Exploring Paris

Happy June everyone - I’m so excited that we’re finally in the summer months now! You’ll know from my latest post that I recently had a trip to Paris with my family, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite photos from this beautiful city, plus a few tips about things to do when you’re there.

 
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We flew from Glasgow to the Charles de Gaulle Airport and got the RER into the city centre, using our annotated map to help us figure out how to get to the hotel. During our four day trip we managed to do a huge amount of exploring, walking an average of 10 miles a day through the streets. We love walking so much that we hardly used the metro, but as long as you know where you’re going it’s very quick and easy to use.

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 street view

During our visit we saw many of the iconic sights in Paris, although only went in to a couple as the queues outside them all were absolutely massive. A word of advice: if you’re desperate to go into a particular famous sight then it’s worth getting up early to see it almost as soon as it opens in the morning - there’ll almost certainly still be a queue, but it should be much shorter.

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The Louvre

Previously a royal palace, the Louvre is now a popular museum filled with a variety of different exhibits. Although we didn’t enter it was still amazing to see the contrast between the modern glass pyramid and the old building around it.

 
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Arc de Triomphe

Walking up the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe (dedicated by King Louis-Philippe to the soldiers who fought in the Revolution and the Empire) was stunning, although I must admit to being a little terrified when standing on an island in the middle of two busy lanes of traffic to get some photos!

Climbing 284 steps to the top of the monument was definitely worth it for the stunning panoramic view of the city - looking down the Champs Eysées was particularly amazing. Just be careful on the tight spiral staircase - we all felt a little dizzy, particularly on the way down.

 
 Arc de Triomphe
 under the arc de triomphe
 arc de triomphe
 Arc de Triomphe
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 view down the Champs Elysees
 climbing up the arc de triomphe
 

Eiffel Tower

Can you really visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower?! We arrived at this landmark mid-afternoon and the queues for security were crazy just to get under it, let alone go up it. Whilst we were deciding if we could be bothered waiting or not, the heavens opened and we got absolutely drenched. In this time the queues disappeared and we ran for cover under the Eiffel Tower (and in an attempt to find some sort of rain protection as we were completely unprepared!). The security guards all laughed at the state of me - completely soaked and dressed in possibly the worst outfit for the weather! Luckily though, we managed to pick up some tacky anoraks from a tourist shop under the Eiffel Tower which offered sufficient protection from the rain (although they really did make us look even more like tourists as we wandered around Paris for the rest of the day!). Although we did have two heavy rain showers, apart from these the weather was amazing!

 
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 Eiffel Tower
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Because the weather was so awful we decided to save going up the Eiffel Tower for another day. We planned to be there for the opening time on the Sunday morning, hoping there would be minimal queues. Unfortunately the queues were still huge (we had to wait for half an hour to get through) but it was totally worth it. We took the stairs option, climbing 669 steps to the second platform then taking a lift to get to the very top. Breathtaking views, though even at that time in the morning it was crammed pretty fully!

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 along the river seine
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Notre-Dame

This huge cathedral was absolutely stunning to admire fully, particularly having seen its towers in the distance whilst exploring other parts of the city.

 
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 Notre Dame
 

Panthéon

Of all the sights we saw, I was probably most in awe of this one. The Panthéon looks great from the outside, but it’s the interior that’s truly mesmerising. The intricate detail of the domes, columns and arches is absolutely beautiful. Even better, the queues were very small so it was lovely and quiet inside too.

 
 Pantheon
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Other Sights

In addition to the main sights I’ve already listed, we did manage to stop by a couple of others during our visit…

 Van Gogh's water lilies in The Orangerie

Van Gogh's water lilies in The Orangerie

 Luxor Obelisk

Luxor Obelisk

 Sacré-Cœur

Sacré-Cœur

 Pont Alexandre III

Pont Alexandre III

 gates to the Palais de Justice de Paris

gates to the Palais de Justice de Paris

 Opéra

Opéra

 

And so those are all of the sights we saw whilst exploring Paris! I absolutely loved the trip - it was brilliant to just have a break away where I was able to fully relax post-exams (and I even managed to catch up on a lack of sleep too!). The food was absolutely brilliant (more details here) and I honestly just can’t wait for my next trip coming up: Barcelona!

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First off though I’ve got to make it through a few weeks back at school after study leave (starting tomorrow) where I’ll begin my final year of high school - pretty scary but I’m really looking forward to it! Even more exciting is the fact I’m coming close to my one year blog anniversary too…

 

What have you been up to lately?

 

Heather xoxo

 
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