I’ve always heard and seen amazing things about Paris, from the Eiffel Tower to the Champs-Élysées, but to see it in person is beyond words.
Getting to Paris via the Eurostar train from London was a super fast 2-hour journey from St Pancras international through the West of France to Paris guard du Nord.
Arriving into Paris we weren’t sure what to expect being Muslim and only knowing French from year 9 french class, we managed to find our way to our hotel which was a short walk away from guard du Nord.
With sunset being at 10.30pm, we decided to catch the train to The Trocadero, unaware of what public transport was like, we were surprised at how frequent and reliable the trains were compared to Auckland public transport system. With the help of google maps, we made it to Trocadero, still in awe at the fact that we were in Paris, standing in front of the Eiffel tower.
Sitting on the marble floor on a humid evening in Paris is something that you have to experience for yourself as words and pictures don’t do enough. As 11 pm had struck, the Eiffel tower was something we only ever saw on Instagram, the strobe light lit up the clear summer skies, it was the perfect way to end our first day.
After a great first day, we were eager to explore the real Paris, the history, the architecture.
Starting the day with a croissant, we walked to Le Palais Royal, a palace courtyard from the 17th century known for its Daniel Buren striped columns and palace gardens known as the Remarkable Gardens.
From the Palais de Royal we made our way to The famous glass pyramids known as The Louvre, home of the Mona Lisa.
Although we got the Hop on Hop Off tour, we opted to walk alongside the Seine river to Pont des arts (love Locks) Although the original lock bridge was removed, with a bit of exploring in the scorching heat we found the new location of the locks.
A short distance from The Pont Des Arts was the Sainte-Chapelle (Holy Chapel) Famously known for its spectacular interior of stained glass windows which are divided by rich textiles, it’s amazing to think how they created such amazing things long before technology came into the picture!
The next stop on the tour was the Notre-Dame de Paris, famously known for the Disney movie The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame.
From the Notre-Dame, we hopped on the hop on hop off bus to the Champs-Élysées. A long road from the Grand Palais to the Arc de Triomphe, full of designer branded stores including Nike, ADIDAS, Rolex, Gucci and the world’s biggest Sephora and Louis Vuitton.
With so many restaurants to choose from, we ended up having pizza on the Champs-Élysées in front of the Arc de Triomphe.
With Such a hot exhausting day we decided to take the train back to the hotel and chill. looking out the hotel window we realized we had an amazing sunset to look out to as well as being able to see the Sacré-Cœur.
The third day was the one I was looking forward to the most, Ever since year 13 history and learning about the French revolution I had always wanted to visit the palace of Versailles. A Palace filled made of gold, glass, and marble constructed in the 17th Century.
The Palace of Versailles is located 30 minutes away from central Paris, it takes 3 days to cover the entire area of the palace (all gardens). I strongly recommend taking a tour for half a day, the tour allows you to skip the line and transports you to and from the Palace. The Palace is beyond words, with so much to see it really is spectacular.
After the tour, we headed to champ de Mars, A large green public area in front of the Eiffel tower, a beautiful area to sit down on the grass, relax and maybe even have a picnic facing the Eiffel tower. BUT beware of pit pocketers!
Hopping back onto the hop on hop off bus, we made our way to the other side of the Champ de Mars to Trocadéro. Although we had already been here, with this being our final full day in Paris we wanted to head back to where the adventure started.
with Sunset approaching, we decided to go up to Sacré-Cœur, which was close to the hotel we were staying at. It was truly breathtaking, looking out over Paris with the sun setting was just stunning. It was the best way to end our last night in Paris.
With this being out last Day in Paris, we headed back to Sacré-Cœur for breakfast at The Hardware Société Paris, A touch of Melbourne in Paris. The service and food were both as good as it gets. Heading to the Sacré-Cœur you have to be careful once again of pickpockets, which is very common at all tourist destinations.
Sitting on the steps in front of the Sacré-Cœu was the perfect way to end the 4 days in this city and reflect our time in a place that’s full of so much history. Stories and pictures don’t do this place any justice, the breathtaking views and buildings are one of a kind.
For next time Disneyland is a must as we were short on time. Getting around the city is super easy with hop on hop off tour buses taking you to all the major attractions (NZ$50), the public transport was super easy to use, 10 train tickets lasted us for all 4 days. But always keep your belongings on you and be careful of pickpocketers.
To Travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries
Photo credit: Samirah Bhamji (Insta @samsam.iam)