One Friday, I hopped on a Eurostar with some friends to visit Paris for the weekend. You know I spent the summer in Paris and you also know my love obsession with pastries, something I was incredibly excited to experience again! Two and a half hours (and a thirty-minute delay) later and we were in Gare du Nord, ready to begin our weekend-long adventure.
Our AirBnB in Paris
Our Airbnb was right off Metro stop Nation, an area of Paris I had yet to explore very much. The flat was incredibly nice, a typical Parisian apartment with beautiful ceilings, windows and floors. It was so large that eight of us were able to fit comfortably, with only two of us having to share a room! Because we got in at around 10:30 and didn’t reach the flat until around 11:30, we decided to just head straight to bed to get ready for an early morning.
We arose early to head to the Louvre before it got too crowded, but our first stop was, of course, breakfast pastries!! I got a croissant and a Chausson aux Pommes for breakfast (gotta indulge while I can, right?). Both were wonderful and the applesauce in the Chausson was even still warm when I bit into it :)
Next stop: Louvre.
It was SO much less crowded than it is during the summer, even though we got there after it opened; we hardly had to queue at all. Plus, as an added bonus, we all have visas and/or student IDs so we didn’t have to pay for a ticket! It was great to be back and even though I’ve been there several times, I still saw new things.
After that, we headed towards Le Marais for a much-needed lunch of falafel, which I have been craving since I left Paris in July. En route, I decided to find Pralus, the famed praluline maker (another thing I have been craving since the day I left). We got one for the group and I got one for myself to share with my LSE friends (at least that’s what I told myself…). Our falafel was delicious, even though it was only the second best place in Paris (the best, L’as du Falafel was closed because it was Saturday).
Temporarily full from our lunch, we headed over to Notre Dame and the islands for a walk around. None of us decided to enter the cathedral so instead, we walked back to Ile Saint Louis to get some gelato from Amorino (yay!). I got pistachio, salted caramel, and speculoos cookie in my small cup. Oh, how I missed it! We sat along the Seine and enjoyed our treats while watching the boats float by. The autumn colours were gorgeous and it was so great to see a season other than summer in Paris!
A few of us wanted to explore the Latin Quarter and the Luxembourg Garden so we split off from the others and headed in that direction. The Latin Quarter is probably my second favourite area other than Le Marais—it’s just a great place to wander around! The Luxembourg Gardens looked gorgeous with their fall foliage and I wish I could have stayed longer to snap more pictures of the flowers!
Nighttime in Paris
We then headed back to our flat for a much-needed rest before dinner. For dinner, we headed back to the Luxembourg Gardens and went to a patisserie for some macarons. I got a box of six, flavours: vanilla, salted caramel, raspberry, pistachio, grapefruit, and lemon. I loved them all (I had never had a box of 6 before either). We ate at a French bistro where I had a croque campagnard, which was basically a croque monsieur with sautéed potatoes as a side as well as salad. It was so good and I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of it….
The logical step after dinner was to go to the Eiffel Tower to enjoy the nighttime sparkle and taste our macarons. We even took the UNESCO metro stop so I got to walk by the exterior and reminisce about my summertime visit, but this time all the flags were out It was absolutely gorgeous to see up close! This summer I didn’t get the chance to visit it at night because I lived so far away and didn’t want to go alone at night so it was great to get the real tourist experience.
Last moments in Paris
The next morning we woke up early yet again and made our way to Musée d’Orsay for a quick look around before our train. Naturally, we stopped for croissants beforehand. While it was more crowded than we thought it would be and we had to queue for quite a while, we still had about 40 minutes to look around. We headed straight to the top floor so we could get the clock view!
Getting out of the museum was harder than we thought (the main stairs were closed so we had to manoeuvre our way and backtrack a lot before we finally made it out, worried about the time since we were cutting it quite close. Luckily we all made it on the train with a little time to spare :)
I am so glad I got to visit my summer city again this weekend. 36 hours was definitely not enough though! I got to eat most of my favourite foods except for crepes, but it just gives me an excuse to visit again :) Nonetheless, I did get to practice my French AND as an added bonus, none of the French people I spoke to switched to English when I talked to them!!! TRUE SUCCESS. It was also fantastic to be back in a city that I knew my way around. I was surprised at how much I remembered!
I can’t wait until my next adventure :)