PARIS FOR FIRST TIMERS - A TRAVEL BLOG!

Paris, France Oh la la!

Paris is one of those places on most people’s bucket lists, it was certainly on mine for a very long time! Steve and I were able to visit this beautiful city recently and of course we fell in love, we love travel and being able to explore Paris was a dream come true. It is a BIG city, with a lot of tourists and magnificent, larger than life, history almost everywhere you look. It is gorgeous and regal, the perfect city to people watch, eat some yummy treats and let romance lead. First, I will give you a few tips we learned during our time there and then I shall show you the sights, this will be a post with a lot of photos, so grab a little coffee or tea, take a seat and enjoy the views!

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!

No need to rent a car. I would actually persuade you not to rent a car. The transportation system has got your back! There are many ways to get around. Uber was our method of choice but there were some times that we grabbed a cab because it was more convenient and faster. The metro and buses are super reliable, if you’e good at that sort of thing! I prefer opening the Uber app and boom! Something I didn’t expect was how busy Paris is, think one step below NYC as far as cars and traffic!

The locals are delightful. I heard quite a few times that the local Parisians were not really too welcoming of Americans, while this could be true, we did not have this experience, not even close. Every person we encountered was a total delight! With the exception of one waiter that wanted to get off shift early, haha but hey who hasn’t had a bad day at work?! We made an effort to learn some basic words in French to show our appreciation for the hospitality and thankfully the people we connected with were gracious and welcoming. So, don’t let negative comments like that deter you from wanting to visit!

Have cash if you prefer. I’m a minimalist so the less I have to carry, the better. I don’t carry cash, like never ever. You can use your debit card everywhere you go, including taxi rides etc. Of course Steven would say - and he is right - “its always nice to have cash just in case” we did not really need it so this is truly a matter of preference but I prefer to have less worries while traveling. I do like to travel with a little stash for emergencies and keep different cards in different bags etc, this is just a precaution. Oh, side note! We have a Travel Rewards credit card which rocks because you get rewarded while exploring and the big perk is that you don’t get charged with international fees, win win!

Plan ahead! Listen, I like to wing a lot of things BUT one of the best things we did was to plan an itinerary for Paris. We purchased tickets to go up the Eiffel tower prior to arriving, that was such a great idea, not only did we get up the tower much faster but we were able to go up right during sunset time which was breathtaking. Also, I highly recommend getting tickets ahead for the Louvre and other big attractions, this gives you a head start! The same goes on for visiting restaurants, there are so many delicious spots to chose from, make a few reservations ahead of time then decide where you’ll dine! There are so many landmarks and things to see, you’ll find it overwhelming if you’re not a bit prepared and know the places you want to check out.

Wear comfortable shoes. There is cobblestone everywhere, certainly not the place for heels! However, if you’re going to take some photos at a few different landmarks, bring a bag or small backpack with a pair of booties or heels of your choice, this can also help with a quick outfit change for an Insta worthy moment!

HERE ARE THE PLACES WE VISITED AND TOTALLY RECOMMEND!

The Eiffel Tower.

So iconic, I couldn’t believe we were staring at it in real life. It was love at first sight. While it was beautiful and a must see, I have to say, it was not the most memorable sight for me. I will show you my favorite later. I recommend getting your tickets for The Eiffel Tower prior to heading there and choosing a time at around sunset, it is gorgeous. It is also a must see at night, every hour on the hour The Eiffel Tower sparkles so be sure to check that out!

Photo by Jonathan Aomar Weiss

Photo by Jonathan Aomar Weiss

Photo by Jonathan Aomar Weiss

Photo by Jonathan Aomar Weiss

The Louvre Museum.

Wow, that is all I could think while walking up towards this massive, royal, gigantic building. The Louvre is the largest art museum in the world and a huge historical landmark in Paris. This was my favorite place, out of all the places we visited this one was it for me, I think what enchanted me the most is the beauty of the pyramids and how the museum screams history and larger than life architecture. It is breathtaking. If you can, try to see it at night also. As far as the art within the museum, what intrigued me the most were the Roman Portraits, Sculptures, specially the Greek and Egyptian sides. We saw The Mona Lisa of course, it is very small guys, it was much smaller than I thought and while I understand the importance of it, it was really underwhelming. There is a courtyard-like area indoors with sculptures that is really a sight to see. I could write a whole post about this one place. Maybe I will!


Palais Royal Paris.

I discovered this place from one of my favorite beauty and travel bloggers! I really wanted to visit, and so glad we did. We had a little fun hopping around the pillars. Take a look!


Lock Bridge.

This place is so iconic, I actually thought that it had been completely taken down. I think I saw on the news or so, that the locks were removed but I guess people started putting them on the bridge again! That was a really pleasant surprise, of course there are vendors around that can sell you a lock of your choice at a modest price, haha.


The Arc De Triomphe.

Guys this Arc is MASSIVE and so beautifully built. The Arc De Triomphe is like a big roundabout where many streets meet, it is a deadly crossing, so please do not try! There is an underground tunnel that you can use to walk safely to it. It is beautiful, really larger than life. Remember that scene where Tom Cruise is going against the traffic on a Ducati in Mission Impossible: Fallout??!! Yeah. If you haven’t seen it, please do and watch for that scene!


Le Relais de l'Entrecote.

Guys, this is very important. This place is a must. It is a restaurant. There are only a few items on the menu, some of which are: a delightful steak, french fries and a magical secret sauce they serve with it that will tickle all your senses. I kid you not! Nor do I exaggerate! If you’re ever in Paris, please visit this delight, it was so good that I forgot to take a photo of the meal! haha You’re welcome! Side note, this place is really well known, there is likely to be a long line out the door, I recommend getting there early!

Sacre Coeur + Montmartre.

Looking at the basilica was like stepping in front of a painting, it was incredibly humbling to be here, and the inside was even more grandiose. After we visited the basilica, we walked around the town of Montmartre. We started walking into the town and around the corner, we found a photographer working with a Camera Obscura, an older, much simpler version of the cameras we all use today. It was quite remarkable, I had never seen one in person and he was kind enough to show me how he does it. I was in awe and so happy, it was like I was supposed to be there at that exact moment.

Laduree Restaurant.

Laduree is infamous for its delicious macaroons! We had to make a pit stop, this is a sweet lovers delight!

We also recommend visiting Notre Dame, Le Crazy Horse Cabaret, Trocadero at sunrise and simply explore, put on some comfy shoes and walk around aimlessly, sometimes those are the best discoveries.

Now I shall leave you with a few more photos of our adventure. I hope you enjoy them!

The professional photos of Steve and I were done by a local Paris photographer, Jonathan Aomar Weiss.