After 3 days galavanting around London (click here if you haven’t read that blog yet!), we took the Eurostar to Paris! We were super excited to go through the famous chunnel, and I don’t know whether we expected to see the water from our train window or what, but we were surprised that the only way we knew we were in France was when the cellular service company on our iPhone changed to a French provider. Regardless, it meant that we were about to spend three days in one of our favorite cities!
We explored the city by foot!
After departing the train station, we walked a couple of blocks away to call an Uber. It’s funny how the French you thought you knew goes completely out the window when a non-English speaking Frenchman is asking you to tell him where you are because he can’t find you. After trying to remember the four years of high school French we took and the hours of listening to Coffee Break French podcasts in the car, he found us.The owner of our Airbnb, Pierre, met us outside and gave us a tour of his quaint apartment. He even left us a bottle of wine – how cute is that?! We were just a few minutes walk from Notre Dame, so after having nachos and veggie burgers at an “Irish Pub” nearby, we were off to explore the city by foot. We started off at Notre Dame, made our way across the river Seine, explored the Louvre pyramids, walked through Jardin des Tuilleries to the Place de la Concorde, and walked up the Champs Elysées almost all the way, before realizing that we were starving and had all of tomorrow to do more exploring.We headed back towards our apartment stopping at the Louvre for a bathroom break. Pro tip: You get to experience the beauty and allure of the Louvre for free if you take the escalators down and use the free bathrooms. SO much better than paying to use a WC in the park! We ended up having the perfect “First Night in Paris” dinner: wine, lots of cheese, and bread.
This day was spent seeing more sights via tour bus.
If you don’t know this about us already, you will now. We LOVE taking a touristy double decker bus tour whenever we travel. We’ve been on so many City Sightseeing bus tours from our family travels that I wish we’d kept a running tally. We were a little disappointed to learn that City Sightseeing busses hadn’t been established in Paris quite yet, so we took a Big Bus Tour.
After taking pictures of the city from above, our first stop was at Le Tour Eiffel. Right when we arrived, we were reminded of the time we came to Paris with our friend while B was studying abroad and heard the Titanic theme song, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” while coming up the stairs from the metro station. It was so beautiful! Plus, we’re die hard Celine (& Titanic!) fans. We were there during Paris Fashion Week, so we got to witness a fashion blogger surrounded by paparazzi taking photos with the Eiffel Tower behind her. If only we had recognized who she was…
We took too many pictures to count! Pro tip: You’ll feel compelled to take pictures right when you get off the bus or come up from the metro station, but you’ll also be struggling along with all of the other tourists to get photos of just you/your family since SO many people are trying to do the same thing. We suggest heading down the stairs to the right and taking photos on the staircase. There are less people & it’s a much better picture in our opinion. You’ll be able to take more and more pictures as you head through the park to eventually take photos of the Eiffel Tower from the otherside.
After our cheeks were sore from smiling, we headed through Champ de Mars towards Gusto Italia, an Italian restaurant we discovered on Yelp. Let us tell you, this is probably the best pesto pasta we’ve ever had hands down. We were also the only English speaking table there, meaning it’s a favorite with the locals – always a plus! They have a few locations around Paris, but we went to the one off of Rue de Grenelle. If you’re looking for good Italian food in Paris…please try this place and let us know what you think!
After filling our bellies with the best food we’d had all trip, we boarded the bus to finish the loop. On the tour, we learned that the Opéra Garnier was the setting inspiration for The Phantom of the Opera and somehow that made us love the view even more. We were sad to see Pont des Arts without the famous love locks, but we were thrilled to discover that people have started placing love locks on Pont Neuf.
Back in our neighborhood of Saint Germain des Près, we explored the narrow streets and stopped for gelato at GROM! We first enjoyed GROM in Milan, then again in Florence, and closer to home in Malibu. For dinner, we were craving Mexican food and decided to try Fajitas. It was pretty good for being so far from Mexico and their salsa was actually spicy! It turns out that the woman who owns the place is from the United States and her husband is from Mexico, which explains why the food was good – it’s really hard to find good Mexican food so far from the country.
Before boarding the train back to London (our roundtrip flights were out of London Heathrow), we spent time at Jardin du Luxembourg.
We only had a few hours before we needed to head to the train station, so we walked through beautiful streets and ended up at Jardin du Luxembourg, window shopping along the way. We had lunch at Margherita for a quick margherita pizza (what else?!) near our Airbnb before picking up our luggage and hopping in an Uber.
It was a short but lovely trip & we’re so glad we visited Paris again! It never gets old.
Let us know if you’re planning a trip to Paris! We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.