The next stop of my adventure was the city of love! However, I was going with my mom so romantic gestures were unfortunately kept at a minimum. This was another city that my mother grew up dreaming of visiting, so it had a lot of expectations to live up to.
We took the Eurostar train straight from London to Paris, arrived around 4pm, and checked into our hotel room with a view of the famous Eiffel Tower. The room was smaller than most in American hotels, but this was Paris, so every centimeter counted. It especially wasn’t an issue because we didn’t plan on staying in our room often anyways due to a packed itinerary!
First thing we did after we checked in? Head over to have a picnic at the Eiffel Tower! No worries, we did not forget the champagne or the freshly pressed orange juice. Did someone say lots and lots of mimosas?
This was the picnic of our dreams, but make sure you go buy champagne from a groceries store nearby instead of buying rip-offs from men trying to score easy tourist money. They carry around beer, champagne, and wine trying to sell them with a 200% price markup. No thanks.
We visited Pont des Arts to see the famous lovelocks forgetting that the government had taken the locks down due to safety issues caused by the immense weight.
There were no longer locks all over, but the view of the river was still incredible and worth the trip.
My mom and I were slightly sad to see that the lovelock bridge was no longer what it was known for, so we left shortly after admiring the view. We had originally wanted to add our own locks and come back with our special someones some time in the future. Lucky for us, we somehow ran into the new location for lovelocks on our walk to the next destination! We each got a lock (they were being sold for a couple euros each, but make sure you bargain with the venders because they will lower their prices) and signed it into permanence. It’s definitely a must-do in Paris!
I also took multiple pictures and had my boyfriend try to spot our lock among the rest and surprisingly, he found it within seconds! What a keeper.
We took our time strolling through the beautiful, Parisian streets afterwards and finally arrived at Sainte-Chapelle! It’s easily one of the prettiest churches I’ve ever laid eyes on with colorful mosaic glass windows, insanely detailed roofs, and delicate tiled floor.
There are multiple levels and the uneven stairs are extremely narrow (only fits one person going up or down at a time) so I would recommend flats or sneakers if you plan on visiting.
Also, you get a student discount for entrance if you are studying at a school in the EU, so let the sales attendants know if you are studying abroad! It would definitely help if you bring your European university student ID; I didn’t have one as I was traveling before the start of my program and was still able to get the discount. It never hurt to try.
Next on the calendar was the Notre Dame Cathedral, which was a very close walk from Sainte-Chapelle. I would highly recommend planning these two locations in proximate order on your itinerary based on feasibility.
If you walk closer to the cathedral itself, you’ll see a huge gathering of pigeons. Playing with the pigeons do make for an interesting experience and great pictures, but I would advise against it if you don’t want to be harassed for money afterwards.
The guy that harassed us came up to me with corn and offered it to me. They don’t tell you that they expect to be paid a lot for the small amount of pigeon feed they’re throwing at you, but once you give them the attention, you’re trapped. I would say that it was worth the 10 euros my mom and I had to pay, but the pigeons aren’t the cleanest and their claws definitely hurt. I was wearing a short sleeve so both my arms were full of claw marks after the photo session. Learn from my mistake and wear long sleeves if you want to play with pigeons!
Our next stop after Notre Dame was Rue Crémieux, the rainbow street within a street. My mom and I took an Uber there, and even with the GPS, the taxi driver had to drive us around for a couple minutes in search of this hidden gem. If you have trouble getting to this location, I would show the taxi driver pictures of this street because that’s how we found it! There are some houses that won’t let you take pictures in front. But most of the residences are very friendly, and they will even offer to help you take pictures. Respect for their property and privacy is also something to keep in mind. For instance, my mom and I had to dodge around this group of residences sitting on lawn chairs in the street and made sure to not photograph them without permission. This street was pretty out of the way from all the other places on our schedule, so I would recommend putting this on the flex list and only going if you had extra time!
Lastly, We visited the Louvre Museum in quest for the iconic Mona Lisa and to-die-for Monets. Of course, the structure itself was worth tons of admiration too!
I was ecstatic to also have been able to buy a great poster of Waterlilies for my apartment next year, so Paris offered beyond what I could have asked for.