We arrived in Paris on a Sunday. While waiting for the owner (of the airBnb room that we’re renting from) to pick us up at the Metro station, we stopped by the Tourist office to buy tickets for the Louvre and the river cruise. We used the free wifi there to check into Facebook and IG as well to let our families know that we arrived safely. For a couple euro more, we got the expedited tickets so we can skip the long time at the Louvre later.
It was around 1pm after we checked in. One thing about Paris is that all of the shopping centers are closed on Sunday. There’s a labor law against working on that day. Museums are open until 4 though so we then headed to the Louvre Museum. Everyone that has gone to Europe before told me that I have to go see the Louvre because it is so magnificent and gorgeous. But GUYS!!!! I DID NOT EXPECT IT TO BE SOOOO MAGNIFICENT!!!!! I mean WOW!
It was so gorgeous that we spent more than an hour just exploring the magnificent architecture outside before stepping foot inside where thousands and thousands of art and sculpture pieces are housed in rooms that have really tall and highly decorated arches.
Paris is indeed for lovers. But girlfriends is just as well, especially the ones that you grew up with. =)
Right after you entered, there is an escalator to take you to the ground level where you can buy tickets to the exhibits. Since we got tickets already, we skipped all the lines and went straight to see the Mona Lisa.
Remember what I said about the high arches? They were everywhere! Tall & Grand!
Look at these details. Gold was definitely the color of choice because it’s everywhere!
There were lots and lots of really large art pieces, the ones that we studied about in history books in middle and high school. And then there’s the Mona Lisa. For all the hypes and all the talk, she is really small in real life. But being one of the most popular pieces there, she was blocked off for about 6 feet. So we, like everyone else, squeezed ourselves to the front of the line and snuck in a pic before leaving.
When we headed outside, it had started to rain. November and December are cold and rainy months. Good thing we researched beforehand so we were armed with umbrellas, boots and heavy coats. If you forgot your umbrella though, don’t worry because there are many guys walking around outside selling umbrellas, raincoats and souvenirs. Like all touristy places, their prices will be high so make sure you bargain.
We strolled down the famous Champs-Élysées Blvd. From the Louvre, it passed through a gorgeous park filled with rows and rows of trees with leaves that have turned yellow and orange. It was hard to not stop to take pictures every 30 seconds.
All the while it’s raining and the overhead speakers filled the street with Christmas music as tons of people in their heavy coats and umbrellas walked past brightly lit shops. Oh yeah! Churros, waffles and crepes seem very popular here. Every corner has a stand that sells them, with Nutella!
Walking along the shops on Champs-Élysées, you’ll eventually see the Eiffel Tower.
At night it was all lit up. And at the beginning of each hour, the tower twinkled and sparkled in the rain.
By this time, my camera was so wet that it had a difficult time focusing on the tower. Instead it focused on the water spots on the lens so that’s how I got these really cool bokeh shots with the Eiffel Tower in the back.
Cold, wet and tired from flying and walking all day, we passed out as soon as we got back to the studio.
The next morning, it threatened to rain again so we wanted to go on the river cruise first before that happened. On the way to find it, we found the bridge where all of the locks were hung. It is said that if you write your and your love’s names on there, hang it on the bridge and throw the keys into the river, your love will last forever!
There were so many locks, everywhere, not just on this bridge but on many other bridges around Paris. There was even one bridge that has collapsed many times due to this.
We decided to do some jumping pictures since we’re already there. Might as well get some awesome photos. lol
THE RIVER CRUISE AROUND PARIS
View of Paris by foot as we headed to Notre Dame
I imagine it must be scary to drive in Paris as there are lots of cars, vespas and people walking everywhere. We saw a cute shopping center with lots of restaurants lined up on the street so we headed there for lunch. I noticed that most of the restaurants are served and managed by men.
ANOTHER HELPFUL TIP:
There’s no need to tip when eating out in Europe. It is polite to round your bill up to the next euro so make it easier for the waiter. Also, people take lunch and dinner really seriously. At first we were really surprised that the waiter “forgot” about us. But after a while, we realized that everyone go to the restaurant and chilled there to their heart’s content. Waiters are paid normal wages so there’s no rush to get you out so the next customers can come in. So when in Europe, it is perfectly fine to adopt the European way and slow things down alot!!!
We didn’t know so we bought tickets to go see Notre Dame at the Tourist Center. It was only 6 Euro per person but come to think of it, I don’t think you need tickets. No one asked to see them. There are lots of pigeons in Paris. If you are like me, you’d want some photos with them. There was a man in the front that helped get all the birds on you. Once you get pictures, he does ask you for a tip so be prepared.
We climbed all the steps to get to the top of Notre Dame. The view was really amazing but my battery had ran out by this time. >.<
MONTMARTE & SACRE COEUR
Have you ever seen a french movie called, “Amelie”? It’s about a french girl (played around Audrey Tautou) that helps everyone around her find justice and love and along the way, she resolves a mystery and find love herself. Really cute and light hearted. It took place in Montmarte. I think I saw the grocery story where she went to get fresh veggies and fruits while I was here.
Sacre Coeur sits on the highest hill in Paris. From here you can see the most gorgeous sunset if you go on a clear day.
THE PALACE OF VERSAILLES
The Palace of Versailles is where King Louis XV resided. To get here, you’ll just have to get a metro pass that get you to Zone 5. I thought Versailles is just a palace but it is actually is a large city with lots of hotels and businesses with the Palace located right in the middle.
TIPS ON THE METRO SYSTEM: Like New York, the metro runs everywhere! To save money, you can buy a day pass once you arrive. The first stay we didn’t know so we bought the normal day pass which takes you to all 1-5 zones along with the airport. The 2nd time when we came back from Amsterdam, we realized that we can just get a MOBILIS day pass that run from zone 1-5 (just in case, you can probably get by with zone 1-3). The Mobilis does not include the airport, therefore saving you around $6 per day. Only buy a normal day pass if you need to go to the airport.
Everywhere you look, there’s GOLD, GOLD and MORE GOLD!!!!! If there’s a place that took my breath away, this was it!!! The palace was so large and the ground was so vast that I can’t wrap the idea of a family living here. I had a video of it on my Instagram in case you want to check it out. I totally recommend getting the audio tour because you learn so much from it.
There are 3 large gardens in the back of the palace. They are so large that there’s a mini train to take you around them. Garden 1 has the maze. Garden 2 is the one below that has construction being done to the fountain.
Garden #3 has the breathtaking view of the pond along with the 4 designs that surround the pool of water in the middle.
This was the wall of “Love” written in many different languages that we saw while in Montmartre the next morning.
On our last night in Paris, we went to see the “Feerie” show at Moulin Rouge. Tickets were quite expensive, $160? but what the heck! We were already there. We got there really early so we walked around the neighborhood. There were lots of sex shops and lingerie shops. Along another street, there were lots of restaurants that were selling “street food”. It was buffet style where the food was already made and was being displayed behind glass. They were priced per item so you only buy what you want to eat in the amount that you can eat.
Au revoir for now.
Stay tune to see more pics from Venice, London and Amsterdam.
If you enjoyed this post or have any questions about Paris, feel free to leave a comment for me below.