défense and Sacre-Coeur-
La défense is a modern business area in Paris. Here we had to interview people in the shopping mall (to practice our French a bit). The eye-catcher was l’Arcade. We had lunch in Flunch Caulaincourt.
In the afternoon we explored the Sacre- Coeur and Montmartre. We got some free time here, we strolled around in the cosy and artsy streets of this neighbourhood, and some of us bought some souvenirs (I’m not a fan personally).
And that was basically our trip. I will try to share my memories of my second time in Paris as well, before I leave for a third time this Wednesday! And I apologize as the 15-year-old me didn’t take very good pictures 😛