A couple of months ago I had a day trip to Paris. This was something I had been thinking about for a few years, since before covid. I just fancied going for the day, on Eurostar from London, which given that I don’t actually live in London isn’t the easiest day trip – it involves staying in London so you can get the first train there and the last one back so you get the most time possible in Paris.
So that was exactly what I did. I managed to book a lovely Airbnb near St Pancras and booked the second train of the day to Paris, which which arrived in Paris at 10:30. A perfect time to start my day out. You actually do all passport checks and immigration in London, which means when you arrive in Paris you are straight into Paris, no waiting for anything.
One of the key reasons I fancied going on the train is that when you arrive you are in central Paris, unlike when you fly in. I only caught the metro twice, and both journeys were quick, only a few stops.
I have been to Paris before, years ago, so this time I just wanted to wander around, soaking up the Parisian vibes, and admiring the architecture. As I only had a day I didn’t have any grand plans. I just wanted to walk around, which what I did. Apparently I walked 25,000 steps that day, around 17km.
The first place I went to was the Eiffel Tower. I had forgotten how truly stunning it is, especially on a gorgeous day with blue skies above it. I spent some time there, taking photos from all angles and just appreciating the splendour of it.
From there, I headed to the Seine and walked along it, admiring the buildings and architecture that I saw. I had forgotten how truly beautiful some of the buildings are in Paris, such as these gorgeous apartments directly opposite the Eiffel Tower.
One of the highlights of the walk along the Seine is the Pont Alexander bridge, with its ornate lamp posts.
And further along the Seine is the Musee d’Orsay which is used to be a train station and is now an art gallery. I also went briefly to Angelina Patisserie, which is a winner on 2 fronts – firstly, it’s another beautiful building, and second, it sells the most awesome looking cakes I think I’ve ever seen.
It was hot that day, approaching 30 degrees which isn’t ideal in a big city, so I went into the Jardin de Tuileries for a sit down and rest in the shade. It was lovely in there, nice and shady under the trees, and quiet away from the worst of the traffic noise.
After a rest in the shade, enjoying my Angelina Patisserie cake, I hit the streets again and headed towards the Louvre. I didn’t go in, just wandered around the courtyard, admiring the architecture – I really do have a soft spot for big grandiose buildings.
From there I went to the Notre Dame, sadly still closed after the fire a few years ago – due to the hoardings outside for the ongoing restoration work you obviously can’t go right up to it, but there are areas where you can still appreciate the craftsmanship in the building and stonework. I also had a quick walk round the neighbourhood, doing more building appreciation.
By this point, it was time to head to Gare du Nord, to join what turned out to be a lengthy and slow moving queue for check-in, passport control and eventually the train.