This is part 2 of my adventures in Paris! Check out part 1 here
Musée Louvre + Jardin des Tuileries
We were so lucky to be close to the Louvre because my god, it is a truly spectacular piece of architecture. When you think of the Louvre, the new glass pyramid structures are what first come to mind, but the medieval palace surrounding the courtyard is really what takes your breath away. Again, we could access the museum for free but we didn’t really stay for that long. Locating the Mona Lisa took us an obscenely long amount of time wandering up and down the same corridor thinking god, it must be really small before realising we were in the wrong place. I don’t know what all the fuss is about anyway, she’s only a 6/10 at best… The Jardin des Tuilleries is situated next to the museum and is equally as beautiful. It’s quite a monumental place as its where citizens celebrated after the French revolution, when it was made public to the people rather than privately owned by the monarchy. You always feel like you’re surrounded by history in Paris.
You can’t visit Paris without taking a look at the Notre-Dame, it’s such a fantastic and historical medieval cathedral, not to mention the setting of the adorable Disney movie Hunchback of Notre Dame. Have a walk all around to soak in all the exquisite detail in the architecture and have a look at the beautiful flowers in the gardens if visiting in summer. We spent about half an hour at the Notre-dame taking pictures before Cloé remarked, “wow you know, it looks like the Notre-Dame from that movie.” Ah Cloé…
We got free access to Les Invalides because of our European passports. The architecture of Les Invalides is beautiful inside and out. Inside the golden dome of the building you can take a look at the tomb of Napoleon. The tomb is made of red quartzite and stands on a granite base, surrounded by 10 bas-relief statues that depict the main achievements of his reign. The ceiling of the dome depicts beautiful artwork and the gallery of the tomb is quite an eerie spectacle. You can also visit the Musée de l’Armée within Les Invalides, a museum made up of various exhibits to do with artillery and warfare. We visited the exhibit on World War I and although it contained some interesting artefacts, it became quickly dreary. If you’re a WWI enthusiast however, I’m sure this is the place for you!
Palais de la Découverte
This is basically a science museum so we gave it a go because Lyd is a major science nerd. You can get reduced entry if you’re less than 25 and if you go after three on a weekday it’s reduced even further to €3! Sadly for Lyd, all the displays were in French. But Happily for Lyd, Cloé and I are pretty competent in French so we could translate for her. (Teamwork!) It was actually really fun, I’d recommend it especially if it’s raining and you’re looking for an interesting museum to go to. It was so much better than the artillery museum, where I just wanted to lie down and weep. There was also an awesome exhibition at the end where you could control light with movement and sound, which we loved.
Unsurprisingly as a Western capital and a major tourist hotspot, Paris is rather expensive for food and drink. The patisseries are to die for, I’d definitely say recommend splashing out for a treat at least one day of your time in the city. We went to ‘Gosselin’ on Rue Saint Honoré near the Louvre and had some amazing fruity cream cheese cupcakes. The choice of vegetarian meals was sadly limited. There was always something on the menu I could eat, but it always turned out to be the same thing- pesto pasta. You can get quite sick of pesto pasta after 4 days of it! However, ‘Café des Marronniers’ gave us the option of a fantastic cheese platter instead and being located in the centre of Jardin des Tuileries, it was lovely to eat outside amongst all the greenery. The service was great too, each of us got free coffee at the end of our meal when our waiter found out we were students!
- Accommodation: 6/10
- Veggie Options: 5/10
- Favourite spot: Louvre
Everyone should visit Paris once in their lives. Tell the little hipster in you to pipe down and be a shameless tourist. Take picture after picture, explore the rich history, dance in one of the beautiful jardins and bask in the grandeur of this incredible city.
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Much love <3