Around this time last month, my boyfriend and I booked a last minute trip to Paris. I knew I wanted to go somewhere after graduation but I’m not really a ‘sit on the beach and soak up the sun’ kinda girl. I like to be out seeing things and getting a sense of the culture.
Paris has been one of the cities I’ve wanted to visit for years and I can safely say, I’d very much like to go back soon!
We arrived late Sunday afternoon and had a walk down to the Arc De Triomphe and got some food but it was Monday when we really started ticking the things off my to-see list.
Just walking around Notre Dame and taking in all the Parisian streets was incredible. Then we walked further down and I could see the Eiffel Tower. I know it’s a pretty tall thing and we could see it from our hotel window, but to actually see it was a completely different story. It didn’t hit me quite as hard as seeing the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin (where we literally walked around the corner from our hotel and there it was) but it was still a pretty special sight!
Things got a lot more exciting when I spotted a pet shop and naturally, had to go in! I was too busy fussing over how cute the little Jack Russell puppies were, when Andy told me to go and see another dog. Well, it was only a little French pug wasn’t it! So cute!
Monday was actually Bastille Day, or as it’s known in France, Fête nationale or 14 Juillet. I knew we were in for a treat (just wait until you see the firework photos) but it was so lovely to see how proud the French are of their country and I do wish I’d seen the military parade. We did see the planes and helicopters fly overhead when we were sitting outside a cafe, but I think seeing the full parade would be such a great experience. We did see some highlights on the news in the hotel room and it looked incredible. Maybe next year?
A passing walk by The Louvre and off we headed up the Champs-Élysées to the Arc De Triomphe. Since we’re both under 24 and EU Citizens, we could go up the top for free. It’s pretty good to check out things like that as it’s a great way to save a few euros. If you’re over 24 or not from the EU it’ll cost you €8 which is still pretty good!
I’ve not yet mentioned, but it was actually pretty warm over in Paris. On the Monday I think it was around 26° so after our walk around we headed back to the hotel for a break and to plan out where we were heading for the fireworks.
If there’s one thing you need to know about Paris on Bastille Day, it’s this – get yourself to a decent vantage point early, especially if you’re wanting to take photos. It gets busy and if you want food, take it with you or book well ahead as the restaurants will be super busy. Ee got lucky when we spotted some street food and had the best crepes in Paris (they actually were too, the ratio of nutella to crepe was perfect) If we get the chance to go back I think I’ll head closer to the Eiffel Tower and try and get somewhere to sit/stand around the Champ De Mars with a picnic!
The firework display lasted 35 minutes and there was a lot of blue, white and red – the French colours. It really was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen and we’re so lucky to have booked our trip to coincide with the 100th anniversary.
By the time the fireworks ended it was past 11:30pm and our metro line wasn’t running anymore. We opted to walk back since it was a nice warm night (and why waste money on a taxi when you can see the city at night?) and although it took us over half an hour, I really didn’t mind.
Paris is huge and my first top tip would be to wear comfy shoes as you’ll be doing a lot of walking!
Look out for my next Paris installment same time next week! You can also check out my Berlin posts: 1, 2 and 3.