One year ago, I was extremely lucky to visit a friend of mine in Paris. Actually, Sophie and I visited Maria, who had this amazing idea to stay in Paris for some months. Paris is magic every time of the year, but on December it is like being in a (very cold) fairy-tale.
Our good fairy Maria was willing to walk the entire city (literally!) with us, so that we wouldn’ t miss a thing. Don’t fool yourselves, four days are not enough to see it all in Paris. It is huge! They are enough though to take a glance of the city and its beauty and sacrifice a pair of shoes for that purpose. Instead of giving traveling advice (which I find pointless since I am obviously not a local expert!), I’ m sharing with you the moments we spent in Paris.
Maria in her doudoune at Place du Tertre (Monmartre)
Day one: We visited Musée Rodin (I already wrote about it, remember?), one of the most interesting museums I have ever visited because of its breathtaking garden. We walked and walked and it was really cold. I remember making fun of Maria for wearing her doudoune, but it turned out to be the most appropriate outfit! In the evening we went to Sainte-Chapelle, a royal medieval Gothic chapel located near the Palais de la Cité, on the Île de la Cité. There we enjoyed a music concert given by an orchestra consisting of four violins and one cello. They played very vividly Adagio in G minor by Albinoni and The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. This was definitely the most remarkable memory from Paris!
At Rodin’ s garden
Afterwards we walked Boulevard Saint-Michel and Boulevard Saint-Germain and had kir royal for aperitif in Bonaparte Bistro. Our friend Elina had insisted on visiting the area Buttes aux Calles for dinner, so we had dinner at restaurant Chez Filles (Elina suggested Chez Gladinez but it was full that night).
Day two: We visited Musée D’ Orsay which is located on the left bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d’ Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum’s opening in 1986 (source wikipedia).
The Clock at Orsay’s entrance
After the long tour at the museum I met another friend of mine and we walked by river Seine, crossed Pont des Arts bridge with the love padlocks and finally reached Les Halles. Maria and Sophie visited Louvre Museum (no need for further information, the must-see museum!). I had been there before so I preferred to drink a hot chocolate at Edmond Michelet Square, near Pompidou Center. Maria and Sophie, after their long visit at Louvre, met me there and we went upstairs, at the roof of Center Pompidou and had a panoramic view of the city by night.
Panoramic view of the city through the window at the roof of Center Pompidou
The stairs to Sacre-Coeur
Day three: Monamarte! How not to be in love with the neighbourhood were Amelie lived and worked, the most artistic area in Paris? First stop Sacre-Coeur and Place du Tertre. Then, coffee break and lunch at Le Bruant. We met Le Passe-muraille while walking to Place Pigalle.
In the evening we finally reached the Eiffel Tower and walked Champs-Elysées Avenue from the Arc de Triomphe to Place Concorde! The most expensive Avenue of Paris was -as expected- overdecorated for Christmas.
Rue Saint-Antoine, Marais
Day four: My favourite area, Marais. We had breakfast at Starbucks and then went to Carnavalet Museum, the museum of the history of Paris. There one can see exhibits like furniture, objects and art work following the history timeline before and after the Revolution. It is very exciting and informative about the city of Paris.
Exhibit at Carnavalet Museum
Nearby is Place des Vosges and Victor Hugo’s house. Of course we went there too. Last stop before departing was Bastille, where we had a good-bye quiche!
Place des Vosges
Victor Hugo’s office
I find travel tips rather overestimated, some things are matter of one’s taste. But I definitely insist on this: when you visit Paris, sooner or later, don’t forget to taste macarons, drink kir royal and enjoy the panoramic view of the city from Sacre Coeur or the roof of Centre Pompidou!