Our third day in Paris was a little slow to start after our extremely long and tiring second day. We had a pretty full day planned for this day as well but ended up skipping a couple of spots on our list. It was the best thing we could have done. We still ended up seeing quite a bit and wearing ourselves out again but we did manage to sit, people watch, and take in the city at a more relaxed pace. And we’ll just have to go back to see what we missed!
Other Paris posts: Day 1, Day 2
We originally planned to be in line for the Catacombs of Paris right when they opened. I had looked up information online and everything said that this place gets busy. Things didn’t quite work out as planned. We opted to sleep in after our exhausting day two before grabbing some croissants and slowly making our way down to the Catacombs, arriving around 11 or so. We had yet to encounter any crowds during our visit, so how long could the line really be? Big mistake. The line wrapped around the building. Still, it didn’t look too awful and we really wanted to check out the Catacombs, so we took our place in line.
This wasn’t your typical waiting line. We would move five feet and then 15 minutes later we would move another two. Or we would move a bit but then the line wouldn’t move for another 40 minutes. It was impossible to predict how long it would take. We were in the sun the whole time and it was hot. We started the week wearing coats and jeans and ended the week in record-breaking temperatures. Day three was the beginning of the heat wave. But we were committed now, and we weren’t leaving the line.
Just over three hours later, we made it in. Luckily, the Catacombs are so far underground that the area was dark and cool and definitely a nice reprieve from the sunny, hot weather above us. And there is a reason the line moves so slow- they only let a few people in at a time so it really feels like you’re alone down there. It’s easy to wander the corridors without seeing anyone else for awhile.
The Catacombs were fascinating. These macabre tunnels felt a little creepy and they were eerily quiet but it was so interesting to walk through them. Water slowly drips down the walls and there are bones piled everywhere you look. Some of the rooms even have stalactites growing on the ceilings from moisture. It’s hard to imagine just how many people are buried there and it seems like the tunnels go on forever. The bones were displayed beautifully, like works of art, which also added to the overall mysterious feel. The Catacombs were so different than everything else we saw in Paris and I definitely recommend checking them out, just get there early!
After emerging from the dark caverns into the sunny, still-hot world above, we moved on to our next spot. We really should have taken the metro to Luxembourg Gardens but just like day two, everything looked much smaller and more walkable on a map. It was fun seeing more of the city, especially since our route seemed to take us through more normal and less touristy neighborhoods.
Luxembourg Gardens was full of people lounging in the grass. It was interesting- most of the gardens we walked through on our trip had beautiful landscaping that was chained off so you couldn’t go on the grass. Luxembourg Gardens was the one exception and so the grass was packed with people.
Another thing I found really interesting about Paris- all of the trees that were pruned into square shapes. I’d never seen anything like it before and it was really amusing to me. Who first thought of doing it? How do they trim the tops? Do they let the trees grow wild at first and then cut them all at once? Or do they square them off as they grow? I’ve got so many questions about these trees.
Luxembourg Palace is the home of the Paris Senate so unfortunately it doesn’t offer tours, but it’s still pretty cool to look at it from the outside.
At this point in the day, we were starving. As you might have noticed, we only had croissants for breakfast before standing out in the sun for hours and walking for miles. So we grabbed some hot dogs and cokes from a food stand and sat down to eat them in the middle of a French park. Très Américain. I don’t even like hot dogs but it was pretty funny to eat such an American food in the heart of Paris. Next we planned on visiting the Pantheon but opted to grab a beer at a cafe before catching a bus to the Louvre instead.
Let me tell you something about the Louvre. It is gigantic. That huge building that wraps all around the pyramid? That’s it. And it goes below ground as well. There’s a reason people say you need to visit multiple times and you still won’t see it all. It’s a bit overwhelming, to say the least.
We visited the Louvre on a Wednesday since they stay open late and we weren’t sure how much time we would want to spend there. I researched all of the secondary entrances to see which was the best for avoiding lines but in the end, the bus dropped us off right in front of the main entrance and we walked right in. I don’t know if we just visited Paris at exactly the right time or what but with the exception of the Catacombs, there weren’t any lines. It was pretty awesome.
