We were able to spend some time inside walking around this beautiful and historic cathedral. Honestly, the pictures we took don’t do it justice.
After spending some time at Notre Dame, we made our way over to the Musee d’Orsay for our 1pm private tour, but not before stopping by Sainte-Chapelle to grab a few pictures.
When we were talking to people before our trip, the number one museum that anyone who had visited Paris mentioned was the Musee d’Orsay (MO). The MO used to be an old railroad station that was converted to a museum in 1986. It holds the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings in the world, including works from Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh.
We were very fortunate to have a private tour with a wonderful guide, who showed us around for several hours hitting a lot of the high points of the museum. We had a wonderful time exploring the MO and in some ways preferred it to the Louvre (which we visited the following day.)
After visiting the MO, we walked around more of Paris, stopping by Angelina’s (Thanks Stephanie for the suggestion!) for pastries and the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had!
We also made stops at the Palais Garnier (Opera House) and the Galeries Lafayette, which is a large department store that has one of the most remarkable domed ceilings I’ve ever seen.
Later that evening (after grabbing dinner), we made our way back over to the hotel and called it a night. The next day (our last full day in Paris), the weather finally gave us some cooler temps after several straight very warm days. In fact, I actually got up a little bit early and got in a decent run. It was nice to get in a few miles while on vacation.
So for our last full day in Paris, the biggest thing on our list was the Louvre Museum (LM). We knew the LM was the world’s largest art museum and that there was no way we would be able to see everything; however, our hope was to at least make a small dent.
The first thing we both noticed was just how absolutely beautiful the outside of the LM was. And, of course, the famous glass pyramid in the middle of everything outside is so iconic. I think we could have spent hours just admiring everything outside.
Once we got into the LM, I was determined to make a beeline for the Mona Lisa. I knew the painting was quite small and that whole area would be crazy crowded, but still it’s the Mona Lisa. You have to see it!
Once we crossed that off our list, we grabbed a quick lunch in the cafe and made our way through this massive, but super impressive, museum. We ended up spending a good 4-5 hours enjoying the LM.
After we finished exploring the LM, we made our way over to the Place de la Concorde and then up the Champs-Élysées for a little shopping.
We even made a stop at Laduree (thanks to Naama for the suggestion!) for some macaroons and pastries, because when in Paris, you eat a lot of pastries and desserts!
We eventually ended up back at the Arch de Triumph for a few more pictures.
After exploring a little more, we grabbed some dinner before calling it an early night. Our wakeup call to the airport and Barcelona the next day was bright and early.
All in all, we had a great 3 days in Paris. I think we both agree that we could have easily spent another week in Paris. There was just so much to see and do, but I do feel we knocked out several “must sees” while visiting this wonderful city!
Next stop on our anniversary trip recap…Barcelona!