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At the end of May, I took a trip to France with my mum and the majority of the trip was spent in Paris. I finally compiled a list of all of the different places we visited, as well as the photos I took in each place. It was absolutely lovely, and as it was at the end of May, the weather was the perfect temperature. The added bonus of travelling in May was that there were not as many tourists as there would be in the middle of the summer!
Versailles was on of the first stops and we decided to rent an Air BnB nearby, which was very beautiful and charming! We stayed two nights as we thought it would be easier than travelling from the city centre of Paris to Versailles. We also noticed that the tour busses from Paris did not arrive until at least 9/10am, so by staying nearby, we were able to arrive at the Palace before the crowds.
The Palace of Versailles
Something we learned while in Paris, is that is you have a European passport and are under the age of 26, you can go into almost all of of the Museums for free. To explore the palace, it was free as I fall into this category, but for the gardens I had to pay. We visited the Palace first thing in the morning, and went straight to the gardens before it filled with people. Later that day, we went back to explore, take the audio tour and visit the gardens. We walked through the gardens to find somewhere to eat, and enjoyed dinner by the water. Something we missed, was taking a row boat out onto the water at the bottom of the gardens, but unfortunately it had closed by the time we arrived there. I would definitely go back again to do this! The gardens were gorgeous, with music playing throughout and the fountains running.
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Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny
I grew up admiring Monet’s art and studying it in school, so it was only fitting that we visited his home and gardens. I really loved this, it was so pretty! It was about 45 minutes to an hour drive from Versailles, but worth it!
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After many many searches for the perfect hotel, with a balcony and gorgeous Parisian street view, I stumbled upon Hotel Residence Foch. The hotel was beautiful and I think for Paris, it was not a bad price. It was conveniently located close to the metro, or about a 15 minute walk to the Arch de Triomphe. An important tip in the warmer months, is to ensure that the hotel or air bnb has air conditioning! Most nights we would pick up croissants and fruit for breakfast and enjoy it from the balcony. The hotel also offered “pocket wifi” which you could purchase for €5 a day, unlimited data and up to 9 devices could connect (this was in addition to the free hotel wifi). This was amazing, because mum and I could connect to the pocket wifi and use it all through Paris. I feel like I need one of these all of the time when I travel!
Instead of walking through each day, I am going to highlight some of our favourite things. I had the chance to visit Paris when I was 15 and at that time we visited many museums, so this trip did not include as much of that. If you are a first time visitor, you may want to consider visiting a few!
One of my favourite things that we did multiple times throughout the trip, was enjoying a picnic under the Eiffel Tower. We brought a blanket and treats to the park to take in the views and atmosphere. We did this one the first day, where we brought fruit, croissants, baguette, cheese and drinks to enjoy in the afternoon.
Another day, we went to watch the sunset and then later, watch the lights on the Eiffel Tower shine (I believe this starts at 11pm?!). There are many grocery stores throughout Paris, one which we visited often was Franprix, they had a salad bar and other foods to take to have a picnic, plus stopping by a bakery for really good croissants and baguettes (I think these were better than the ones in the grocery store). Also, half way down the park there is a little (permanent) vendor stall that makes paninis and other foods and treats you can get for a picnic.
If you want to take this iconic shot that we see all over Instagram, the location is rue l’université.
Park Jardins du Trocadéro
These are the beautiful fountains, building and steps that face the Eiffel Tower. This is the way we walked home from the Eiffel Tower. It is a really nice spot to sit a little while and watch the fountains, and also take a few photos.
Arch de Triomphe
We passed the Arch de Triomphe many times, only stopping the one time for photos as it is such a busy busy spot!! There is a lot of competition for photos here, but we manged to get the one above.
We visited the the Rodin Museum first thing in the morning when it opened, had a cup of tea, and walked around the gardens and inside the building, which was a lovely way to spend the morning.
When I was 15, I had the chance to walk around the Louvre, so this trip we just walked around the outside to take in the atmosphere and take some photos. I found the best time for this, was just before sunset, as there are not as many people around.
Have you ever seen those columns that are black and white and different heights?! These are called Les Deux Plateaux or Colonnes de Buren and located at Palais Royale. They are a fun photo op – the best time, again, is just before sunset. Also, the gardens around this area are gorgeous to visit.
This cute pink building is located at 5 Rue Lagrange near Notre Dame
This is a beautiful spot to walk through. We walked along the river and then through this area.
Ralph’s is the Ralph Lauren restaurant in Paris, and honestly, it was one of my favourite places! It is a little pricey, but the atmosphere was amazing. I am definitely an atmospheric diner. I had a veggie burger, fries, followed by a brownie and tea. So pretty, I would definitely recommend! Also, try to get in there right when it opens if you want to get nice photos with not many people in the background.
I had the opportunity to tour through the Ritz and enjoy an afternoon tea, while listening to piano. Again, another more expensive experience, but I really loved the tea and atmosphere.
La Maison Rose
Another popular spot is La Maison Rose, located at 2 Rue de l’Abreuvoir, 75018 Paris, France, which is located very close to Montmarte.
Cafe de Flore
This cafe is another popular spot that you see on instagram a lot. We did not dine here, but I couldn’t help myself snapping a shot as I passed by!
Honestly, I didn’t have a great experiencing dining at Laduree, it was very touristy and poor service. I would recommend just getting some macrons, and enjoying them by the Eiffel Tower, or by the river.
I am sure that on many popular coffee table or bedroom photos, you have seen Diptique candles, and as they are from Paris I decided I would visit one of their shops to buy a candle. This was a nice little treat on my trip, and a lovely souvenir to bring home from Paris.