TRAVEL DIARY | Paris Isn’t For Changing Planes, It’s For Changing Your Outlook

“Paris isn’t for changing planes, it’s for changing your outlook, for throwing open the windows and letting in la vie en rose.” – {Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina Fairchild, Sabrina (1954)}

…And this is exactly how I see the city of light, love and fashion; Through rose colored glasses. With all that’s happening in our world today, I try my best to see things from a positive outlook, same goes for Paris. I’ve always had this thing for la cité d’amour et de la mode, and it’s without a doubt my favourite city in Europe. There’s something about this city that gives me hope, joy and most importantly inspiration: From the beautiful architecture to the lovely gardens and the cute little shopping streets. Paris just gives me LIFE! Although Paris is just a 3-hour train ride from Amsterdam, I had not visited the city since September 2014(when I went to see Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s On The Run Tour concert– Paris Edition).  So it was about time I hopped on that Thalys train, because you know what they say: Paris is always a good idea(especially in the Summertime)! So here’s a grip of what I did during my 5 day-stay.

20160806_202116-001DAY 1

When you think of shopping in Paris you would automatically think of shopping streets rather than malls, right? Paris actually has many shopping malls a.k.a. “centres commercials”, and on my first day(late afternoon/evening arrival)I visited the newly opened(3 years to be exact)Beaugrenelle shopping mall.

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This pretty huge shopping mall is located in the 15th arrondissement(district) – my favourite area to stay when in Paris. What I love about Beaugrenelle shopping mall is the beautiful and clean interior design, especially the ceiling and it pretty much has everything you need(in terms of shops, restaurants and FREE WiFi).

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The 15th arrondissement might not be everyone’s favourite to stay, but I love it because it’s a quiet, residential and high-rise area, it has everything you need(from pharmacies and grocery stores to restaurants, bakeries and clothing stores) and most importantly you get to see the Eiffel tower from every street you’re in. I love the area because it makes me feel more like a “Parisienne” than a tourist.

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DAY 2

Rainy days are never fun, but at the same time, you get to enjoy the city a bit more, since less people will be wandering the streets. Nonetheless, on this day I wanted to explore a particular area of Paris I had never really been before: Le Marais a.k.a. the Gay district a.k.a. one of the most historic and iconic neighbourhoods of Paris that still has an authentic medieval feel about it – in terms of architecture that is.

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What I love about the Marais district are the lovely shopping streets with cute little boutiques (and some even left the exterior as it was in the old days). For example, it might say “Boulangerie” on the outside, but it’s in fact a clothing boutique now.

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When I travel I try to bring back unique things I cannot find here in the Netherlands. When I visit France I usually shop for beauty and makeup products. In my favourite foundations post I already wrote about how Make Up For Ever isn’t available in the Netherlands, so France was my closest option since it’s from there. And lucky me, I found a cute Make Up Forever boutique right in Le Marais where I didn’t only find my favourite MUFE foundation, but I had a little makeover as well!

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After my little makeover I went to have a late brunch at Victor Hugo, located at Place des Vosges, a lovely park and garden surrounded by lovely art galleries. If you’re into art, then a visit to these galleries in Le Marais is a must!

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In the evening I had dinner at drinks at La Demesure(supper club), located in one of Paris’ newer hipster neighbourhoods of Opéra/Pigalle – in Rue Faubourge Montmartre.

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DAY 3

My day 3 was a very exhausting, but fun one, because it was warm and sunny!

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When I’m in Paris, I prefer to walk rather than taking the metro(depending on where I need to go of course). This lovely summer’s day was just perfect for long walks around the city. So I did the typical tourists stuff all by foot: From the 15th arrondissement I walked towards the Eiffel Tower, Trocadéro, Arc de Triomphe, Avenue des Champs Elysées, all the way to the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries and the Louvre Museum.

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And as I walked back from the Louvre towards my apartment in the 15th arrondissement, I decided to take the route along the Seine river and witnessed a beautiful Parisian sunset. It’s moments like these that make you think: Paris is beyond words!

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DAY 4

On this day I took the metro towards Île de la Cité, “Isle of the City” (Yes, Paris has a natural island right in the middle of the city surrounded by the Seine river) where the Notre Dame is located.

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From there on I strolled along the Seine river, visited Pont Neuf, now known as the new love lock bridge. It’s actually no longer allowed to hang new lock pads onto the bridge as you can see from the sign(in FRENCH that is), but somehow people do it anyways.

I did a lot of walking, last day shopping and some photography on this warm and sunny day. I ended it with a mini photo shoot for the personal style section of my blog(which I will publish later on this month).

AirBrush_20160809215615For the location I went to Pont de Bir-Hakeim, which is a bridge that not only crosses the Seine river, but connects the 15th and 16th districts of Paris. It’s also a popular location for photo shoots, wedding shoots in particular, and scenes from the movie Inception were shot here as well. Nice to know when taking photos: From here you can get the best view of the Eiffel Tower(without people standing in your way).IMG_20160810_170809

DAY 5

On my last day I strolled around the Seine for a quick photo shoot- Yes, again for the blog – followed by some of my own street photography.

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…And look who I came across? The lady of Freedom, better known as The Statue of Liberty. Yes, Paris had one as well, just like the city of New York, but a replica.  Not a lot of people know about the statue since it’s located in between the 15th and 16th arrondissement(which is not a popular tourist area).  The statue stands right on an artificial island called Île aux Cygnes(Island of the Swans), on the river Seine.

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I took some last photos and then it was time to take the Thalys back to Amsterdam again……but I’ve returned home with a fresh outlook and lots of inspiration!

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How and where do you spend your time in Paris? As always, xo  – Jey.

2 thoughts on “TRAVEL DIARY | Paris Isn’t For Changing Planes, It’s For Changing Your Outlook

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