Honeymoon in PARIS FRANCE for 5 Days

Monday, November 06, 2017

#WalkwithChaMikeinParis


Bonjour!

As what my #lifepeg said, "Paris is always a good idea." Indeed, Audrey Hepburn was right! For more than two decades I had been day dreaming of visiting this place. I've read and watched numerous novels and movies about Paris while growing up and since then I've been enchanted about this city and vowed I'd visit it before I die. Finally, I was blessed to make that wish come true. Thanks to my husband for making it possible (Mike is indeed a keeper!) 

Paris was the last leg of our Europe Honeymoon, I definitely saved the best for last and allotted 5 full days in the city of lights and love with my mon amour. 

Paris is a cosmopolitan capital of France and is the world capital of art, fashion, food, literature and love. It is considered to be the most popular tourist destination in the world and one of the most beautiful cities on earth. It's true, I fell in love the first time I visited it. Just recalling our experience in Paris makes me want to go back again - the mesmerizing Eiffel Tower, unbelievable artworks in Louvre and Musee d'Orsay, romantic cruise along Seine River, the charming Montmarte, the grandiose Versailles and Luxembourg, the French food (oh the French food!) are just some of the many reasons enough to be enthralled by this city.

Without further adieu, here are the list of things ChaMike did in Paris for five full days. Oh la la...

Adore the dazzling Eiffel Tower from different angles
The most iconic landmark in Paris. Eiffel Tower remains to be the most visited paid landmark in the world. Built by Engineer Gustave Eiffel, the wrought iron lattice tower was constructed from 1887-1889 for the 1889 World Fair. At first, Parisians didn't like it but eventually loved it and now it is considered to be a global cultural icon of France. 


Eiffel Tower
You can't miss the Iron Lady when you're in Paris with its 300 meter height and the most popular sight seeing spots to see the Eiffel Tower are in Trocadero and Champ de Mars. These two areas are located a few meters away and is separated by Seine River. For 5 straight days (yes, everyday in Paris!) we visited this place just to adore the beauty of it. 

Trocadero
The Trocadero is located north of Seine and is right next to the Eiffel Tower making it an excellent place to see the tower.


Spring in Paris
How to go:
Metro | Line 6 & 9, Trocadero Station

We went around Paris via Metro only as it was easier to navigate compared to bus or tram.

Opening Time: 
Since it's open to the public, it's open all day 

Ticket Fee:
FREE


Day 1. My reaction the first time I saw it
Day 2. At the iconic stairs of Trocadero
Day 3. Crepe and Eiffel Tower. Very French!
Day 4. Early morning visit with the Iron Lady
Our detailed trip at the Trocadero on a separate post: Climbing the Eiffel Tower & View from Trocadero, Champ de Mars and Arc de Triomphe 

Champ de Mars
Champ de Mars is located at the South bank of the Seine River just like the Eiffel Tower. It is a place where a variety of activities are held year-round like picnics, marathons, concerts exhibitions and fireworks.

Cherry Blossoms and Eiffel Tower make a nice combo 💕
How to go:
Metro | Line 6, Bir-Hakeim Station

We went around Paris via Metro only as it was easier to navigate compared to bus or tram.

Opening Time: 
Since it's open to the public, it's open all day 

Ticket Fee:
FREE

Day 2. Visited Champ de Mars on our second day. We were supposed to have a picnic here but it was so cold
Day 3. From Versailles we visited Champ de Mars then walked our way going to Trocadero
Our detailed trip at the Champ de Mars on a separate post: Climbing the Eiffel Tower & View from Trocadero, Champ de Mars and Arc de Triomphe 

Go up the Eiffel Tower
An activity any traveller in Paris shouldn't miss is to go up the Eiffel Tower for that sweeping panoramic view of the city. It is also a bragging right when you are able to conquer your fear of heights. Mike and I did it on our fourth day, good thing we were still on Paris-high that we even climbed the stairs until the second floor!


French #ChaMikiss on top of the Eiffel Tower!
How to go:
Metro | Line 6, Bir-Hakeim Station

We went around Paris via Metro only as it was easier to navigate compared to bus or tram.

Opening Time: 
The Eiffel Tower is open every single day. The times vary according to the months you are visiting:

mid June to early September | 9:00 am to midnight
the rest of the year | 9:00 am to 11:00 pm
Easter weekend and during the spring holidays | extended opening hours to midnight

Ticket Fee:
Tickets vary depending on your preference when going up, you can either take the lift, walk the stairs or you can do both, we did the latter. Rates are as follows for adults:

Lift Entrance Second Floor Ticket | € 16
Lift Entrance Ticket to the Top | € 25
Stairs Entrance Second Floor Ticket | € 10
Stairs to the Second Floor then Lift Entrance Ticket to the Top | € 19

They also offer reduced rates for children and disabled person. For more information about the rates visit their website HERE.

