My friend Alli and I had been to Paris before this last trip, and we sat down and discussed how if you go to Paris there are truly 6 things you need to see and do to say you actually went to Paris.
The Llouvre, the Museé d’Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the walk down the Champs-Élysées, and Notre Dam. (Plus, our group wanted to do Versailles, so in our case 7)
And all of this in 3 days… Well, it takes planning.
Alli and I sat down with Rick Steves, the OG travel homie, and discovered the Paris Pass — The most beautiful pass that gives you entrance to all the places we wanted to go and helps us cut the line. Our eyes lit up as we held the key to Paris in 3 days. Without hesitation, we purchased it and made the rest of our crew do that, too.
When you get to Paris, you pick up your pass at an information desk on Rue des Pyramides, which is only a few blocks from The Llouvre.
Our first day, we picked up a crepe and headed to Versailles by taking the RER-C train from the Museé d’Orsay Train Station. The pass worked flawlessly, and it was actually really nice to visit such a tourist attraction during the off season. (More about that in my other post “Versailles: Thanks, I will have my cake and eat it, too!”)
Our second day, we went at it in the museums. That morning we woke up and headed toward The Llouvre. After seeing the big sights, we simply crossed the Seine River to Museé d’Orsay. Personally, I think that people who enjoy history like The Llouvre more, and that people who like art and, specifically scenic art, appreciate the Museé d’Orsay more. Being a lover of both, I loved our day, but be prepared because it is a long day and requires a lot of patience, too.
Also, make sure to take breaks to eat because no one is going to have a good day if you’re hungry (or maybe that only applies to me…) We stopped at a restaurant, La Fregate. With a perfect location, exactly between the two museums, we sat down and people watched while we ate our escargot and croque monsieur.
That night we used our Paris Pass again to run up the Arc de Triomphe in order to see the Eiffel Tower shimmering and lighting up. The Eiffel Tower glitters at night every hour for 5 minutes so you have to plan this perfectly.
If you aren’t dumb, like us, please give yourself at least 10 minutes before the 5 minutes begin. This is only because you have to climb the steps of the Arc and, to be honest, it is NOT easy. I had to run up those steps with only 2 minutes to spare and I thought I was about to keel over because my heart had failed and my lungs had collapsed.
Because of this, I watched one of the most beautiful sights, huffing and puffing.
After seeing it glimmer at night, we finally decided that it was probably time to see the Eiffel Tower during the day. The best view of the whole Eiffel Tower, in my opinion, is at the Jardins du Trocadéro or the Aquarium du Paris plaza. Here, the plaza overlooks the tower and makes for great photo ops!
After snapping some pics, I HIGHLY recommend getting yourself a bottle of wine and drinking it with your friends while you sit in the park next to the Eiffel Tower. What could be even better than this? If you did it during sunset. We were giddy. Tipsy in the park with red tinted teeth from our wine, we watched the sky turn from blues to pinks until the Eiffel Tower lit up and started to glitter for us.
As the sun set on our Parisian weekend, we clinked our glasses and fell more and more in love with the city of love.
The beautiful architecture, the couples holding hands while sharing a bottle of wine, the immense history and culture hidden on each street, and the river that shimmers at night , you can’t help but feel like you’re walking through a fairy tale in Paris.
So, to you Paris Pass! The key to our Parisian affair and the reason that “We’ll always have Paris” and the memories that we have.
P.S Don’t forget to grab yourself a crêpe! After all, when in Paris! We went to La Droguerie du Marais and the Nutella Banana Crêpe has left a mark on my heart.