Julie Travels: Paris

Today I’m continuing to share about my time in Europe with my Girl Scout troop. After our time in Firenze, we headed to Paris for a few days and it was great! Similar to my Italy posts, I’m sharing where we stayed, what we ate, and what we did!

I had been to Paris before, but only for one night, so I was excited to get back to Paris for three nights to do more exploring!

Where we stayed:

We had originally planned to stay at a hostel, but after reading some pretty bad reviews, I changed our plans three days before we left for the trip. I decided to go with what I knew, and selected the Holiday Inn I had stayed at on my first trip there. It ended up being perfect! It was the Holiday Inn Gare de l’Est, which was right by the Gare de l’Est train station, adjacent to the Gare du Nord train station (the international station we left Paris from), and close to the Metro (subway).

Where we ate:

We ate at several great spots while in Paris. On our first night, we walked about fifteen minutes from our hotel to a little bistro, Les Coulises. I had a Quiche Lorraine, and it was the perfect “welcome to Paris” meal.

One day, for lunch, we went to Crêperie Elo, and loved it! They had build-your-own crêpes of both the savory and sweet variety. They offered counter service and sit-down service. We opted for the counter service, since we were looking for a quick lunch, so I loved that they had both options. I had a bacon, avocado, and tomato crêpe, and it was delicious.

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My favorite meal, which I shared about yesterday, was from the Galleries Lafayette Food Hall food artisan, Maison de la Truffe. Check out those details here.

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What we did:

I feel like we really fit a lot into our three nights in Paris. One of the things that had been suggested to me was to get passes for the Big Bus (you know, the open air bus that goes by all the sights) and use that as your transportation combined with the Metro. I’m so glad we did this. It ended up being a great way to get around, and we got to see a bunch of things we may have missed without the passes. The bus was hop-on-hop-off, so we could get off wherever we wanted, and another bus would be along thirty minutes later.

Another bonus was that the passes came with a free river cruise on the Seine!

A favorite activity of the group was our time spent in the Luxembourg Gardens. These beautiful gardens were the perfect spot for people watching and relaxing in the sunshine. It was a great way to recharge in the afternoon.

Of course, the Tour Eiffel is a must see! Security was crazy when we were there in the afternoon (there had been an incident earlier that morning), so we basically stayed on the perimeter of the tower, and snapped pics and enjoyed the views. It was a gorgeous evening, so the views did not disappoint! We did not go to the top – I’ve heard mixed reviews of this. Some people love it, others say it’s definitely something you can skip.

We spent our last afternoon in Paris strolling along the Champs-Élysées, which was really fun! We wandered in and out of shops, and the girls enjoyed picking up souvenirs for themselves and friends back home.

And, of course, we had to visit a museum, which we chose to do the morning of the day we left. Since this was a first visit to Paris for most everyone in the group, we chose Musée du Louvre. We had a scheduled entrance to the Louvre, and I picked the first time slot, 9 a.m.. It was great because we beat the crowds. By the time we left, around noon, it. was. packed. Crazy packed! We only spent three hours in the Louvre, and I know many people can spend hours, even days, but three hours was enough for us to see the highlights.

The Louvre is great, and I feel like it’s a must see at least once in your life. Now that I’ve been twice, I can skip it and see other museums next time. I’d really love to get to Musée d’Orsay. I’ve heard great things about the museum pass, which gives you unlimited access to all the museums. Since we only went to the Louvre, we skipped that option, but I’ll definitely look into it next time.

I loved our time in Paris, and I feel like we really fit a lot into our time there. Some things that I’ve added to my list for my next visit: a day trip to Versaille, getting out of Paris to see wine country, and Musée d’Orsay to name a few. Have you been to Paris? What am I missing? Do tell!

Tomorrow, it’s on to England with a special #tastyThursday post, then Friday I’ll be sharing all about our time in England. See you back here then!

Au Revoir and party on!
JW

 

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