1st stair step!
Mike has fear of heights so I was so proud of him for conquering his fear and was able to reach the top!

Just keep walking...
Second floor!

View of Champ de Mars at the topmost floor! The view was quite amazing!!!

Yay! We did it!!!!
Go up the Eiffel Tower ✓
Our detailed trip on our Eiffel Tower climb on a separate post: Climbing the Eiffel Tower & View from Trocadero, Champ de Mars and Arc de Triomphe 

Witness the Magnificent Artworks at the Louvre
Another iconic landmark in Paris is the Louvre or the Louvre Museum. It is the largest art museum in the world making it very popular among tourists. Located at the heart of the city, the Louvre shouldn't be missed by anyone traveling to Paris. 


The Louvre
How to go:
Metro | Line 1, Palais- Royal- Musee du Louvre station

We went around Paris via Metro only as it was easier to navigate compared to bus or tram.

Opening Time: 
Open everyday except Tuesday
Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday | 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday, Friday | 9:00 am - 9:45 pm
Rooms begin closing 30 minutes before museum closing time

Admission on Sunday | Access to the permanent collections is free for all visitors on the first Sunday of each month

During French public holidays the museum is open for a specific time and is even closed in some holidays. For exact schedule kindly check the official Louvre website HERE.

Ticket Fee:
We booked our tickets in advance as we didn't want to line up for so long. The queue just to buy tickets can take up to hours so to save time we purchased an advanced ticket online even before we left for Europe.  

You can purchase your tickets HERE
Online ticket costs € 17 per person

You have to indicate the exact date and time that you will visit the museum. It gives you an access to the pyramid within half an hour of the time shown on the ticket. Failed to arrive within the allocated time slot for admission to the pyramid is subject to the same admission and waiting conditions as visitors without tickets.

Grand Louvre Pyramid
The Pyramid began its construction year 1988 and was finished 1989 while the Inverted Pyramid finished its construction year 1993. Since then the tourists doubled upon completion.

The Grand Louvre Pyramid

Entered the Louvre Pyramid
This avant-garde spiral staircase from the Pyramid

Just in time for our 11 am schedule
The Inverted Pyramid
I was reprimanded after taking this shot. 'Mademoiselle, no sitting please'
Time to explore the Louvre
The Louvre was originally a fortress during the 12th century under King Phillip II, then later on was converted by King Francis I to be the royal palace of the French kings. When King Louis XIV moved his royal residence to Versailles, the Louvre later on became a museum to display the nation's masterpiece artworks. 


Remnants of the fortress at the basement of the museum
The Louvre is HUGE! And can consume more than a day if you will explore all parts
Mona Lisa
I must admit, the only reason why we wanted to go here was because of Mona Lisa. Mona Lisa is probably the most famous painting ever created so out of the 7,500 painting displayed here, Da Vinci's masterpiece is the most popular attraction at the museum.

Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa
And because it is the most famous painting in the Louvre, as expected a huge crowd was around it, it was so hard to squeeze in. But good thing we were able to look at it up close and took photos for a very quick 30 seconds or less.

Expectation
Reality

Husband trying to document my struggle
Finally, I saw you! 😍

Mona Lisa smile
At last! We were able to go near her!
A quick photo op
A solo shot. Closeup.
Extreme close up!
I got a tip from other travelers that if you are pressed for time and would want to explore more of Paris, just look for Mona Lisa in the Louvre then you can go and explore other Paris attractions instead of taking the whole day checking out all the art pieces at the Louvre. But if you're an art lover and would want to take your time appreciating all the masterpieces inside the museum then by all means do so. As for us, after seeing Mona Lisa, we gave ourselves an hour to explore other parts of the museum quickly.

Other famous artworks
The Louvre collection aside from paintings also consists of Egyptian Antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, Greek and Roman Art, Islamic Art, Sculpture and Decorative Arts.

Winged Victory of Samothrace
Or also called Nike of Samothrace
Venus de Milo by Alexanders of Antioch

The Wedding at Cana by Paolo Veronese

St Michael Vanquishing Satan by Raphael (Michael and Michael)
The Borghese Gladiator by Agasias
The Sleeping Hermaphroditus by Gian Lorenzo Berini
Scanning other artworks
Love this passage way
There are so many art pieces that we weren't able to explore because of time constraints but I was already satisfied by mere looking at the Mona Lisa. 

Decided to have lunch at the museum's food court
I ordered a slice of pizza while Mike ordered pasta
Before heading to our next destination, we took some time taking photos at the Pyramid. 

