A weekend in most romantic city in the world – Paris


Last weekend, I jetted off to Paris to see my bestie and boy, it was fun! Since she moved out of Denmark, it’s become our tradition to catch up somewhere in Europe and just enjoy each other company. And, as per usual, we didn’t plan a damn thing. I mean, I didn’t even know which airport I was landing at! But hey, that’s just part of the adventure when hanging out with her <3 We just wing it and always end up having a blast. Sometimes, not planning can be more fun than sticking to a rigid schedule. Trust me, if you haven’t experienced it yet, you’re missing out!

Well, let me tell you, both my trips to Paris were anything but serene. The first time I visited in 2016, a flood caused the Louvre and Orsay museums to close for days. It was interesting this time to see all the pathways next to the river that were hidden because of the flood last time. 

This trip, things took an even more chaotic turn. We were greeted by a sea of policemen on the streets, all because the French were protesting their retirement reform. And with the country in a state of a strike, public transport was barely functional, and the whole city was knee-deep in the trash because no one was around to clean it up. I swear, visiting Paris is always an adventure!

What to do

If you’re planning a trip to this magical city and wondering what to see, let me tell you what I’ve been doing there. Beware, though; the city might not quite meet your romanticized vision of a city of love, croissants, and berets. You will, instead, be faced with a bustling, fast-paced metropolis, and the only berets you will notice will be on tourists’ heads. Don’t misunderstand; the city is still beautiful, so get lost in the streets and enjoy the beautiful alleys.

Fun fact: Some Japanese visitors have such high expectations of Paris that they experience a severe culture shock when they arrive. This condition even got a name – the “Paris Syndrome”.

Let’s start with the iconic places every tourist wants to see once they visit the city.

Eiffel Tower

The most iconic landmark in all of Paris and sure not to be missed, even if you only want to snap a photo with it at the bottom.

Did you know the tower was originally built as a temporary structure for the 1889 World’s Fair? Yup, it was only meant to stand for 20 years. But here we are, over a century later, and it’s still standing strong. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the most visited fee-charging monument in the world. Since it opened in 1889, a whopping 250 million people have visited it.

If you want to avoid the crowds at the Eiffel Tower, you gotta be strategic about it. The earlier you show up, the fewer crowds there will be. Make sure to buy tickets online beforehand, as there is no need to stand in two queues – the one for buying the ticket and the one for getting up the tower. The busiest time of year is from mid-July to late August, and the quietest times are weekdays during the winter.

One way to skip the line is to make a reservation in the restaurant. Both restaurants have a separate entrances, so you don’t have to deal with the crowds. If you’re feeling casual, head to 58 Tour Eiffel on the 1st floor, or if you’re feeling fancy, head to Le Jules Verne on the 2nd level for a fine dining experience. 

If you are unafraid of climbing the stairs, you can skip quite a long line and save some money. In 2016, we swapped 4h in line for the elevator to 30 minutes of the queue and some exercise. The 704 steps will take you to the 2nd floor, where you can catch the elevator to the top.

Here are the available options when you want to buy a ticket to climb the Eiffel tower: 

  • By stairs: to the first + second floor only
  • By stairs + lift: to the first + second floors + lift to the third floor. On sale only on-site.
  • By lift: to the first + second floor 
  • By lift: to the First + second + third floors

Montparnasse Tower

 If you want a killer view of the Eiffel Tower without any pesky obstructions, you gotta head to the Montparnasse Tower. The Montparnasse Tower itself isn’t exactly a looker. But who cares about looks when you’ve got views like this? This skyscraper was built in the ’70s, and it’s the second tallest building in the city at a whopping 210 meters. 

And here’s the kicker – the observation deck is open 365 days a year from morning to night. So you can stay up there as long as you want, soaking in the sights and sounds of Paris. 

My tip? Go up in the late afternoon so you can catch the day/sunset views, and then watch as the tower lights up like a Christmas tree at night.

More on the official website.

Louvre museum

The Louvre museum is the world’s largest art and antiques museum and the most visited museum on the planet. 

Initially constructed as a fortress in 1190, the Louvre was connected to the Phillip August wall. In 1546, it transformed into the official residence of the French monarchy, with subsequent alterations to the palace giving rise to its present-day appearance. Following Louis XIV’s decision to relocate to Versailles, the Louvre served as a privileged art gallery for the affluent and prominent members of society. The French Revolution prompted a change of heart, and the Louvre was opened up to the general public as a public art gallery, a status it has held ever since.

Get ready to have your mind blown by some of the most famous artworks in the world, including the one and only Mona Lisa – you know, that mysterious lady with the half-smile that makes everyone go crazy. But let’s be real; the Louvre is not just about the Mona Lisa. There are tons of other amazing pieces to check out. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to medieval armor, this museum has it all. 

Now, before you get too excited, be prepared for a bit of a crowd. The Louvre is basically the Disneyland of museums, except instead of rides, you get to look at paintings and sculptures. And trust me, there are a lot of them. If you want to see everything, you might need to pack a lunch and some comfy shoes.

Pro tip: Most visitors come to swell the queues in front of the Pyramid. So, choose the entrance via the Carrousel du Louvre shopping center, which guarantees a smoother passage.

