I’ve been posting tons of pictures on Instagram, but if you have’t already seen, we just got back from a week in Paris and London!
It was such a great week and I have a ton of pictures, like hundreds, so I’m splitting up our week into two posts- one for Paris and one for London.
So here’s all about our time in Paris…
Honestly I had no idea I’d end up loving Paris as much as I did.
I’m usually not super into big cities. I get sort of overwhelmed and would just prefer to be out in nature…on a beach or on a hike. But this past week has really changed my mind on that! Paris was such a dream truly. From the moment we walked out into the city I was wide-eyed with my jaw dropped in awe. I kept thinking “I feel like I’m in a book or movie!” We’d walk down the streets and people were sitting out in cafes enjoying their wine and coffee. It just seemed so full of life…or a love of life. Things seemed slower there and people seemed to have a thing for quality over quantity…like they’d rather appreciate the moments then hurry through things in order to do more things. Everything was beautiful. Everyone seemed to appreciate beauty in the best kind of way. A little extra time or effort was thrown here or there to make something appealing and nice. It was a pretty city. Our interactions with the people were all so great. All of out waiters and Uber drivers were friendly or cordial at the least. My mom asked me what the people are like and I explained that the man walking through out “little red car picture” had hopped in our picture just to make the silliest face the moment before! We had the most positive and best experience with Paris, to the point I told John Luke I wanted to move there, (we ll just for a month or two, I’m a homebody haha).
So here’s more details and a few tips we learned:
First off….one of the biggest things we learned from this was about plane tickets. John Luke and I had looked at flights to London a few months ago but decided against it because the plane tickets were so high. When his parents invited us to come a little over a month ago, we originally said no because of how expensive the tickets had been. We decided to go ahead and check the tickets again and they had gone WAY down. The price went down even more when we checked multi-city tickets because we were wanting to fly into Paris, take the train to London, and fly out of London. Guys the tickets were 1/4 the price they had originally been! To give you an idea of how inexpensive they were- my dad was flying to Virginia that same week and turns out his ticket from Louisiana to Virginia was the same as ours to fly to Paris, London and back on Delta. So first tip is check tickets randomly and look at multi-city flights!
We stayed at the Saint James Paris and absolutely loved it. This was the front of it. It had a little gate and fenced in yard and we always smiled coming in and joked about being home. It really did have such a homey feel to it! Probably because it used to actually be someone’s home. It’s about a mile from the Arc de Triumph and we really liked the location.
The one bad part of our time in Paris was John Luke was sick while we were there. I had a virus or something the week before and he seemed to have gotten a day or two before we left. So he was actually in the room a decent amount, but thankfully got to feeling better for London!
Our first night there was maybe my favorite. I was sooo exhausted and usually am not one to go out at night, but my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law and I decided to go out and I am SO glad we did. We just started walking without really any place in mind. We found a cafe and sat for a while talking with our coffee. Not sure what else to do we decided to see what time the Lourve was open to, HERES A MAJOR TIP- we found out its open till 9:45 on Wednesdays and Fridays! Guys we walked straight up to the ticket booth. I think there was one couple in front of us! We got out tickets with an hour left till closing, which was enough time for us. We said if we needed more time we’d just come back another day. We took our time but made out way to the Mona Lisa, and again- no line. In all honesty, I was so just floating on air that it never even crossed my mind that there’d be any lines until we actually accidentally ended up at the Lourve a few days later and there were HUNDREDS of people waiting outside in line. Our lack of planning really worked out in our favor!
One thing we didn’t think of though was making reservations. That’s something to think about there haha. BUT after the Lourve we happened upon the yummiest Italian place and got in right away. It was probably 10:00 though.
On our ride home that night, we passed the Eiffel Tower for the first time and as soon as we saw it, it stared sparkling. I was like, “Ok God, I see you!!!” I had heard that it sparkled on the hour at night, but thought we’d have to plan it out. That was such a fun little surprise! We actually happened to catch it the next night as well which was really fun again! Make sure you see it…its so pretty and fun to see!
The next day we walked to the Eiffel Tower. It wasn’t a bad walk at all from our hotel. On our way we stopped by the Musée de l’Homme. Right beside it is such a great place for pictures and a view of the Eiffel Tower. From there we walked to the Eiffel Tower and walked up under it. We didn’t actually go up, but it was fun to stand directly under it and look up.
From there we went to La Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmarte. It was kind of a far drive, but was beautiful and had a fantastic view of the city as well! We had lunch near there at The Hardware Society and it was a nice little place. From there we walked back towards the Basilica and went to the other side where we eventually found ourselves in a really neat area full of artists. I’m not sure what that area was called but it was not far at all. We spent some time over there and as we made our way to an Uber pickup spot, found the cutest little pink restaurant on a corner!
That night we had dinner at Le Coq and it was really good! I had a poke bowl and loved it.
We decided to do a boat tour that night so we ran (quite literally) from dinner to the boat tour that leaves from right below the Eiffel Tower. We were right by the museum we were at earlier that day and it was there where we caught the Eiffel Tower sparkling again! This is a really good spot to watch it from I’d say. That was really fun and beautiful. We barely made it in time, and we only wish we would’ve gotten there early so we could have gotten seats on the top level! Get there early and bring a jacket 🙂
We were surprised when we woke up the next morning to realize the temperatures had dropped! We had brunch at Lauduree and that was fun…it was such a cute place! They are known for their macaroons. From there we ended up wandering through a park where we had TOO much fun 😉 and then unknowingly popped out at the Lourve! We took an Uber and went to a neat little area to look around and do some shopping. We found the coolest little store called Merci. It seemed like a local Anthropologie or something!
John Luke met us for dinner and then we walked to see the Notre Dame. GO. SEE. THIS. If you go at sunset, even better in my opinion. Ughhh it was so huge and beautiful! And the sky was purple!! Then we ended our night at the Arc. There’s a crepe stand there too…go there! And my family has heard me go on and on about this…but theres a pharmacy right there that was incredible. We went there to use their bathroom, but I literally could have walked around in there for 2 hours. It was like Barnes&Noble meets Sephora meets bakery meets candy store. I’m just really impressed by the Parisian pharmacies haha.
My last and most important tip on Paris:
Everything is 10x more fun at night. I’m not sure if it’s partly due to delirium from sheer exhaustion from walking all day…but walk around at night or schedule a boat-ride at night. Walking around Paris at night will be some of my all-time favorite memories of travel.
It was truly a magical trip! I’m so, so incredibly thankful we had the opportunity to go. If you’re ever considering it, just go ahead and do it! 🙂