Our 1st Day in Paris

My family and I left London’s St. Pancreas International Train Station at around 9:20 in the morning. It was our first time on the Euro Star and we were heading to Paris so naturally I was pretty excited! Our train tickets were 45 pounds for adults and 43 pounds for youth (aged 12 to 25). It was just a short train ride, in less than 3 hours we were in Paris’ Gare Du Nord station. Arriving at around 1 pm, we took another train to Gare De Lyon station.

The trains stations were a lot different from what I was expecting. They kind of reminded me of the New York subways, a bit dirty, sort of smelly and there were a lot of beggars, most of them with young children. We also had a bit of trouble figuring out how to get to Gare de Lyon station, but thankfully someone on YouTube gave an exact directional video! You can watch the video here.

When we arrived to the station, we couldn’t find our apartment! We tried asking some of the locals but they had no idea as well 🙁 Andddd we realize that the place where we were meant to collect the key was so far away. Anywayyy long story short, my dad and I took a taxi to get our apartment key, taxi-ed back and finally found our apartment. Thankfully it was really nice apartment! When we finally settled in it was already the late afternoon so after a long and tiring day we decided to the rest and refuel our energy for the next day.

Up early in the morning, we had a quick breakfast stop at McDonals (I loved the chocolate croissants!) then we were off for our first tour day in Parisss! We decided to use the L’Open Tour Hop-On-Hop-Off bus. Tickets were  €37 (roughly Php 1980) for two consecutive days. We used the Hop-On-Hop-Off buses in London, Paris and Rome and I highly highly recommend them! Yes, they might be slightly more expensive compared to the public buses but they’re so convenient!

Since it was still raining we decided to visit the “indoor places” and praaaay that the sun comes out the next day for our visit to the Eiffel Tower. So for our first stop we head to the Notre Dame Cathedral!

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Just stunning isn’t it! I love all the details and the Gothic feel of the Cathedral. As you saw from the previous photo, the entrance line is looooooong. But don’t be discouraged! The line moves fairly quickly. We spent around 30 mins – 1 hour inside the Cathedral.

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Beautiful stained glass windows! The twin towers go as high as 69 meters (387 steps). Huge!

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Next, we hopped back on our bus and headed to the Louvre! Another place I’ve been dying to go to!

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The famous glass Louvre pyramid! Made it! 😛

Opening Hours:
Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Friday: from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Closed on Tuesdays

We were so happy to finally be inside. I think we waited 30 to 40 mins outside in the freezing rain. Don’t worry, the wait is definitely worth it. Also I pretty sure the lines would’ve been much longer if it was sunny so that was a plus for us.

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If you didn’t know already, the Louvre Museum is the biggest museum in the world. It has over 380,000 pieces! So my advice for you guys is to wear comfortable shoes! You’ll be walking A LOT. But don’t expect to see the whole museum, it’s way to big to see everything in one day. I’m pretty sure we only saw like 1/4 of the museum.

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The statue above, the Winged Victory of Samothrace or The Winged Nike is so beautiful. It was one of my favorite pieces of the museum; the sculptor is actually unknown!

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This is my favorite gallery that we saw! The ceiling is so beautiful and sort of reminded me of the Sistine Chapel. It held some of the most amazing pieces of jewelry. Wish I could try the blue sapphire crown on! Hahaha.

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As I said before, you’ll be doing a lot of walking and thankfully there are a ton of seats all through the museum so don’t fret! We took a few moments to rest our feet and admire some more beautiful ceilings.

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See what I mean, stunning ceilings!

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The photo below is me in front of another famous painting, The Wedding at Cana by Paolo Veronese, which was painted way back in 1563. It’s just across the room from the Mona Lisa.

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And finallllyyyyyyyyyy! The most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa. It was a lot smaller than I expected actually and there are a ton of people trying to get photos but it was so surreal. After reading and hearing about this painting all these years I’m so happy I got to see this in person!

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Of course I was trying to take a selfie with the Mona Lisa and as I was look back at my photos, I found this one (photo below). Hahahaha! I couldn’t help but laugh. I guess this lady really wanted a close up shot of the Mona Lisa. The guard did tell her off a few times, LOL!

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Trying to get a nice photo with the Mona Lisa, the struggle is REAL.

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Have you guys been to the Louvre Museum or the Notre Dame Cathedral? How was your experience? Share your comments and thoughts below!

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46 Comments

  1. interesting post and pleased the apartment was ok.
    Isn’t the Notre Dame Cathedral amazing and so large? Not like the Mona Lisa which is surprisingly small. Well done for getting a photo! Hope you managed to visit the Eiffel Tower because it is great to see the views of Paris. Lovely photos and they brought back memories of my visit to Paris, many years ago.

  2. It has always been my dream to go to Paris. I’ve been to MET in New York and it amazed me so much. So how much more for Louvre Museum. Hope by the time Lloyd and I go there, I still have some grasp on my French language skills.

    1. I went to NY a couple of years ago but didn’t get to go to the MET! I took French in school when I was younger, don’t remember much hehe. Hope you’ll get to visit soon! 😀

  3. So much to see in Paris! It’s one of my dream destinations. I hope to one day visit. You’re so lucky to have gotten a picture of the Louvre! It’s sad though that the museum is so congested with people.

  4. Wow! Dream destination! <3 There sure are a lot of people there right now, I wonder if it's because of the season? XD I didn't know Louvre was the biggest museum and you just covered a fourth in one day, grabe!

