Paris; It’s the city of lights, known for its magnificent beauty, delicious foods, and romantic qualities. Some people dream of visiting this esteemed European city their entire lives, and here I was getting to live that dream. Stepping off of the plane that carried us 3,886 miles from home to the first European country I had ever visited, I felt giddy with excitement. For two years I had learned about French culture, studied the language, and feasted on pictures of this place. I finally had the chance to see it with my own eyes and experience a foreign culture firsthand.
Our first day there was a whirlwind of culture shock. After landing at Charles De Gaulle airport we were taken to our hotel, L’hôtel D’Aubusson. Not wasting any time we dropped off our luggage and headed to Sacre Coeur, a cathedral on top of a hill called Montmartre. Walking through the crowded streets I was wonderstruck. It was more beautiful than I had ever imagined, especially when I got my first good view of the city from on top of the hill. The church was also a beauty, though my experience inside was marred slightly by the angry Frenchman who yelled at me (in French) for taking pictures inside. Despite this less than pleasant experience, I was not afraid to test my French speaking skills as I bargained for a painting in the artist district after we wandered down the street from Sacre Coeur. We eventually made our way back to our hotel and freshened up for dinner. We decided to go to a crêperie where we tried crêpes salées, also known as savoury galettes. I was hesitant at first but they were surprisingly delicious. To end our day we relaxed in our beautiful hotel room watching French television.
The rest of our time in France was spent in a similar way. We got up early to avoid lines and tried to see as many things as possible. Some of the highlights were the Eiffel Tower, the Musée D’Orsay, the Louvre, the Palace at Versailles, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Each of these famous attractions were even more magnificent in person. The Eiffel Tower proved to us why it has become the signature tourist attraction of the city. We got there early and bought tickets ahead of time so as to not wait for a long time in the lines for the elevator. The view from the top was unlike any I had seen before. It even gave me goose bumps! The Musée D’Orsay was my favorite museum we visited. The impressionist paintings displayed in this old train station were incredible and have since inspired a love of these artists for me. It was also incredible to see famous works like the Mona Lisa in the Louvre museum. Notre Dame Cathedral was incredible. It was filled with so much detail and art that it was hard not to fall in love. Finally the palace of Versailles was the most magnificent place I have ever been. Walking up to the gates it is hard not to feel intimidated by it luxury. Walking through the grand halls and observing the grounds, it is hard not to feel like royalty.
The feeling of being in Paris and experiencing the French culture firsthand was an incredible experience. Anyone who has a passion for art, food, beauty, and history would love all that Paris has to offer. Make sure to plan ahead and wake up early and you will have the perfect trip.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.