Well if you know me at all then you are probably very much aware that Paris is my absolute favorite city in the whole wide world, so much so that this is my third time visiting this year (thanks mom and dad!!!!!!!!) I still get chills seeing the Eiffel Tower every single time, but more about that later :)
We finished our four-day week up at the school on Thursday afternoon, and headed back to our room to cram a few more things into our already bulging and over weight bags. We hopped on the train back to Copenhagen airport, our new home away from home, and anxiously waited to board our flight to PARIS!! This was the best flight I have ever been on! Why you ask?? Well, Hailey, KayLeigh and I each had a whole row to our self on the plane. AMAZING! The flight was about two hours, which I used all the extra space to catch up on some emails, work on my honors project and of course what flight is complete without a little Netflix. By the time we landed, got our bags, waited in line for a cab and got to our hotel it was after 11 and we were exhausted. Yet again, we were already enjoying the luxurious hotel accommodations and decided to call it a night, so we could be well rested for our full day of exploring the next day! Hailey and I got to be bed buddies again, which I know she loves :)
We woke up early Friday morning because we had so much we wanted to see in our two days in Paris. Hailey, KayLeigh and I had been in Paris together with TCU College of Education last May, so we checked off many of the classic tourist spots then. Although, some tourist spots a trip to Paris just isn’t complete without and were just so great we wanted to go again. After a quick croissant and cappuccino at the Starbucks connected to our hotel, we purchased a two day subway past for around 19 euros and headed to the Louvre Museum, home to the famous Mona Lisa. I have been inside this iconic museum on both of my other trips to Paris to see the Mona Lisa. Most people will laugh, but both times could probably set the record for the world’s shortest trip to the Louvre, so needless to say we did not feel obligated to pay to go in this time around. The outside of this museum is just as spectacular to me. Characterized by it’s glass pyramid, tourists (like us) from all over the world flock to take pictures trying to touch the pointed top. The building that houses the museum is HUGE and there is no way you could look at everything in one day. It used to be a royal palace so is very beautiful and ornate, too.
A short walk from the Louvre is the Royal Palace, an iconic spot in Paris I had never visited before! Just like most things in Paris, the architecture was breathtaking. We enjoyed walking around outside and taking some pictures on the iconic striped pedestals.
From there, we decided that seeing some art was a must while in Paris, so we decided to check out an art museum we hadn’t been to, Musée de l’Orangerie. On the way to the museum, we walked through the Tuileries Garden. The Garden is absolutely stunning and gives you a classical Paris feeling, as it is home to many Parisians sitting around the ponds enjoying the beautiful day. At the end of the garden is a Ferris wheel! We had to ride it! It was a beautiful sunny day, so from the top, we were able to see all the iconic sights of Paris including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, The Louvre, Sacre La Coure and The Arch de Triumph, just to name a few. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip to Paris for me and we joked it was the best 12 euros we spent! After our Ferris wheel detour, we continued on to the Musée de l’Orangerie. Musée de l’Orangerie is home to Claude Monet’s famous Water Lilies painting. As I have previously stated, we are not the biggest art gals, so we purely went to take in Monet’s famous painting for a few minutes, snap a few pictures and continue on with our day. I know, I know we are the worst!!!!
It was seriously SUCH a beautiful day blue skies, sunshine and around 50 degrees, a nice change from cold and cloudy Sweden weather! I LOVE walking around, especially in Paris, and believe you see so much more this way, so we decided to walk around until we stumbled on a lunch spot. Paris is filled with cafes and some of my best memories are filled with sitting outside taking in the views and people watching while eating. We were pumped and so thankful that the weather was nice enough in February to do that!! WOW SO BLESSED! We found a cute café to settle in and enjoy sitting outside and munching on some Croquette Monsieur, a yummy French ham sandwich with melted cheese on top. With full tummies, we continued on with our day to visit Cathedral de Notre Dame. We walked and found some neat shops to stop in along the way. I have visited Notre Dame on all my trips to Paris and it never gets old or less impressive. This time we decided to climb up to the top! I had never done this before and was excited for the view. MANY MANY MANY winding stairs later, we made it to the top and boy was every stair worth it! The view was incredible and so cool to stand on top of such an old and famous building. After the climb, we treated our selves with some yummy crème puffs at a nearby bakery that had the perfect view of Notre Dame.
