FRANCE | 10 Things To Do in Paris

notre dame paris

10 THINGS TO DO IN PARIS

My days in Paris were short and sweet, and I am already missing the delicious food, the strolls, the views and the Parisian vibes.  The City of Light has always been one of my fave cities in the world, not only because I lived there, but because my experiences have always been lovely.  So I was incredibly happy when my sister announced that she would be getting married in France… that meant that I would return to Paris!  The day finally arrived and a few weeks ago we took a flight from Miami to Paris, spent the weekend, and then drove on Monday to Dordogne, the southwestern region of France.  We returned to Paris the following Friday and stayed six more days.  Today I’d love to share with you my 10 things to do in Paris! … and a few photos I took on this trip.  😉

saint germain des pres
[Outfit details at the bottom of this post]

SAINT GERMAIN DES PRÉS

This quarter of the 6th arrondissement of Paris is one of the swankier neighborhoods in Paris’ rive gauch (left bank), filled with brasseries, upscale boutiques, yet not overcrowded with tourists.

Two cafés that I recommend to try are Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore, I used to go to the first one with friends for l’aperitif (love this French habit!).  The aperitif is a friendly ritual that Parisians do before a meal, they share a drink (nothing too high in alcohol) and something salty like chips.  They also do it on regular week nights!

Sit outside, order the croque-monsieur and a Monaco bière with grenadine (my fave!).  While the timing of the aperifit may remind you of the American Happy Hour, it is not the same concept.  Happy hours celebrate the end of the ‘work-day’ but the aperitif is something else, it is not the end, it is the ‘beginning of the night,’ so the mind set is very different.  And while in Paris I used to do the aperitif almost every night, here in Miami, I rarely make my way to any happy hours!

museos en paris

MUSÉE D’ORSAY

Skip the lines at the Louvre and visit this beautiful museum instead!  Musée d’Orsay houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces of the world.  Inside are the works of a few of my favorite artists: Pierre Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet, and Claude Monet.  This museum is housed inside the former Gare d’Orsay, a railway station constructed for the 1900 World Fair.  The view from the top level is amazing!!

I have a big admiration for painters and their art, that is one of the reasons why I initially moved to Paris – to focus my studies on Art History.  If you are in Paris for a few days, and not sure whether to visit this museum or the Louvre, consider the following: the Louvre exhibits over 35,000 works of art (that’s a lot!), Musée d’Orsay contains 2,000 paintings and 600 sculptures.  Back in the day, I visited the Louvre over a dozen times (3-4 hours inside each time), and I still have tons to see! … plus it is overwhelming due to the size of it.

cafe de l'esplanade

CAFÉ DE L’ESPLANADE

This café (pictured above) is likely my favorite café in Paris, and it has a spectacular view of Les Invalides!  I love how cozy the outdoor seating is, the trendy inside decor, their menu, and that it sits in all of its Parisian splendor.  Overall, it is a discreet, quiet, and elegant café in the exclusive 7th arrondissement.

I found this café because it was less than half-a-block away from the apartment where I used to live.  [Side note: if you walk 50 meters up the street shown on the left side of the photo above, my apartment was there].  I loved going there with a friend who lived nearby, to study for exams while enjoying the peaceful view.

If you are going to splurge and treat yourself, this place can be a nice option, but I suggest that if you go for dinner – make the reservation the day before.  Also, the gorgeous Musée Rodin is around the corner, it is dedicated to the works of my favorite French sculptor, Auguste Rodin – go check it out!

eiffel tower

PALAIS DE TOKYO

If you want a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower, make your way to Palais de Tokyo located near Trocadero in the 16th arrondissement!

Afterwards you can also enjoy lunch or dinner at two trendy restaurants that I highly recommend (a)

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FRANCE | Château de Hautefort

chateau de hautefort

satin purple skirt

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Poland | Castles & Umbrellas

Poland Wawel 2

KRAKOW, POLAND

Glad I brought my umbrella to my trip to Poland, it has been raining since we arrived, but we have still walked up and down the city!  Seriously, no rain can stop us!

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Wawel 1

WAWEL CASTLE, POLAND

This castle was built at the behest of King Casimir III the Great, who reigned from 1333 to 1370.

Poland Wawel 2

The Vistula River

Poland wawel river view

Hello from the gorgeous city of Krakow, Poland!  

Top Things to See:

Wawel Royal Castle

Main Square Krakow / Historic Center

St Mary Basilica, Krakow (Kosciol Mariacki)

Ulica Florianska / St Florian’s Gate

Auschwitz Birkenau Museum Trip

Jewish District (Kazimierz)

Franciscan Church (Kosciol Franciszkanow)

Must Try Restaurants:

(1) Szara

(2) Cyrano de Bergerac

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Poland | Krakow Main Square

Here is a group of photos that I’ve taken around various cities of Poland, loving this trip so much!

