France
Paris

Here you’ll find travel reports about Paris. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day4

    Last Day in Paris!

    April 2 in France ⋅ ⛅ 61 °F

    Yesterday (especially yesterday night!) was the perfect end to our amazing trip to Paris. We finally adjusted to the time difference and to the travel night with no sleep. We woke up at a reasonable hour (9:00) and made our way to the Catacombs, which was only a short 10-15 minute walk from our Airbnb. We stopped for a sugar croissant on the way. We waited in line for a bit and then entered the Catacombs, the largest ossuary in the world. The underground tunnels hold the remains of over 2 million people. It is absolutely insane. The bones are never ending. It was very morbid but one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen.

    After the Catacombs, we walked back to our awesome little neighborhood and had a delicious fondue lunch - three cheese fondue with garlic, onions, and white wine. For dipping, we had bread, apples, and potatoes. And a side of prosciutto. It was so yummy but I was about ready for a nap! We went back to the Airbnb and relaxed for a bit and got ready for the night.

    Next, we took an Uber over to the Arc de Triomphe, a giant monument overlooking the city. On our way, it started to drizzle, so we didn’t go up to the top of the tower. We walked down Champs-Elysées, one of the most famous streets in Paris, and stopped in for a glass of wine to escape the rain.

    The rain stopped and then we walked the mile and a half towards the theater district. We had a delicious dinner at a little Tavern - delicious perfectly cooked duck for Tim and a Caesar salad and French onion soup for me! Next up was one of the highlights of the trip - L’Olympia Theater to see Tedeschi Trucks Band. This beautiful old theater opened in 1888. The Grateful Dead recorded parts of their Europe 72 live album there. TTB is in my top 3 favorite bands so this was definitely an incredible experience (and a crazy coincidence that their European tour began here on our last night in Paris)!

    The concert was absolutely incredible. We had seats in the 5th row of the orchestra so we were a few yards away from Susan, Derek, and the band. This was a seated show and during the first set, we were a little worried about the crowd, who didn’t seem to be dancing too much. But after the set break, the crowd loosened up, and we saw some of the best live music we’ve ever seen. Although everyone remained seated, people were loving it. Everyone was dancing, cheering, “woo”-ing, and giving standing ovations. They ended with a couple of my absolute favorite songs. I have never seen a crowd clap and scream so loud for an encore. The encore was incredible and everyone finally stood and danced. That band is so good! We are strongly considering seeing them again Thursday in the Netherlands.

    After the show, we had another round of beers at the tavern where we had dinner and then Ubered home. Last night was the perfect ending to the perfect trip. Now off to Amsterdam!!!
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  • Day26

    Cheese eating surrender monkeys

    October 12 in France ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Or so I'm told...
    Interesting hour getting caught up in a protest through paris. Didnt understand a word that were shouting, understood the police who were plenty and armed to the teeth though. Pretty sure they weren't even all protesting the same thing....

  • Day1

    Paris Arrival!

    March 30 in France ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

    After we FINALLY made it to Paris, we had the best day ever. But the trip here was exhausting! We sat in traffic all the way from Richmond to Dulles. Then had a yummy airport dinner before our redeye flight to Iceland. We each got a couple of hours of sleep on that flight and then a couple more on the flight from Iceland to Paris. We arrived in Paris at noon yesterday and we were both very tired. Our Airbnb host had told us to take the train to his stop in Paris. But the train was closed for maintenance, which we found out after we had already bought a ticket! So we waited in the longest line ever for the replacement bus then transferred to the train and then got off at our stop. Then we were planning to turn on cell data briefly to get walking directions to the Airbnb but the cell data wouldn’t work! Fortunately, all of the Parisians we met were the nicest and most helpful people ever. Three different people tried to give us directions and a random hotel let us use their WiFi. We arrived, about 2 hours late, and our awesome Airbnb host was still sitting there waiting for us!

