"Been to France one time and you're Parisian." - The Chainsmokers
I have long dreamed about the time I would finally get to the fashion capital of the world, and when it finally happened there was absolutely no way to contain my excitement. As a fashion major one of my biggest dreams is to go to all of the fashion capitals in the world. I have lucked out having been to three of the top four.
But Paris... Paris was the greatest trip I have ever been on in my life.
Just walking down the street in Paris is honestly a fashion show itself. People in Paris really do dress up for all occasions compared to us here in LA.
I can't talk about my trip without mentioning the most beautiful street I have ever walked in my life, and I have been to 5th Avenue and Rodeo Drive here in the US. Avenue Montaigne is the high fashion center of Paris, located just off the Champs-Elysées (if taking the metro go to exit 'Franklin D. Roosevelt'). Basically I spent the whole time I was there drooling over all of the beautiful things I can only dream to own.
Art is a huge part of the Parisian experience. The art that you see in Paris comes in many different forms, whether thats designer clothes or priceless paintings. I have to say this trip did convert me into a museum lover, I was severely under whelmed by the Mona Lisa. I honestly don't understand why it is so well regarded, but never the less I had to take a photograph of it. My one pro tip for the museums is to research a head of time the exhibits you want to see and invest in the museum pass. The Louvre is beautiful, but it is so large I would suggest having multiple days to see it and invest in a guided tour to really understand the meaning behind what the paintings and statues mean.
By far my favorite museum on the trip was the Orsay. Not only was the art what made me change my mind about museums, it's just one of the coolest building architecturally. It used to be a train station so it has amazing clocks that add such a beautiful dimension to the space. Hey I thought it was so beautiful that a photo of one of the clocks hangs in my living room.
Let's talk landmarks! Obviously I loved the Eiffel Tower, I went three separate times to view it, I highly suggest going at least twice, go once during the day and once at night. I suggest going up the tower at night, then enjoy the light display above while it starts and view it from the bottom the second time. If you want to go all the way to the top, get online months before your trip to reserve tickets.
Notre-Dame is probably one of the most iconic Parisian places after the Eiffel Tower. As kids we learned about it from the animated film and the fairy tales, but I don't think anything can prepare you as an adult to see the magnificat stained glass windows. It is easily a place you could spend a lot of time at or only half an hour.
The thinker is located at the Rodin museum, it is in the gardens and is easily recognizable once you enter. The garden has a little cafe and gelato stand. On the day we went it was quite warm so a scoop or two while spending time exploring the garden should be on the top of your list! Paris has many gardens, but this one really did take the cake as one of the most beautiful.
You can't come to Paris and not go to the Louvre, as stated before you will need many hours to see it all. But my biggest suggestion is to go to the Pyramid at night. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing all that glass lit up against the night. You are bound to see some locals taking lots of photos and enjoying a romantic night out together. I stayed up with my cousin very late to go see the Pyramids before having to get on a flight home. This is one of the most beautiful experiences in Paris, and it's free.
The Palace of Versailles is outside the city, but well worth the taxi ride or transportation fees (you can actually take a bus and a metro for way cheaper.). Hands down this was one of my favorite places to visit on this trip. The decor and exteriors on this palace are just so magnificat it's hard to believe it's real. I have to say, that the upkeep is certainly out standing. The extravagance that this place shows is the reason there is no longer a French Monarchy, thanks Marie Antoinette. Honestly the most extravagant part is the gardens. They are so large there is actually a tram that runs through them to connect to other parts of the compound. Something that I wish we had done is rent a golf cart to take us all around the grounds as a way to have gotten to see WAY more than the little pieces we saw. I read somewhere that they cost 30 euro an hour, well worth it if you can reserve one for your trip!
When searching for a place to stay, I like always will recommend AirBnB. We have used it on many occasions and find it is the best way to acclimate into a culture. We rented a place that was just slightly further away from most of the touristy locations, this resulted in a cheaper price and a grander understanding of their public transportation. I certainly will be looking in the 8th arrondissement near the Champs-Elysees on my future trips. It's very centrally located and easy to walk to near by attractions as well as being near many metro stations. We were on a tour for part of our trip so we stayed in a hotel located close to The Bastille, this was more centrally located and was an easy place to find buses and metros to get around.
While the food may not have been my favorite from all of my adventures, I have to say that the atmosphere of the restaurants out weighs the amount of gluten and dairy I ingested. I have to say though the bread and croissants were well worth the stomach ache. My favorite dish I had was onion soup, I love sipping tea in a cafe, and sometimes a cocktail is on the menu. (P.S. follow me on Instagram.)
Just reliving the trip has made me exhausted, just like I was on the plane home. Let me know in the comments the places I should go next. As well let me know if you have any questions about Paris I can answer for you.