The Louvre #OOTD
Black Cape | Forever21
White Long Sleeves | Uniqlo
Black Pants | Forever21
Black Boots | H&M
Scarf | Uniqlo
Bag and Bangle | Kate Spade

Wore a classic piece on our first day in Paris
Podium pose
Miss Cape Crusader
#GSunnies in 'Eiffel' style
Of course, the hubby should have a photo op too
Do you like his outfit? I styled him <Ahem> He's wearing #Gsunnies too!
A French #ChaMikiss of course
The 'M' pose. Visit the Louvre Museum ✔
Appreciate Impressionist Artworks at Musee d'Orsay
A railways station turned museum, Musee d'Orsay is the former Gary D'orsay, a railway station that now houses the largest impressionist and post impressionist artworks in the world from painters like Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Seurat, Sisley and Van Gogh.
Musee d'Orsay
How to go:
Metro | Line 12, Solferino Station 
RER | Line C, Musee D'orsay Station

As for us, we went their on foot from Musee du Louvre, it was a good 15 minute walk

Opening Time: 
Opening everyday except on Mondays
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday-Sunday | 9:30 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday | 9:30 am to 9:45 pm

For the exact schedule kindly visit their website HERE

Facade of the former railway station
Ticket Fee:
Adult Fee | € 12
Children and Members | FREE
To check all admission rates visit their website HERE According to my research, Musee D'orsay ticket line is usually not packed so it won't be a problem purchasing it on the spot. My research was right as we had a fast transaction buying our tickets.

Our tickets
The railway structure of the building is still very evident. Love how well-lit the place is too. 

Love how bright it is
Clockworks
Before exploring the artwork displays here, we went around appreciating the architecture especially the gigantic clocks. The museum, because it was a former railway, displays beautiful huge grand clockworks.
Upon entering, you will be welcomed by this gigantic clock

How grandiose
The museum from the 1st floor
From the third floor
One of the largest art museums in Europe
And the view from the fifth floor
Love the view from here!
Another famous Musee d'Orsay icon was the Hugo-like clock facing the Seine River. This clock greatly reminds me of the movie Hugo, which was inspired by this museum thus it resembles the location of the movie where Hugo lived inside a train station. It's a very Instagram-worthy site so taking photos here was a must for us. 

The 'M' Pose in silhouette. How artsy.
French #ChaMikiss
Love this shot by Instagram husband
The clock has a spectacular view of the city
Of course the husband too
The clock on the opposite side of the building houses the museum's restaurant. 
Impressionist and Post Impressionist Paintings
But more than the architecture and the clock display I was most excited to visit this museum because of the impressionist paintings on the fifth floor. I am a fan of Impressionist artworks and Monet. So admittedly, I enjoyed looking at the paintings here more than the gallery at the Louvre and any other art museums we visited in Europe.


Claude Monet
Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cezanne, Seurat, Sisley and Van Gogh - I remember these names from college during my art appreciation class. But out of all of them, I love the work of Monet the most (I also adored Van Gogh's work just recently). Monet is said to be the founder of French Impressionist artworks. His works are characterized by small brush strokes and experimented with light and shadows. I find his works very dainty and feminine, he loved painting about nature, flowers and sunsets.


Water Lilies Series & The Artist Garden at Giverny. Monet painted it from his flower garden in Giverny, he is a passionate horticulturist.
The Woman with a Parasol. The woman in his painting is his wife. I love the dainty and pastel colors he used here.
Hotel des Roches Noires in Trouville, Regattas at Argenteuil, Poppies & the Train in the Country
Turkeys
The Windmills
The only photo I shot from a different artist is Renoir.  

Renoir's Bal du moulin de la Galette
Recently I learned that Whistler's Mother, the famous painting from the movie Mr Bean is also displayed in this museum. We regret not looking and taking a photo of it! Mike being a fan of that movie still can't get over it. Me, on the other hand can't get over not visiting Van Gogh's Starry Night which is also here at the museum <arrgh> So if you visit Musee d'Orsay, go check out Whistler's Mother & Starry Night for us. 

Visit Musee D'orsay ✔

Go up the Terrace of Arc de Triomphe
Another monumental landmark in Paris is the Arc de Triomphe. Located at the end of the most famous avenue, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe is the most monumental of all triumphal arches. The view on top of the arc gives a majestic 360° view of Paris hence the reason why Mike and I went up.


Arc de Triomphe
How to go:
Metro | Line 1, 2 & 6, Charles de Gaulle Etoile Station
RER | Line A, Charles de Gaulle Etoile Station

We went around Paris via Metro only as it was easier to navigate compared to bus or tram.

Before going up the Arc, we did a little photo op on the ground. There is a narrow lane at the very center for picture taking, you have to be a little patient (and cautious) to wait for your turn. 


Arc de Triomphe is older than the Eiffel Tower. Arches were built to celebrate victories and the Romans did it much earlier.
A couple pic first. Good thing a nice lad was gracious enough to take our photos
We even asked him to take another shot! French #ChaMikiss 😘
And another French #ChaMikiss 😘. Thank you kind stranger!
My most decent solo shot. Too bad it was against the light. Oh well.
Handsome hubby
Took another one in a different angle. The lighting is more decent here.
Look how handsome the Arc is! Not to mention my hubby too!
After our quick photo session, we went straight to the actual monument. Looking for the way going to the arc was quite puzzling. We had to cross an underground tunnel. DO NOT TRY CROSSING THE ROUNDABOUT!

