What could be better than a spur of the moment trip to Paris? I have always wanted to go to Paris. Growing up, it seemed like such a beautiful city full of glamorous people doing glamorous things. I couldn’t imagine a place much more different than the Phoenix desert. I watched all of the French movies (A Very Long Engagement is one of my favorite movies ever), listened to French music, and took French classes in high school and college. But I never visited! C’est la vie.
Fast forward to this spring. G and I had some vacation time at the end of April and we originally planned on going to London. We had the perfect itinerary planned and were so excited… until the flights filled up! So naturally our only option was to go to Paris instead (quelle horreur!). It was a little crazy- I only had a few days to plan the trip and we ended up booking an Airbnb while sitting on the plane! But we made it and spent five amazing days in the City of Lights.
We took a red eye to Paris from LAX which worked out really well. I usually don’t sleep very well on planes but this was such a long flight (almost 11 hours) and since it was roughly bedtime anyway, I actually got a little bit of rest. The airport is outside of the city so we took the train into Paris. Our first impression of the city was pretty amazing- we exited the train through a shopping center and immediately encountered a bustling city with cobblestone streets and beautiful buildings. We were pretty hungry at this point and ended up grabbing some ham and cheese baguettes on the way to our Airbnb. They were so good and ended up being the first of many on our trip.
We’ve found that it’s a lot easier to get over jet lag if we rest a bit when we first get to a new city instead of forcing ourselves to power through it. So we took a couple hour nap at our Airbnb to reset ourselves before heading out to do some sightseeing. We stayed in Le Marais which was a great, central location. The neighborhood was much quieter than some of the other popular areas but it was still close to several subway lines and we had a bakery across the street and a grocery store on the corner. We rented an apartment for the week and it was wonderful- it definitely felt like we were living in Paris instead of just visiting.
After our nap, we took the subway over to the Trocadéro. During my very quick research, I had read that this area across the Seine and on top of a small hill was the perfect place to see the Eiffel Tower. We immediately spotted a crepe stand and had to grab a couple. I’m going to be honest, they taste exactly like the crepes in America but there was something really special about eating crepes in Paris. I’ve actually made some crepes at home since our trip using the recipe here and G swears they’re better than the ones in Paris… which isn’t true, they taste the same, but it’s still nice.
Crepes in hand, we headed around to get our first view of the Eiffel Tower. I had to wonder, would it really be that great or would it just be something touristy to see and say you saw it? Well…
It really is that amazing. Like, take your breath away, actually say “wow” out loud amazing. There’s definitely a reason everyone goes to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower.
We saw it at the perfect time, too. The area wasn’t crowded (actually, with the exception of one spot on day three, we didn’t really encounter crowds anywhere on our trip) and look at that sky! It seriously felt like a movie scene. So far, Paris was winning our hearts.
Next we walked through the Jardins du Trocadéro toward the river. Paris was so green- there were flowers and trees everywhere and it felt more like a quaint small town than a big city.
We made our way across the Seine and headed for the entrance to the Eiffel Tower. It was a bit surreal seeing the Eiffel Tower after reading about it and seeing it in photos and movies for so long. It was crazy to think it had been such a big, important landmark for so many years, and there it was, right in front of me!
We opted to climb up the tower instead of taking the elevator. By this time, it had gotten dark and the Eiffel Tower started sparkling as we made our way up. It was a pretty fun experience! As a side note, I’m a bit afraid of heights and most of the buildings/landmarks/sketch castles that G has me climb up make my legs a little wobbly. Luckily that was not the case here! The Eiffel Tower is just so massive and sturdy and you’re surrounded by so much iron that it doesn’t feel much different than being on the ground. So even if you’re a total chicken when it comes to heights, you’d probably be okay in the Eiffel Tower!
And the view is fabulous! Paris really is a beautiful city and it was great to see it from above. It was so fun to look down on the Seine and see all of the landmarks we were going to visit during our trip. I could definitely see why everyone who has been to Paris says they have to go back. Standing in the Eiffel Tower and looking out on the twinkling lights of the city below, it truly felt like a magical place.
Paris Day One Outfit: Grey Sweater: Maddie, similar here and here // Skinny Jeans: Jolt, similar here and here // Jacket: Forever 21, similar here // Boots: Born Cory Boots, similar here and here // Bag: Kate Spade Mindy Crossbody, similar here and here // Sunglasses: The Row, similar here and here
Next up: day two: Montmartre and Champs-Élysées!