    We were tempted to take a nap but decided to push through “until 8:00 or so”. That’s when the awesome part of the day started. Our Airbnb is in the perfect part of town. It is just south of the Latin quarter, right off of Rue Mouffetard, the oldest street in Paris, and probably the coolest street ever. For a couple of miles, the street is lined on both sides with everything you can imagine - bakeries, fruit stands, fresh seafood shops, butchers, cheese markets, cafes, bars, restaurants, creperies, shops, ice cream parlors, markets, and anything else you can imagine. Live music is played on every block. And it’s pretty much all Parisians, very few tourists. We started at a cafe with a cheese plate and wine. Four amazing types of cheeses and a basket of French bread. We sat outside and people watched and listened to a band and ate and drank for awhile.

    After we left the cafe, we walked north up Rue Mouffetard to Notre Dame and the Seine River, passing a beautiful old Church and the Pantheon on the way. We walked into Notre Dame during their Saturday night mass, which was pretty cool. The architecture, both inside and out, and the stained glass, was incredible. Next, we tried to go into Sainte-Chappell’s on the next block, but it had closed. We’ll try to go there today before the Louvre! We stood on a bridge over the Seine River and people watched and waved to the boats passing by.

    Then we wandered around the city for awhile. We ended up in an Irish pub (on accident) for a beer. While in the pub, Tim noticed that his phone was missing. We thought for sure he had been pick pocketed but decided to walk back to a restaurant that we had previously sat down at outside but had left before we had ordered anything. We poked our head around outside and a nice group of people asked us (in French) if we had lost a phone. Sure enough, it was sitting at the host stand!

    At this point, we were ready for dinner! We ended up at a restaurant back on Rue Mouffetard where Ernest Hemingway used to live! The place was packed with Parisians and had a TripAdvisor sticker and had a prix fixe menu so we figured it would be amazing. The wine was amazing, the food was just mediocre, but we had a blast. We each ordered off of the prix fixe menu. We both started with the duck salad, which was fantastic. Then I had the seafood plate (shrimp, scallops, and salmon) and Tim had the flank steak. Both of those plates were okay. And I had a delicious creme brûlée and Tim has a delicious chocolate mousse. The whole meal took about 3 hours (and 2 carafes of wine)! We had a great time sitting outside and eating and drinking and people watching. We finished the meal off with a couple of coffee drinks and headed home. After dinner, we got completely lost, but eventually found our way.

    To be honest, Paris was never really on my bucket list. I was thinking of this had more of a stopover on the way to Amsterdam. I was completely wrong. Tim and I both agreed yesterday that this may be our favorite city we’ve ever been to. Definitely in the top 3.
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  • Day3

    Paris - Best Day Ever!

    April 1 in France ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

    Yesterday was the best! We basically just wandered around hopping from cafe to cafe all day. After we woke up, Tim went to the super market for coffee while I got ready. Then I went to get croissants while he got ready. We sat on our balcony and split 3 different kinds of pastries - a chocolate croissant, some type of sugary bread, and a butter croissant. We sat on the balcony for a bit longer and made a 1:30 reservation for a delicious French lunch. On our way to the restaurant, to kill some time, we sat at a sidewalk cafe and had a beer.

    Next up was our first proper French meal (besides the daily croissants!). We chose Chez Lionel because it had such good reviews and was not super expensive. When we arrived, we saw the Michelin Star sticker next to the front door and got very excited. We sat on a sidewalk table and both ordered the prix fixe menu and split everything. We used our dictionary to translate but still didn’t know exactly what we were ordering. For our first course, we had a yummy green bean and radish dish (we had thought this was going to be a green salad) and an amazing eggplant, olive, tomato, hummus dish. For our entree, we split scallops and chorizo (we had thought this was going to be fish and were very pleasantly surprised) and the “beef of the day”, which was the best beef either of us had ever had. The prix fixe menu also came with a glass of wine and a cafe (decaf for me)! The waitress and chef were so nice too. This was one of the best meals we’ve ever had.

    After lunch, we wandered around, passing by the Luxembourg gardens again, and made our way up to the river, stopping in another couple of sidewalk cafes on the way. We then went to check out the stained glass at Sainte-Chapelle. This was probably the coolest thing we’ve seen so far. The glass was absolutely beautiful. We wandered around the city for a little bit longer and then started to head back towards home. Once we got back to our cool little neighborhood, we stopped at a walk-up crepe bar and ordered dinner. We ate our crepes in the middle of a little roundabout intersection surrounded by cafes and people watched for awhile. Then we were both exhausted. We came home and got to bed early. It was a perfect day full of yummy food!!
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  • Day2

    Touristy Day!