The underground tunnel going to Arc de Triomphe
Opening Time: 
April 1 - September 30 | 10:00 am - 11:00 pm
October 1 - March 31 | 10:00 am - 10:30 pm
The cash desk closes 30 minutes before
Closed on January 1, May 1, May 8 (morning), July 14 (morning), November 11 (morning) and December 25

Ticket Fee:
Adult | € 8
Student (18-25 years old) | € 5
Groups | € 6.20
Children up to 17 years old | FREE

For other information visit their website HERE

My ticket
Inside the Actual Monument
The arc was made to give honor to those who fought for France during the Napoleonic wars and WWI. Names of the generals are engraved on the walls of the arc

Tomb of the unknown soldier

Entrance going up. On the right side you can see the engraved names of the military leaders during the French Revolution
There is a lift going up but all visitors should climb a spiral staircase of 46 steps to reach the top
This long and winding spiral staircase
The 46 staircase didn't seem tiring but I felt very exhausted already. 
Before reaching the top there is an exhibition about the history of the monument, costumes of soldiers in different eras, sculptures and a souvenir shop

A statue, costumes of soldiers, souvenirs shop and an AVP explaining the history of Arc de Triomphe
Terrace of Arc de Triomphe
When we finally reached the terrace, we were enthralled by the view! We saw the whole city from above as the Arc is at the center of twelve avenues. It was gorgeous!

The Arc de Triomphe is located on Paris's Axe historique. 
The lavish Champ Elysees
Another one of 12 avenues
The 360° view of the arc gave us a breathtaking experience of Paris
The Eiffel Tower can be seen from here.
The lovely Iron Lady!
How beautiful it is just staring at you.
They say that the best time to go up the arc is during sunset until evening where you can see the sparkling Eiffel Tower
But any day is perfect as long as you can see a clear view
The terrace of the Arc is better than the Eiffel Tower if you want a view of the Eiffel Tower. As for us, we did both.
They say the best day to visit the Arc is July 15, Bastille Day. It is a festive parade of huge flag billows at the stretch of Champs Elysees.
Go up the Terrace of Arc de Triomphe ✔
Visit the Charming Montmartre
I've read in numerous Paris travel articles that it is a must to visit Montmartre. Montmartre is a large hill in Paris, a village that is artsy and romantic making it one of the most visited places in the city. Several famous artists visited Montmartre for some inspiration like Van Gogh, Picasso and Renoir.
Montmartre
There are several attractions I've been wanting to visit in Montmarte, most of it I saw on my favorite films.

Take a Photo of Moulin Rouge Facade or Watch the Show
Who can ever forget the award winning 2001 musical film, Moulin Rouge. The reason why I wanted to visit this place because I'm a fan of that movie (I even had a cassette tape of its OST!)

This place is where the movie got its name. Moulin Rouge is a known cabaret that was founded and built in 1889 and it has been the modern birthplace of can-can.

Moulin Rouge
How to go:
Metro | Line 2, Blanche Station 
Climbing the stairs out of Blanche, you will see the Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge still retains as a place of entertainment for guests all over the world.
Can-can dance is a seductive dance that later transformed into a form of entertainment
Ticket Price:
Dinner Show | €175-185
Show without dinner | €105 - €140

Opening Time:
Dinner Show | 6:45 pm, 7:30 pm. End at 11:00 pm
Show without dinner | 9 pm - 11:00 pm, 11 pm - 1:00 am

For complete details about the show, check out their website HERE

Seeing the facade for me is enough as we had tons of places lined up to see
Because we've already experienced an unforgettable night in Amsterdam, we skipped watching a show here but some say it's a must to watch a show in Moulin Rouge. Maybe next time. 

The place is easily recognizable because of its vivid bright red exterior 
The view is better at night as it is fully lighted
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir
Check out the Moulin Rouge - ✔
Dine at Cafe des 2 Moulins (Amelie's Restaurant)
After our quick photo op at Moulin Rouge, we walked a few meters to look for Cafe des 2 Moulins (Two Windmills). It is a well known cafe in Montmartre especially after its appearance on the French film, Amelie which was also released on 2001 same year as Moulin Rouge. 


Cafe des 2 Moulins
Le fabulous destin d'Amelie Poulain was one of the reasons why I wanted to visit Paris. I am a big fan of this French film and director Jean-Pierre Jeunet  that I watched it countless times even if it means reading the subtitles over and over again. I fell in love with Paris especially Montmartre because of this movie so I was very much giddy when I saw the actual restaurant where Amelie worked as a waitress. 

