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You are here!

It’s hard to believe, but it’s my first time visiting Paris! I first heard of this place in school when my mom, who is a French teacher, used to send me the French news. I remember reading stories about how Parisians would have long waits to get on the subway, and I remember seeing some of the old photographs of the Arc de Triomphe. I knew there was a whole other world just a few blocks away from where I grew up. Well, last week I had the chance to visit the City of Light myself!

In Paris
In Paris

 

The first thing that I was taken by when I stepped off the plane was how many people there were, and how busy the city was. If I had the chance to visit Paris a second time, I would definitely go during a weekend or one of the holidays. It was crazy when I first got there, with people everywhere.  I couldn’t find the hotel, and I got off to the wrong street with only half of the building visible on the hillside. Luckily, I ran into a French woman with a map and she was able to direct me to the hotel, and I was thankful that I wasn’t lost.

The Hotel de Ville, the City Hall

Our hotel was in the heart of the city, surrounded by restaurants and shops. After our first night there, I decided to go exploring. The city had a lot more people than I had thought. Even in the small areas I could walk through there was a lot of traffic. When I was there, I had the chance to take a train from the hotel to Versailles, which I was able to explore and I was able to see the palace, and I also went to Notre Dame cathedral.

I was walking through a mall and I looked into a shop and they had some beautiful dresses. I was so impressed, and I loved the prices. There were a few other clothes shops, and a shoe store, and they had so many nice pieces. Some of the clothes had to be taken back because they were too big, and there was nothing I didn’t like, even though I knew nothing about the designer or designer brand. So I just went with my gut, and I really liked the dresses.

I was walking through the streets and some areas weren’t so safe. I’m happy I was wearing a tank top and not something with a back, as I was thinking a back might have stopped a pick-pocket. But I was glad I walked around, as most of Paris was so beautiful. I love food, and I could see so much, and I was amazed at how many places there were to eat. It’s difficult for someone like me to eat well, but Paris has a lot of restaurants to satisfy any kind of need.

A few things were missing for me:

1. I really wished the French people were more friendly. I did get asked for directions and I told them, and sometimes they said it was fine. Sometimes they just said a ‘merci’ and other times they said nothing. I didn’t know if that was good or bad, so I just tried to be respectful. But I wasn’t a victim.

2. It was really hot. I have always been a summer person, so when it’s really hot, it doesn’t matter that much if it’s 100 degrees outside, because I’m just going to sit in the shade and stay cool. But it was like 110 or 120 degrees outside. I had a water bottle, but I still felt like I was going to sweat my clothes off.

3. It was really crowded. I didn’t like the traffic in Paris. I was on a different end of the city, near Notre Dame, and I couldn’t understand why anyone was on the streets. It seemed like the restaurants were almost exclusively on the Rue St. Honore, which is kind of the center of Paris. But it’s not where most of the tourists were, and it was extremely difficult to park there.

 

4. A lot of it felt like a movie set, with people acting as if they were trying to be tourists. There was this one lady, and when I walked in front of her, she said, ‘Oh, it’s you! I was watching you walk by!’ I was like, what? And she said, ‘You are so funny. I am so glad you are here. I love American people.’ It was strange to me, but I am sure it’s different from someone from my home.

I think the French people really love Paris. I saw lots of ads in the stores for the Eiffel Tower and all of the restaurants. I walked down Rue Vaugirard. There are a lot of high-end clothing stores there, and all of the people were wearing suits or dresses. Some of the stores I saw had little bars that they opened and they said, ‘Bonjour, Madame.’ I thought that was super cute. It made me feel like I was walking into an American bar or something.

5. It was a beautiful day, and we took a boat cruise. The sun was setting behind the Eiffel Tower. I felt like I was in heaven. We started to walk along the Seine. It was beautiful.

Paris is a really magical place. It reminds me of the places I had traveled to as a child, where I saw all the fairytales through the eyes of a child. I felt like the Eiffel Tower was like an angel statue looking down on me. It was a perfect end to our Paris trip.

I have had fun and I have met amazing people, so I have no regrets. I feel like I have been transformed from a different person. It is a good feeling. Paris has changed me and given me a new perspective on life.

It is an amazing city, and I would recommend it to everyone. I loved everything about the city and the people, and I really enjoyed the experience.”

It is no surprise that Paris, with its rich history and romantic scenery, draws so many visitors from around the world. In fact, according to Travel + Leisure magazine, some two-thirds of Americans feel that they will never feel the same about a vacation again after experiencing Paris. Yet Paris is much more than romantic fiction and fine china, and the city offers visitors so many experiences beyond the tourist attractions.

Paris has an extensive subway system that makes it easy to navigate. It has several tram routes that are great for day trips. It is quite beautiful and charming. Even better, it has several parks and gardens, so you can sit back, relax, and watch the beautiful people in their French fashions stroll about in their gardens. Also, the city of Paris is surprisingly inexpensive, with many of the famous attractions such as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower costing far less than a typical New York cab ride. If you visit Paris, you will feel like you have stepped into a fairytale.

I have never visited Paris before but when I saw that the Eiffel Tower is included as part of Paris’ official World Heritage Site I decided to give it a shot. Although we only stayed for a few days, it was a great experience. We rented a car and decided to venture around the city.

There were a couple of things I did not think about before visiting Paris. First, be sure to stop at the Eiffel Tower at least once and spend some time climbing the different viewing platforms. I was on the third platform and was able to see the entire Tower from top to bottom and to the left and right. Secondly, since we were in Paris during “French” holidays, I did not want to pay for parking, so I found a garage where we were able to park for 10 Euro for the day. Once we found that garage, we were able to park for free the entire trip, which was great because we only had a couple of days. Since we only had a few days in Paris, we did not plan a sightseeing tour. For those who plan to visit Paris for several days, I would recommend at least one sightseeing tour to go around the city.

 

After our first visit to Paris, I have two pieces of advice. First, book your hotel room as far in advance as possible. This is especially important when it comes to the Eiffel Tower. As I mentioned before, there are a number of viewing platforms to visit and it is very easy to book just one or two of them. As you walk to one of the viewing platforms, chances are they are not full, so you can check your options and choose the one that looks best to you. The tickets will range in price, depending on the package you choose. For example, if you have a package with a meal you will pay about 20 Euro for admission to the viewing platform, but if you have a package with entry and a meal you will pay over 30 Euro for the meal. The other thing to keep in mind is that at night, it can get a little tricky finding the nearest and most convenient parking garage. In that case, you may want to get an automatic car park voucher for that location that you can use on your next trip.

In conclusion, I would say that a trip to Paris is both exciting and relaxing. It is exciting to see the city from the highest vantage point and relax in the sun after viewing the city from the top of the Eiffel Tower. I hope this article on my first visit to Paris was helpful. If you are planning a trip to Paris, take your time and enjoy the tour.


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