Paris is just too pretty, especially for a first timer like me.
I first heard of Paris when I was in my 5th or 6th grade in elementary school when I saw Audrey Hepburn in the movie ‘Funny Face’. Since then, I always relate to both The Eiffel Tower and Audrey Hepburn as a symbol of timeless elegance, beauty and dreams.
The City of Lights is divided into 20 neighborhoods or arrondissements, with pretty cafes, museums, gardens, Parisian rooftops, iconic building or structures scattered all over. All picturesque in their own ways. Five days are not enough to see everything in Paris, but at least I got to tick a few off my list.
When planning your trip, make a list of the places you want to visit, then plot them out in a map so you have an idea where they are geographically located. Usually, I plot out sites by using the hotel I am staying at as reference. Try to plan out your day’s itinerary by visiting the sites that are in nearby locations or are in the same area. Google maps is very helpful in giving approximate travel time to and from each location.
With so many places to see and things to do around Paris, this is what we were able to accomplish in five days.
The Eiffel Tower was luckily three minutes away from our hotel, after a quick nap, we said hello to the magnificent Eiffel Tower and crossed the Pont d’lena bridge towards Trocadero.
I had to locate the famous carousel I often see in the photos. I was surprised to find out there was more than one of them!
We started with a French Breakfast to fuel us for the day.
With our stomach’s filled and senses awakened with a warm cup of coffee, we got on a bus and headed towards Louvre to meet The Monalisa. For this part, we have signed up with Fat Tire Tours for easy skip the line access.
Our tour inside the Louvre finished around 1 o’clock, so we had the rest of the afternoon to spare.
We strolled along Jardin des Tuileres stopping from time to time to sit and enjoy the views and devour a cone of ice cream.
From the jardin we walked along Champs Elysee. I was suprised again, because I thought that Champs Elysee was a structure, instead it is a grand avenue of high end commercial stores, shops and cafes.
We spotted the famous French Bakery, Laduree, so we stopped by for some sweets and afternoon tea.
After walking nearly 2km, we finally reached the Arc de Triomphe.
We sat on a bench under a tree and munched on our takeaway macarons while people watching and admiring the Arc.
I have been told it is a must to visit the Palace of Versailles. So we reserved a full day for the Royals. Our day started at 7am with a 20 minute train ride to the town of Versailles.
Once inside, we skipped all other exhibits and headed straight to the Hall of Mirrors to admire it with less people around. What I truly mean is, so you do photo ops with less people around. Haha!
After we photo-oped to our hearts content, we relaxed and spent the rest of the morning listening to the audio guide while enjoying the exhibits.
The Gardens of Versailles is not to be missed and so is Marie Antoniette’s Petite Trianon. It is a different world all in itself.
I have learned that a French Garden is all about symmetry.
It started to rain that afternoon, just in time as we were leaving around 6pm to go back to Paris.
We did a quick stop at our hotel to change into dry clothes and off we went out again for a bistro style dinner cruise which was recommended to us by a couple whom we met in Barcelona.
Along the Seine River at night
Our plan for our fourth day was to do some photo ops at Trocadero during sunrise. As Spring promises to bring to us some showers, it did rain on that cold early morning. The efforts I used to curl my hair was washed out with the drizzle, but the show must go on.
It just proves that Paris is lovely anytime of the day or the year, no matter what season.
Later that day, we walked around the city to tick off a few destinations in our list.
We started at the The Pont Alexandre III Bridge, regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city.
We walked towards the 6th arrondissement of St Germain
All the way to the Notre Dame to see Quasimodo and the gargoyles.
With a little bit of time to spare, we visited the Sainte Chapelle (not to be confuse with the Sistine Chapel in Rome haha!) to see it’s famous stained glass windows. All the glass window depicts a total of 1, 113 scenes from the Bible. Imagine how the artist designed this during the 12th century.
To make our last night in Paris special, we joined a Night Bike Tour. Our guide brought us to the famous love lock bridge ‘Pont des Arts’. It is now illegal to leave a love lock on the bridge, as part of the bridge collapsed a few years back due to the weight of the locks. Now, everyone are just encourage to take selfies instead.
We were a little late during the bike tour orientation so we missed a few important instructions. The instruction was when the tour guide signals a ‘fist’, the group was to ‘dominate’ the whole lane. Meaning for us to dominate the whole BUS lane, not the CAR lane, which I did! I gave my group a big scare!
The tour allowed us to discover parts of Paris that we wouldn’t have known if we went on our own. Our last stop was on a riverbank, where we park our bicycles and hopped on a boat to cruise the Seine. We drank wine while watching the sunset in an uncovered boat and for the best part, see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night on the hour.
We made friends from around the world and I know we all had a great time that night. I think we finished all 5 bottles of red wine! I couldn’t not resist but hug our tour guide Grace for showing us a great time!
This must be one of my most favourite and memorable experience.
Our flight to our next stop was scheduled at 2pm. We had an easy morning enjoying the breakfast buffet at our hotel, then we suddenly realised that we cannot leave Paris without seeing the famous red windmills of Moulin Rouge…
and the Sacre Coeur. For the lack of time to get into the funicular into the basilica, we settled to just take photos on the steps.
Travel Period: May 10-14, 2018
Stay: Mercure Paris Centre
Au revoir Paris!
Until next time
Please check out our video for our bicycle adventure with Fat Tire Tours.