Paris is Always a Good Idea
By Elisabeth Heyde, London Internship Program, Summer
My friends and I decided to spend the weekend in Paris, France. We took the Eurostar to Paris for the weekend. The Eurostar is a train that takes you from London to Paris going under the Channel. It’s very convenient and fast, taking you from St. Pancras to Gare de Nord in about two hours and saving you the trip from the city to the airport.
Paris is the most beautiful city in the world. It’s full of amazing architecture, gorgeous gardens, and chicly dressed people. It is completely untrue that Parisians are rude. They are some of the nicest people I have ever met.
There are several places that every first-time visitor must see.
- The Eiffel Tower is even more impressive in person than in any picture. Every hour the Eiffel Tower lights up and at night, it is always glowing. Personally, I would recommend seeing it during daylight and night-time as the two views are different, yet equally stunning.
- The two most well-known museums in Paris are the Louvre, and the Musee d'Orsay. Entry to museums is free on Sundays. However, the line to get into the Louvre can be hours long so it is recommended to buy tickets in advance.
- The Notre Dame in the Latin Quarter and the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre are two of the most beautiful churches in Paris. It is a bit of a climb to get to the Sacre Coeur but the incredible view of Paris is well worth it.
- A block away from Notre Dame is Shakespeare and Company, the famous English bookstore where Fitzgerald and Hemingway wrote. It is still a functioning bookstore today where you can buy books and read for an afternoon. You might even get lucky and get to play with the cat that wanders around upstairs.
- There are any beautiful gardens in Paris. The Tuileries Gardens next to the Louvre are lovely. The Luxembourg Gardens are also impressive. In the Luxembourg Gardens, there is the Medici Fountain and a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
- The Champs-Elysees might be overpriced for shopping, but the view of the Arc de Triomphe is well worth the trip.
It is no myth that French food is delicious. Macarons are one of the best French treats. Macarons are two cookies with cream in between them and come in a range of flavours from chocolate to raspberry to caramel. I recommend Laudree on the Champs-Elysees for the best macaron. However, it is difficult to find a bad macaron.
Just remember that every time you begin a conversation to start with a “bonjour”. Even if that is the only French you know, it’s nice to put in the effort and will be appreciated. Parisians can usually tell when you are American and will switch to English anyway.
Elisabeth is a student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is blogging from her summer abroad with the London Internship Program, Summer program, in London, England.