After eight crushingly hot days in India and a busy shopping schedule, it was finally time to relax. We were ready to slip on a sweater, gaze at amazing art and chow down on baguettes and cheese until pants were no longer comfortable. There isn't much I can say about Paris that hasn't already been said, so I won't. All I know is that I was reluctant to visit this breathtaking city for many years. I think I started to become jaded by the hype of the city and it's beauty. For all of the cities I've traveled to, how could Paris be that great? Well, I'll tell you, it was everything and more. We rented a flat in the heart of Saint-Germain through Paris-Sharing for the first six days and then moved to a quaint boutique hotel, Hotel Verneuil, right down the street for the last two nights. I had some apprehension about booking the flat, I never quite trust these rental sites but the reservation process was flawless. Getting to rental was easy and the owner promptly met us to show us everything we needed to know. Location couldn't have been better, there was a Maison Kayser right on the corner, an Androuet two doors down and of course a wine shop a few paces next to the bakery. You really don't need much else, right? The routine was to set out around 10 or 11AM and get out on foot to see the sights. Paris was pretty chilly on the first few days, it was April afterall, but each day it warmed up a few more degrees. Regardless of how cliché it all sounds, April is Paris is exactly the sort of perfection you always hear about. Flowers and trees are in full bloom, people are starting to shed their coats and wine and cheese picnics seem to be happening on every bench, and in every park or garden.
So is there a lot to do in Paris for 8 whole days? Yes, tons! So much so I feel like we barely scratched the surface. Here's a summary of what we did and things we saw.
- Jardin du Luxembourg
- The Louvre
- Notre Dame
- Les Catacombes de Paris
- Eiffel Tower - We didn't do the tour but stared in awe both during the day and at night.
- Arc de Triomphe
- Saint Ouen Flea Markets - This alone is a full day and Oh Happy Day has a super informative post on this if you're going to venture out there. While exploring the area, we stumbled on Quintessence Playground. This turned out to be one of the coolest shops I've ever seen and is 100% worth your time to check out.
- Pere Lachaise Cemetary
- Parc de Belleville
- Saint Eustache - This church blew me away with its architecture. I found it even more impressive than Notre Dame (and crowd free I might add).
- E. Dehillerin - As a cook, it would've been a disgrace not to pay a visit.
- Place des Vosges
- Wander, wander, wander.
Some of the best days in Paris, were days that nothing was planned. Days we'd just hop on the metro and head to another arrondissment to stroll the streets. There was never a time I felt unsafe, the city is clean and people were friendly. Even if you're not sightseeing a specific attraction, you're still sightseeing. This beautiful city is dripping with history and every building is more interesting than the next. Parks and public areas are meticulously manicured and some form of art is on display at almost every turn you make. Go now if you have the chance. Oh and if you're wondering why I haven't mentioned the food yet...it's simply because it deserves its own post!
For more photos