How to go:
Located at the intersection of Rue Lepic and Rue Cauchois. From Moulin Rouge, we walked a few meters and voila! We saw the nostalgic red facade.

Walk with Cham in Cafe des 2 Moulins
Can't believe I was actually standing here!
Inside the cafe
Can still recall this place from the scenes of the movie
The bar counter where most of the scenes were shot
Oh look! It's Audrey Tautou!
It was almost lunchtime and yes we were scheduled to dine here for lunch for that complete movie experience. 


Because we were a bit early for lunch, the restaurant was not yet packed even the area where the poster is located!
The wait staff graciously gave the  most coveted seats to us and began asking for our orders. Oh we were so lucky!

Hello, Amelie! You have no idea how happy I was to be here! #ultimatefangirl
Look, Audrey signed this poster. I felt very close to her!
While waiting for our orders, I went to the toilet and saw this little area
Memorabilia of posters, props (the gnome!) and photos from the movie. How cute!
Very much thankful for this moment! 
Thank you babe for tolerating my craziness 
We ordered a hefty meal - an entree for each and a dessert.

Complimentary French Bread 
The baguette is freshly made 
Complimentary bread
Beef Tartar (raw) "au couteau" | € 15
Plain tartar with French fries and salad
My order
Beef Tartar
French camembert cheese | € 13
Roasted with honey and thyme, potatoes and salad
French camembert cheese
To tell you honestly, I wasn't expecting so much from their food because dining here even if the food is 'just okay' was more than enough for me. But low and behold, our orders didn't disappoint, it was more than 'just okay' because it was so good!

Lunch flat lay

Sharing a food with Amelie
Of course we didn't leave this cafe without trying out their Amelie special. 

Gouter d'Amelie | €9
Choice of coffee, coffee with milk, hot chocolate or tea - I ordered coffee with milk
Creme brûlée with cardamon

Gouter d'Amelie

If you've seen the movie, you'll remember that Amelie loves cracking a creme brûlée with a teaspoon.

So nostalgic!
Let the crackin' begin!
Yes, even the creme brûlée tasted so delectable!!! What a lovely way to end my fan girl moment.
Dine at Amelie's Restaurant ✔
So if you are a big fan of the movie come visit this cafe during brunch so you'll have a good seat (I don't think they allow reservations though). While we were occupying our seats, several tourists wanted the same spot, some even tried taking a photo of the poster but the management of the cafe didn't allow them because it might disturb their costumers. 

Have a self portrait made by a French artist at Place du Tertre
This was probably one of the highlights of our Paris trip. It is a place not to be missed when you're in Montmartre. Place du Tertre is an open air art gallery set in picturesque cobblestone square. You can find many local artists and vibrant painting stalls. Some artists make on the spot portraits for those who want a special souvenir.
Our portrait made by a French artist
How to go:
Just beside Sacre Coeur. You will find it on your way to the Cathedral.
Since Montmartre is a hill. You will find many stairs like this
Visiting this art gallery was an accident. Although a friend already told us that this place is nice to checkout but we didn't really pay attention not until we saw it.

Place du Tertre
This art gallery greatly reminds me of Free Market in Hongdae where we had our self portraits too (Read: Free Market Hongdae, Seoul South Korea)

A vibrant and lively place to visit
I've always wanted to take home a French art piece so I can display it in our new home. Even if it's just a small canvas of a famous landmark in Paris, so roaming around here made me so excited to look for one.

Bustling art gallery is field with locals and tourists

Looking for that art piece I wanted to take home
There are so many to choose from
Every artwork differs in style
Looking at these artworks can be very entertaining and relaxing - this collection is so cute!
This one is very dainty
This one uses bright rich colors
But when we saw this group of artists doing self portraits of tourists, Mike and I wanted a self portrait instead. 

Local artists creating self portraits on the spot
You just have to choose what particular style you want
At first, we were very interested to have our portraits made but when we started asking for the price, it was so expensive we couldn't afford it. Standard rate per person is € 50, it was too much for us. So we just satisfied ourselves by roaming around until an old French artist approached us and gave a special rate of € 60 for two. He said "I have a good feeling about you two." So we immediately grabbed his offer and sat on his chair.  

First it was Mike who he drew
He used charcoal on paper. I think.
My turn
Feeling Mona Lisa
That awkward smile. I'm not used to it!
After around 30 minutes. Voila!
Our very first self portrait as husband and wife
This art piece is now displayed at our living room
Have an authentic art piece made by a French artist ✔
Visit the Sacre-Coeur Basilica 
We ended our Montmartre trip by going to its most iconic attraction, the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur. It is a white-domed church that signified the defeat of France in 1871 and acts as a tribute to the thousands lives lost. 

