A weekend trip to Paris – Day 1

What comes to your mind when you think about Paris?

Taking a stroll along the Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe?
Sitting in a café, having a café au lait combined with people watching?
Visit Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre at night?
Eat a crêpe while watching the Eiffel Tower light up after sunset?
All of this?

“Paris” stands for elegance, fashion, culture, food and romance.
It’s basically every girl’s dream city.

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Find out about how I filled my 4 days in the city with as much original Paris as possible:

The moment I get off the TGV I have a huge smile on my face. I don’t care about what the other passengers think about that red-haired girl with the green backpack who is smiling at nothing. I’m in Paris. With all the ideas associated to the city, it feels like quite an achievement to actually be there and get my own impression of the city of love.

I manage to figure out the métro map and make my way to the Latin Quarter, where I check into the hostel, leave my luggage and quickly leave again to explore the surroundings. I stroll along rue Mouffetard, a lively little street with restaurants, cheese shops, bakeries, fruit vendors,… I get so carried away that it’s only at the end of the street that I notice that I’m walking into the wrong direction. The city map does not really help me and I’m thinking of Barcelona where it seemed so easy to find everything. However, a few minutes later I am relieved to find myself in front of the Panthéon, the first sight on my list. (I was surprised to hear that there is a Panthéon in Paris, since I had been to the Pantheon in Rome thinking it was the only one.)

rue mouffetard
Rue Mouffetard

I continue my tour along a boulevard passing charming hidden passages. When I see Notre-Dame in front of me, I realize that I’m already on the Île de la Cité. I cross the Seine for the second time and get into the métro, direction Gare de Saint-Lazare. I’m on my way to meet my Parisian friend at work. He volunteered to be our city guide for the weekend. After I spent some time in the pub figuring out what to do and where to go while enjoying an ice-cold Guinness, I make my way to Gare du Nord, where I am meeting my friend from Holland. I quickly stop at a bakery and order two pains au chocolat in French. Judging from the two pains au chocolat in my hand, my French must have been perfect… 😀

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In the evening the 3 of us meet at Saint-Michel Station. Being our first night in Paris, we want to have a real French dinner. Afterwards we’re walking around lively little streets with dozens of restaurants, bars and clubs. We choose a stylish piano bar for a drink. The prices in the French capital are ridiculously high: €12 for a cocktail – in my favourite bar at home I get 3 cocktails for the same price!

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