    March 31 in France ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

    Yesterday was our day to check off some of the “must-see” touristy Paris stuff. We woke up late, and still pretty tired. We both could’ve slept for another several hours, but forced ourselves to get ready and to get out the door around noon. We made it to a cafe just before they stopped serving breakfast. We stood at the bar and ate chocolate croissants and Tim had an espresso. Then we wandered along Rue Mouffetard, bought some fruit from an outdoor market, had a beer from a pub, and made our way over to the Gardens of Luxembourg. This is huge public park/garden filled with people picnicking, relaxing, playing sports, and more. We walked around the gardens until we worked up an appetite for lunch. We headed towards the Seine River and looked for somewhere to eat lunch outside. Since it was almost 3:00, restaurants were starting to close for the afternoon. We had to make a quick decision and jumped into a Napoleon pizza place. Not exactly French food but it was delicious!

    Next stop - the Louvre. Woah. I had heard that the museum was huge but I had no idea it would be this big. Fortunately, there was no line and we walked right in. We had a guide on the “must see” rooms/paintings and stuck to that but were still pretty overwhelmed. We started off in Napoleon’s apartments, which were stunning. Then made our way to the Italian Renaissance paintings and saw a bunch of Botticelli and da Vinci pieces, including the Mona Lisa. Next was French History paintings, Greek statues, and the Egyptian galleries. We finished off the trip with a visit to the basement to check out the original walls of the fortress. People spend days in the Louvre. We were in and out in under 2 hours, which was enough for me.

    After the Louvre, we walked down the street to Musee d’Orsay, but it was about to close so we didn’t go in. We stopped in at a little wine bar and had a couple of glasses of Rose and tried to decide what to do with the end of our day. We decided to just knock out the last major tourist attraction so that we could spend the rest of our time in Paris wandering around doing whatever we want (besides the Catacombs that we’ll do tomorrow!). Off to the Eiffel Tower!

    At this point, we had probably walked 5-10 miles already and we were too exhausted to figure out the metro so we hopped in a little bike taxi and made our way to the tower. Once we got dropped off, we popped into a little market and bought a couple of beers and sat on the lawn, looking at the tower. It’s pretty amazing. I was definitely nervous to go to the top but I think the beer helped a little with that! It was about 7:45 at this point so we headed over to the tower, thinking we could get to the top for sunset. Unfortunately, the line for the elevator was pretty long and the stairs were closed for some reason. We waited for about an hour, bought 2 tickets, and got to the elevator around 9:00 just as it was starting to get dark. The first elevator takes you to the second floor. As soon as the doors opened and I realized that it wasn’t enclosed, I pretty much panicked. I was about to get back in the elevator and go down, but changed my mind and we walked over to the elevator to the top. When the guy went to scan our tickets, he said that we only had tickets to the second floor! The ticket lady had sold us the wrong tickets!! I was so upset and he was so nice and let us go anyways. We got in the elevator and rode for what felt like hours to the top. Fortunately, up there it was completely enclosed and I wasn’t scared at all. We used the 20 Euros we saved by accidentally buying the wrong tickets and bought two glasses of champagne! We hung out up there for awhile. The views were incredible. But it was very windy and we were very cold so after the champagne, we headed back down the elevator to the second floor. There was a long line for the elevator, so we took the stairs all the way down. The whole experience was pretty amazing. But now it’s checked off the bucket list and I could definitely go the rest of my life without going up there again.

    By the time we left the Eiffel Tower, it was 10:30 and we were starving. We tried to walk to a restaurant that we had read was very good but it was closed, and so was everything around it. The only thing open was a Vietnamese pho restaurant that was actually pretty crowded so we went in. Unfortunately, this was our second non-French meal in a row. Fortunately, we are obsessed with Vietnamese food and it was some of the best we’ve had. We split shrimp spring rolls, Tim had pho, and I had a beef and egg dish. After dinner, we took a taxi back home. Yesterday was a very long day, with so much walking, but we had a great time and were able to do so much. Excited for today, with no plans at all!
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  • Day26

    Most spectacular show.