  5. Aaaah! Your photos are amazing! I’ve always wanted to visit Paris! And the Louvre, OMG! Thank you for giving me this mini tour (preview). Pinning it for bucket list references! 🙂

  6. I just read your Eiffel Tower post and I really enjoyed it, probably because France has been a longtime dream of mind. Reading this makes me feel like I also went there. Good thing you found a instructional video on Youtube to find your hotel. It must have been really hard to find it if someone took the time to make a video if it.

  7. Finally with a little struggle first for the apartment and then the selfie you made your day…and of course the cathedral was quite big unlike the Mona Lisa which I didn’t expected to be so small

  8. Even we have a plan to visit Paris shortly. We have also opted for the hop on hop off bus tour and we plan to explore the city almost as you did. Glad to have stumbled upon your post!

  9. Ohhh… this gives me so much anxiety. Hahaha, I’ve been avoiding Paris because of the massive crowds and this post unfortunately did not change my mind on this. Oof. Thank you for posting though! I enjoyed reading. 🙂

    1. Aww. If you ever change your mind though you’ll have a great experience I think! The crowd is just in the room of the Mona Lisa haha, everywhere else does not have a lot of people 😀

  10. There are always so many people in Louvre – it’s terryfing :)))

    But so far, Paris is my favourite city in Europe. It’s so beautiful. I spent 5 days there and I already know I still have so much to see and experience there.

    Cool blog post, thanks for sharing!

  11. I love to see Paris and Louvre Museum will definitely be on my itinerary. There’s just too many people going there. There must be some period in a day when it’s best to visit. Haha. Thanks for sharing your day trip. I’d bookmark your post for my Paris trip. 🙂

  12. Considering it is your first day you have covered a lot. A very well spent day.And this reminds me so much of my visit. I did Louvre on the very first day as if it would vanish the next 😀

  13. The cathedral’s ceiling was a lot looking like the ceiling of San Sebastian Church in Manila. It reminded me of that, plus the gothic design and architecture of it was very similar. Love that!
    However, the painting of Mona Lisa was definitely a shock. i showed it to a friend of mine and she laughed, she didn;t thought that mona lisa’s painting was a lot smaller in person.,

  14. Gosh, look at all the people inside the museum. I always find it amusing, actually, to have seen time and again photos of how many people are trying to see the Mona Lisa, a small painting compared to the others in the exhibit. But it is probably the most famous of them all. Seriously, if you were to explore every part of the Louvre, how much time would it take?

    1. I was also shocked! I didn’t realized that there would be that many people there hehe. Not sure how long it would take to see the whole museum, I’m guessing a couple of days. Hehe 😀

  15. I totally relate to your excitement. I did exactly the same. Took a eurostar from London to Paris. I couldn’t believe how quick we crossed the English channel compared to coach rides! Did u manage to climb the Notre Dame? Unfortunately I didn’t visit Louvre yet!

  16. Hi Johna,

    This must have been a very fun travel adventure and experience, especially that you go to share it with your family. Looks like you were fascinated by the art there. I haven’t been to Paris or Europe yet, but it seems like a very romantic place to be. Looks like you enjoyed.

    Cheers,
    Crystal

  17. I wish you put captions to some of your photos up there. Like, I wanted to know about the lady with the flimsy dress and the small child with wings. Are they biblical characters?
    I was also looking forward to reading your account of the EuroStar. It would be mesmerizing travelling in a train that crosses the English Channel under water!
    The ceiling of the Louvre is interesting. I had read about it in one of the English novels, I am forgetting the author’s name–yes, it is Dan Brown. Great photographs..keep it up

    1. I’m actually not to sure about the lady with the small child hehe. I’ll have to research that for you! Thanks for the tip, will definitely add captions in my next post 😀

  18. You are so lucky! To see the Mona Lisa irl is the dream! Hahaha. Were you alone during your trip? When I really go to Paris, the Louvre will be on of the first places that I will go too. I actually like going to museums. It’s like food for my creative soul. It’s so inspiring! That blue sapphire jewels pretty much reminded me of the necklace in Titanic. Haha!

  19. I’ve always wanted to go to the louvre but to see another painting. The one I was named after. People have gone and taken photos of it for me though! I’m sorry about the ordeal with the keys! That must have been unpleasant. Hope you had a great rest of the trip.

  20. Honestly I haven’t been there, but you were super blessed to be able to visit the place, seeing the Cathedral it was huge, I remember a friend of mine wanted to walk in a very long aisle for her wedding, hahaha, the museum was stunning all the sculptures and ceiling designs was woooow. Indeed the struggle is real if you want to take picture with the controversial painting of Monalisa, you’re selfie has a lot of photobomers, hahaha

  21. Paris has been a dream place I wanted to visit if given a chance. I’m seeing the happiness you have got as you traipsed your feet to this beautiful place. Those building structures that are really rich in good designs is really something would make my day I’m there. You owned a stunning photos and a words that both have really rhymed together.

  22. Paris is my hometown, so I’m always really curious about travelers’ opinions. I loved this post because it’s honest and genuine and I get what you see in, positivity and negativity! The architecture is magnificent and the tours provided, even tho, I didn’t tried them at all, seems quite interesting for the price! Btw, your photos are amazing!

  23. Nice! I was in Paris back in 2004 but I was staying in Disney and only visited Paris and its hotels as it was part of my job then. I remember that I liked a lot the Opera building and the Eiffel Tower was amazing! I want to go back again with my wife and we ll for sure go to Louvre. Thanks for the article, it was interesting!

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