Paris, the city of lights. I’ve wanted to see Paris since I was a little girl. I took 6 years of French from middle school into college, much to my German teacher mother’s dismay. I came to several realizations while in the country, some more surprising than others.
The food: Food is actually a bit touch and go. Definitely scout your eating spots in advance via Yelp or google maps. It saved me and brought me to a few wonderful places.
This Brie sandwich and tart came from a boulangerie/patisserie that I can’t remember what the name was. The sandwich was okay, bread was chewy but brie was fantastic. The tart was gross because the filling was not properly balanced in taste.
La petite rose:
Go here. I ordered en Français, but this spot is a favorite for other Americans via Yelp. The coffee and dessert are the best I’ve ever had. I ordered a caffè americano and tarte aux framboises (raspberry tart).
BEST Germanic French restaurant ever. The couple who works there is amazing and definitely english-speaking friendly.
Le Rome-Paris Café:
They don’t speak English here, but the staff is really sweet. We were able to order easily, and I barely spoke the language. The classic breakfast includes bread with jam, coffee, and fresh squeezed orange juice.
The Eiffel Tower:
Skip the line, go around. The view from the park on the other side is better. I find it kind of annoying and ugly that they put up barriers everywhere. However, tourists can get crazy.
The Arc du Triomphe:
It’s pretty cool, the line to go up inside is long. I personally think seeing it from the outside is better. There’s a lot of shopping and cafe’s right around this particular area. For example, a giant Gucci store.
The Louvre Museum:
GO. This museum is amazing. AMAZING. They don’t prepare you for awe-inducing it is. The artwork goes on and on, my particular favorites were the statues and the greco-roman sarcophagi.
The line in is ridiculous, so I basically saw the outside. I would like to go back and see the inside, but I had already walked 8-10 miles that day.
The Palace of Versailles:
We paid for the whole thing, but only saw the gardens. The line for the inside was horrific. We all agreed that no one prepares you for how truly huge it is. It looked so huge you could fit a few small towns within the grounds.
We thought about getting a ticket here, but the show without dinner is already over $100 per person. Besides, the travel pages I relied on said it was less than stellar to do anyways. But hey, I saw the outside!
Paris was beautiful, and yet less than stellar at times. I did not enjoy public urination flower pots. The hotel we stayed at, The Hotel Astoria-Astotel, was also lacking. We enjoyed the breakfast, complementary drinks and snacks, and the location. However, we did not enjoy the cramped rooms. We also did not enjoy hearing everyone’s business. The most unsavory factor is that the hotel looked nothing like how it was advertised. All in all, it was Paris. I finally got there. I still loved it, no matter what happened.