After having a wonderful time in our dream destination Switzerland, we now reached to Paris. This place was always in my mind to visit due to its landmark Eiffel tower. Other than this iconic landmark, Paris is also a center for art, fashion, and culture. Cityscape of Paris is crisscrossed by wide boulevards along the River Seine, showcasing buildings with great architecture. It is the most visited capital city in Europe. We also included Disneyland Paris in our bucket list so that our kids have lot of fun. This is the only Disney Land in Europe so we decided to spend a day there during our trip in Europe.
After we settled in our apartment, we are ready to go out for Eiffel tower tour, but we were hungry we didn’t have our lunch in the TGV train. We have our lunch in nearby Indian restaurant and after fueling up our body we decided to move ahead. We are staying near Arc de Triomphe and decided to walk and go up to the Eiffel Tower. We choose to walk on Kléber street to get a firsthand experience of Paris architectural beauty. Every street in Paris have its own charm and beautifully crafted. By walk we reached to Palais de Chaillot near Eiffel tower. It was so amazing to visit this place which we have seen in so many movies and lots of Bollywood songs. After taking lots of pictures there we went to the Eiffel tower entrance gate at our designated time.
During peak season if you are going for an unplanned visit to for Eiffel Tower, you may spend at least 2 hours in the line for buying the ticket. Ticket lines during the busy peak season can extend to several-hours long.
If your itinerary is ready and you want to visit Eiffel Tower book a ticket online as soon as it is available on the website. All the online tickets are sold with date and the time slot for entry, you cannot use those ticket outside those hours/date (admission allowed up to 30 minutes from the time slot marked on the ticket). If you have purchased online ticket you can directly go to the “Visitors with Tickets” lines, which are usually shorter than the ticket booth queues.
We had already purchased online ticket for our first day arrival. So, we directly went to the “visitor with ticket” line which was shot at the day and within half an hour we are at the Summit. You can buy your online tickets from the official website, available 60 days in advance.
Type of tickets;
There are three types of ticket sold at Eiffel Tower;
Ticket up to the second floor using elevator
Ticket up to the Summit
Tickets for the second floor via the stairs
In the first 2 ticket, you have the option to use the elevator and go up to the second floor/ Summit and return from the second floor to the ground via elevator or the stairs. Note that the summit of the tower can only be reached via the second-floor elevators.
You can stay at the Eiffel Tower an indefinite amount of time until closing hour. Take your time and enjoy the view, but remember that there is also a huge line for coming down by elevator.
Eiffel Tower is lighted by 20000 bulbs in the night giving a spectacular view. This light show start at dusk every day and run for 5 minute every hour. During summer time its approximately from 9 PM.
If you are unable to get the time slot online and you don’t want to spend hours in the line during peak season, then you have to approach any travel agent / online ticket resellers who can provide you a guided tour with skip the line tickets. These tickets are very costly but as a last option you can use them.
Paris is known for its bakeries or boulangeries which you can find everywhere in every Street. For our daily breakfast we went to a bakery nearby our apartment. Every day we are trying something new freshly baked item in breakfast and it’s a great start for the day.
Today our plan was to visit Notre Dame Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle. We catch Metro for Hotel De Ville and from there we walked up to the Notre Dame through Pont D’Arcole Bridge. From metro station, first we went to the hotel De Ville courtyard and spend some time there. The town hall is beautiful but the actual Hotel de Ville is not open for tourists.
From here we walked all the way down up to Notre-Dame Cathedral. We watched this beautiful cathedral from all the sides but we did not make inside the cathedral. There was a huge crowd outside and the queue was running up to the next street covering the whole open area in front of the cathedral. So, we decided to skip this and went to the Sainte-Chapelle.
The Sainte-Chapelle is considered among the greatest Gothic masterpieces of the Christendom with the richest decoration found inside. The shrine is famous for housing an exceptional collection of 13th century stained-glass. It was built over 6 years, from 1242 to 1248, to house the relics of the Passion of Christ or what the King thought was the original Crown of Thorns.
