Paris was never on my bucket list, but when my husband had to travel there during our anniversary, I decided to join him! To my surprise, Paris lived up to the hype and I fell in love with the city of love.
We walked for hours exploring the beautiful sites around our AirBnb. It was such a beautiful city, although in September the weather was a bit chilly for this California girl. The leaves were just beginning to change, and with all the old beautiful buildings, it made for a very romantic trip.
My husband had always wanted to climb the bell towers at Notre Dame, and so we made that our top priority. We learned that Paris has introduced a new online app JeFile This allows you to virtually “wait in line” instead of wasting hours standing outside the Notre Dame.
The app worked perfectly, and we returned at our scheduled time to pay the 10€ entrance fee (about $12). This experience was absolutely unforgettable. We were continually surprised and delighted each time they allowed us further access to the bell towers.
We first climbed the North tower, and at halfway up, you get to walk across the portion of the cathedral that bridges these two giant towers. The staff did not rush us, and we stayed for hours soaking in the view and exploring the gargoyles. It is incredible to hear the famous bells chime from such a close distance.
In the South tower, you are allowed to go inside to view one of the enormous bells. Our trip concluded with a final climb to the very top of the South tower where we were treated to yet another spectacular view. It was a gorgeous stormy cloudy day, and I love stormy clouds that created breathtaking photos.
The inside of the Notre Dame is yet another breathtaking experience. There is usually a long line to get into the Notre Dame, so it is wise to wake up early and get there when they open at 7AM. On the day we visited, we had the privilege of listening to early morning mass as the congregation sang beautiful songs and recited liturgies in French.
The icon of Paris cannot be missed. There are many lovely views of the Eiffel Tower, but for the best view, go to the parks that surround the Eiffel Tower. You can spend hours strolling along the river and exploring the sprawling park that is right in front of the Eiffel Tower. Bring a picnic if you can!
You can purchase tickets to the top of the Eiffel Tower for 17€ (about $20). Once you are in the Eiffel Tower, you are allowed to stay until closing and enjoy the different views at each of the levels. We chose to take the stairs on the way down and enjoyed the unique perspective of this iconic monument’s architecture.
No trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the Louvre, the largest museum in the world. There is so much to say about this particular site, we’ve written a separate post about it that you can read here.
The Palace at Versailles
While not as popular as the Louvre, the Palace at Versailles is another incredible destination that is worth visiting. We wish that we could have spent two days to properly explore the entire estate, but you can read our post about the experience here.
Where to stay
We loved our AirBnb, and this particular apartment is in a beautiful neighborhood. Cheaper than a Best Western, you will get a more authentic experience along with a full kitchen and washing machine (which is useful if you’re traveling longterm). We especially loved the little espresso machine.
AirBnb is a fantastic way to travel, and much cheaper than a hotel. If you’d like to learn more about how AirBnbs can save you a ton of money on your next trip, read our tips here.
The metro is very useful and easy to use. We recommend using the Google Maps app to plan your route, and it helps to download the metro maps from the website.