Exploring the City of Lights

Paris is definitely one of my favorite cities in Europe. Walking along the uneven narrow streets makes me feel as though I have been transported to another time period. I love the vendors along the Seine selling old records and art. I love the book stores filled with both modern and classic literature and of course, I love the plethora of patisseries! I am borderline obsessed with French culture and find one of my favorite things to do in Paris is just wanter the city, taking in all of the history, the people and its undeniable beauty.


Quintessentially Parisian: Paris is full of so much beauty in the small intricacies such as architectural details, flower stands and ornate doors. It’s a city where you want to look up as often as possible to see the unique Mansard roofs, wrought iron balconies and brightly painted shutters. I found most of my photographs were of random architecture opposed to famous sights.

| Odette Cafe in the Latin Quarter |

The Eiffel Tower: The Eiffel Tower is arguably the most popular tourist destination in Paris. The first time I saw it, I had to stop and stare for a while because it is so stunning. On this past trip I finally made it to the top and could not believe the incredible views of the city. I highly recommend waiting in the ridiculous line because it moves quickly and the views will not disappoint!

| the view from the top |

Notre Dame: I had studied the ornate details of Norte Dame in my architectural history classes, but nothing could compare to seeing the intricate gothic style details in person. Similarly to the Eiffel Tower, once inside, I had to stop for a minute to take it all in. I loved seeing the exterior of the cathedral in the evening once the crowds had died down. Notre Dame had the most beautiful rose colored glow as the sun set.


The two shops I was most excited to go to were the famous Shakespeare and Company and the original Diptyque candle store on 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain. Both exceeded my expectations!

Diptyque: Although very small and not unlike the Diptyque stores in the U.S, I was overjoyed to visit the original store and get a run down of all their scents. I spent a half hour slowly smelling everything before leaving with the Genevrier candle, which will forever remind me of that trip to Paris.

Shakespeare and Company: I had to go to a bookstore once frequented by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway! I couldn’t leave without getting something, so I purchased Tender is the Night (which I already own, but couldn’t resist the pretty cover). The staff stamps your book upon checkout so you will always have a unique token.

La Petite Boutique: I got some of my favorite dainty jewelry, including my frequently worn gold Paris ring, at this adorable store in the Latin Quarter.


Paris is filled with gorgeous, lush parks in the middle of the city. Two of my favorites are the Luxembourg Gardens and Tuileries Garden, directly across from the Louvre. Each park has ample open space making it ideal for a picnic or an afternoon of reading in the grass.

Luxembourg Gardens:

Touileries Garden


The Louvre: Although extremely crowded, it is very cool to go inside the Louvre at least once. The heard of people in front of the Mona Lisa was a bit disappointing, but expected. I preferred browsing the empty galleries and discovering art I had never seen before.

Musee De Cluny: We happened to stumble upon this gorgeous Medieval structure located in the 5th Arrondissement, which is home to some incredible sculptures and tapestries.  My favorite feature was a breathtaking gothic ceiling located in the tapestry gallery.

| Looking up at the ceiling |

Musee d’Orsay: By far my favorite museum in Paris, the d’Orsay is filled with pieces by some of my favorite artists including Monet, Degas and Van Gogh. The galleries are not nearly as crowded as the Louvre, letting you take your time to enjoy the beauty of the artwork.

| Inside the famous clock at the d’Orsay |

M Y   F A V O R I T E   E A TS

Cafe: Odette

Baguette: Eric Kayser

Macaroons: Laduree & Gerard Mulot  

Cheese: Androuet

Cocktails: Tiger & Le Proscope

I am already craving another trip back to Paris to see more sights, eat more bread and immerse myself in their culture by taking time to really discover aspects of the city I have yet to see!

  1. Chrissy McDonald says:

    Thank you Reena! That is so exciting, I hope you have a wonderful trip!

  2. Renatah Reena Hart says:

    Love this blog post!!! I will be in Paris next month, and will def stop by these places!

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