We decided to add an extra day onto our time in Paris, away from the tour. And we are glad we did! Paris is so big and has so much to see that you could easily spend a week there and not see it all. I’m glad we stayed extra on a because 1 – It was sunny and we had blue skies and 2 – The street artists came out and we could finally buy some art!
We slept in until and then took a taxi from our hotel in La Defense to the center of Paris, the Notre Dame area. We were staying at the Holiday Inn Notre Dame and it took about 20 minutes and €30 to get there by taxi. We checked in and no surprise, our room wasn't ready. But they held our luggage for us and off we went! We walked and picked up some breakfast croissants at Eric Kayser and we ate and walked to the Luxembourg Gardens. Everything was so green and lovely! We took some pictures and then we were on our way to Sainte-Chapelle. We didn't have the museum pass so we had to wait in line, first for security and then to get in. All-in-all it took about 30 minutes (but wouldn't you know that when we left there was no line for either!).
Sainte-Chapelle was lovely and totally worth doing! From what I can tell the queue is never too long and if you have the museum pass you’ll get in even quicker.
After Saint-Chapelle we walked past Notre Dame took lots of pictures and then went and put a lock on the Pont de l'Archeveche bridge...how romantic! :P Silly I know but something I wanted to do.
Then we headed to Ile Saint-Louis to get some ice cream from Berthillon. And yes, it was about 10:30 in the morning. We made our way past Hotel de Ville, city hall, and continued down Rue de Rivoli where we ended at Angelina. Again, Angelina is a famous/popular place to get macaroons and sweets and is worth a stop. I think they are a little less expensive than Laduree. We walked across the street to the Tuleries to eat our treats.
We started to head back to our hotel and we decided to take the long way and pass by The Invalides. The Invalides is a complex that contains anything pertaining to the military history of France. We continued our way via Saint-Germain. Saint-Germain is another popular shopping street in Paris but not as big and crowded as Champs Elysees and it still has all the popular stores.
I'll cover our hotel at the Holiday Inn Notre Dame Monday! See my posts about the Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge, and the Palace of Versailles.