Poland main sq 3

KRAKOW MAIN SQUARE

Poland Krakow main sq 3

Poland Main Sq 5

LAGIEWNIKI, POLAND

The only coca-cola bottle that was written in English, and some chocolate bar… It was 8 AM and I was literally falling asleep from all the travelling, walking, etc, so needed a bit of caffeine to keep my eyes open another ful day…
Coca Cola

WADOWICE, POLAND

ANA FLORENTINA

 

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Poland | A Night Out in Krakow… | Travel Diary

Krakow Main Square

Poland main square night

Poland krakow night 2

Main Square, Krakow

Krakow at night 2

Krakow at night

Krakow Main Square

KRAKOW, POLAND

Hi!  Just landed in Poland!   The city of Krakow captured my heart last year, so when a second opportunity for another pilgrimage to Poland came up, I had to say “Yes”!  This trip will be similar, but I am super excited that this time I will visit the village of Zembrzyce, located in southern Poland, and will stay there for about a week.  The other cities that I will visit are: Wadowice, and Czestochowa. The weather is currently a little colder than I expected!  And it is also raining quite a bit, but no rain will stop me from enjoying!

The photos that I am sharing on this post are of the Main Square in the city of Krakow.  The Main Square is a rectangular space surrounded by historic palaces, buildings, restaurants, shops and churches.  Here you will find the famous Market Place (it is huge! and has lots of Polish products).  Definitely walk inside of it and purchase amber products (I found a pair of beautiful earrings!).  Mostly everyone who visits Poland brings back a piece of amber jewelry to keep or give as a gift.  We had a delicious dinner at Restauracja Szara Kazimierz (highly recommend it / sit outside).

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Poland | Lovely day in Czestochowa

Lovely day Czestochowa

Lovely day Czestochowa

Turtleneck: Mango.   Black skater skirt, similar here and here.

I love this black skirt!  Had been looking for a cute one for a long time!  I found this one inside a little boutique while walking around Krakow.  Finally!  This one has faux leather texture at the top.   And the turtleneck I have had for a while.  I bought it while living in Spain, at one of my favorite stores, Mango.  These pictures were taken in the city of Czestochowa, a city in southern Poland by the Warta River (population less than half a million) .  Millions of pilgrims from around the world come to visit every year!

The city’s tourist attractions include:

-Jasna Góra Monastery / Black Madonna

-Częstochowa City Hall & Museum

-Kamienica Kupiecka

-Parks: Stanisław Staszic Park and 3 May Park

-The Avenues (main artery of the city)
Czestochowa 2

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Poland | Travel

Fall weather Poland

IMG_3159Sweater Dress: Mango, similar here // similar Sunglasses hereKrakow

Hello!  I have arrived to the city of Krakow, Poland, for a spiritual trip and will be spending two weeks visiting different cities in this country.  It’s my first time here so I am super eager to learn about the food, the culture, the landscape, and everything else!  The weather is currently so beautiful, it is chilly, but sunny.  The first photo was taken in Lagiewniki – here is located a sanctuary that is visited by millions of pilgrims from around the world every year.  The second photo is from the Main Market Square in Krakow’s old town, the tall building that you see is the brick Gothic St. Mary’s Basilica that was rebuilt in the 14th century.  It is well known for its impressive wooden altarpiece inside that was carved by Veit Stoss (a leading German sculptor, whose career covered the transition between the late Gothic and the Northern Renaissance).  I was impressed by the blue starred ceiling inside, it reminds me of Sainte Chapelle, the royal Gothic style chapel in Paris, France (also built and consecrated in the 13th century).  Something very interesting takes place at St. Mary’s Basilica: every hour a trumpet signal is played, that commemorates the famous 13th century trumpeter that was shot in the throat while sounding the alarm during the Mongol invasion of the city of Krakow.  I will post more photos soon!, so far I have limited wifi, and we are always walking around… xo

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Israel | Travel Diary | Historic landmarks

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ISRAEL

It’s been an AMAZING opportunity to be in Irael – the Holy Land.  Inside Jerusalem, also known as the ‘Old City,’ you can find the most sacred sites in the country, but there is a long list of historic landmarks in the entire land of Israel that can be visited.  Below is a list of the places that we have visited so far, and will visit during our time here.  

  • Mount of Beautitudes (It is located up on a hill.  Jesus is believed to have delivered the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ right here).
  • Old City of Jerusalem (Our hotel wass located a few blocks away, so we went as much as possible.  There is so much to see!)
  • Church of Holy Sepulchre (Located inside the ‘Old City’ of Jerusalem.) (This place is packed with tourists, so it is better to go early in the morning when it opens around sunrise, or very late before it closes around 7pm).  We went on our own about 3 times, and then with our guide.  The first time we went was on the night we arrived, as the sun was setting.  This is not a good idea!!! the ‘Old City’ is like a labyrinth and you get lost easily).
  • The Western (Wailing) Wall (if you want to visit the tunnels, reserve before arriving!!)
  • Mount of Olives (adjacent to Jerusalem’s Old City)
  • The Jewish Quarter
  • Take a Day Trip to the Dead Sea!
  • Masada (Situated on top of an isolated rock plateau.  We took a ride up to it, and walked it down afterwards.  Must wear tennis shoes for this!).

israel

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Jordan | Arrival to Amman | Travel Diary

Massada

Amman Jordan

Skirt: Charlotte Rousse // Shirt: Cotton-On // Sweater: Hollister // Flats: Ralph Lauren

First day in Amman, JORDAN!

I am beyond excited as it is my first time visiting this country!  I am looking forward to everything!

AMMAN, JORDAN

Things to See or Visit:

  1. Amman Citadel (ancient ruins), amazing panoramic views of the city!
  2. Roman Amphitheater
  3. The Jordan Museum
  4. Tour of Petra
  5. Visit a spice shop (flavorful & colorful visit! countless spices!)

Massada

[This picture was taken in Israel, where we were earlier during the day before we traveled to Jordan.]

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