Finally starting to recover from vacation withdrawals and that means it’s time to relive the adventure through pictures! 🙂
I spent 8 days in the City of Light with my good friend Casey, to celebrate her 30th birthday and grad school completion. We had our own apartment in the 15 arrondissement and really submerged ourselves into the Parisian lifestyle. We visited the must see attractions of course but one of the best parts of being in the city was simply just being there. Some of my favorite memories will be strolling the Île Saint-Louis hunting for the perfect ice cream cone, the cheese and baguette picnic (ok, that happened twice) and traversing the city on the underground Metro. And did I mention the sea salt & caramel macaroon at Ladurée?
Moody weather on our first day in Paris!
Summertime means sand and umbrellas lining the Seine, also known as Paris Plages.
Walking the streets of Marais
Place des Vosges is the oldest planned square in Paris, dating back to 1604. Built by King Henri IV, it was originally known as Place Royale.
Street performer at Place des Vosges.
Typical Parisian cafe, which are situated on almost every street corner.
Casey and I mastered the metro system during our visit. We were able to see so much of the city this way!
Notre Dame Cathedral, which we ended up visiting twice. The first time, the line was too long so we made a plan to return the following morning. Worked like a charm and we had the place (almost) to ourselves!
The queue to climb the towers of Notre Dame, which we opted not to do.
Beautiful interior of Notre Dame
Almost all bridges in Paris have “love locks,” which are adding so much weight that they are actually causing damage!
Notre Dame from the other side of the river.
A life of leisure 🙂
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris (or Sacré Cœur) is located on the Butte Montmatre, the highest point in the city. Also quite crowded!
Montmatre below. If you are a fan of the movie Amélie, as we are, this was her neighborhood!
I didn’t realize before visiting that the Louvre was actually a palace. Its origins date back to the medieval period, and its present structure has evolved in stages since the 16th century. It was the actual seat of power in France until Louis XIV moved to Versailles in 1682.
This was the start of our day at Versailles and the bench where we ate our lunch. After an unfortunate mixup with train, we arrived a bit later than expected and the line to enter the palace was insane. We decided to tour the gardens & Trianon first and then the palace. (Which ended up being too crowded in the afternoon also, so we made a plan to return the next morning. Seeing a pattern here? Haha)
Casey snapped this photo of me touring the Grand Trianon. This estate was established in 1670 as a retreat for the King and his mistress but was utilized for two centuries after by other royals.
2nd trip back to Versailles, arriving 45 minutes prior to opening and no line!
I can just imagine these halls filled with courtiers!
We actually rushed through most of the interior to make it to the King & Queen’s apartments early. I really wanted to see this stunning sight without any other visitors.
Beautiful ceiling artwork
Marie Antoinette’s chamber and the famous hidden door in which she escaped. (But not for long as she was later captured and beheaded) Another fun fact is that nineteen “Children of France” were born here.
2 hours later, the line had grown substantially
Late night at the Louvre
This picture is more comedic, I was stuck in a swarm of people trying to snap pictures of the Mona Lisa. I didn’t get any closer and this father/son duo was hilarious.
Visiting Napoleon III Apartments at the Louvre, this was the dining area.
Jardin des Tuileries at sunset
Arc de Triomphe
View of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées from the top
My last day in Paris