Sacre-Coeur Basilica
How to go:
Metro |  Line 12, Abbesses Station 
            Line 2, Anvers Station 
From the metro station, go along rue Steinkerque and you will arrive directly at the foot of the basilica

As for us because we came from Moulin Rouge to Cafe des 2 Moulins then Place du Tertre we just walked our way going here after our artsy trip to the art gallery.

Time of Mass:
Mondays - Friday | 7:00 am, 11:15 am, 3:00 pm (for Friday only), 6:30 pm and 10:00 pm

Didn't go inside instead we just sat at the steps and be mesmerized by the view
Some scenes from the movie Monte Carlo were shot here, particularly at the steps of the renowned basilica. 

I can remember that these were the steps they shot in the movie, Monte Carlo
Sacre-Coeur is located at the summit of Montmartre
It is highest point of the city
Many tourists sit here to just adore the panoramic view from the hill

As for us, we wanted a photo together, good thing a couple like us asked their photos to be taken too.
This is the view!
Lovely cityscape, too bad I wasn't able to take a shot of the Eiffel Tower.
We had a couple of minutes to spare so we decided to join the bandwagon and relax here for a bit
Sunbathing in Montmartre
This is the reason why we became so tanned! Haha! We didn't put any sunblock for the whole trip
A selfie with the basilica
A good way to relax our feet from all the walking
Thanks again, random stranger!
Yay! A French #ChaMikiss

Visit the highest peak of the city, Sacre-Coeur Basilica ✔
After resting our tired feet, we went to the nearest metro station and stumbled upon a street full of souvenir shops.

Souvenir shops at Montmartre
Pay a visit at Notre Dame de Paris
Aside from Sacre-Coeur another well known catholic cathedral is the Notre Dame Cathedral. It is considered to be one of the finest French Gothic architectures and one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. So even if we are not catholics, we visited this place because of #FOMO.
Notre Dame de Paris
How to go:
Metro | Line 4, Cite Station, Line 1, Hotel de Ville Station 

Opening Hours:
Saturdays and Sundays | 8:00 am - 7:15 pm
Mondays - Fridays | 8:00 am - 6:45 pm

Entrance Fee:
Cathedral Entrance | FREE
Bell Tower | € 8.50 for adults

We skipped the bell tower as we needed to brave the 387 steps because there are no elevators! Although they say the view is breathtaking especially with the famed gargoyles at the foreground. 

This famous cathedral is packed with tourist that we had to line up
A photo op while waiting in line
The 850 year-old cathedral still holds daily religious masses
The 'M Pose'
Beautiful classic Gothic Archeture inside the cathedral

Rose stained glass window
The cathedral also houses some of Catholism's most important relics
The Cathedral sits on the edge of Seine River
Creperie stand with a uniformed vendor
Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral ✔
Adore the Gardens at Luxembourg Palace
Nothing short of beautiful is this other notable landmark in Paris. It was created by Queen Marie de Medici, widow of King Henry IV. This French garden is flocked with tourists and locals wanting to have leisure time at the garden. 

Le Jardin du Luxembourg
How to go:
Metro | Line 4 and 10, Odeon Station
RER | Line B, Luxembourg Station

We went around Paris via Metro only as it was easier to navigate compared to bus or tram.

Entrance Fee:
FREE

Opening Time:
Open between 7:30 am and 8:15 am 
Close between 4:30 pm - 9:30 pm depending on the season


Loving the relaxing and grandiose garden
A favorite spot for photo shoots, the Luxembourg Garden's 23 hectare land is known for its well manicured lawns, tree-lined promenades, flowerbed, pond, fountain and the iconic olive colored steel chairs. 


Well manicured lawns and flowerbeds
The Medici Fountain
Built in the style of a grotto. At the end is a sculpture of the giant Polyphemus spying on the lovers Abis and Galatea
These iconic olive green chairs are scattered everywhere
Like a boss
Luxembourg #OOTD
Striped top | Uniqlo
Blue Coat | Forever21
Jeans | Lee 
Scarf worn as headband | Uniqlo
Sneakers | Adidas
Bag | Longchamp

It was a nice timing going here as the weather was very pleasant
The sunlight was perfect for natural light photography
Loving my cat eye sunnies and red lippies
The garden today is owned by the French Senate
Can't say no to a #ChaMikiss
Enormous pond at the middle of the Garden
The pond is facing the Palace
Beautiful backdrop
A nice bonding moment for parent and children - sailing a small boat
Can't get enough of how regal and grandiose this garden is
Great way to relax especially if you've been walking for so long
This garden has appeared in some French literature and the most famous is in Victor Hugo's Les Miserables where Marius and Cosette first meet
Also famous for different photoshoots from magazines and different designer brands
Tree-line promenade and sculpture 
The garden is said to be inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence
Geometric forest
The beautiful trees make a gorgeous backdrop. Agree? 
Last one!
Can't get enough of how beautiful our photos were!
Dashing husband
Adore the Le Jardin du Luxembourg  ✔
Feel Like a Royalty at the Palace of Versailles
A former French royal residence from King Louis XIV to King Louis XVI and now a famous extravagant museum showing how the royalties lived before. 

