Why and when?
Paris is obviously one of the most known cities in the world. Many people want to visit it, although unfortunately, not many get the chance. So when I found out that the group I studied French with were visiting the 'city of light', I could not help but go. It was the perfect opportunity, a chance I may not get another time. So in the summer of 2018, we went on a one week trip to the beautiful city of Paris.
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is the city's most well-known landmark. We visited it during the evening, when there was a beautiful sunset. Moreover, we stayed a bit later until it was dark, I believe 10pm, because then, it started sparkling and it was like that for 5 minutes. I have heard that some people are disappointed when they see the Eiffel Tower, saying that it is only a piece of metal. However, I was actually quite impressed. There was something about it that was just beautiful, a surreal experience, having always seen it on pictures and then standing in front of it. It was unbelievable. There were also lots of people and numerous restaurants and cafes in its perimeter, which I believe would have been nice to just sit in and gaze at the beautiful view in front of you.
We also went to the Eiffel Tower once again during the day and we went to the top of it. The view was absolutely impeccable.
We then visited the Notre Dame, the cathedral built on a sacred location. Notre Dame has a unique spirit. It is traditional, yet open to change. It is dedicated to religious belief no less than to scientific knowledge. It has always stood for values in a world of facts. I am thankful and extremely grateful for having visited it before the fires. It was indeed beautiful both on the inside and outside. And we stood at the center point of Paris, which was also quite fun. In addition, we saw the three rose-windows. Unfortunately, we did not spend that much time there, therefore, this is all the information I can give.
The Seine is a 775-kilometre-long river, the average depth being about 9.5 meters. We cruised through it, while a woman was giving us information on Paris through speakers. It was an amazing experience, sailing through the Seine, looking around the beautiful architecture, the people and an overall view of Paris. We even saw the Eiffel Tower close-up.
The Louvre is one of the most famous museums in the world. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it served as the royal palace for French kings. During the French Revolution, it became a public museum. We got to see the famous Mona Lisa. It was great, however we barely managed to see the painting, since there were lots of people standing in front of us trying to see it and take a picture. One thing I must add is that the Louvre is absolutely enormous. We had only 2 hours to wander, however it was not enough for us. We got lost multiple times. And near the end, we even met the famous YouTuber Logan Paul, who was in the Louvre with his girlfriend at the time. We all took pictures and left joyously. I should also add that the entry is free of charge every Friday for people under 18.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is an iconic symbol of French national identity and took 30 years to build and is 50meters tall. To get to it, we walked along the famous avenue Champs-Élysées. It is home to many popular brands such as Louis Vuitton. We unfortunately did not get to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. All in all, it was still an enjoyable experience.
Personally, my favourite part of the whole trip was Disneyland. One day was definitely not enough to try everything I wanted. Thankfully, we went on the right day, since there were not many people, so it was easier for us to get on the rides. The ones I would recommend the most and that pumped up my adrenaline the most are the Tower of Terror, which was the most terrifying, but also the greatest ride, Space Mountain was the first ride we went on and I did not expect it to be that scary, the Indiana Jones ride was fun too, but not as scary as the previous ones, the Ratatouille one was also fun ride for those who cannot withstand the tougher ones. Out of all the places we visited, I am most eager to go back to Disneyland. It just felt so nice, it indeed is the happiest place on earth.
Prices & Final Impressions
We stayed in a hostel in the cheaper part of Paris. I was satisfied however, since we barely spent any time at the hostel, we were going to several attractions a day so as to visit everything we wanted to. I did not buy lots of things while I was there, which I regret the most honestly. I do not know whether I will ever go there again and I had the nerve back then to not spend as much money as I wanted to.
Going with a group, that has everything planned out, is a great way to visit a place for the first time. I personally would love to go to Paris again, but by myself or with a friend. You just get to do whatever you want and go wherever you want at your own pace. Going with a group makes you a liability, you have to be on alert all the time, go wherever the group goes, try and not look away for too long or get lost. There are definitely both advantages and disadvantages to going in a group, but at the end of the day it is your decision on how you would want to experience a place.
Finally, is it worth visiting Paris? Absolutely yes, if you have the means to. It is not the cheapest nor is it the most expensive place, but it does require a bit of money for you to experience all of its attractions. It is also not the cleanest city I have ever been to. The Parisians were mostly nice and friendly. Another regret I have is that I did not speak the language that much. I love communicating in French, I've been studying it for maybe 10 years and I missed the opportunity to use it in France.
All in all, it was an experience I would never forget and that I would cherish forever. A whole different culture, people and ambient from what I am used to. Visiting one of the most known cities in the world is not a small task and I am grateful that I got this opportunity. I cannot wait to revisit it sometime in the future.
"Paris is not a city, it is a world."
— King Francis I
All the pictures were taken by me with my iPhone 5.