Paris, France has long been known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but it’s not until you actually get there that you realize just how extraordinary it really is. We recently traveled there with AtourtoParis and came back with some amazing stories to tell and memories that will last us forever! If you’re planning on going soon, be sure to get in touch with AtourtoParis now so they can help you plan the perfect trip of your dreams!
Why we chose this tour company
We chose to go with A World of Travel, a tour company out of Washington DC because they gave us the best deal and their reviews were great. We knew we wanted to go on an adventurous trip, but we didn’t want it to be too crazy that we couldn’t enjoy ourselves.
This trip was perfect for us; it is a very soothing trip as well as being very adventurous and giving us a lot of opportunity to see everything there is to see in Paris. The price was also good considering all of these things combined. The budget-friendly aspect of our trip made it possible for us to afford more than just one night in Paris which we enjoyed immensely! This tour company helped us get everything planned and ready so that once we got there, all we had to do was have fun! They even helped us find cheap flights so that our vacation wouldn’t cost much at all. We were able to save money on our hotel because they booked us into an affordable but still nice hotel.
We were able to save money on food because they gave us a list of great restaurants around where we stayed, plus they gave us some coupons for free appetizers or desserts at some restaurants too! We loved that they kept track of how many miles we walked each day and rewarded us with prizes for reaching certain milestones like walking 10 miles or visiting five different museums. I never knew something like that existed before but now I think it would be cool if walking goals were incorporated into every vacation I take from now on.
The day trip began with a visit to the Louvre, which was fascinating
It houses art and artefacts from 5,000 years of human history. After spending several hours touring some of its galleries, we headed outside to see Napoleon’s Arc de Triomphe (or, as I call it, Elbow de Triomphe), which is located at one end of Champs Elysees. It is also worth noting that Arc de Triomphe was not only a memorial to Napoleon’s military victories but also a tribute to his first great love—Josephine. Champs Elysees was charming and lively with people enjoying their lunch outdoors or shopping for souvenirs in its many stores.
We stopped at Laduree, a French patisserie famous for its macarons. The store has been around since 1862 and sells more than 30 different flavours of macarons today. If you like chocolate, you’ll be pleased to know that they have an entire section dedicated to chocolate-flavoured macarons! We then visited Notre Dame Cathedral on Île de la Cité where we saw beautiful stained glass windows depicting scenes from Jesus’ life and death along with ornate carvings on stone columns inside. It was a truly spiritual experience walking through it.
We ended our day trip in Montmartre, which is known as one of Paris’s most popular neighbourhoods because it is home to many artists and musicians who live in small apartments there. It is also home to Moulin Rouge (the red windmill), which was painted by Toulouse Lautrec in 1891. It’s now one of France’s most popular tourist attractions thanks to its cabaret shows featuring dancing girls dressed in corsets and fishnets (yikes!). Although my tour group didn’t get tickets for any shows, we did enjoy some yummy crepes while wandering around Montmartre before heading back to central Paris by train. Overall, it was a remarkable trip that I won’t soon forget!
We stopped at Notre Dame cathedral on our way to lunch
A religious tourist must-see. When you climb up to see its towering ceiling, it’s hard not to be awed by its size and beauty. The size of Notre Dame is impressive in itself, but standing under its soaring arches and looking upward at stained glass windows that depict tales from biblical times makes it even more so. With a gothic foundation based on medieval methods.
Notre Dame cathedral stands as a symbol of an era long past but never forgotten. If you’re planning your own trip to Paris and are looking for places to visit while there, make sure you stop at Notre Dame cathedral—you won’t regret it! We even stopped in again on our way back from dinner that night; we loved it so much we just had to see it one more time before we left town.
And if you happen to be a religious tourist like us, take note: although church officials ask that visitors not wear shorts or sleeveless shirts, they do allow shorts during warmer months when visiting in general (in other words, no need to change clothes). However, tourists should still avoid wearing tank tops or swimsuits if possible. Regardless of what you wear or how short your trip is though, be sure not to miss out on Notre Dame cathedral during your next vacation in Paris!
After enjoying lunch, we visited Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is actually named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, and was built as a monument to honor and celebrate France’s industry. It took 2 years to build and opened in 1889. When it first opened it was 324 meters (1,063 feet) tall; but when they renovated it in 1912 they added another story bringing it up to 300 meters (984 feet).
Today over 6 million people visit it every year with more than 200 million more looking at it online. Then we went on a walking tour of Paris that took us through some historic districts including Bastille, which is considered to be one of Europe’s most important national monuments for revolution. It was built in 1190 and demolished in 1789 as part of an event known as The Great Revolution.
The area was then turned into a public square and still remains so today. We also visited Notre Dame Cathedral; which was completed in 1345 and can hold up to 10,000 worshipers. It has survived many wars throughout history but suffered damage during World War II when its stained glass windows were removed and destroyed by Nazis who used them for target practice. Finally we ended our day visiting The Louvre Museum where we saw Monalisa; Venus de Milo; Winged Victory; The Mona Lisa; and many other priceless pieces of art from around Europe. It’s truly an amazing place you won’t soon forget!
The tour ended with a quick stop at Napoleon’s tomb
On Napoleon’s death in 1821, his remains were brought back to France and given a second funeral at Les Invalides. However, before being interred for good, his brain was removed. Now his skull sits in a glass casket at Les Invalides with many of his personal effects from life as emperor (if you’re thinking about staging your own return from exile and taking over France—or if you just love super creepy cultish objects—it’s worth a visit). During our tour we also got to see Napoleon’s bathtub, which is quite small for such a large man. However, it had great acoustics.
The tour took us past many more famous monuments and buildings, such as Notre Dame, but also through lesser-known but equally fascinating neighborhoods. My favorite part of our visit was when we stopped at a food market in a neighborhood called Le Marais. Vendors sold sausages, cheese and bread right out of their windows and we had to dodge tourists who would stop to buy a baguette or some freshly squeezed orange juice.
We even got to see frogs sizzling in oil at one stall. It’s true that Paris is always a good idea, but sometimes it’s nice to take things slow and enjoy something off-the-beaten path with someone you love.
Our overall impression
We had high expectations for our tour of Paris, and they were far exceeded. Not only was our guide was extremely well-spoken and knowledgeable, but he tailored his tour to be relevant to both our interests and abilities. This is a wonderful option for any traveller looking for an adventurous trip without breaking your budget. Our entire group agreed that we would all love to return to Paris in the future, and it will certainly remain on our list of top travel destinations. If you haven’t considered visiting yet, consider adding it to your bucket list today!