Paris Delights: Outstanding Week In The City

paris delights, our week in the city
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Depending on your take, Paris, the City of Lights or Love holds a special place in the hearts of many travelers, including Federico and me. With its timeless charm and unparalleled beauty, it never fails to enchant. This will be an image-heavy post :-).

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Jardin de Luxembourg is always so pretty. We walked the length of it and then some as we crossed into the St. Germain de Pres

The last time we were there was over six years ago much to my disbelief. I spied an old picture of me and his mum on one of those memory images on the phone.

It was before Notre Dame burned. I said oh wow! It’s been three years and he corrected me. Of course, I had to rectify the situation and off we went on our first trip of the year. Yep! a late start.

paris delights - view from phanthm at night of the eiffel tower
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Our recent seven-day escapade to this romantic city in March was nothing short of amazing, as we dove anew into its rich culture, explored iconic landmarks again, indulged in mouthwatering food, and made more memories. Here is what we did. Let’s just say our feet are tired. We walked a lot. A whole lot!

Paris Delights: Some of the sights we visited:

Eiffel Tower:

A visit to Paris without the Eiffel Tower? It’s impossible since it towers over everything and is visible from pretty much anywhere in the city. In addition to spying on it everywhere, we went to visit it up close, and for an extra kick, we went to a rooftop terrace on top of the Novotel Hotel and it was so worth it. It took a while to get to it with public transport but the views made it worth it. Plus, being March, it wasn’t very crowded.

Notre-Dame Cathedral Paris:

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You can work is still being done at a rapid pace.

It’s coming along just fine, and you can’t see anything amiss from the front. There are huge cranes to the sides and back as they continue reconstruction. I think everything in Paris right now, is on steroids while they try to get the city ready for the Olympics. As of yet, you still can’t visit the interior.

Le Marais:

paris delights - place des vosges in le marais
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We loved roaming the streets of Le Marais and checking out vintage stores and little places to eat. The best Turkish food can be found here. Place de Vosges and its arcades and so many more discoveries make the area wonderful.

Sacre-Couer Basilica:

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The line was endless, and imagine, it’s only March!

Once again, the lines were insane and we weren’t willing to wait in line, not even for free. Heaven knows we’ve seen many of those over the years and I’ve already seen this one too many, many years ago.

Pierre La Chaise Cemetery:

jim morrison grave site at pierre la chaise cemetery
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His grave is the third most visited place in Paris they say. Hard to believe. It’s chained off now because people have destroyed it many times over the years. There is a huge tree covered with chewed gum which is now the way to show your devotion. Gross!

This is the final resting place of a whole lot of celebrities, including Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, and the painter Modigliani among other famous people too numerous to name. You could spend a whole day in this ginormous cemetery and not see them all. The first time I visited was over 30 years ago and I told Federico I didn’t remember feeling every step up the hill. Old age is catching up with me.

Moulin Rouge:

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The Moulin Rouge was nice to see and we would have liked to see the show, but at $150-450 price per person cost, we couldn’t justify it no matter how good it is. If you don’t want to go the independent route as we did, there are tours of just about every place and we like GetYourGuide for those.

Powered by GetYourGuide

You know we’ve used them before in places like Poland and Portugal to name a few.

Our Accommodations in Paris:

The hotels we stayed in Paris were wonderful as we treated ourselves. We are starting to forego AirBnb in favor of hotels nowadays. It’s mostly because when l search, the hotels are better value.

I’ve written before about my feelings and why Airbnb is not necessarily the best deal. I like that hotels offer better checkout times, more security, the ability to leave your luggage (something that’s happening less with private accommodation).

For the first half of the week, we stayed in a boutique hotel called the Hotel Design Sorbonne located in the Latin Quarter (5th arrondissement). It turned out it was quite close to where Emily in Paris was filmed (I overheard while eavesdropping on a tour group 🙂 ), so we checked out some of the places depicted in the show. That was fun.

The hotel was beautiful and on the other side of the famous Sorbonne University. I highly recommend it. Each morning, we were greeted with warm hospitality and awesome breakfast spreads, setting the perfect tone for the days ahead.

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The wonderful Hotel Lorette Astotel in the 9th arrondissement. I can’t wait to stay there again.

For the second half of the week, we moved on to the 9th arrondissement where the Opera is located. It was also on the border of the 18th so it was just a short walk to the Moulin Rouge and was a few minutes on the bus to Sacre Couer and other delightful sights on Montmartre.

The hotel was fantastic in that it offered snacks throughout the day and soft drinks for free in the lobby. There were even homemade pies and they were delicious. The mini bar provided water and cans of soda. Who does that any more? It was so nice to have even if we left most of it untouched.

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The location, the staff, everything was wonderful (the rooms were huge!). If you’re in Paris, be sure to check out one of the Astotel hotels in the city. They have several, and here’s more good news.

You can go to any of their hotels and have soft drinks and snacks there by showing your room keycard. It blew our minds. I wish more hotels would take note instead of nickel and diming us for everything. You can bet we will stay at one of their hotels when we revisit Paris.

Food in Paris: But of course 🙂

As self-proclaimed foodies, our trip to Paris was a culinary delight from the start to the end. Charming bistros indeed charmed us and we savored every bite.

We got our fixes of not just French food, but international ones like fish and chips, falafel, and gyros. I know that Escargot is not a favorite for everyone but we love it and had it twice. We’ve each eaten frog legs before but we didn’t have it this time for some reason.

Summing it up: Reflections and Fond Memories

As our seven-day journey in Paris came to a close, we both knew we’d be back and certainly soon. There’s still so much more to discover. For fun, we might switch up neighborhoods again. It was so much fun.

Strolling along the Seine was a delight and watching artists doing caricature drawings of tourists and so many more little things never get old. Until next time.

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The famous lodging house/restaurant that artists such as Dali and Van Gogh hung out.

We took the train to Lyon from Paris after our week was over and just three hours later, we were in another delightful city which I’ll write about in the next post.

How have your travels been so far this year? Do you have any exciting destinations to share?

4 thoughts on “Paris Delights: Outstanding Week In The City”

  1. Thanks for your letting us join you on your week-long Paris tour. We haven’t been for a few years so it was great seeing the many iconic sights again. Did you know the lines would be so horrendous in March? Pity those traveling at the height of the tourist season.

    Reply
    • Thank you for coming on the ride. It was hard for me to believe it’d been so many years since we had last visited. I knew the lines would be bard, but not as much because I figured it was still March. I guess everyone was thinking the same :-). Plus from what I’ve seen and heard, people were getting their fill before the Olympics. I can’t blame them. I hope you guys are well :-).

      Reply
  2. Great pics Kem. I was in Paris, also in March, two years ago with my family visiting me and there were no lines anywhere because it was still post-Covid. My sister liked the city a lot and wants to buy a pied-à-terre there!

    My travels this year will be: Murcia/Cartagena in May, Greece in August and Vietnam in December.

    Looking forward to your post on Lyon. Cheers!

    Reply
    • Hi Kris, sorry… we were away :-). I do remember when you went with family and how lucky you were with no lines. Lucky! I don’t blame your sister one bit. Tell her to go ahead so we can stay with her! Haha! I would love to be able to afford one there. Your travel plans sound awesome. We almost made it to Cartagena last year but it turned out there was something big going on and the rooms were insanely high. A lot of people have wonderful things to say about Vietnam, so I’m sure you’ll have a great time :-).

      Reply

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