    October 12 in France ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Well... what can I say.. we spent last night at The Moulin Rouge and were blown away. We had an amazing 3 course dinner with free champagne and then had the best show. The dancers were amazing and even though we didnt understand a word it was wonderful. Getting in at 3am was a first and £70 for a bottle of wine was a shock but wouldn't have missed it.Read more

  • Day88

    Paris mal anders!

    September 18 in France ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Wir begeben uns an diesem Tag ca. 30 Meter tief über 130 Stufen unter die Erde, tiefer als die Pariser U-Bahnen und Kanalisation der Stadt, und reisen in das 18. Jahrhundert. 🧐

    Ein makaberer Ort, der eine etwas andere und vorallem auch gruselige Faszination ausübt, die Pariser Katakomben. Pünktlich beim Betreten des Reiches der Toten, schläft Oli selig in der Trage und wird schön an Papas 😉 Bauch gewärmt.

    Was einem unten sofort auffällt: Es ist frisch. 🥶 Die Temperatur in den Katakomben beträgt das ganze Jahr über ca. 14°C. Im Winter nicht unangenehm, doch im Sommer kann dies für eine unangenehme Überraschung sorgen. 

    Dann standen wir plötzlich vor dem Schild: „Arrête! C’est ici l’Empire de la Mort!“ (auf deutsch: „Stopp! Hier ist das Reich des Todes!“) ☠️👻🙊

    ..., aber warum?

    Als Katakomben bezeichnet man die alten Steinbrüche, die sich unter der Stadt Paris befinden. Über einen Zeitraum von 2.000 Jahren wurde in diesen Stollen der Kalkstein abgebaut, der für den Häuserbau verwendet wurde und so typisch für die Fassaden der Haupstadt ist. Im Laufe der Jahrhunderte entstanden so knapp 300 Kilometer Tunnel unter der Hauptstadt. Als es dann im 18. Jahrhundert aufgrund der fehlenden Stabilität des Unterbodens zu ersten Hauseinstürzen kam, wurden die Katakomben größtenteils geschlossen. Eine Behörde wurde ins Leben gerufen, die sich bis heute um die Sicherheit des Pariser Unterbodens kümmert: die Inspection Générale des Carrières.

    Zur gleichen Zeit kam es in Paris zu schweren Seuchen und Hungersnöten. Die Friedhöfe waren überfüllt und die Ruhezeiten konnten nicht mehr eingehalten werden. Die Gräber waren doppelt und dreifach belegt und an einigen Stellen lagen die Menschenteile sogar bis an die Oberfläche. Es herrschten unhaltbare Zustände und der Verwesungsgeruch war teilweise so stark, dass die Bewohner in der Nähe der Friedhöfe in Ohnmacht fielen. Um dieses Problem zu lösen wurden die Gebeine von knapp 6 Millionen Menschen in die alten Stollen überführt. So entstand das Beinhaus, das man heutzutage besichtigen kann.

    Ruhig wurde es untertage trotzdem nicht. Während der französischen Revolution wurden die Stollen z.B. von den Rebellen als versteckt genutzt. Auch die Deutschen nutzten die alten Tunnel im zweiten Weltkrieg und errichteten dort einen unterirdischen Bunker.

    In den 80er Jahren sorgten die „Cataphile“ für Aufregung. Diese Katakombenfreaks verschafften sich nachts Zugang zu den alten Steinbrüche und feierte dort wilde Partys. Einige blieben wochenlang untertage. Es wurde sogar von schwarzen Messen, Satanisten und Orgien berichtet. Um dieses Phänomen einzudämmen, wurde eine spezielle Polizeieinheit gegründet, die auch heute noch jeden Tag durch die Stollen marschiert, um illegalen Besuchern auf die Schliche zu kommen. Vor einigen Jahren sind sie sogar auf eine Party mit knapp 300 Gästen gestoßen. Die wohl bemerkenswerteste Entdeckung dieser Einheit bleibt aber wohl der voll ausgestattete Kinosaal direkt unter der französischen Cinemathek!

