Trying to do Paris in two days was a struggle, but we managed to do A LOT! We stayed outside of the main city in a neighborhood, Le Marais. This was a great location about a 15 minute ride away from the Eiffel Tower. There were plenty of cute restaurants in this neighborhood within walking distance! Before we went to France we kept hearing that stereotypically the French aren't too welcoming towards Americans. But overall we had a good stay! I even made a list of a few restaurants, here, that were very welcoming to us and had good food! I've also linked the exact tours we booked within the post, if you're traveling to Paris anytime soon! :)
Day 1: Eiffel Tower, Sainte-Chapelle, & Picasso
Before arriving in Paris, we scheduled a guided tour of the Guided Climb of the Eiffel Tower with Summit Access. On day one we woke up early to make our way into the city. Unfortunately the weather was NOT on our side. It was pouring rain and our Eiffel Tower tour included climbing the first two stories of the Eiffel Tower. It was certainly an adventure. And don't let my smile fool you, 700 stairs up to the second story was a beating. But we learned a lot and had a blast! Our tour guide, Amanda, was fabulous! She knew a lot of history and was able to point out all the landmarks. Then we took a lift to the top....needless to say our view was not that great because of the weather conditions that day. It was a wall of fog. But, hey now we can say we've been to the top of the Eiffel Tower! 10/10 would recommend the Guided Climb though! We ate a quick lunch at a near by restaurant and headed toward Sainte-Chapelle. Sainte-Chapelle was absolutely stunning. There are no words to describe this gorgeous church. This is something you must see. The art work and detail within the stained glass is incredible! We couldn't look away!
After all the walking (specifically the stairs of the Eiffel Tower) we needed to sit down, so we joined a Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour. This took us around and highlighted some of the other sights such as the Opera House and Arc de Triomphe. We hopped off at Notre Dame which was a beautiful building, however the line was far too long, so we did not end up going inside. Then we walked toward the Picasso Museum. The Picasso Museum was very interesting. Lots to see, I was familiar with Picasso, but didn't realize just how many pieces he had created. Really incredible and a unique experience to see so much of his work in one place. We ended the day with my favorite meal in Paris at Cafe de Musees! We had the Beef Bourguignon which was incredible! This was a great way to end a rainy day!
Day 2: Palace of Versailles, Musée D’Orsay, & the Louvre
Versailles was stunning! Our experience wasn't the best because of the tour we booked.. We booked a Half-Day Independent Tour to Versailles which came with an audio tour. However, if we were to do it over again we would recommend going for a full day and booking an actual tour guide. It was great to see, but Versailles is huge and there is so much to take in. With the hour drive out there and back, half day wasn't enough! We ended up spending more time on the bus than in the Palace. Oh and our audio guides didn't work, so we didn't know the specifics of what we were looking at 90% of the time except that it was gorgeous. Crazy to think people actually lived in such an extravagant place! The gardens are stunning too! Unfortunately the weather wasn't too pleasant, so we didn't spend too much time outside, but truly beautiful. I would love to go back and spend a full day at Versailles with a guided tour! (This tour here looks like something we would've enjoyed more.) It is definitely a place worth going! Musee D'Orsay was interesting, a bit overwhelming because there is so much to see and so many tourists. I loved having the opportunity to see some of Van Gogh's work up close. Absolutely stunning! After the Musee D'Orsay we walked around the area and stumbled on the Love Lock bridge! We wrote our name on a lock and locked our love onto the bridge!
Before arriving in Paris we booked a Small Group Evening Guided Tour of The Louvre was incredible! A lot of people say that it is overwhelming because there is so much to see, that is true! Thankfully, our english speaking guide was incredible and knew how to navigate the museum. She was local to Paris and had some interesting insights on the art. Over our two hour tour she showed us the highlights of each room and shared stories behind the pieces. 10/10 would recommend this! Had we not done a guided tour, 1) we would've had to wait in line forever and 2) We wouldn't have had a clue of where to start once we got in the door. The Louvre is definitely a must when in Paris! Along with the phenomenal art, the architecture is incredible too.
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