On Friday 10th November 2017, Nicole and I (Chloe) began our one day trip to Paris. One day may seem like a stretch, but it was actually a quick journey, and well worth the early start. With some of the most well-known landmarks in the world, exquisite food and beautiful scenery, there was a lot to try, see, eat and drink.
The original plan was to see Shakira live in concert but this was unexpectedly cancelled the night before due to strained vocal chords! We had to think on our feet and fast to plan our time efficiently so we could see as much of Paris as possible.
Whilst waiting around the airport there was plenty of time to kill so we began to plan our itinerary. The main things we wanted to tick off was:
- Explore the home of Moulin Rouge,
- See the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
- Shop along the avenue des Champs Élysées
- Visit The Louvre
So after landing in Paris the queues at Passport control and in the Metro station took a lot longer than expected so our time was already cut short before the journey truly began. After a lot of Google mapping and mispronounced french words we managed to plan our first metro route into Paris! Using the city’s metro network is definitely the fastest and cheapest way to get around the busy city so we wasn’t afraid to use it.
Sitting on the train we suddenly heard some loud beatbox music, I remember looking to Nicole wondering whether we got on some Hen Party train by mistake? Next thing you know, a small group of guys began rapping to the music in Spanish, French and English! The next best thing to seeing Shakira live I guess?
The Notre-Dame Cathedral
The first stop was to visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral. It certainly looked different to how it does in the Disney film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Not only is the place immortalised as the home of the Hunchback, it is home to the one of the finest stained glass window collections in the world. Much of this dates right back to the 13th century! Starting off here was a great start to get familiar with Paris as it is the exact centre of Paris and all places in France are officially measured from here.
The Arc de Triomphe
We both wanted to begin our long walk through the avenue des Champs Élysées by starting off at the Roman-inspired Arc de Triomphe. It really is beautiful and is surrounded by traffic-filled streets sprawling away from it in all different directions.
The Avenue des Champs Élysées
This was one of my favourite places to visit in Paris. Throughout the avenue there was so many major fashion names with stalls in the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré stretching all the way down to the centre of Paris. Of course, lots of “window”shopping was done.
You can’t really go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower! After walking through the Champs Élysées, you begin to spot the top of the tower in the distance – it stands at over 1000 feet tall. We walked to find the best viewing point to see the Tower and of course take some photos, it looks amazing at night time when it lights up. We arrived just before the sun was setting so we could see it during daylight and night time. The Seine River and the trees help provide the perfect scenery and ensured we got some good snaps, this is definitely one of the most charming areas of Paris and looks even better at night time. The structure of the Tower is breathtaking and it’s worth a visit as one of the “must do” tourist attractions.
Upon approach to the tower, the Flame Of Liberty is easily spotted – this features some tributes for Diana, Princess of Wales after her 1997 death in the tunnel below. It was such an eery feeling to see the tunnel knowing what happened all those years ago!
The next place on the list to visit was the Moulin Rouge which is located in Pigalle – Saint-Georges – easily accessible by the Metro. The building really stands out due to its large red windmill built on top of the roof, as well as the bright colourful lights used on the exterior. It is easily one of the most recognised landmarks in Paris. It is home to the famous cabaret show, which we did not get time to see but enjoyed seeing the building and learning about the history of it.
Last on our list, but definitely not least was The Louvre Museum, which is known as the world’s largest art museum. It holds the Mona Lisa portrait which is a must see and the crowds around it remind you how popular it really is. The entrance to the museum is through the large pyramid in the courtyard, which is probably the image you automatically have in your mind upon thinking of The Louvre, definitely worth taking some photos here as it looks amazing. There is so much to see so it is important to plan which pieces of artwork you want to focus on seeing. We had time to stop and have something to eat in the cafe after a long day of sightseeing, which was definitely needed!
After a long, but great day sightseeing it was time to head back to the hotel ready for a flight home to Manchester in the morning. Although our trip didn’t go to plan at first due to Shakira’s concert being postponed, we both had a great time sightseeing and exploring all that Paris has to offer.
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