Paris Through the Eyes of a Tourist
By: Valeria Ramos
As someone who grew up reading Madeline, Paris has always had a permanent spot on my list of places to visit. This June, I was finally able to check that box off and discover the City of Lights for the first time, even if it was only for three days.
On arrival, I was thrilled to see how beautiful the Airbnb apartment we were staying in was. The apartment’s decor and Eiffel Tower view was like something straight off of Pinterest.
After unpacking and heading to the nearest cafe for lunch, our first destination was of course the Eiffel Tower. Scattered with picnic-goers, runners, and more, the park is clearly a favorite spot among both tourists and locals alike. There was no shortage of people taking pictures, vendors ambling around selling liquor, and faces smiling up at the landmark of Paris.
Walking around Paris was no doubt the best way to experience its beauty. Charming architecture and cafes on every corner made walking for miles in the summer heat bearable. People-watching was never so entertaining as it was while wandering through the streets of Paris.
One of my favorite moments of the trip was our stop at Montmartre, a district located in the 18th arrondissement. Here, we visited the Basilica du Sacre-Cour – an amazing cathedral sitting on a hill that overlooks the entire city.
A stop inside the church and some souvenir strolling around the area was the perfect way to explore Montmartre and take advantage of the great photo opportunities in the area.
While I was able to get a feel for the city in the short time I was there, I would love to go back and discover more of what Paris has to offer. For example, a stop at the Louvre was part of our three-day itinerary, but there remained an incredibly impressive amount of museums around the city I was not able to visit.
James Thurber, the former editor of The New Yorker, once described Paris in a letter to a friend by saying, “the whole of Paris is a vast university of art, literature, and music. Paris is a seminar, a post-graduate course in everything.”
I agree with Thurber’s perception of Paris because it is truly a city catered to the finer things in life from fine art and fine dining to fine living.
I was intrigued enough by the 72 hours I spent in Paris to know for a fact that I would love to return again one day. Until then, I have plenty of Parisian souvenirs, memories, and pictures I can look back on.