One of my friends who had studied abroad in Paris for a whole semester (shoutout to Kamryn!!!!) recommended the view from on top of a fancy shopping mall to watch the sunset. It was too far to walk, so we hopped on the subway. We hiked up to the 7th floor, not quite as treacherous as our Notre Dame climb, but a close second, to the terrace. It was a restaurant too so we decided to grab a table near the edge for the best view and settle in to watch the sunset. We walked around the shopping area after sunset and then headed to my favorite place in all of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. The first five minutes of every hour the Eiffel Tower sparkles and it is truly magical! I could seriously stare at it all day long! We grabbed a crepe and sat and enjoyed the tower in all its glory. When it was a tad bit warmer this summer during my trip to Paris my friends and I sat under the tower in the grass long enough to watch it sparkle three times, but once was enough for tonight. Our hotel was only about a 3 minute walk from the Eiffel tower which was AMAZING, so we headed back to get some much needed sleep for another full day exploring Paris the next day!
The next morning we grabbed our breakfast of choice, a croissant and cappuccino, and headed to the Palais Garnier, or the Paris Opera House. This gorgeous building is home to the world renowned Paris Opera Ballet. Ballet was a huge part of my life growing up and the Paris Opera Ballet is one of the top ballet companies. It has been my dream to visit on my previous trips to Paris and it has never worked out, but this time my friends were gracious enough to put up with my obsession. We walked in expecting just to take a peak inside and snap a couple photos, but found out there was a performance that night! We inquired about tickets and were able to get three for only 10 euros a person! WHAT!! I couldn’t contain my excitement and was already looking forward to that night.
Next, we headed over to another one of my favorite spots in Paris, Champs-Elysees, an iconic shopping street lined with trees leading to the famous Arch de Triumph. We enjoyed walking and looking around, and of course stopping to have a macaroon (or three) from Laudree. We continued along Champs-Elysees until we reached the Arch de Triumph. We had walked under this famous Paris monument already, so posed for a few pictures and continued on our way. We maybe bought a few too many things, so we took a quick pitstop at our hotel to drop off the shopping bags and grab a quick bite to eat at an outdoor café close to our hotel. We had already enjoyed the Eiffel tower at night, but of course had to see it in the day light too especially since our hotel was so close. We had to make the most of the location right??? Plus the view seriously never gets old.
After our Eifel Tower escapades, we hopped back on the subway. This time to head to Montmarte! Montmarte is characterized by a beautiful basilica, Sacre la Cœur and an art market. The art market is full of local artists hard at work painting and selling their artwork. You can also find many tourists posing to have Caricatures drawn of them. It’s such a fun and lively area to walk around full of little shops, artists and musicians. Also, Montmarte is located on hill high above Paris, so the view is INCREDIBLE! I would 10/10 recommend to anyone visiting Paris.
Where had the day gone??? It was already time to head to the ballet! I was overflowing with excitement and anticipation. We rode the subway back to the Opera House and found another cute street-side café close by to sit outside and enjoy some appetizers before the show. The ballet was called Oneguin, which I actually had never even heard of before. The story line and setting of the ballet was quite similar to Romeo and Juliet. Everything about the show was amazing! The dancers were unlike anything I had ever seen, the costumes and sets were breathtaking, and the building made me feel transported back in time. We felt just a tad out of place in our jeans and tennis shoes, but we had a good laugh about it. Our seats were actually not bad, especially for 10 euros! It was an amazing evening and truly one I will never forget! Major shout out to Hailey and KayLeigh for sitting through the show!!! We were all exhausted, but simply couldn’t resist seeing the Eiffel Tower one last time before we departed the City of Light.
Paris is hands down my favorite city in the whole wide world, and the third time around did not disappoint, in fact I may have fell in love with it even more if at all possible! It was bitter sweet to leave Paris having no idea when I will be back, but I was excited for the week of travel still ahead of us. Next up: SWITZERLAND!!!!