Moulan Rouge, Crepes, Croisonts, the city of love... all things that come to mind when thinking of Paris, France. I have to say, this city fully lived up to the hype and surpassed my expectations.
When one only has 24 hours in Paris, one must work as fast as possible to fit in as many sights as possible even to the detriment of ones own health. And that's exactly what I did, #noregrets. Actually, my one regret is that I didn't give myself more time!
However, I do have a good reason for my silly thought that one day in Paris would be enough. When it comes to the city of love, there seems to be two major schools of thought, (puts on academic hat) some people love it, others love to hate it. The term "Paris Syndrome" coined by Professor Hiroaki Ota in 1986. It's a mental disorder exhibited by individuals that travel to Paris and experience disappointment so severe they develop psychiatric symptoms such as hallucinations, depersonalization, anxiety, and also psychosomatic manifestations such as dizziness and vomiting.
Imagine hating a place so much that you actually become physically ill! Hence my reservations around visiting Paris. The main criticisms I've heard, are that it's too dirty, and there's too many gypsies and pickpockets. I'm glad to say I did not personally experience any of the above, but that may be due in part to my special circumstances. Since I had so little time, uber and walking were my two major forms of transportation, no way I could waste valuable time navigating the metro.
So, how do you see Paris in 24 hours? The short answer is you really can't. There's far too many sights to see, galleries and museums to experience and food to eat. However, I tried my best to get the main ones in and I'll tell you how.
I flew into Orly Airport straight from Porto, took a train to Charles de Gaulle (30 euro) hopped on a shuttle from the airport to my hotel, showered, got ready then straight to the uber into the city.
First stop: Arc de Triomphe
My uber dropped me right in front of this famous monument and I have to say, pictures don't do it justice. The moment I stepped out, I knew I had fallen in love with this city. Everywhere I turned was so beautiful, I honestly couldn't believe it. I took some photos and decided my only option was to walk everywhere to try and take in as many sights as possible.
Paris is surprisingly very pedestrian friendly. The sights are far apart but everything is so beautiful it's easy to keep walking, the ohh's and ahh's distracting you from all the bisters forming on your feet.
Next stop: Seine River
Since I hadn't eaten in approx. 9 hours I picked up a chocolate crepe and savored the deliciousness as I walked along the Seine River. To be fair, the majority of my time was spent walking along the river. It's a very long river and seems to connect every major sight in the city. This lead me to my next stop...
I walked right up to the iconic tower and it was truly breathtaking. However, seeing it up close and personal didn't give me quite the scope I was looking for. I wanted to see the full tower in all it's majesty. If I had more time I would have purchased a ticket to go all the way up. However the wait was far too long so I moved on to The Champ de Mars. It's one of the best spots to get a full view of the Tower and you can get some pretty great shots of it in the background. 100% recommend everyone to go there for the view.
Here is where my lack of planning backfired on me a bit. I knew I needed to get to the Louvre but I didn't want to hop in an uber or a cab out of fear for my life so I decided to keep walking. The walk turned out to be over 50 minutes... yeah those blisters could no longer be ignored. The museum was absolutely gorgeous but unfortunately I was unable to check out all the exhibits I wanted to. More reason for me to go back!
After the Louvre it was almost 10:00 pm so I knew I would be unable to see anymore sights. It was now finally time for food. The plan was to check out a fancy rooftop restaurant and eat as I gazed at the glorious view of the Eiffel Tower light show. Unfortunately, everywhere was full. so another tip: make reservations to the following places in advance if you can help it.
- Les Ombres
- Restaurant Maison Blanche
- Hotel Raphael Rooftop Bar
- Peninsula Hotel Rooftop Bar
I ended up at a Japanese restaurant that was very good, I tried okoniomisashi for the first time. what an experience!
Overall a great trip! My first solo trip and it was a blast! Next time, aiming for a full week.