Traveling Europe: Paris, France

After spending some time in Grenoble (read about it here!), the next stop in our European travels was Paris.  As one of the most iconic cities in the world, Paris is a city I’ve dreamed of visiting my entire life, and it didn’t disappoint.

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On our first day in Paris, my dad and I visited the Eiffel Tower.  We bought our tickets online the day before and were able to bypass the entire ticket line and basically walk right into the elevator.  The tower has three levels and you can buy your tickets according to how high you would like to go… we wanted to reach the very top, obviously! :)

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Overlooking Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower… what a view!

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Once we were back down on the ground, we found an area of little street shops selling everything from scarves to jewelry to food to wooden crafts.  One thing that seemed popular in both French cities we visited is hot wine, so we bought a couple cups from a stand here to try for the first time.

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I saw this painted near the Eiffel Tower, and loved it.

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Next we began making our way over toward the Arc de Triomphe, one of the most famous monuments in Paris.  I couldn’t help but be impressed with the traffic around it… I’m pretty sure if I ever tried to drive in such a huge traffic circle I would crash!  It looks so chaotic!

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We spent the rest of our evening shopping down the Champs Elysées and taking in the sites, like this beautiful ferris wheel.

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And of course, we had to hit up Ladurée for some macarons!

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We happened to stay right down the street from the Louvre museum, so on our first night in the city I insisted we go take a look at the pyramid, all aglow.

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We also took one of our mornings in Paris to go inside the museum.  The Louvre property is so beautiful, with fountains and pyramids in the courtyard and an inverted pyramid inside.

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One of the most famous pieces in the Louvre is the Mona Lisa.  I’ve heard that the area around the Mona Lisa is usually really crowded, so much that some people don’t even get close enough to see it well.  When we visited, the room was nearly empty.  I was able to walk right up to the front of the viewing area and snap as many photos as I wanted (no flash allowed, though!).  One of the perks of traveling in December, I guess!

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Another perk of traveling in December?  The holiday lights.  Everything is more enchanting when decorated for the holidays.

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Overall, Paris ended up being one of my favorite cities of our trip.  I can’t wait to go back!

My travel tips for Paris:

  • Buy your Eiffel Tower tickets online.  It helped us avoid at least an hour-long line for the ticket booth at the tower.  The tickets online are sold in time slots, so we just bought ours the night before, printed them off, and walked right on!
  • There are multiple entrances to the Louvre, and most of them have shorter lines.  The most popular entrance to the Louvre is through the pyramid in the courtyard, which usually has hundreds of people in line.  However, there are several other entrances into the Louvre that are much less busy.  We used the Carrousel entrance on the northern side of the museum… just take the escalator down into the little shopping center and you’ll find an underground entrance right into the museum.  We bought our tickets inside at an automated machine and had zero wait time.
  • Shopping tip: French brands are typically less expensive because there are no import/export costs.  This is an obvious one, but I was delighted when I found that brands like Chanel, Dior and Longchamp were less expensive than in the US.
  • Location tip: We stayed right on the Tuileries Garden, and loved its proximity to everything.  We had a beautiful park right across the street, and from there we were able to walk to the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc di Triomphe, and everything in between.

Have you read my other Eurotrip posts?

Have you seen my Europe video yet? :)

  • Lauren Wanders

    Great post lovely, I’m hoping to visit Paris in September! Loving your travel posts :)

  • Sterndli98

    I hope to visit Paris sometime soon again

  • http://melaniface.blogspot.com.au/ melaniface

    wonderful tips as I am going in a months time. I have been before and would of loved to have known about the other entrances to the louvre. Thanks!!

    melaniface.blogspot.com.au

  • http://sarasbeautyblog.wordpress.com/ Sara from Sara’s Beauty Blog

    The market you visited seems to be a Christmas Market. They are pretty popular in cities across Europe. And the wine you had was probably mulled wine. Did it taste like it had spices in it? If so, that is probably what it was. :)

    Sara
    http://sarasbeautyblog.wordpress.com/

  • Amber

    Your photography is beautiful! I love these posts. I’m glad you had such a good time!

  • MissBrunzy

    Paris is at the top of my list when it comes to places that I want to travel. It is my dream to visit this city. Loved your pictures

  • Chell

    Looks like you had a great time! Looks so beautiful there!

    Michelle.
    http://www.runningandreviews.wordpress.com

  • Coco

    These photographs you have taken are breathtaking! You have made me want to explore Europe even more now! Thanks for sharing!

  • Allison

    I’ve wanted to go to Paris my whole life! It looks so beautiful!

    http://mercuteify.blogspot.com/

  • Ashley

    Going to Paris in April! What hotel did you stay at? That’s the last thing I have to book and would appreciate any suggestions you have. Thanks!

    • http://keepcalmandcarrylipstick.com/ Sarah

      Just going to throw in my two cents (even though you didn’t ask me lol), but when I went to Paris a year and a half ago I also stayed in the same area as Allison. The hotel was called Hotel Lumen, and it was an amazing experience. Within walking distance to the Tuileries Garden, Louvre and a metro stop. Also the hotel is so beautiful, and the staff is incredibly friendly and knowledgable. Couldn’t recommend it more! :)

  • Manu

    I miss Paris… it’s so pretty. I wanna live there.

  • http://www.bretonandblush.com/ Laura

    Beautiful photos, it sounds like you had a wonderful time in Paris!

    Laura | Breton & Blush

  • sarazbeautytonic

    i wanna have the macroons now!!!miss them

    http://sarazbeautytonic.blogspot.co.uk/

  • http://makeupfragrances.blogspot.com.es/ Kyllie

    Esos macarrons son los mejores que hay!!

    Kyllie | Make Up Fragrances

  • Mariah Rickard

    my jealousy is so high looking at at this!

  • Hélène

    The hot wine is typical of the Christmas markets where you take one. That kind of little market are in every city during Chrismas time :)

  • Bria Reece

    Your photographs are incredible! I was in Paris in September and I can’t believe how empty the Louvre is in your pictures! I could barely see the Mona Lisa when I was there.

  • Julia

    What camera do you use? Amazing Pictures!!

  • Podotea

    This is such a beautiful post! It had me day dreaming about paris……

  • Teresa

    Your video was very well made. I throughly enjoyed watching it. :-) I’m an American married to a Swiss and I live in southern Germany. I’ve also been to Rome, Venice (twice!), and Paris (for part of my honeymoon!). I really want to go back to Paris.

  • Rhea X

    Sooooo gorgeous! The Eiffel Tower looks so incredible!
    Glossedonbeauty.blogspot.com

  • JW

    I would love to see a “what did I pack” or even what bag you brought for your travels!! :)

  • Miss Joi

    I can’t wait to catch a peek at the Mona Lisa next month! http://www.thewanderlustinfection.wordpress.com