For a long time now, I’ve talked a lot of crap about Paris, I’ll admit. I thought Paris was completely overrated and I really didn’t get why anyone made a big deal about Paris, that JUST changed.
After taking one of my longest flights I’ve ever taken, which lasted almost 48hrs, starting at LAX (Los Angeles) to JFK (New York) with a 4 hour layover and then hopping on a flight to Paris for a day long layover and then arriving at my final destination in TLV (Israel), I was exhausted, but with a big smile on my face because I finally got Paris!
My first time in Paris
I visited Paris for the first time in 2013, for New Years with Contiki’s tour “New Years in Paris”. The trip itself started off at London and headed out to Paris on a ferry and a bus for a 4 day trip in Paris. When I originally booked the trip I was so excited.
The original photo for the tour was the Eiffel Tower with a million fireworks and that’s exactly what I thought I was gonna get. A magical night, underneath the Eiffel Tower, filled with fireworks, in the most romantic and magicalest city in the world. YES, I love cheesy, cliche moments in life, I live for it.
Sadly for me, it didn’t turn out the way I thought. The moment we got on the coach and started heading to Paris, we were told that there is NO fireworks at the Eiffel Tower on New Years and that it only happens on special years. This was a dagger to my heart, I was seriously devastated.
Regardless of the horrible fireworks news, I had a blast in Paris and partied it up next to the Moulin Rouge for New Years and all over the Latin Quarter. I got to see the Mona Lisa, took photos in front of the Eiffel Tower, went up the 284 steps to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. I shopped my way through the Champs-Élysées and had lunch at the Christmas market. I went to a perfume factory and saw Lido (a famous sexy show) and although I did all these things and more, I couldn’t seem to see what all the fuss was about in Paris.
I had an amazing time with my new group of friends that I met on the trip, who I still speak to today. We had the time of our lives and because of them it was one of my most memorable trips I’ve gone on. But, it simply wouldn’t have been as great, if it wasn’t for the amazing friends I made there.
I’m not the first or last person to have been disappointed with their trip to Paris or the last person to think that Paris was simply overrated. Over 2 handful of my friends, who went at different times, couldn’t agree more with me.
But something changed this time around for me…
Here’s the how and why:
When I think of Paris, I think of fashion, chic cafes — where people sit at all day people watching, I think of amazing pastries, macarons and of course, Romance.
One of the biggest places I’ve always turned to for inspiration to new destinations are movies and TV shows. A great love story or any good story for that matter, can create our next great destination.
I’ve always been a big dreamer and very visual. Growing up, I lived out my dreams by daydreaming and living by curiously through beautiful movies that were filmed all over the world with dreamy and exotic locations. My first trip to Paris, wasn’t like in the movies.
But this time around Paris was different! It was just like in the movies!
First of all, weather is everything when you travel! I keep learning this more and more as time goes by. It amazes me, each time how much a city can change its appearance so dramatically from winter to summer, cloudy and sunny. It’s amazing how much effect the weather of a city has on whether it’s going to be you’re new favorite destination or not. It makes such a HUGE impact.
I normally love visiting Europe in the winter because I feel like it has a magic to it. I love everything about winter. I love the cold, the snow, dressing up in boots, coats and scarfs. I love the Christmas markets and how every city lights up with Christmas decorations. But I’ve learned that Europe is just prettier in the summer earlier this year, when I visited Prague and when I visited Italy a few summers ago.
My first day in Prague, was a freezing FREEZING cold, cloudy and windy day and it was just too cold to explore. However, I still walked through the windy and rainy cold of the city because I was determined to get in as much of the city as I could in just one day.
The next morning, I woke up to the perfect sunny day, although it was still cold. I was amazed at just how different and beautiful the city became, literally over night and revisited most of the sights I saw the day before and retook all my photos with a sunny sky.
I fell in love with Prague, from the moment I stepped foot out of my hotel that morning. I finally understood why everyone said Prague was the most beautiful city in Europe.
This is exactly what happened to me in Paris.
All the stories and romantic movies and TV shows you’ve might have watched, come alive during the summer in Paris.
Paris is gorgeous in the summer!
MY AMAZING DAY IN PARIS:
My morning started off when I got dropped off in the heart of Paris at the Arc De Triphone via bus. I was exhausted and starving from all the flights, but that didn’t stop me from having the perfect day. I walked down the Champs-Élysées and grabbed a delicious plate of Neapolitan Pasta on the Champs-Élysées, while people watching the crowded streets. Everyone was dressed to impress, just the way you would picture people dressing in Paris, high fashion.
Then I was off to Laduree, Paris’s go to place for macarons and pastries. I have recently developed an obsession for macarons and was really looking forward to the world’s best macarons. I have never been to a big Laduree shop, the only one I went to before was at the Louve, which later on in the day I learned it has closed. But the Laduree macarons store on the Champs-Élysées was impressive!
You can enjoy pigging your way through the desserts part of the shop or enjoy an actual lunch or dinner on the other side. Each pastry and macaron looked better than the next. This place was every girls dream come true.
Then it was time to really explore the city.
When you’re on a tight schedule to see a city in just a couple of hours, I always go with the cheesy, but money saving, touristy hop-on hop-off bus tour, that drives around the entire city and drops you off at all the important and must see sights.
Pont Alexandre III
My first stop was the Pont Alexandre III bridge. I never got to see it my first time in Paris and I’m glad I waited to see it during a clear blue sky day, where ice cream stands were placed at different corners, just like in the movies. The gold plating on the bridge was shining like a billion dollars. I walked around with the biggest smile on my face, over looking the Eiffel tower on the bridge, thinking to myself, this is the perfect dream and the perfect Paris I always heard of. I wondered the streets like I was starring in a perfect Parisian tale.
Picnic at the Eiffel Tower & The Lock Bridge
The cafe shops were packed at every corner with chic people watchers, once again, dressed to impress. I then headed to the top hill view of the Eiffel tower where I enjoyed having the perfect picnic with myself looking at the Eiffel Tower. I then hopped on the bus again and saw what’s left of the lock bridge, which is another thing I didn’t do my first time in Paris.
If you haven’t heard, the lock bridge was taken down earlier this year because of the damage it was causing to the bridge, making it almost collapse. That clearly didn’t stop the rest of the lovers that make their way to Paris on a daily base, because although the actual locks on the bridge are gone, lovers still lock their love all around the other sides of the bridge, which I found to be funny and entertaining.
Meeting my brother in Paris
I was traveling to Israel for a family event, so my brother and dad were also making a stop in Paris, but at different times. I got to Paris at 8:30am, my brother was getting there at 2pm and my dad was getting there at 5pm and our flight was leaving to Israel at 11:30pm. Although I never got to meet my dad as we all planned at 6:30pm at the Eiffel Tower, because after visiting the Eiffel Tower earlier, which had millions of people, I realized how dumb that idea was to meet there. We all didn’t have our phones working and there was no way I would ever find him. I did however, manage to meet my brother at 4pm and show him the entire city of Paris in just 5hrs! Which was pretty awesome!
We walked back to the Eiffel Tower, enjoyed some Ice cream and waffles, walked around the city, stopped at The Louve and still manged to catch our flight and stop for some more Laduree macarons!
All in all, it was the perfect day in Paris. I seriously can’t wait to go back to Paris during the summer. I think it’s the perfect bestie summer getaway and I really hope to one day visit again with my best friend, where we can dress up, eat desserts all day, take amazing photos and stay at a luxury hotel with a view and do what we do best, laugh, love and create great memorable memories. xoxo Until next time Paris!