This one was a looooooong day. We wanted to get to Notre Dame early before the crowds, but overestimated by a lot. We arrived with plenty of time to spare, and were first in line. Unfortunately, we were finished way before the rest of our schedule was open. I wanted to go up in the towers of Notre Dame which didn’t open until 9:30, and my friend wanted to go to La Concierge which also opened around that time. So we walked around and waited.
Outside of Notre Dame
While we arrived way too early, it was very nice to be some of the only people in there and have it be quiet. When we walked past later there was a long line of very noisy people, which I think would have detracted from the experience a little.
The towers were covered under the Paris Museum Pass. There was a line at 9:30 when the doors opened, but since we were done inside Notre Dame so early I was towards the front of the line. Similar to the Arc de Triomphe there were a TON of stairs. Every single person who climbed up was out of breath, it didn’t seem to matter what age or fitness level. I live in Florida, and there are no hills and I encounter very few stairs. So I definitely got a workout!
I enjoyed seeing the gargoyles at the top of the tower. The view was great too. Overall, it was one of my favorite Paris experiences.
Gargoyles on top of Notre Dame
I’m one of those annoying people who like to take 3,000,000 pictures. In this case it worked out entirely in my favor. There’s only one spiral stairway up to the top of the tower, so they let a small group up, then back down. Apparently I took so long taking pictures and admiring the view that the rest of my group went back down without me. Since they had started letting the next group up, I wasn’t able to go down. I wound up being alone at the top of the tower with the attendant and could not have planned it better! She was very friendly and deciphered from my terrible French that I was asking if she would take a picture for me. You can see the Eiffel Tower in the background behind my right shoulder.
Alone with the attendant at the top of the Notre Dame towers
I headed back down the stairs and met up with my friend and we headed on to Sainte-Chapelle. Sainte-Chapelle was also included on the museum pass, and we got to skip the line to head in. It was very pretty, but several of the other sights in Paris topped it I feel.
After Sainte-Chapelle we chose to walk around Le Marais. We grabbed another Nutella crepe before walking around. It was a nice area, but we decided we wanted to head back to the Latin Quarter and walk around and maybe hit the Pantheon since we didn’t make it inside before it closed the day before.
The Pantheon was also covered under our museum passes and was pretty impressive inside. We enjoyed walking around and walked down into the crypt.
Inside the Pantheon
After exploring the Pantheon we grabbed dinner at a cafe nearby. We randomly chose Soufflot Cafe and loved it! The prices were very reasonable, I ordered ravioli that was great and was around €14.
View of the Pantheon from the restaurant
After the Pantheon, we headed to the Louvre. On Wednesday evenings it is open late, until 9:45pm. As my friend and I aren’t huge art fans we only spent a couple hours there. For art fans, I would allow plenty of time at the Louvre. It was huge! It was also covered under our Museum Pass. We enjoyed walking around and checked out the Mona Lisa and Venus De Milo. We definitely enjoyed it, but I enjoyed people-watching in the courtyard outside almost just as much. I had read online about a company offering a Louvre treasure hunt competition tour
. You get paired up and have to find certain things and take pictures to prove that you found it. That sounded very cool, but we didn’t know for sure what time we’d want to go. The Louvre is like a maze though, we had a hard time finding anything and would have lost the treasure hunt terribly!
The Louvre at Night
We were absolutely exhausted by this point and headed back to the hotel.