Oh Paris ♥ . I wonder why they say it’s the City of Love? I saw the excitement in everyone’s eyes when I mentioned that I will be backpacking in Europe and will be visiting Paris. I saw many movies with Paris as the film setting, I heard loves stories of couples visited Paris, I have seen pictures in Instagram and Facebook and other social media about Paris. Celebrities, travelers, honeymooners, Europe trip for friends, for all these, Paris will and always be included in the bucket list.
Considered one of the top countries visited in the whole world. Famous for its iconic Eiffel Tower, and Can-Can dance at the Moulin Rouge.
Paris has been known as the “City of Lights” because they are the first to adopt the gas street lighting in the 18th century making them the centre of arts, philosophy, culture, entertainment and fashion.
My travel to Paris, started by taking the train TGV from Bruge Belgium, change in Gare de Lille Flandres and to Gare du Nord Paris. I bought the ticket on the day which was really expensive 82€. It would be cheaper if you book it in advance, try the Thalys and Intercity trains, coach buses from 20-25€ and there is also some shared cars with other travelers from 15-25€. Booking in advance will make a lot of difference.
The train from Gare de Lille Flandres was delayed for 3 hours so all stranded passengers will be taking one train. It was November and was very cold at the train station.I arrived in Paris on a drizzling evening. Beware of the people offering a car lift, transportation, private taxis, they offer 70€ going to Trocadero area, where I will be staying. Better stay on the taxi queue line and wait for your turn. From Gare du Nord to Trocadero for taxi I paid 20€ only. I stayed on my friend’s apartment.
Since my visit was only for few days, I took the Hop-On Hop-Off L Open tour for one day that cost 32€. That was a great help to explore the city. I would recommend, to take 2 days bus tour. One day is not enough to cover the other nice places to see. From the main departure which is their office at Rue Auber, I boarded on a yellow bus route and got off to Moulin Rouge, walk around Monmarte up to Sacre Couer Basilica.
Moulin Rouge is a famous cabaret in the 19th century which become famous for its Can-Can dance performed by courtesans.They introduce the cabarets throughout Europe. On the board outside/entrance door, they posted the prices of the show, with dinner or VIP. The prices varies from season, during fall, prices would cost from 85€-420€.You can visit the website here.
The next stop, the Sacre Coeur Basilica. This is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was built in the 18th century. This is accessible by bus and metro lines and most people come here during sunset, where you can have one of the best view of Paris.Sacre course is situated in the highest point of Monmarte- a place of bohemian styles, artists and pubs and nightclubs. There are many restaurants and souvenir shops around Monmarte.
After walking in Monmarte, I took the tour bus and changed to Green line route.On the way to Louvre, there are stops on Gare Du Nord, Gare De l’est, Place De La Republique, Chocolat, Grevin, Hard Rock cafe, Opera Garnier, and Place De la Madeliene
You can stop in front of Palais Royal and go all the way to Musee Du Louvre. I did not go inside the Louvre Museum due to the long line of people waiting to get inside. Louvre is the world’s largest Museum with more than 500 paintings that includes the most famous painting of “Mona Lisa” painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, Greek, Roman and Egyptian artifacts and sculptures. For more information about the Louvre, check their official site here.
On the day that I visited the Notre Dame Cathedral, they were putting the Christmas Tree and other Christmas decors around. As always every places, or sites in Paris is pack of tourist. Everyone wanted to get a better picture, but that’s not all the time possible due to the crowd.
Pont Neuf bridge is one of my favorite bridge in Paris. A walking distance from the Notre Dame Cathedral.
The Green Line route passed to Musee D’Orsay, Place De la Concorde, Champs Elysees, Arc De Triomphe into The Eiffel Tower. It was getting dark and I was still in Champs Elysees street enjoying the Christmas markets. Champs Elysees is where you can find all the high-end brands especially the Louis Vuitton.
Arc De Triomphe is a famous monument dedicated to those who died for France during the 18th century French Revolution. The upper deck is where you can get a best picture of Paris.
Paris is considered to be one of the romantic cities in the world. The Love Lock bridge and many pre-nuptials photography, wedding pictures and engagement proposals happen around, under the bridge and overlooking Eiffel Tower; thus the media, the public, tourist and travelers called Paris as the “City of Love”. I got lucky to have a picture of the love bridge in Pont des Arts, before they finally remove it and replaced it by lock proof mechanisms-type bridge.
While walking in Lock Bridge, I listened to this Scottish fellow on Kilt playing his bagpipes. One of the things I admire about Europe (Europeans) is their display of talents , no matter what will be the place,under the bridge, on the sidewalk, on the bus, markets, etc. they play music.
When I reached the Eiffel Tower, it was really dark. So photos are more of a night shot. I visited Eiffel Tower the next day with my friends since it’s just walking distance from her place.
Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris, France and one of global icon. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel who designed it on the 18th century.Viewing can be done on the fist and second floor with shops and restaurants. It is more than 1,000 ft tall and you can climb by stepr from ground to the second floor total of 600 more steps. The price for a visit starts at 17€. Visit the main website here for more infor on planning you visit on Eiffel Tower.
Other places to visit if you have more time, Luxembourg Garden and other gardens, Chateau Versailles and Palaces, Disneyland Paris, Museums, Catacombs, more churches, parks and Invalides which is a walking distance from Eiffel tower. Invalides is a museum for military related artifacts and known for Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb/ burial.
Paris is famous for its Parisian Macarons and Escargot. Macarons prices from 1€-2.5€ depends on where you are buying it. The escargot is still pending on my bucket list. Although I have eaten snails as we used to have it my country, part of our local cuisines, but trying escargot in Paris would definitely be a different experience.
I noticed that there were/are many African/French people who are selling souvenir items in every part of Paris. There are many exchange students as well. I cannot deny the fact that Paris is really an interesting place to visit, of course, very famous, fashionable people around and yes, it is such a romantic place. Full of history that shows the richness and power of Parisians.
(Second visit to be posted)