Pictures of Paris

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Paris. The City of Love. The City of Light.

I think every little girl has some sort of romantic idea about Paris. I know I did.

The reality of Paris, though, can be a bit different.

Eiffel Tower

Paris is big. Paris is crowded. Paris can, at times, be a bit smelly and standoffish.

But, even though I didn't fall head over heels for the city, I actually was pleasantly surprised by Paris.

Yes, Paris is big. But the Metro makes it easy to get around (just don't inhale too deeply).

Yes, Paris is crowded, but there are parts of the city you can retreat to in order to to escape the crowds.

Yes, Parisians can look down their noses at you if you don't speak French, but, really, who cares? Get over it and enjoy the Paris experience. You can get around fine without speaking any language at all.

Sacre Coeur from behind

I went into Paris knowing all the stereotypes and having heard all the warnings. But I was determined to not let any of them influence how I saw and experienced Paris for the first time. This was MY trip, after all.

And, because it was my trip, I actually didn't end up doing a lot of the most touristy things in Paris.

  • I didn't see the Mona Lisa.
  • I didn't go inside Notre Dame.
  • I didn't visit the catacombs.
  • I didn't go to a show at the Moulin Rouge.
  • I didn't even go to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Instead, I skipped the lines (and hefty prices) and did only what I was interested in.

  • I SAW all the famous monuments, just from the outside.
  • I did multiple walking tours around different Parisian neighborhoods.
  • I took an evening cruise on the Seine.
  • I wandered through Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
  • I saw Paris from the top of the Montparnasse Tower.
  • A ate at the “Amelie” cafe.

Here's a glimpse into MY Paris:

I saw everything famous from the outside:

Notre Dame
Like Notre Dame Cathedral
Sacre Coeur
And Sacre Coeur Basilica
Arc de Triomphe
And the Arc de Triomphe
Moulin Rouge at night
And even the Moulin Rouge lit up at night

I watched the sun set at the Louvre instead of waiting in a line to get inside:

Louvre Sunset

Louvre

I wandered the pretty streets of Montmartre:

Montmartre Paris

Montmartre Paris

I went looking for love:

Pont des Arts Paris
Love locks line the Pont des Arts

Pont des Arts love locks

I strolled through gardens:

Jardin du Luxembourg
Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg

I tread quietly over graves:

Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris
Pere Lachaise Cemetery
Pere Lachaise Cemetery
Pere Lachaise Cemetery

I saw Paris from above:

Paris from Montparnasse Tower
The view from the top of Montparnasse Tower

Paris from Montparnasse Tower

I took a sunset cruise on the Seine:

Paris Seine cruise at sunset

Paris Seine cruise at sunset

And, yes, I saw the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night, too (I had to!):

Eiffel Tower at night

It's true that my trip to Paris was a little less touristy than it could have been. But it was perfect for ME — and it leaves a lot to be done next time!

Which of these things would you do/not do in Paris?

Also, big thanks to GoWithOh for fixing me up with a cute Paris apartment for my stay in the city!

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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  1. Great website! We went to Paris/Tours for 2 weeks in May/June. We rented an apartment and really enjoyed “hangin’ with the locals” in our neighborhood. Did you see/go to any of the “pop-up” markets? There was one in our neighborhood and it was just awesome, all the food, fish, cheeses…amazing. You are living in a great time for travel, with the internet for research and booking trips. When I was your age back in the sixties and seventies, it was much harder, had to hope you got a good travel agent. Just so you know, I happened onto your website while looking at tours for Egypt. I enjoyed reading your article on Egypt too.

      It’s definitely a great time to be a traveler now – though sometimes all the info you can find online can be overwhelming!

    Hi Amanda! Found your blog a few months ago while researching my trip to Egypt in December. I’ll be doing that one with my husband. But…you’re contagious! I now want to go to Paris….by myself! Thank you very much 🙂 I was thinking about the spring of 2019…. this will be my first trip ever alone. So I was wondering if you had any suggestions for small group tours? Baby steps to being completely on my own. LOL!

      That’s great to hear, Lori! I’m afraid I don’t have any personal recommendations for group tours in Paris, though – I’ve never done a tour in that part of Europe! But spring in Paris would be lovely. 🙂

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