Paris is one of my favorite cities!
I’m so in love in its museums, French cuisine and the vibe the city has. Since it is such a short train ride with the Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris, I am there quite often.
However, recently I went there for the first time on the solo trip. I wanted to write about Impressionism and its modern architecture, so I planed a shorter three days trip in Paris.
Three days in Paris
Day one – Fashionable Paris
I catch the early train from Amsterdam so I was in Paris around 10 AM already. It was a rainy gray Monday morning and I felt like I was the only person in the city. Usually it’s packed with tourists, but this time its streets were almost empty. I had a feeling like I traveled to some different time, when it was only the city of Parisians and a few travelers.
And I was one of those travelers. Explorers. Having the city only for myself.
Palais Garnier and Coco Chanel
I took a walk from the Jardin du Luxembourg where my hotel was located towards the Seine River, Louvre and Palais Garnier.
Before my trip, I was reading Christina Henry de Tessan’s book ‘Forever Paris’ in which she is guiding you through the city in the footsteps of its famous citizens. I decided to follow the life of Coco Chanel and went to the places where she lived, worked and spent her time. There is something special in reading about someones life and walking through the streets where this person lived. Somehow, I could almost see her rushing through the small side streets from her apartment to the office.
Marais, street art and vintage shops
It was a day reserved for fashion, so I went to explore some of the famous vintage shops in the Marais neighborhood in the afternoon. I never spent much time in this area and it was such a pleasant surprise for me. I just loved its picturesque streets filled with small cute stores, caffes and restaurants. The whole area has a young alternative vibe.
There is a lot of street art on the buildings there, as well. I am wondering if there are some street art tours organized over there. I would definitely love to join some of them.
Marais is well known for some of the best vintage stores in Paris. You never know what you’re going to find in them – Dior earring or some other gem from 1980s. I wasn’t so lucky but I definitely enjoyed visiting them, checking the clothes they have and talking with other shoppers (some of the coolest people I saw in Paris).
I was feeling a bit sick that day, so I went to my hotel earlier. I get myself a nice cup of hot tea and went to sleep.
Day two – Impressionists’ Paris
I was feeling much better in the morning, so after the breakfast I was ready for some sightseeing again. Day two was reserved for Parisian Impressionism. It’s one of my favorite styles in painting and I am just overall in love with that time, bohemian life and the end of the 19th century.
I met Dario from the Babylon Tours below the Sacré-Coeur Church and we went to Montmartre where he showed me some of the places where Impressionists lived and worked. When you leave the most popular area of it behind you, some streets and houses still looks the same as they did at the end of the 19th century. You can almost imagine carriages strolling through its streets and music coming from the small cabarets.
The most special place for me was Theo van Gogh’s house in which his brother Vincent lived with him for two years. I knew the painting he made while looking through the window of his apartment so well, that once I went there, the place felt almost familiar to me.
After a short break and some tarte tatin, we continued to the Musée d’Orsay, THE museum if you want to see some of the best Impressionists’ paintings.
The building in which museum is located is a piece of art and history itself. It was built as a train station at the end of the 19th century and later on was converted to museum. So now it has this great combination of industrial architecture together with modern pieces of art and it works amazingly well!
The museum has a great collection of Impressionist’s paintings and it is a must for anyone fond of that period.
Musée Marmottan Monet
After a delicious lunch in a nice little restaurant close to the Orsay Museum, I went to another place with one of the best collections of Impressionists’ paintings in Paris – Musée Marmottan Monet.
It has a beautiful collection of one of the best female Impressionists – Berthe Morisot. And the largest collection of the works of Claude Monet. It’s not a busy museum so there is a lot of space to enjoy some of the masterpieces of this style in peace.
After this visit to Paris, I am even more in love with Impressionism then before. If the hygiene was just a little bit better I would love to live in that time. I would be an art dealer and will go to the little trips to nature to paint with the Monet and Renoir. Oh, sweet dreams…
Day three – Modernist Paris
My last day in Paris started with one of the best breakfasts and the most amazing coffee I ever had. If only every day can start in this way. I almost feel like I should dedicate complete blog post to it.
Since I was in Paris many times already, I know the city quite well. I visited most of the main sights, museums (some of them more then once), neighborhoods… I’ve also found some of my favorite places in the city.
However, there was a part I was always kind of missing – the Modernist Paris. It played an important part in shaping the city – Art Nouveau metro entrances and Eiffel Tower are only the most famous parts of the movement.
So, I went to the ‘Modernist Architecture‘ walk around the 16th arrondissement to learn something about it. During the tour I saw some of the houses built at that time and visited Foundation Le Corbusier and the modern architecture exhibition in the Palais de Chaillot. It is so interesting to see how the Modernist movement shaped the way we are living today.
This visit was dedicated to art, mostly Impressionism and the modern architecture. It was also dedicated to its former famous citizens like Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and Coco Chanel.
However, once again I realized that traveling solo is not bad at all. And that French are some of the nicest people out there. And they really know how to cook well and enjoy the life. Maybe my next visit will be dedicated to learn how to enjoy life like French.
Au revior! Till the next time my dear city!
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