If you follow me on Instagram or YouTube you probably know that I was in Paris recently. This was my first trip to Paris, my first trip to France, and actually, my first trip to continental Europe. Obviously, I had certain expectation and the city did not disappoint. After eight lovely days spent there, here are some thoughts that I’ve taken away with me:
1. Everything is pretty in Paris. The architecture of the city is incredibly detailed; there are no boring buildings, just beauty. Even run down old shops that were boarded up and obviously closed for a while had these stunning apartments above them with flowers hanging from balconies and pastel coloured shutters or curtains flowing through the open windows. Walking around the city and looking at buildings could never get old.
2. The people are wonderful and very friendly. I’m sure you’ve all heard that french people are notoriously rude, but I didn’t encounter a single one during my holiday. I’m not sure if it was because we attempted to speak French (even though mon français est trés terrible!) but everyone was polite, helpful and extremely welcoming. I think if you at least try they appreciate it, I mean, you are in France, you should try to speak French.
3. The food is amazing. ‘Well, duh!’ is what you are probably thinking, but I’m vegan and I was nervous about how good the cooking would be if they couldn’t use their famous ingredient: butter. I did my research ahead of time and had some vegan restaurants mapped out so I wouldn’t have to worry when the time came to eat. Everything I ate was amazing, the french can cook, even sans beurre!
4. Amongst the buildings are some of the prettiest parks and gardens I’ve ever seen. These aren’t normal patch-of-green-grass-with-some-trees kind of parks. They have fountains, marble statues, and perfectly groomed square trees. Bringing a lunch, or baguette, possibly a cheeky bottle of wine was an amazing break from walking around the city. I highly suggest Jardin du Luxembourg, Parc de la Villette or the grass in front of the Eiffel Tower on the left bank.
5. Getting around the city is SUPER easy. It’s always a little intimidating trying to find your way around a strange city, but coming from Toronto, where we have the grid system, to a city as old as Paris where streets curve and wind around each other can be stressful! Paris’ bike share system, along with the multitude of bike lanes, made getting around the city easy and quick. Their metro system deserves a note in this section, easy to follow, clean and quick. We never took a cab once.
6. Parisian’s style is as good as it’s reputation. Everyone looks good. No one looks like they tried too hard or spent hours getting ready. Not that everyone dressed the same or that there is ‘one’ look, but for the most part it was simple, effortless and classic.
7. Night life in Paris is dangerous! Not dangerous in the sense that you fear for your life, but dangerous in the sense that it’s a 5am last call, the city (at least the part where we were) starts to come alive around 1am and booze is cheap. Before you know it you’re stumbling home desperately trying to read Google maps because you think you’re lost but really you are a block away from your hotel. So much fun, that is until you wake up super hungover and still have to drag your tired ass around the city for more sightseeing.
All in all, I loved my time there and I’d go back in a heartbeat. Unfortunately I have no unknown or sensational insights to what Paris holds, it is what you’d expect: fun, pretty and truly unique.
– A bientôt – KL