Palace of Versailles
How to go:
RER | Line C, Versailles Chateau - Rive Gauche trains station

Opening Time: 
Palace | Open everyday except Mondays, December 25 and January 1
9:00 am - 5:30 pm

Gardens | Open everyday except for bad weather conditions
8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Ticket Fee:
Palace | € 18

It is advisable that you purchase your tickets online because there is a very long queue for buying the ticket (believe me we went through that stress)

For more practical information about booking check the official website HERE

About to enter the impeccable palace
One of the royal bedrooms
The Palace is picture-worthy in all angles!
Channeling Marie Antoinette 
Feel like a royalty at the Palace of Versailles ✔
Will be writing a more detailed Versailles experience on a separate post soon 

Cruise along the River Seine 
Nothing can be as romantic as a cruise along Paris well-known river even if it is just a sightseeing tour. The River Seine is an important river in Paris, the 777 km long river has many attractions at its riverbanks including Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Musee d'Orsay and Notre Dame Cathedral making it a popular river to cruise. 

River Seine Cruise
There are many types of boat tours to choose from like day cruise, night cruise, dinner cruise and lunch cruise. As for us, we settled with sightseeing cruise. It was a spur of the moment decision when Mike convinced me to try the cruise, I was hesitant at first as I didn't want to spend money anymore but it was a good decision that we tried it. 

Vedettes de Paris
Because the cruise was not at all planned, we booked it the day itself. Vedette de Paris is one of the many popular cruise companies along the river that offers sightseeing tours for day time and night time. Before we went up the Eiffel Tower we purchased our day time ticket first to secure our slots.
Vedettes de Paris
Meeting Point:
Vadette De Paris
Pedestrian access by lena bridge, left bank or by the Bir-Hakeim bridge

How to go:
Metro | Line 6 & 9, Trocadero Station
Metro | Line 6, Bir-Hakeim Station
RER | Line C, Champ de Mars Station

You can either go here from Trocadero or Champ de Mars, the port is located just below the Eiffel Tower

Opening Time: 
10:30 am - 9:00 pm
Departs every 30 minutes

Duration:
Runs every hour 

Ticket Fee:
Adult | € 13
Ticket + Snacks | € 20
Availed the € 20 for the snacks of crepe and drinks. The snacks were our lunch for that day.
Boarding time
Our tickets
There are different areas inside the boat to choose from 
As for us we settled at the back area of the boat so that we can have a good view of the river
The 1 hour cruise started at the Eiffel Tower and traveled along the Seine which ran through the very heart of Paris.

Start of cruise at the foot of the Eiffel Tower
UNESCO-listed riverbanks
I cruise you! <waley>
The route took us to many Paris iconic landmarks

Musee D'orsay
Notre Dame Cathedral
Availed our snacks at the bar area.

The server making French crepes!
2 Chocolate crepes, coffee and hot chocolate drink
Cheers!
Enjoying my cuppa while cruising along the river
Crepes for lunch!
You can never have too many crepes when you're in Paris
After 30 minutes, we decided to go up the second floor
Trying not to off balance for photo's sake
There was also a multilingual audio commentary that told us about the history of the monuments and famous Paris legends
We passed beneath so many charming bridges
No bridge is the same along the river
Glad we took this tour or I'll regret not doing it
John Lloyd "Cruise?"
After 30 minutes we meandered our way back
French #ChaMikiss while gliding along the river
Cruise with me, Baby!
Despite the cloudy weather, you are still gorgeous in any angle, Eiffel Tower and you too Mike!
Last shot with the Eiffel Tower.
Returned to the port after an hour
Cruise along River Seine ✔
The cruise is perfect for those with limited time like us, we were able to explore the river in a short span of time.

Champs Elysees
One of the most famous avenues in the world. It is a street where Arc de Triomphe stands. A posh avenue of cafes, theaters and luxury shops. The street is also known for the Bastille Day celebration every 15th of July.
Champs Elysees
Remember the terrorist attack last April 20, 2017? That was the same date we were in Paris and we were supposed to visit it on the exact date of the attack. But the Lord is good, he made us change our plans so for some odd and spontaneous reasons we decided to go here a day in advance (1st day) and on our last day (5th day). So we were in Trocadero when the attack happened. Thank you, Lord!
The stretch of the avenue
How to go:
Metro | Line 1 & 13, Champs Elysees Clemenceau Station, Line 1 & 9, Franklin D Roosevelt Station

We went around Paris via Metro only as it was easier to navigate compared to bus or tram.

Famous shops in Champs Elysees include Louis Vuitton, Levi's, Prada, Lacoste, Givenchy, Versace, H&M, Tiffany and Company, Nike, Adidas and many others.

