After arriving in Paris on Thursday evening, we explored our area near Saint Georges after checking in and ditching our bags in the hotel. We stayed at Hotel Lorette Opera in the 9th arrondissement, literally seconds from the metro station. The hotel was really lovely, although not particularly spacious, it was nicely decorated and clean – we spent most of our time exploring so a large hotel room wasn’t necessary!
On the Friday we started our day at the Pompidou Centre. I’ve discovered Paris is a wonderful place to explore between the ages of 18-25 and from the EU as almost all exhibitions are free or discounted! The Pompidou was free for the main exhibition, so off we went up the escalators that gave us such a lovely view of Paris – a beautiful city, although slightly grey on this rainy day. Inside the main exhibition was a mixture of modern art, some really interesting and thoughtful, some clever and colourful and a few other pieces in between. We spent 2 hours in here just wandering around.
In the photo above you can see me going out in the cold with my new coat and ridiculously comfy vans in order to explore the city – we did so much walking in the three days we were there!
After the Pompidou, we walked along to Notre Dame and admired the gargoyles and the beautiful architecture, before lighting candles inside. Afterwards, we went to my choice of the day: the Padlock Bridge behind Notre Dame, there were so many people there putting on their padlocks and throwing away the keys it was a lovely thing to see on Valentine’s Day.
After walking along the bridge we walked towards the Musee d’Orsay, a beautiful old train station – I can’t lie, we mostly went to admire the building rather than the art (also free), and then walked back across the river into the Louvre.
After admiring the Mona Lisa and joining the many tourists taking selfies in front of the masterpiece, we walked along towards the Concorde through the gardens and got myself my first French crepe – incredible with chocolate inside. This was my reward for skipping dessert earlier in the day ha!
The boy had been stressing over where to go for our Valentine’s meal for a good week or so in England, so I asked my friend Aggie (who is currently on her year abroad in Paris – incroyable!), who recommended this initimate little place on Rue de Oberkampf called Chez Justine.
We were seated upstairs – one thing I’ve found about Parisian restaurants is you have to be very slim to wind round and fit through between all the tables they put in. However, we both tried French Onion Soup for starters and then the boy tried a meatball burger (messy!) while I had breaded chicken. The chips were incredible, as was the burger, but it was so filling! A definite recommendation for anyone visiting Paris!