Thursday, January 31, 2019

My Recent Trip to Paris: What to do in Winter

What to do in Paris when it's Cold. 

This is the question everyone has been asking me since I got back. Despite Paris being hundreds of years older than anything in America, believe it or not, it's quite up to date on heating! I know, crazy and I'm sure I just blew your mind. It was quite a concern going into a few places, more specifically Notre Dame. Though fictional, I think I had Quasimodo and the 1800s on the brain. It's so easy to be transported through time in Paris. 

Now that heat isn't an issue anymore, Paris in the winter doesn't sound so bad, right? So let's jump on into this post and start with all of the art history you can explore and check out. As previously mentioned, this is my second time to Paris and the first place I recommend going to is Sacre Coeur. It's a tiny hike from the metro but well worth the walk. The inside is beautiful, warm and inspirational. The view from the top is also breath taking. Grab a lemon cake from the local Monoprix and enjoy the spectacular view while eating on the famous steps.   

Speaking of churches, Notre Dame! One of the best perks about visiting Paris in the winter is the lack of lines. The church still had people in it but instead of being crushed, pushed and shhh'd every which way, it was easy to walk through and it was wonderfully quiet. The experience was great and we got to see a documentary being filmed while walking around the patron sections. As mentioned, the whole cathedral was heated and I'm dying to know what the daily heating bill is for this place because that was! My gosh, it was beautiful though. 

Personally, one of my favorite things to do in America is to get a nice cup of tea, find a window seat at a cafe and people watch. So, that's what I did in Paris. Honestly, I could have sat their for hours. My cousin and I went to a little café with outdoor seating. It sounds crazy, sue to the weather, but everyone sits outside in Paris. They're completely unaffected by the cold because every single café has heaters hanging from the buildings! 

If you choose your café wisely, you'll get a little chocolate treat when you get the check! 

One thing I really wanted to do, but didn't have the time, was explore the 5 star hotel lobbies in Paris. I know, silly. However, many of those hotels have a lot of history, art and luxurious ambience. Next time I'm in Paris, I'll definitely add this to my to-do list. 

What we did have time to do was get lost around the 7th ARR. I love this neighborhood and think it's one of the chicest areas in Paris. It has wonderful views of the Eiffel Tour and is known for it's beautiful university. We were able to find some great shots of the iconic Parisian tour (as seen in my Paris What I Wore post here). Getting lost and wandering is always my favorite thing to do when I'm traveling. You find unique roads, shops and hidden gems when you're just walking. 

Speaking of the Eiffel Tour and other tourist attractions, winter is the BEST time to get your picture taken with these national and historical monuments. There's hardly anyone out and it's super easy to get your photo taken alone, if you find the right places. I'm absolutely obsessed with my photo of the Arc de Triomphe (pictured above). I cannot wait to add it to my travel wall in my little family room.  

Lastly, shopping! Paris is known for their luxury fashion houses and what I love about this city is they want you to come in and view these extravagant pieces. Even if you have no means of purchasing anything, they love for you to come in and browse about. As for everyday shopping, I couldn't wait to jump into MangoZaraTopshopKookaiLe LaboMonoprix and Massimo Dutti (which is a sister brand to Zara). Once it got dark, we were super excited to spend the last few hours browsing and window shopping in the Champs Elyseé. 

To close out the night, we took the metro back to the Eiffel Tour to get a few photos of it lit up. All in all we did a lot, considering we only had a day to be tourist in the city. The rest of the time was spent celebrating my beloved cousin's 40th birthday and spending time with family. The lunch ran from 10:30am to 4pm. They really know how to party! I had the best time chatting, learning french words, learning their cuisine and having dance parties with my little cousins. I couldn't have asked for a better trip! 

Have you ever been to Paris? What are your favorite places to uncover and explore? 
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