Hello lovelies and happy Friday!
Friday still carries its charm for me and I am looking forward to the weekend. Of course, we have nothing exciting planned for our days off but the fact that I will be able to indulge in my hobbies without thinking of any work-related matters still brings a smile to my face. And this, my friends, is much needed in times like this.
I am writing this new blog post while listening to this playlist on Spotify. It takes me back to one of the most memorable trips of my life – the one to Paris last year. And my music choice is not accidental. Today I am starting a new blog posts series that will commemorate this memorable trip and I will share everything with you. I am calling them A Love Letter to Paris as this is what I feel towards the city – genuine, unconditional, and eternal love, which I want to save somewhere. This will not be your regular travel itinerary even though I will include many of the tourist spots and famous things to do in the French capital. No, I would like to make this series a memorable experience, something like a Paris diary, if you want, and I want to tell you everything about what we did, how we felt, and what we loved in Paris as part of our trip there in August last year. I hope that it will be interesting for you to take a peak at my Paris.
Let’s start this journey taking one day at a time. We arrived in Paris late one Sunday summer evening (11 August) and even though we were very eager to explore the city, we decided that it would be best if we first sorted out some basics, like purchasing our Navigo Decouverte transportation cards, checking into our hotel, and having some well-deserved dinner. It was very important for us to enjoy the true Parisian atmosphere and not just stroll around the city’s numerous tourist attractions like the millions of other tourists. Our priority was to indulge in all that Paris can offer – not only the great cafes and little cobweb streets of Montmartre, but also the labyrinth of the Parisian metro system; not only the great sunrise over the Eiffel Tower, but also the crowded Champs-Élysées with all of its busy side streets; not only the cruise on the Seine, but also the long queues in the Louvre and the fact that we arrived in Paris during the busiest week of the whole year.
Speaking of the Louvre, this is exactly where we first headed on our first full day in Paris. We woke up very early on Monday 12 August, had our coffee and quick breakfast at the nearby boulangerie and took the metro to the famous Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre metro station. There are a few possible entrances to the biggest museum in the world but we decided to use the Palais Royal one as it was the least known one and it provided access to the museum directly from the platform. Of course, we were not the only ones who picked this particular Louvre entrance as there were at least 10-15 people already queuing when we arrived half an hour before the official opening time. When the gates finally opened, there were at least 30 more people waiting in line so please take this into consideration when deciding on at what time you will visit the museum.
Unfortunately, we were not meant to visit the Louvre that day as all the tickets were already sold out. However, every cloud has a silver lining and we managed to buy tickets for another day via the FNAC website. You can read more about our experience in this blog post in which I share my top 5 secret tips for your Paris trip, including what to do when everything is sold out. Even though we did not manage to enter the museum that day, we still spent a few hours wandering around the museum and taking plenty of photos with a relatively clear background as the rest of the tourists queued away from us.
Let me tell you, the surrounding are of the Louvre museum is a spectacular part of the French capital and we found a way to visit it a few times during our week in Paris. The cute yard of the Palais Royal makes it the perfect spot of a quick photoshoot, after which you can head to any of the side streets and enjoy a quick cup of coffee in the numerous cafes in the area. If you are approaching your lunch time, just like us, take some cheese and bread from the nearby supermarket and head to the Jardin des Tuileries where you can enjoy a delicious meal among the Parisian business people who are taking their lunch breaks as well. Then, filled with a new energy, we headed towards the spectacular Galeries Lafayette where we spent some time window-shopping. Among the breathtaking architecture you will find world-famous luxury fashion and beauty brands that will satisfy even the most demanding taste. We finished our stroll with what we knew best – enjoying some chocolate in the nearby Lindt boutique shop. We tried a few sweets currently unavailable in Bulgaria while taking one last stroll towards the Opéra national de Paris from where we took the metro towards our hotel.
It became apparent to us right from the very first day that we will be walking a few kilometers each day. This is the only way you can truly experience Paris and I am happy that we spent a few days before our trip making detailed maps for each day. I am sharing the first one with you today, including all the details on how to get to and from the Louvre to our hotel using only the metro system, and I hope that it will be useful for you as well when planning your stroll around the Louvre museum and its surrounding area.
Click on the image in order to view it full screen.
Have you ever been to this part of the French capital? What impressed you the most? Let me know in the comments.