The summer before going abroad I was brain storming my dream destinations. I distinctly remember turning to Andrew at a diner while eating breakfast one Sunday morning and saying, "Hey, how about Paris for my birthday?" It seemed like an insane thing to say, but I realized it was such a unique opportunity to be spending my birthday in Europe. I had always dreamed of going to Paris...to eat crepes in front of the Eiffel Tower, take a boat ride down the Seine, and visit the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. It felt incredible to turn another year older in such a beautiful and historic city. Looking back, spending my birthday there began a year of creativity, success, and a more positive outlook on life. There is so much to do in Paris and I didn't even touch the surface. Here's how I spent my birthday in the most romantic city on Earth...
Talk about the cutest AirBNB ever! I found a small apartment in a residential area in Paris that's owned by a couple who splits their time between Paris and NY. I figured it was a sign and somehow made me feel that much more comfortable. We had the perfect view of the glowing city at night and loved being in a residential area, one that we never would've discovered otherwise.
We ate at a lot of local, off the beaten path restaurants that I hardly remember the names of, which I was fine with. I was more focused on the excursions than I was with planning specific restaurants. Plus, it's Paris so you can't go wrong with the food! I had my birthday dinner at Le Train Bleu, a gorgeous restaurant with murals covering the ceiling above Saint Lazare train station. The station was built in 1889 and filled with so much charm. Don't miss out on the cute crepe carts that are parked on nearly every corner. Andrew and I must have had two a day while we were there.
The Louvre: I'd like to say that I shut down the Louvre like Beyoncé and JZ, but unfortunately I can't. I was secretly more excited to see the Mona Lisa than I was to see the Eiffel Tower after studying her in an art history class my freshman year. The structure of The Louvre really blew my mind and it's so much bigger inside than you could ever imagine. Reserve your tickets in advance for an easy entrance and make sure you get there early so you can get to Mona before the crowds build up!
Eiffel Tower Talk about a romantic spot...it definitely lives up to its glory! My jaw truly dropped when I got closer and closer to the tower. It's so magnificent and even more magical to watch the lights turn on and glisten as the sun sets. There's a reason people come from near and far to see this icon. Don't forget a blanket and picnic to enjoy! I could've stayed there all night just watching the stars. Our last night in Paris, Andrew surprised me with a ride to the tippy top of the Eiffel Tower. The view was stunning, especially at night, and I couldn't have asked for a better way to end my birthday weekend in Paris.
River Cruise: Andrew and I decided to go on a cruise down the Seine last minute on our final morning in Paris. I'm so glad we ended up going! It gave us an entirely new perspective of the city. I recommend going during the first time slot so it's not so busy.
Palace of Versailles: We visited Versailles on my actual birthday and I was in heaven! It's not easy to describe the incredible architecture and design. There's simply nothing like it. Every room had its own theme with the most beautiful decor. It was really a sight to remember. My pictures just don't do it justice! Don't forget...Versailles is a bit out of Paris, so you'll need to take a train there. Once you arrive, people will direct you to Versailles. It's hard to miss ;)...
Arc De Triomphe:
Palais Garnier/Paris Opera House:
Catacombs of Paris