May 13, 2023
Paris is the city of love, lights, and croissants! I have been a fan of this beautiful city since childhood. I grew up watching Audrey Hepburn and dreaming of walking along the Seine River, dining at quaint bistros, and exploring the vibrant culture of the French capital.
This blog post will share why my first trip there was a bit of a misadventure and why I needed the Paris trip redo.
My first trip to Paris was about ten years ago with my husband, and I was a typical tourist. Paris was one stop of several European cities on our itinerary. Our stay was only a few days.
So we visited all the famous landmarks, and I took countless photos of the Eiffel Tower–like really a lot–that if you went by my photos, you’d think we didn’t see much else.
Photos of the Paris landscape with the Eiffel Tower
Pictures inside the Eiffel Tower
Snaps at the top of the Eiffel Tower
Photos of the back, left, right, and front of the Eiffel Tower
Do you see my point?
Don’t get me wrong; it was a great experience, but I didn’t know the honest Paris. It was like we passed through it on the way to other destinations, and since then, I have wanted a redo.
I wanted this redo so severely that when we were in London, my husband sugged we make an overnight trip to Paris. That was an absolute “no deal” for me. What is the point? It was like telling a kid you only have one hour to spend in Disney Land; we’re making a big U-turn. I felt that experiencing something that grand in another tiny piece would chip away at my dream.
I ensured no city hopping was involved when we booked our redo trip. Yes, you can fly here and there in Europe for this or that, but I didn’t want any of that. I wanted to see Paris. Paris is the only destination. I also wanted enough time to enjoy the simpler things, like doing nothing, so I could let my surroundings sink in. And that’s what we did, we family in tow.
I explored the city like a local on my recent trip to Paris. I researched, talked to locals, and discovered hidden gems most tourists miss. Here are my top three favorite things to do in Paris:
One of the most exciting things about Paris is its vibrant culture. There is so much to explore, from the architecture to the art scene. However, my favorite thing is to experience the local way of life.
I like to start my day with a croissant and coffee at a local bakery, then stroll through the streets and admire the stunning architecture. I also love visiting local markets, chatting with vendors, and trying new foods.
Our apartment in Passey was near some great spots. I listed the Google Maps links so you can save them too.
La Grande Epicerie de Paris – This is a beautiful gourmet market where I spent at least ten minutes in awe of the wall of jams. We shopped here for charcuterie dinner for our one night in.
Marche de Passey – We got to this market on our first day, so we sat for a lunch of fresh oysters and wine in our jetlagged state.
Paris is known for its fashion, and there are plenty of high-end boutiques and designer stores to explore. However, thrift shopping is the way to go if you’re on a budget or just like vintage clothing. Paris has some of the best vintage and thrift stores, and you can find some unique pieces at affordable prices.
One of my favorite thrift stores is Kilo Shop, where you pay by the weight of the clothes you choose. I also love Free’P’Star, where you can find a mix of vintage and trendy clothes. The best part of thrift shopping in Paris is that most stores are clustered together in the same neighborhood so you can hop from one to another.
Paris is famous for its cuisine, and there are countless restaurants. However, my favorite places to eat are the quaint restaurants that offer traditional French dishes. I didn’t want anything fancy, just delicious food and a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. I also wanted to avoid doing the research while in Paris, so using our address in Paris I checked all restaurants with Google Maps and saved the ones that I wanted to try. When we got hungry, I had a list ready–no screen time needed.
In conclusion, Paris is a city that has something for everyone. Paris is a must-visit destination, from the stunning architecture and art scene to the vibrant culture and cuisine.
So, why visit Paris at least twice? Because the first time, you’ll be a classic tourist, and the second time, you’ll get to explore the honest Paris. And who knows, maybe you’ll have your hilarious misadventures to share. So, pack your bags, and don’t forget to contact our studio to share it with us.
Angela Atelier is a New Jersey-based portrait and personal branding photography studio in Perth Amboy, NJ, empowering women everywhere to live their best life. Want to learn more about how we help women discover themselves through portrait photography? Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.