When I traveled to Paris for the first time in January 2013, it was love at first sight. While I’m not used to walking around in a busy city, Paris did feel like coming home. The neo-classical buildings, the many musea, the happy couples that made me dream of strolling along the Seine with my boyfriend at night, while gazing at the Eiffel Tower, which extends above Paris like a burning candle,…
I felt like I could stay in Paris for ever and never get tired of it.
We traveled to Paris by bus, with an organisation called ‘Flixbus‘( I highly recommend them for all citytrips within Europe, by the way). The journey took about 4h30 from Antwerp, which is, of course, way slower than the Thalys. However, it was thrice as cheap, and when you’re a student, every penny counts.
Spending a day in Paris
When we arrived at Paris, it was about 25 degrees and very sunny. We were so happy with the weather that we decided to skip the musea, and spend as much time outside as possible.
1) Pont Neuf
The Pont Neuf, translated as ”New Bridge”, is the oldest bridge across the Seine. Its first stone was laid back in 1578. Back in the 16th century, it was the first bridge exclusively for pedestrians. (The other ones were lined with houses on both sides, like you still can see in Firenze today). It’s not really a must-see, but the view from it is nice nevertheless. You can see the Pont des Arts (the one with all the locks, which have been removed now), the Louvre, the Eiffeltower, the Conciergerie,…
(there’s a description by each photo if you hover over it)
2) Sainte Chapelle
Sainte Chapelle is a church built in the 13th century on île de la Cité. It has very beautiful stained glass windows, which is the reason I wanted to visit the church. That, and because it’s way less touristy than the Notre-Dame. (We had to wait in line for about 10 minutes though, due to a queue caused by security scanning)
3) Le Marais
After we visited Sainte Chapelle and walked past the Notre Dame, we continued or visit in Le Marais,often referred to as “Old Paris” .Le Marais combines old architecture with modern art galeries, cute boulangeries and lots of vintage shops ( I will make a post about that later). It used to be the ”quartier” of the Jews, and nowadays it has become a hotspot for the LGBTQ community.
4) evening stroll
We had dinner in Indiana Café at Les Halles, which serves by far the best Mexican food I ever ate for a decent price (We paid around 14 euros per person). Afterwards, we decided to explore the ”city of light”. We walked along the banks of the Seine, holding each other’s hand, and it was even more magical than in my dreams. We saw the Conciergerie, the Eiffeltower and the Louvre again, and while we had seen it by day aswell, it looked way more mysterious and wonderful by night. At the cour carrée, there were so few people ( a few tourists and people taking wedding photos) that I felt like my boyfriend and I were completely alone on the world, and that in such a crowded city like Paris !
– Don’t forget to ask for une carafe d’eau when you’re at a restaurant. Drinks are usually pretty expensive, but those are free.
– The metro is the easiest and fastest way to get from point A to B, but it’s also the least pretty.
– If you’re from the European Union, aged 18-26, all subsidized musea are free. If you’re not, it’s best to buy your tickets in advance if possible.
Day 2 and 3 will follow soon !