After another long day of walking everywhere, we were pretty tired and decided to just hit some of the main spots in the Louvre rather than try to tackle as much as we could.
Pro-tip from Paris: look up! Everywhere we went, I found myself looking up at the ceilings. Not only are the buildings in Paris beautiful, but a lot of times the ceilings are the most decadent part! The molding is so detailed and there’s gold leaf on everything. You’ll miss a lot of pretty architecture in Paris if you don’t look up.
We took #selfies with the Mona Lisa, posed in front of the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and looked at a bunch of ceilings before making our way to the Egyptian wing. Beyonce and Jay-Z, who? It was pretty fun watching the video and knowing we basically did the Beyonce and Jay-Z tour before it was an actual thing. Although they didn’t look quite as tired as we did in their photos!
It’s kind of crazy visiting a museum like the Louvre. Every piece they own is a BIG DEAL. It’s hard for one thing to really stand out since everything is amazing. We definitely had a fun visit and will have to go back since we barely saw a fraction of what they have!
After the Louvre, it was time for dinner. We took the metro (finally, a good choice!) to Candelaria, a Mexican food restaurant. G’s dad was in Paris some of the same days we were and he suggested we check out Candelaria for tacos. I was a bit skeptical.
“Why would I go to Paris to eat Mexican food?” I thought.
“I know what you’re thinking,” he said. “I’m from Phoenix, why would I go to Paris to eat Mexican food?” … “But it’s pretty good.”
So that’s how I, an Arizona native, ended up eating tacos in Paris. Oh well, I guess I spent two days eating baguettes and crepes, I might as well add in a hot dog and tacos.
The tacos looked really good. And they tasted fine, and I’m sure a lot of people would really like them, but they really could have used a little lime juice to take them over the top. Just my opinion. But luckily Candelaria had something better in store for us than just-fine-tasting tacos.
Because after you eat your tacos, you walk to the back of the tiny restaurant and push through that door-that-isn’t-really-a-door…
And you end up in the speakeasy part of Candelaria, aka one of the best bars in the world. It’s a fun little room with stone walls and dim lighting and feels quite a bit different than the taco shop out front.
I don’t remember much about the drink I had other than the fact it had tequila in it which instantly makes drinks taste like margaritas to me, and our bartender lit it on fire before handing it over. It was really good. Like, really good. It was creamy and slightly sweet and fruity and I could totally see how Candelaria made the list of best bars in the world.
G had something that was poured from glass to glass about a dozen times in a fancy, showoff-y way. Overall it was a really fun experience but next time I would skip the tacos and go straight for the drinks.
And since everyone knows if you visit Paris you can’t go to bed early, we walked over Little Red Door, another one of the best bars in the world. Here you walk past a little red door into a bar where you choose your drinks based on architecture styles.
Once again, I don’t remember much about my drink, except that it was made with cherry alcohol, cherry bark, cherry flowers, cherry, cherry, cherry…. It was really good, though not quite as good as my drink from Candelaria. G’s dad had a winner though, with a drink that was garnished with flowers fried and dipped in sugar- they tasted just like churros (best Mexican food of the night).
Striped Top: New Chic, first seen here, similar here and here // Grey Tee: Miss Me, similar here // Jacket: Forever 21, similar here // Skinny Jeans: Jolt, similar here and here // Boots: Born Cory Boots, similar here and here // Blush Crossbody Bag: Forever 21, similar here and here // Tassel Necklace, Sugarfix by Baublebar, last seen here, similar here // Sunglasses: The Row, similar here and here // Nail Polish: Essie in French Affair // Lipstick: YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in Pink in Paris
You can see more pictures from our trip to Paris on my Instagram stories: @mollyandstacie
Previous days: The Eiffel Tower // Montmartre and Champs-Élysées
Next up: day four: Musée d’Orsay and the Île de la Cité