If you are looking for a weekend city trip, go to Paris! Paris is not only the capital of France, it’s the capital of love, one of the most romantic cities in the world.
We landed at Orly airport in Paris and took the Orly bus to Denfert-Rochereau, the station nearest to our booked accommodation. Our hotel was situated in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, near 2 Metro stations (Vavin and Edgar Quinet). The famous attractions in the area include the tower of Montparnasse, Montparnasse cemetery, as well as the Catacombs of Paris.
As we arrived pretty late in the evening, we did not manage to do much sightseeing, but we could not resist to explore the streets nearest the hotel to see if we would end up seeing the Eiffel tower glowing in a distance. Along the Boulevard du Montparnasse people were enjoying the evening and the restaurants were packed. You could sense the spirit of the Pariasian lifestyle right there; going out with friends for a supper, laughing and talking until late in the night. We also got lucky as we had the perfect, straight way view on the Eiffel tower in the night. After a quick energy re-fill, we headed back to our hotell and decided to call it a night.
The next moring we woke up early to catch the best croissants, or in fact it was to make the most of our day, but the croissants just wowed us. Paris is usually called the city of lights or the city of love, but for us it jokingly became the city of butter. At every corner you can find boulangeries, a french style bakery, from which the air gets a buttery smell that is just heavenly.
We walked a lot this day by foot. From our hotel, along Rue de Rennes, we came to the river Seine, where we crossed one of so many bridges and arrived at the Louvre Museum. After taking some photos outside the museum, by the popular Louvre Pyramid, we continued towards the Tuileries Garden.
The garden is nestled in a busy part of Paris and is a popular spot to enjoy a rest. We sat down by one of the fountains, on the free reclining chair and soaked in the Parisian vibes. The shoppingmall Carrousel du Louvre is located just nearby if you want to book yourself a shoppingtour.
The weather was clear and sunny, which we wanted to take an advantage of, thus we continued by foot. We passed the Place de la Concorde, continued along Avenue Des Champs Elysees and crossed the Seine and the bridge Pont de l’Alma from where you get stunning view of the Seine and it is an ideal photo spot to snap the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel tower was majestic and even if it is an iron-made monument, it somehow is a natural part of the city. All around the tower and the surroundings gardens there are many, many tourists. It is the one of the most visited monuments in the world and the ticket line is always loooong. We chose not to wait in line, but rather to enjoy the tower from the ground and have more time for other sightseeings.
We took the subway back towards the Notre-Dame Cathedral and shot some photos, then went to the popular ice-cream shop called Berthillion. This little gem, hidden on the small island of Saint-Louis, serves great quality ice cream, perhaps the best we ever had.
Be sure to stop for a treat.
So, after all sweets that we had on this day, it was time for something salty. Our recommendation is to stop by a supermarket and buy some good cheese, butter and fruit. Then a baguette at a bakery and feel free to have a picnic in a park, perhaps in the beautiful Le Jardin du Luxembourg. If your up for a restaurant visit, please visit Rue du Montparnasse, a street famous for its Crêperies. La Crêperie de Josselin was our choice and tough you might wait in line for a table, it is worth it.
The next day we visited the Grand Mosque of Paris, that lies hidden behind the Jardin des Plantes (botanical garden) and we were impressed by its architecture. It was built in 1926 as a tribute to the muslims that fought for France during the WW1.
Because of the pouring rain, we decided to stick to shopping malls and stores for the rest of the day, so we headed to the popular Lafayette department store. It is a beautiful building that even has a roof top terrace where you can sit and view over Paris.
In the west part of Paris there is a business district called La Défense. From the metrostation Esplanade de La Défense you can stroll along the promenade towards the Grande Arche, which is a modern version of Arc de Triomphe.
From the platform you also have a great view towards the entire Champs Elysees. Next to the Grand Arche, there is a large shopping centre called Les Quatre Temps where you can, beside the conventional shopping, catch a movie at the cinema or visit one of the many restaurants.