A DAY IN PARIS
When Ryan and I decided to take a trip to Barcelona and saw the option to have a full day in Paris as our layover we absolutely could not say no! Not only is Paris one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited, but it is also home to some of the most famous landmarks in the world. I absolutely fell in love with the city of romance, adventure and culture, when I visited with my brother a few years ago. The chance to show it all to Ryan was one that I just couldn't pass up. It’s difficult to decide what to do in a city brimming with art, fashion, food and wine, but here is my suggestion on how to create one perfect day in Paris. We had the amazing opportunity to partner with ParisCityVision to try to see AS MUCH of Paris as we possibly could in the little time we had. ParisCityVision offers great Paris day tours, and I highly recommend their Hop-On Hop-Off Tour, even if you have more than just one day! It made it so much easier for us to navigate the city and see more than we ever could if we were walking or taking the Metro.
We arrived in Paris in the early morning, started out with the quintessential Parisian breakfast - pain du chocolat, or chocolate croissant, and went to our hotel to get ready for the day. We stayed at the elegant guesthouse Hotel Crayon in the 1st arrondissement within walking distance of the Louvre which was the perfect location for us. Since Ryan didn't know much of our plans I surprised him and led him into the courtyard so his first sight to see was that of the Core Carrée and Pyramide du Louvre.
The gates of the Louvre
In the Core Carrée!
From there we began our journey onboard the Open Tour Paris bus. The bus has three different routes to choose from, guiding you through Montmarte on the red line, the Latin Quarter and Montparnasse on the white line, and down Champs-Élysées - one of the world's most beautiful avenues - to the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and more on the blue line. We started on the white line, choosing our first stop to be in the heart of Paris - the Ile de la Cité - and the exquisite Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. As we entered the church, mass had just begun at the great altar. The whole experience was incredibly moving and spiritual. We listened to the hymns as we admired the stunning architecture and stained glass.
Notre Dame of Paris, Pray For Us
Then we followed the tour through the Latin Quarter towards Montparnasse, passing the Sorbonne University and stopping at the Jardin du Luxembourg and the Panthéon. At this point of the day it started snowing pretty heavily, which was beautiful but COLD. We both felt so grateful that we had the option to get on and off the bus at whichever landmarks we wanted to see most. I think next time we come back we may wander through the gardens for a bit longer since the weather will be better!
At the Hôtel des Invalides we switched to the blue line which was our favorite part of the tour. The Invalides used to be a hospital and a retirement home for the war veterans - it even holds some tombs of important figures that marked French military history, like Napoleon Bonaparte! This route has the majority of the famous landmarks and some amazing views. We were able to see Place de la Concorde, particularly distinguishable by the ancient Egyptian obelisk that stands in its centre (PS: it was on this square that King Louis XVI was executed during the French revolution in 1793!), La Madeleine, Le Printemps and Opera Garnier before heading down Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. We chose to take this route later in the evening so that we could admire all of the lights and I am pretty positive we made the right choice! The way Paris' architecture is lit up at night is the most beautiful sight!
We had a delicious meal at Triadou Haussman before walking along the Champ-Élysées
A glance down Champs-Élysées
The Arc de Triomphe
Singing in the Rain!!! (or snow!)
We walked the side streets to the Eiffel Tower and found some amazing views along the way before arriving right at the top of the hour to see the entire tower sparkle! Every hour from dusk until 1am – or 3am in the warmer months – the tower puts on a dazzling 10 minute light show; the perfect way to finish one perfect day in Paris!
Kisses in the snow under a sparkling Eiffel Tower <3
One last look for a truly magical day!
Do you have any must see sights that we missed? Definitely let me know so I can add them to our itinerary! Stay tuned to hear about the rest of our trip in Barcelona and our second day in Paris before heading back to the states. Plus - If you find yourself in Paris make sure to take this amazing opportunity and buy your pass for the Open Tour Paris bus HERE. I truly could not recommend it more!