    Auch heute steigen noch zahlreiche Möchtegernforscher illegal in das löchrige Labyrinth unter der Stadt hinab. Ein gefährliches Unterfangen: Viele Stollen sind einsturzgefährdet. Teilweise steht man sogar bis zur Hüfte im Wasser. Wer von der Polizei erwischt wird, muss mit 60 € Strafe rechnen.
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  • Day89

    Au revoir, belle Paris ♥

    September 19 in France ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Zitate über Paris! 😇

    "Paris ist immer eine gute Idee." - Audrey Hepburn

    "Ein Spaziergang durch Paris wird Unterricht in Geschichte, Schönheit und dem Punkt des Lebens geben." - Thomas Jefferson

    „Paris zu kennen, bedeutet viel zu wissen.“ - Henry Miller

    „Wenn Sie das Glück haben, als junger Mann in Paris gelebt zu haben, dann bleibt Paris für den Rest Ihres Lebens bei Ihnen, denn Paris ist ein bewegliches Fest.“ - Ernest Hemingway

    „Weißt du, ich denke manchmal, wie kommt jemand auf ein Buch, ein Gemälde, eine Symphonie oder eine Skulptur, die mit einer großen Stadt mithalten kann? Das kannst du nicht. Weil man sich umschaut und jede Straße, jeder Boulevard eine eigene Kunstform ist und wenn man denkt, dass es in dem kalten, gewalttätigen, bedeutungslosen Universum, das Paris gibt, diese Lichter gibt. Ich meine, komm schon, auf Jupiter oder Neptun passiert nichts, aber aus dem Weltall sieht man diese Lichter, die Cafés, die Leute, die trinken und singen. Nach allem, was wir wissen, ist Paris der heißeste Ort im Universum. ”- Owen Wilson

    "Wir werden immer Paris haben." - Howard Koch

    „London ist ein Rätsel. Paris ist eine Erklärung. ”- G. K. Chesterson

    „Paris war ein Universum, ganz und gar für sich selbst, ausgehöhlt und von der Geschichte geprägt - so schien sie in dieser Zeit Napoleons III selbst. Alles wurde von ihr umarmt, von ihrer flüchtigen und verzauberten Bevölkerung, die die Galerien, die Theater, die Cafés drängte und immer wieder Genialität und Heiligkeit, Philosophie und Krieg, Frivolität und die beste Kunst hervorbrachte Draußen sollte sie in Dunkelheit versinken, was fein war, was schön, was essentiell war, könnte dort noch zu ihrer schönsten Blüte kommen. Sogar die majestätischen Bäume, die ihre Straßen schmückten und schützten, waren auf sie abgestimmt - und das Wasser der Seine, das enthalten und schön war, als sie sich durch ihr Herz schlängelten -, so dass die Erde an diesem von Blut und Bewusstsein geprägten Ort aufgehört hatte sei die Erde und sei Paris geworden. “- Anne Rice.

    "Wenn gute Amerikaner sterben, gehen sie nach Paris." - Oscar Wilde

    "Wer Paris nicht regelmäßig besucht, wird nie wirklich elegant sein."-Honoré de Balzac

    "Geheimnisse reisen schnell in Paris." -Napoleon Bonaparte

    „Ein Künstler hat in Europa kein Zuhause außer in Paris.“ -Friedrich Nietzsche

    🥰
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  • Day27

    The poor Notre Dame

    July 28 in France ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    We tried to go to Le Louvre this am v early but all tickets are now online booking only and it was sold out.
    We walked along the Seine to the v sad but still standing Notre Dame.
    Brekkie in a cool cafe and then off to join the masses at the Eiffel Tour.
    Went to check out our spot for the Tour de France viewing later only to find people camped out 9hrs in advance!! It was manic and already all access blocked so ended up walking miles to get metro home to hotel.
    Need a rest before the marathon of waiting for the cyclists to make it to Paris at 8pm tonight.
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  • Day27

    Tour de France Final Stage- Paris

    July 28 in France ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

    We went 4 hours early and still couldn’t get up to where we had planned. However we did get a good spot at the barrier.
    Tom Scully the kiwi led for several laps before Caleb Ewan the Aussie took out the stage win.
    Half of Colombia were around to celebrate their rider Egan Bernal winning the tour.
    The Eiffel Tower was lit up all glittery for their efforts.
    Fabulous to see the start and the finish- even if we were so close but so far to the Champs Elysee.
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