Weekend in Paris: Exploring Paris

Paris is a great city. That being said, while I like it, I can’t say I love it. Maybe it’s that everyone else seems to love it so much (along with Rome), while I just don’t find it quite as exciting as my favorite cities. It has everything you could ask for in a big city, though I just don’t connect with it in the same way I do with London, Vienna, Hong Kong, or Tokyo, just to name a few, even though I’ve visited a handful of times. With that in mind, I’ll keep this installment fairly short.

After breakfast at my hotel I met up with Matthew for a day of sightseeing. We met at my hotel and hit most of the “major” sights of Paris, of course while being distracted talking for most of the way.

We started by walking down the Champs Elysees, then towards the Opera, Madeleine, and then towards the Seine, past the Notre Dame and towards the Eiffel Tower. We stopped for lunch at a fairly empty cafe where I had a tomato and mozzarella salad (with excellent French bread, of course).

After several hours of walking he had another commitment, so I decided to walk towards Gare du Nord, as I was spending the night at the Hyatt Regency Charles de Gaulle Airport, given my early morning flight the next day. I ended up getting lost for literally several hours, so managed to do quite a bit of unintentional sightseeing in the area.

Anyway, in hopes of finally wrapping up this trip report, I’ll let the pictures below do most of the talking.

Filed Under: Travel
  1. Thanks for the pictures Lucky. The sixth one of Eglise St Augustin brought a smile to my face. It was our landmark in the city as our apartment was only two blocks down Malesherbes from it.

    As to your feel of not loving the city I can understand it. Paris, more than any other city I’ve been to, seems to have two faces. There is the face she shows to the casual tourist and the face she shows to the resident. I was blessed to see both sides and while I have other cities I love more for one reason or another I find myself drawn back to Paris.

  2. Not love Paris? Heresy! Especially with those magnificent pictures. We go back again and again and again.

    But since you’re so bright and so useful to me, I’ll give you a pass!

  3. I’ve only visited Paris once, and while I agree it’s a great city, I also didn’t connect with it as much… I went in November, so even though it was ostensibly the off season, it still felt really crowded and I was harassed by scam artists at pretty much every turn.

  4. Paris is a bit like like New York, it’s a great place to live but i would want to visit there. Ok, slight exaggeration. But for me the pleasures of Paris reveal themselves through both preparation and serendipity: stumbling across an exquisite view or piece of history, the fantastic out-of-the-way restaurant that doesn’t break the budget, the charming cafe in a residential neighborhood. The major sights are certainly worth seeing but the soul of Paris lies elsewhere.

    Also, it’s not an immediately friendly place, so it helps to have a connection, as well as a bit of French under your belt.

  5. Not sure that Vienna could be classed as a big city, although it was the center of a great empire, which always makes a city more interesting.

    Personally, I like Paris more than Rome, but it’s not at all in the same category as London or New York, or even Hong Kong or Tokyo.

  6. Why did you stay out by the airport? The RER B starts running very early in the morning- 5 am or so, I think. You could have stayed near Gare du Nord and probably gotten out to CDG in the same amount of time- it’s a 30 minute train ride.

  7. I think that in order to enjoy Paris you have to take it easy; stay in the same hotel more than one night; not just walk around but actually enjoy and savor it.
    I can totally see you enjoying Tokyo which is wild and busy.
    I think Vienna plays to your germanic heritage and since you speak German, you would certainly enjoy it more.
    Not sure though how you can like London more than Paris.

  8. Love Paris and Paris will love you. Don’t love it, and it’s nothing more than a big, sometimes beautiful museum full of top attractions. Then you will only look at Paris, but never touch of feel what Paris really is about. First tip: dare to explore and wander of the beaten tourist track.

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