Europe Day 3: Full Day of Paris Sightseeing

Hi everyone! Today has been a full and exciting day of exploring Paris. I didn’t get the best sleep last night (I woke up at 3am and it took a while to fall asleep), but it surprisingly didn’t affect me throughout the day. My family and I ate breakfast in our hotel buffet, which surprisingly had a lot of options. They had multiple types of pastries, fruit cups, cereals, breads and juices, plus a waffle maker and a fancy coffee/espresso machine. I’m not sure if this is similar at other hotels, but I was impressed considering how small ours is.

We set off walking to the Louvre museum, our first destination for the day. We all bought “The Paris Pass” before our trip so we didn’t need to buy tickets which made the process of waiting in lines a little faster, but it was still a fairly long wait. My personal favorite pieces were the chandeliers and fancy furniture of former royalty. I enjoyed seeing the Mona Lisa as well (the room it was in was HOT and packed of course though), but it wasn’t particularly fascinating to me. My family only made it through 3 out of the 4 floors of artwork because we had seen everything we wanted to and were hungry for lunch, but some other highlights were the Egyptian hieroglyphics and artifacts, and the many sculptures/statues.

We walked through the park, garden-like area across from the Louvre and ate at a cafe that had a view of the whole area. I got a chicken sandwich so it wasn’t anything special (I’m a very picky eater, from my food descriptions so far you can tell I’m not a foodie) but the bread was excellent. After that, we walked to the nearest bus station to get on a hop-on, hop-off bus tour (another perk of The Paris Pass). It took us past many buildings and museums which we didn’t stop at, but we got off at the Arc de Triomphe. I took some pictures and we went through the underground passageway to get closer up and see the eternal flame burning, but we didn’t spend too much time there.

My parents didn’t want to spend too much time walking down Champs-Élyssées since it was mainly high-end shops and American stores, but we still wanted to have the experience. We made our way down until we stopped at the Ladurée store, where we waited in line for a ridiculous amount of time to buy some of their famous macarons. I only tried plain chocolate, but it was AMAZING- I highly recommend it if you like macarons and have some free time to spare, and they have stores in some US cities.

We got back on the bus and stayed on it to just get a new view of the city and see some other historical buildings, and we were planning on getting off at the Museum d’Orsay. However, we didn’t realize it was closed today so we are hoping to go back tomorrow night or Thursday. Instead, we got off the bus at the Eiffel Tower area and took some pictures. There was a snack cart nearby so we got some yummy Belgian waffles. We were on the side of the Eiffel Tower away from the park/green area so we knew we would come back later (we did!) when it was lit up at night, but from there we took the bus back to a stop closer to our hotel and went to find a place to eat dinner.

We ate at a little Italian place we stumbled upon while walking back in the direction of our hotel. I got pasta (rigatoni with their house sauce) and luckily they also had some great bread. There have been copious amounts of bread at every restaurant and place we’ve been in Paris, and I love it! After dinner, we walked back to our hotel and rested for a bit while we figured out what we were going to do for the rest of the night. My dad suggested we use our Paris passes to do a river cruise on the Seine, and we could take the Metro to get there using our passes as well. Taking the Metro was super fast and efficient since there is a station right down the street from our hotel, and the cruise dock was actually right near the Eiffel Tower so we just ended up back there again. It was only about 8:45 so it was still light, but we got better pictures from that angle/side since it was the opposite side of where we were previously, and we could walk through a green area.

The cruise was very fun and there was a beautiful sunset to accompany it. We passed all the main buildings and highlights of the city again, and the views of the Eiffel Tower were unmatched. We started out at the top of the boat but it got very chilly halfway through the ride as it was actually getting dark, so we went down to the lower indoor deck. I stepped out onto the railing to get a picture of the Eiffel Tower lit up right as we were docking and the cruise was ending and it was absolutely perfect. Everyone was exhausted and ready to go back to the hotel, but we wanted to take pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower during nighttime/while lit up so we had to stick it out a bit longer.

We didn’t realize the light show was about to start so we were confused and frustrated when a bunch of tour buses showed up and parked, obstructing our view from the main place to take pictures. When the tower started sparkling it was a pleasant surprise and we moved our way back up just to watch and attempt getting pictures. I still can’t get over how beautiful the twinkly lights were, and it was even more special as a surprise. After that the buses pulled away, so we took our pictures with the “normal” lit up tower and headed back to the Metro station and our hotel.

I am absolutely in love with Paris and I wish we had more time here- there is so much to explore and an interesting place on every street corner, not to mention dozens of museums! I don’t want to leave, but I must say I am looking forward to Italy’s food as I love Italian food but am too picky for most French foods besides desserts. Tomorrow we are headed on a day trip tour of the gardens of Versailles and hopefully will have time for other excursions back in Paris after. I’ll keep you updated as always!


The famous glass pyramid at the Louvre.

An ornate chandelier and ceiling in the Louvre.

The Arc de Triomphe and eternal flame memorial.

My delicious macarons and the Ladurée store!

Our beautiful view from the Seine River cruise.

The Eiffel Tower lit up at night- the first picture is from the special sparkly light show.


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