Remember to buy your tickets ahead of time. You can do it here.

Notre-Dame cathedral

Notre-Dame is an iconic cathedral located in the heart of Paris, France. The cathedral is one of the most visited landmarks in the city, and it’s easy to see why. The Gothic architecture of Notre-Dame is simply stunning, with its intricate carvings, flying buttresses, and towering spires.

The cathedral was constructed in the 12th century and has seen its share of history. It survived wars, revolutions, and even a fire in 2019 that caused significant damage. Despite this setback, the cathedral is being restored to its former glory, and hopefully, in couple of years, we will be able to go inside again.

I was lucky enough to see it inside in 2016, and it was stunning; the Rose Window, one of the world’s largest stained glass windows, was a highlight for me. The colors were so vibrant, and the intricate patterns were awe-inspiring.

Arc de Triomphe

Located at the top of the Champs-Elysees is the Arc de Triomphe, offering visitors one of the most breathtaking views of Paris. Gazing down from the top of the Arc, you’ll be able to take in the entire stretch of the Champs-Elysees with a panoramic view from the Louvre to La Defense and admire the city’s skyline and the iconic Eiffel Tower from a unique perspective. At night, the stunning view of the sparkling city (including the Eiffel Tower) is an absolute must-see experience.

Paris Catacombs

The Paris Catacombs was one place I wanted to see but failed each time I was in Paris. My travel companions were not really into the visit, so I skipped it for the next time.

Delve beneath the bustling streets of Paris and embark on a journey to one of the city’s most captivating sites. Housing the remains of six million Parisians, the catacombs are not for the faint-hearted! 

These subterranean tunnels, dating back to the 13th century, were initially utilized for limestone mining, which played a crucial role in constructing the city’s iconic structures. As Paris continued to expand rapidly in the late 18th century, the old quarries began to cave in under the city’s weight. At the same time, the cemeteries were facing the problem of overcrowding. The catacombs were regarded as an ideal solution that would address both issues. The transfer of old remains to the underground mines averted their collapse and alleviated overcrowding in the cemeteries. Ever since they opened to the public in the early 19th century, the catacombs have been a fascinating attraction and remain an unparalleled destination in the city.

There are significant wait times, so buy tickets in advance. If you visit in the evening, you might encounter smaller crowds.

More on the official website.

Atelier des Lumieres

One of my friend’s coworkers suggested we visit Atelier des Lumieres – a digital art center located in the heart of Paris. As a big fan of TeamLab, I agreed to it immediately. Even though this was not as advanced as TeamLab work, I still enjoyed discovering art in a new way.

It offers visitors a unique and immersive experience, transporting them to different eras and cultures through an audio-visual journey. Using state-of-the-art technology, the center projects stunning visuals onto the walls, ceilings, and floors of the spacious hall, creating a sensory overload that is both captivating and awe-inspiring. The artworks showcased at Atelier des Lumières are diverse, ranging from classical masterpieces to contemporary creations, and are accompanied by an original soundtrack that perfectly complements the visuals. 

More about it here.

Trips near Paris

Paris is already full of fun things to do, but if you’re craving even more excitement, check out these other spots!

Disneyland Paris

Get ready to be whisked away to the happiest place on earth, right here in Paris! Disneyland Paris is where you can hang out with Mickey, Minnie, and all your favorite Disney characters. Get your adrenaline pumping on some thrilling rides, indulge in some delicious treats, and catch some of the best shows on this side of the Atlantic. With themed lands like Fantasyland, Adventureland, and Discoveryland, Disneyland Paris will leave you feeling like a kid again!

Versailles Palace

This magnificent palace, located just outside of Paris, was once the residence of King Louis XIV and has been beautifully preserved over the years. With its stunning gardens, ornate halls, and lavish furnishings, the Palace of Versailles is a sight to behold. Take a stroll through the expansive gardens dotted with fountains and statues. Step inside the Hall of Mirrors, explore the King’s Apartments and marvel at the intricate details of the palace’s architecture.

 Official website.

How to move around the city


Using the metro in Paris is usually straightforward, provided the city isn’t on strike. During my first trip there, we relied on it quite a bit. Believe it or not, the Paris subway line is the third-longest in all of Europe! Yup, it’s right up there with London and Madrid. So no matter where you are in the city of love, you can always hop on the metro and get to your destination faster than a Frenchman can say “Ooh la la!”

Download the Citymapper app. According to my friend, it works better than Google Maps as it shows disruptions of the traffic and some extra perks like what side of the train to get out.


Oh, let me tell you about a fun way to get around Paris that doesn’t involve being squished in a subway car like a sardine! If you really want to discover the city while commuting, hop on an electric bike instead. My buddy and I spent an entire weekend cruising around on two-wheelers, and boy, did we have a blast.

There are dedicated bike lanes all over the place, and you can rent a bike at almost every corner. Now, I will warn you that biking in Paris can be a bit more chaotic than in Denmark, where everyone follows the rules and signals everything. But hey, if you’re from Eastern Europe like me, you’ll find it manageable.

My friend tried many of the different companies renting out bikes. Out of them, she recommended Dott app. Throughout the stay, we ended up buying bike passes, allowing us two rides of 30 minutes for 3.49€.

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