On Friday, 10th November 2017, Nicole and I began our one-day trip to Paris. One day may not seem like a lot, but it was well worth it. Home to exquisite food, beautiful scenery, and some of the most well-known landmarks in the world, Paris has no shortage of experiences. We had so much 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 cords! But that was okay—we were in Paris, after all. We had to think fast on our feet 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 on our list were:
Landing in Paris
When we landed in Paris, the queues at passport control and the métro 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 métro route into Paris!
Using the city’s métro network is definitely the fastest and cheapest way to get around the busy city, so we weren’t afraid to use it.
Sitting on the train, we suddenly heard some loud beatbox music. I remember looking at Nicole and wondering whether we got on some Hen Party train by mistake? Next thing you know, a small group of guys began rapping in Spanish, French, and English! The next best thing to seeing Shakira live, I guess?
The Notre-Dame Cathedral
Our first stop was the Notre-Dame Cathedral. It certainly looked different from 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 way to familiarise ourselves with Paris, as it is the exact centre of the city and all places in France are officially measured from here (also known as Paris Point Zero).
L’Arc de Triomphe
We both wanted to begin our long walk through l’Avenue des Champs Élysées by starting off at the Roman-inspired Arc de Triomphe. This beautiful structure is surrounded by traffic-filled streets sprawling away from it in all different directions.
L’Avenue des Champs Élysées
This was one of my favourite places to visit in Paris. Throughout the avenue there were so many major fashion names with stalls in Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré stretching all the way down to the centre of Paris. Of course, we did a lot of window shopping.
You can’t really go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower! After walking through the Champs Élysées, we began to spot the top of the tower in the distance. It stands over 1000 feet tall!
We walked to find the best viewing point to see the tower, and of course, to take some photos. It looked amazing at night when all lit up. We arrived just before the sun was setting, so we got to see it during daylight and night time. The Seine River and the trees helped 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. The structure of the tower is breathtaking and is definitely a must-see tourist attraction.
When we approached the tower, we easily spotted the Flame Of Liberty—this features some tributes to Diana, Princess of Wales, after her 1997 death in the tunnel below. It felt to eerie to see the tunnel knowing what happened all those years ago.
The next place on the list was the Moulin Rouge located in the Pigalle arrondissement, which is easily accessible by the métro. 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 unfortunately, we didn’t get time to see. But we did enjoy seeing the building and learning about its history.
Last, 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 of 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. It’s definitely worth taking some photos here as it looks amazing.
There is so much to see, so it’s important to plan which pieces of artwork you want to focus on. We had time to stop and have something to eat in the cafe after a long day of sightseeing, which was definitely needed!
Returning to the Hotel
After a long, but great day of sightseeing, it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for our flight home to Manchester the next morning. Although our trip didn’t go as planned (we never did get to see Shakira in concert), we both had a great time exploring all that Paris has to offer.