Walking along the famous avenue in the morning
Originally, we wanted to experience this high-end shopping district but because of the attack we were too cautious to spend long hours here. So on our 5th day, we went here just to have breakfast at Laduree, a cafe famous for their delectable macarons. 

Champs Elysees #OTTD
Dress | H&M which I bought in at a mall near our Paris hotel
Long Sleeves White Top | Uniqlo
White Sneakers | Adidas
Teal Coat | Forever21
Sunnies | GeorginaSaha.com
Bag | Longchamp

On our way to Laduree
Laduree is an upscale Parisian bakery specializing in macarons in a number of flavors. In this particular branch they also serve French cuisine from breakfast till evening. 


Restaurant Laduree
Opening Time:
7:30 am - 10:00 pm

Beautiful Renaissance building
The Macaron Bar
The place looks like a Palace! Beautiful restaurant and restroom up stairs.
Because it's too early, customers dined at the ground level
Assortment of 3 pieces of traditional bread rolls | €5
with butter, jam and honey
Our only order because it was so expensive dining here

Hot Chocolate | € 6.50
Rich and thick hot chocolate
Mike's order

Capuccino | € 5
My drink

Ordered assorted bread, hot chocolate and cappuccino 
Laduree breakfast flat lay 
French Macarons | € 2.8 per piece | € 11.20 for four
Salted butter caramel, pistachio, raspberry
Initially ordered three but added an additional one so I can take it home to the Philippines. 

Of course, I ordered 3 different flavors of macarons too which I asked to bring home
Enjoying my French breakfast at one of the best patisserie in Paris
Hey! Thanks for bringing me here 💓
Eat at Restaurant Laduree and try the best macarons ✔
Verdict
It was a pleasant experience dining here as the ambience was so fancy even if we were just having breakfast. The macarons and hot chocolate were over the top however their service was kind of disappointing. We waited for so long for the wait staff to get our orders, even our orders took so long to arrive and we waited quite awhile to get our bill. Hope they can do something about their customer service as they were very consistent with their failed reviews online. 

Cham at the Champs (with my macaron take out) ✔
Go Shopping for Parisian Designer Brands 
Paris is one of the best places to go shopping that it is even a sin not to shop in the city of fashion as Paris is the home for world-famous-designer brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Longchamp, Givenchy, YSL, Celine, Balenciaga and the list goes on... So Mike promised me he'd buy something special for me and the best place do it is in Galleries Lafayette.

Galleries Lafayette is the most famous high class shopping mall in Paris that you'll find almost all big brands here. 

Galleries Lafayette
Visited it on our last day and to tell you honestly I have no particular brand in mind, I was not even sure if Mike was serious about buying something special for me here. He was not really aware that designer brands cost that much until we checked the stores (hahaha). But to my surprise he was tad serious about it and after visiting so many stores I finally made up my mind and purchased the LV Speedy bag I wanted (Oh my!!!) So yes just like that, I went out of the store carrying a big Louis Vuitton paper bag with me. 


Ohhh! My very first LV Bag
Went home with a bag of LV
Of course Mike didn't let this chance pass without buying something for himself too right (it wouldn't be fair if I was the only one who went home with a big bag 🤣) So we went on sneaker shopping!

Sneaker shopping
Foot Locker and House of Hoops
After visiting so many sneaker stores he finally settled for a pair of Adidas NMD R2. So yes, we went home carrying a shopping bag with us.

Eat French Cuisine
French cuisine is one of the most respected and renowned cuisines in the world, after all Paris won't be named the Capital City of Food for nothing so even if French food is expensive in Paris, Mike and I saw ourselves eating at fine dining restaurants and enjoying extraordinary gastronomic experiences from day one until our final day.

Cafe Trocadero
Cafe Beaugrenelle
Cafe Angelina
Cafe le Bosquet

La Table de Genevieve
Wrote a separate post about what we ate in Paris (Read: French Cuisine: What We Ate in Paris)

Have a pictorial taken by a professional photographer
This is perfect for newlyweds who are spending their honeymoon in Paris. A postnuptial pictorial was our plan even before we started this trip and luckily my friend, Camille knew a lot of Filipinos who services such. Here are the samples of our postnuptial pictorial around the Eiffel Tower.


First shot
French #ChaMikiss
Falling in love with you all over again
Spring time in Paris 🌸

Another French #ChaMikiss
Carousel L💓VE
For rates and other information, I wrote a separate post about it (Read: Postnuptial Pictorial in Paris France)

Finally, I was able to finish this post!!! Aaaaah, what an accomplishment! Hope you enjoyed reading my first Paris installment and I also hope somehow you were inspired to travel to Paris. I fell in love with Paris twice- first was when I was just dreaming about it and second was when I met it in person. Paris is and will remain to be my most favorite city in the world! Till next time, you gorgeous city!

Au revoir, Paris!

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