This post is part of our Eurotrip Series. You can find the rest of the series here.
Eurotrip Day 14 brought us absolutely perfect weather for sightseeing! Paris has an extensive train system, but we opted to walk everywhere so we could see as much as possible. That meant another 7 miles added to our overall trip! We saw all of the major outdoor Paris attractions throughout the day, took a wine tasting class, and ended the evening with a very interesting dinner. Read on to explore Paris with us…
- Adventures – Write-ups of the activities we enjoyed during our visit.
- Hotel Spotlight – Where we stayed and our review of the accommodations.
Self-Guided Tour of Paris
I was originally looking for a Free Tours by Foot walking tour to ease the planning of Paris sightseeing. While this tour company does not currently offer tours in Paris, their website does provide a helpful self-tour guide, which we followed almost exactly. I will briefly break down each of our stops.
Cour Carree & Pyramids of The Louvre
This was our first glimpse of The Louvre. The Cour Carree is the inner courtyard of The Louvre. These iconic glass pyramids were designed by the famous Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei and installed in 1989. The largest pyramid is also mirrored beneath the ground, creating a cool visual effect at the entrance to the museum.
This is one of the most famous art galleries in the world. We planned our visit well (somewhat accidentally), because the Musee d’Orsay is free on the first Sunday of every month! It is also closed on Mondays, so be sure to plan accordingly. Free admission brought a long line, but it moved quickly. We viewed famous paintings by Van Gough, Monet, Picasso, etc. Jesse was very impressed with Van Gough’s self portrait. We also saw “Starry Night on The Rhone” by Van Gogh…not to be confused with the more well-known “The Starry Night.” Travel tip: several other museums are free either all the time or at various times throughout the month. Consult this list when planning your visit.
On our way to the Eiffel Tower, we stopped to view the Pont Alexandre III Bridge, which is known as the most beautiful and ornate bridge in Paris. From the bridge, we were also able to view Les Invalides, an area most notably known as the resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte. Now, on to the best part…THE EIFFEL TOWER!
The Eiffel Tower lived up to the hype. It was magnificent to walk underneath and look up through the structure. We lingered on the grounds for quite a while. One thing to be aware of at the Eiffel Tower is the endless amount of people trying to peddle selfie sticks and Eiffel Tower key chains. Just politely ignore them, if you’re not interested!
Champs de Elyses
From the Eiffel Tower, we walked over to the Champs de Elyses. This is a famous street and straight line of monuments that runs between the Arc de Triumphe and Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. We viewed the Arc de Triomphe from afar and found a quick bite to eat at a cafe. Next, we stopped at the Luxor Obelisk – the oldest monument in Paris. This monument was a gift from Egypt and is 3,300 years old! We continued through the Jardin des Tuileries, and found a little green space to sit and rest our weary legs. The last stop on the Champs de Elyses was the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which is right near The Louvre.
Wine Tasting – O Chateau
A visit to Paris would not be complete without some French wine. Upon the recommendation of a friend, we booked the “Tour de France of Wine” at O Chateau. The tasting normally runs 55 euros per person, but if you chance a week-of, online booking, the cost is only 45 euros per person.
This was a wine-tasting class tailored for Americans, which we LOVED. We learned so much during our time there. The class had about 17 people, and the couple sitting next to us just happened to be from Kansas City as well – small world! Our sommelier was highly knowledgeable, on top of being absolutely hilarious. He had us laughing the entire time. We tasted a total of six wines, learned about the different French wine regions, and practiced proper tasting techniques. Practice makes perfect, right?!
Le Bouillon Chartier
Our evening ended with dinner at a popular restaurant. We stood in a very long line outside and requested a table for two when we reached the door. The host led us to our “table for 2,” but were seated at the end of a 6-person table…where a family of 3 had just been seated ahead of us. Apparently, this restaurant just fills any seats as they open up.
Our new table mates spoke about as much English as we did French, but they were quite friendly. We also guessed at entrees (Boeuf sounds good, right?), because we couldn’t read the French-only menu. This all made for an interesting dining experience, but luckily we had more [very reasonably-priced] wine to ease the awkward table arrangement!
See Day 13 for our review of the Acadia Hotel.
We loved spending the day wandering around this gorgeous city. Free entry to Musee d’Orsay was a lucky break, and nothing beats seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time. Finishing the afternoon off with an authentic French wine tasting class made for the best Paris day we could have imagined. Stay tuned as we wrap up our trip on Day 15 with The Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral. What are your favorite Paris attractions?