Three Days in Paris


paris, france, eiffel tower, tour eiffel, arc de triompheView of the Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe.Over the summer, Kail and I spent three days in Paris en route to the United States for home leave — similar to our stopover in London on the way home from Afghanistan. It was an amazing trip, and we only touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of things to, france, seine, pont, right bankThe River Seine.I had traveled to Paris more than a decade ago, for an equally short stay on a backpacking trip with friends after I graduated from college, but this was Kail’s first trip. Hopefully it won’t be our, france, arc de triomphe, champs-élyséesArc de Triomphe.We decided to stay in Le Marais, a historic neighborhood that cuts across the 3rd and 4th arrondissements on the Right Bank of the Seine. We talked to different friends who had traveled to Paris recently about where they stayed, and ultimately chose Le Marais because of its proximity to major landmarks and different Metro, france, notre dame cathedralNotre Dame Cathedral.Our boutique hotel, Les Tournelles, was fantastic. We were a 10-minute walk to the Notre Dame Cathedral, and an equally short train ride away from the Louvre (or about a 25-minute walk). Le Marais also boasts tons of cute shops, cafes, and restaurants, without as much of a nightlife/party atmosphere (so we hear) of the Latin, france, eiffel tower, tour eiffelEiffel Tower.Kail and I aren’t really nightlife people. We’re more coffee-shop-and-bakery (read: morning) people. Luckily, Paris suits both types. I could write a separate blog post altogether about all the delicious croissants, pain au chocolat, and macarons we I ate. Instead, I’ll include a brief aside, france, louvre, glass pyramidThe Louvre.Right before our trip, T: The New York Times Style Magazine published a guide to the best macarons in Paris. I didn’t quite plan our entire itinerary around this guide, but macaron locations definitely factored into our schedule and meal, france, notre dame cathedralInside the Notre Dame.We ended up trying four of the seven macarons from the guide: Pierre Hermé, La Maison du Chocolat, Ladurée, and Fauchon (we tried to go to Hugo & Victor but it was closed). Not bad for a three-day trip with lots of other food (not to mention sightseeing) on the, france, musée d'orsay, impressionismMusée d’Orsay.So what else did we do other than eat macarons and other delicious pastries? A LOT, considering it was such a short trip. We toured the Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and the Hôtel National Des Invalides, a large complex which houses the Army Museum and the church containing Napoleon’s tomb. We marveled at the Mona Lisa and the great Impressionist works and the perfect weather of sun-filled blue skies that is August in, france, louvre, mona lisaThe Mona Lisa.We booked a two-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour, but someone (Kail) lost our tickets so we only got to take it one day. We visited (but did not go up — tickets were sold out) the Eiffel Tower by night and by day. We walked the famous Champs-Élysées and climbed the Arc de, france, musée national des invalides, dome church, napoleon's tombNapoleon’s Tomb.We strolled along the Seine, sipping cappuccinos and munching pain au chocolat. We people watched from sidewalk cafes. We shopped and window shopped and enjoyed delicious meals all over the city. We took the Metro and also walked about 30,000 steps every day we were there (my record was 32,043 steps our first full day in town).paris, france, eiffel tower, tour eiffel, paris at nightEiffel Tower by night.There is so much to see and do in Paris — other neighborhoods to explore, other museums to visits — that I have no doubt we’ll be able to pack an equally full itinerary on any return trip we take. It was a great first trip for us and we’re definitely looking forward to going back!Have you ever been to Paris?See more photos from Paris.

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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