Whoa there! You have just stumbled upon my very first blog post. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my own blog for some time now and apparently that time is now!
I recently returned to Canada from a four month exchange program in France. This experience consisted of very little studying and a lot of traveling. Therefore, it only seems fitting that I use this first post to recount some of my European adventures.
The first place I traveled to was Paris, back in August 2016. I was going to be studying in Nantes- a city 2 hours outside of Paris- and decided to spend my week sightseeing, before school officially started. While I couldn’t see everything in Paris because it’s so big and spread out, I obviously had to cover all the typical, touristy things that were essentially mandatory for any first time visitor.
So yeah, the food in Paris was unreal (tbh so was France in general). I ate so many Pain Au Chocolates we don’t even need to talk about it. The food is all super carb heavy but it’s so. freaking. good. If you visit, I recommend eating as many quiches and drinking as much wine as possible. I’m really starting to miss the €4 bottles of wine.
Honestly, I didn’t get to try too many restaurants in Paris but these are some I would definitely recommend:
Café de Flore
Café de Flore is known for being the oldest coffeehouse in Paris and its famous clientele. Yes it’s a little bit on the pricier side but I did it for the experience and the best quiche ever, so I still recommend.
Honestly, if you went to Paris and didn’t get macaroons from Ladurée did you even go to Paris?
I just randomly stumbled on this place and it was hands down the best meal I had in Paris. It was such a tiny space with probably no more than five tables, a server and a bartender. It wasn’t in the most popular area and I only found it because it was close to the hotel I was staying at. So, if you are ever in the area I highly recommend you go here for dinner because I’m seriously still dreaming of that meal.
L’Entrecôte de Paris
Definitely the best steak and frites I’ve had in France. Seriously, the secret green sauce they make in house is magical.
These can be found all over France. They have really good sandwiches and pastries if you’re on the go and need something quick (for example, to have a nice little picnic under the Eiffel Tower)
THINGS TO DO:
The Eiffel Tower Was ‘Lit’
Obviously if you go to Paris you have to see the Eiffel Tower, but seeing it at night is so incredible. If you can, try to get there on the hour. I’m pretty sure there is a light show every hour until midnight where the lights start to twinkle up and down the tower which is incredibly stunning. It’s so beautiful that I’ve seen it multiple times because I just couldn’t get over it!
Here’s a picture of the Eiffel Tower in daylight. Fun Fact it just so happened to be a cozy 37°C outside this day, but who’s counting (not me because I’m pretty sure I passed out from heat stroke after this picture was taken).
One hundred percent recommend going to the Sacré-Cœur. It may be like a million stairs to the top, but you’ve got to work off those chocolate croissants some how right?
Arc de Triomphe
I was only able to visit the Arc De Triomphe at night but it was still an amazing view. Especially the view of the lit-up Eiffel Tower. Again, a billion more stairs but that’s Europe for you, am I right?
Depending on what time of year it is, I would definitely purchase your tickets online ahead of time just to be sure. Try and go as early as possible if you want to avoid a million people because it’s going to be busy. You could spend an entire day here. There is so much to see so definitely plan ahead because you’ll also probably get lost.
The Notre Dame is one of the most stunning cathedrals inside and out. Again, if you’re feeling particularly active you can climb the stairs to the top for another incredible view.
THE SHOPPING (that I couldn’t afford):
The most high-end shopping avenue in Paris. Even if you can’t afford anything, it’s still so amazing to walk through.
Ok this place is incredibly high-end fashion (7 floors of it to be exact), but it’s just so beautiful on the inside that I’d still recommend it to anyone to go see. Also, if you go to the very top floor there is a rooftop with the most amazing view of Paris. So if you don’t want to shop/literally have $5 to your name (just me?) GO FOR THE VIEW.
THINGS I DIDN’T DO BUT WISH I DID:
I had been to a couple Christmas Markets in Europe but I wish I got to see the Paris one. Again, depending on what time of year you’re in Paris GO TO THE CHRISTMAS MARKET. I don’t know why these aren’t big in North America because like how can you not have a good time at anything related to Christmas. Mulled Wine is a must.
I’m so sad I never got the chance to go to the Catacombs. I tried one day to go with some friends but we extremely underestimated the lineup. Again, go as early as possible because there are always lines in Europe. If you’re not familiar with the Paris Catacombs, I’ll let you Google that one.
Thanks for reading my little Paris Travel Diary. Keep checking back for more posts coming soon.