The Sainte-Chapelle is constructed at two levels; the Lower Chapel and the Upper Chapel. The lower chapel was the place of worship for the palace staff. The commoners and servants only got to see downstairs of the chapel where the gift shop is now located. The lower chapel looks somewhat underwhelming until you go to the upper floor.
From the tiny doorway near the entrance, stairs to go upstairs are tiny and winding. Only the King and his royal family were allowed to go upstairs to the Upper Chapel. When we reach upstairs the views where breathtaking with all of the stained-glass windows. Chapel side walls are constructed with huge stained-glass window from all three sides and there is a rose window on the top. These stained-glass windows are painted with the story of the Bible, Genesis and the Resurrection of Jesus-Christ. The stained glasses are the oldest in Paris from 13 century.
We went there on an overcast day, still the stained glasses were looking stunning. For a breathtaking view you should visit Sainte-Chapelle on a bright sunny day. This place is a must-see in Paris and it will truly inspire you.
Sainte-Chapelle tickets are sold online and, on the location, also. Normally the ticket line runs 10 to 15 minutes only but you can buy the ticket online before going there. Tickets purchase online are valid for one year from the date of purchase. You can purchase the tickets online from their official website.
We walk around in the area for some time watching beautiful views and Persian architecture. From there we left to Gare du Nord station for lunch. I take heavy lunch after that I want to take some rest so I decided to go to our apartment. We return to apartment for a nap and this small nap lasted for many hours. Our afternoon plan was to go to Sacre Coeur in the Montmartre area. This place was in our bucket list but we are unable to make it.
Arc de Triomphe
In the evening we planned to visit Arc de Triomphe. The Arc de Triomphe was inaugurated in 1836 by French king, Louis-Philippe, who dedicated it to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire. The Unknown Soldier was buried at the base of the arch in 1921. The flame of remembrance is rekindled every day at 18:30.
The Arc de Triomphe offers a wonderful view across the city and all the way down the Champs elyseè but we already went to the Eiffel Tower a day before and have the panoramic view of the city. So, we don’t want to climb the stairs for view. The arch is better viewed from below & far and you can capture its complete beauty from across the street.
From there again we went to the Palais de Chaillot to spend some time there and view the Eiffel Tower. Jardins du Trocadéro, Palais de Chaillot and Pont D’lena bidge are the best place to view and photograph Eiffel Tower. After some sightseeing, our evening plan is to go for a seine river cruise. when we went at the Port Debilly for catching a river cruise we were welcomed by a huge crowed. Looks like everybody want an evening river cruise. Boats and ticket counter both are looking overcrowded so we decided to skip this and sit near the Eiffel Tower and spend some time there.
Day – 3
The day was planned for visiting Disneyland. We started late from our apartment but spend quality time in Disneyland and kids having lot of fun. For Disneyland trip read this;
Day – 4
Our Paris trip was short but it was excellent. Now we have to move to our next destination Amsterdam. All the trains to Amsterdam and London left Paris from Gare du Nord station. For Paris to Amsterdam train service read this;
Vegetarian food in Paris
In Paris there are plenty of options for vegetarian food. Other than the bakery shops there are few restaurants which are vegetarian only and most of them are located in the Gare du Nord area. There is a street, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, where all of these vegetarian hotels are located next to each other. From Paris city center it takes only 15 minutes to reach to the Nord station, so we went there every day during our stay for lunch and dinner.
Practical Tip for visiting Paris
- If you want to visit Eiffel tower and your dates is fixed, book your tickets in advance. You can book 60 days in advance.
- If you are going to Eiffel Tower in summer, still carry windbreaker or light jacket with you. On the summit, it’s very windy and cold.
- Stay in central paris. You will save time and money on transportation. All the major tourist attraction is there and its safer than staying at some neighborhood on the edge of town where hotels are cheep.
- Beware of pick pocketing and street scams. These are very common in Paris.
- Wear a comfortable pair of shoes. Paris is best explored on foot.
- Do not wear any costly jewelries and watches while on street or crowded places in Paris.
- For vegetarian there are a lot of vegetarian only restaurant available in Paris mostly near the Gare du Nord station.