Paris in Springtime – just another cliché?

Last year I went on my dream trip.  Somewhere I had dreamed of forever… to go to Paris.  I wanted to experience it all, the culture, the smells, the tastes, the sights and the sounds. Most of all I wanted all my senses to be stimulated in this beautiful city.  There are probably only a handful of other days in my life such as my wedding and the birth of my child, which I will remember as intensely as that first day when I arrived in Paris.  Sure, the settings and situations were different, but the feeling was the same.  An overwhelming mix of joy, gratitude, relief, pride and wonder.  After much planning, I had made it to Paris.

Paris Roof Top 01

The cliches

There are more clichés about Paris than there are tourists at the Louvre. You’ve heard them all, The City of Light, City of Romance, City of Love, all tired, overused expressions. But once you experience Paris, you will understand why.  This city never completely reveals what makes it so charismatic. There is a je ne sais quoi, an allure and an elegance to the charms of this city that artists, writers and poets alike have tried defining. Just what it is about this place?  Perhaps that is as hard to pin down as defining love itself. To be in Paris  conveys the experience of love, about someone, something, some place.

Paris Fromagerie 02

Getting out and about

There is so much to do. You know the big ones. The Louvre, Sacre Coeur, Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. But we didn’t want to miss the fun of discovering the small ones either. The ones off the beaten path.  Like taking our time strolling through the uphill streets of Montmartre, stopping at a sidewalk cafe to enjoy the flakiest croissant as we slowly sip our coffee. Listening to the sounds of a Parisian tune being played on a harmonica whilst watching children play.  It is these moments that made us feel comfortable, made us feel safe, in a place where we’d never been before and enabled us to experience the charm of this city.

Wandering aimlessly is romantic, so we put our map away and wandered, having no fear. After all it’s not about the map, it’s about getting out and finding our own authentic experience in a city. Discovering things that we never thought we would find.

Paris Louvre 01

We found Paris so easy to get around. We spent most of the time on foot.  Much of what Paris has to offer can be seen within walking distance of the Métro. We stayed in Montmartre and made it to Eiffel Tower which included changing trains twice, with no problem at all. We didn’t go it alone all the time, we organised some guided tours visiting the eye-popping Eiffel Tower, the radiant basilica of Sacre Coeur and explored the opulent Palace of Versailles.

Paris has the very best restaurants, cafes, wine bars and bistros. Anything and everything has to do with food in this food capital of the world. We found fromageries with the creamiest cheeses, boulangeries with the flakiest, buttery croissants and sampled the most delicate macarons.

Now Paris is not without faults. As is the case anywhere in the world.  Be it a large city or a small village, you get what you give.  And in the case of Paris, as with any true love, you accept the flaws along with the charms, the weakness with the strengths.  In the end we found the true beauty of Paris outshone any imperfection.

We saw why Paris remains at the heart of global culture. We discovered that life from a Parisian point of view was beautiful.  But that’s another cliché, isn’t it?

 Now your turn, tell us has this post inspired you for your next holiday?  Please leave a comment below and let us know.

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72 Responses

  1. Carol Colborn says:

    It is a cliche because Paris is best in springtime! Will be there springtime 2017!

  2. Corinne says:

    Things become cliches for good reasons, and Paris is always a good reason. Period!
    Corinne recently posted…Weekend Travel Inspiration – Paul TherouxMy Profile

  3. Globalmouse says:

    It may be a cliche but Paris in Spring really is beautiful….I love it in Autumn too! Thank you for linking up to #GlobalKids 🙂
    Globalmouse recently posted…Gladiators, Rome’s Colosseum and a tiny toothpickMy Profile

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful! We were in Paris the last two weeks of March. While it was a bit chilly, we enjoyed the city not flooded with tourists.

  5. I’ve been to Paris several times and still to this day enjoy it each time we return. We try and stay away from all the touristy areas and enjoy the city like the locals.
    Carmen | Carmen’s Luxury Travel recently posted…Jaleo Bethesda, An Evening of Spanish TapasMy Profile

    • Lyn says:

      The only plans we have on our next visit Carmen is the Christmas markets as we are going end of November. I’m sure we’ll keep ourselves busy but enjoy no set plans.

  6. I really enjoyed my visit to Paris, too. I’d love to have weeks to explore it and eat at every cafe. We didn’t do any organized tours but still found it so easy to get around.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted…Art Alley: Rapid City’s Hidden TreasureMy Profile

    • Lyn says:

      Michele we like to at least one organised walking tour when visiting a new place, like an interactive history lesson. How amazing would that be to eat at every cafe?

  7. Wandering aimlessly in Paris is a rite of passage for any traveller. Thanks for joining in #wednesdaywanderlust this week
    Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages recently posted…Friday Favourite: Dancing through SundayMy Profile

  8. Ruth Daly says:

    I’ve only been to Paris once, and just wandered around, too. It is such a beautiful city. I enjoyed your blog and photos!

  9. Karen says:

    Thanks for the reminder that Paris is so amazing (and delicious). I went many years ago, and I loved it, but I really to go back someday and experience it a different way.
    Karen recently posted…Singapore Holidays and FestivalsMy Profile

    • Lyn says:

      It will be very different when we go back too Karen. We are returning to visit the Christmas markets, very different from an Australia summer we’ll be leaving behind.

  10. budget jan says:

    It is a long time since we’ve been to Paris. I first visited as an inexperienced 20 year old travelling alone. The language barrier was insurmountable until I met an American girl called Lola who spoke French! Next time was with my then boyfriend, now husband – so much better with two. I think it is time I revisit – I loved your words and that first photo really sets the scene!
    budget jan recently posted…Campo de Fiori a market that grew from a Roman MeadowMy Profile

  11. Vlad says:

    It may be a cliche, but it’s a beautiful city, it’s always worth visiting! You can spend a month and still not see everything. Your photos have reminded me of the good times I had in Paris and made me want to go back.
    Vlad recently posted…A Short And Sweet Stay In RigaMy Profile

    • Lyn says:

      Vlad I’m glad our photos reminded you of your good times in Paris. We’ll heading there again in November and will enjoy the beautiful city again.

  12. Natalie says:

    “…as with any true love, you accept the flaws along with the charms”. Spot on, Lyn! I completely agree. I’ve been to Paris three times now and love it more with each visit.
    Natalie recently posted…Food Croatians EatMy Profile

  13. Strangely enough it took me a few visits to finally fall in love with Paris. It wasn’t until my third visit that my love for the City of Lights took hold and it wasn’t until my fourth visit that I found MY Paris. It’s so true when you say “you get what you give”!!
    Stephanie Mayoyou recently posted…My YorkMy Profile

  14. Jackie says:

    I love Paris! I’m always trying to squeeze in some Paris time on any trip I take to Europe. I love wandering without the map, too! It’s the best way to explore and really get to know a city.
    Jackie recently posted…Begin to Travel Hack in 5 Simple StepsMy Profile

    • Lyn says:

      Jackie we are planning our second trip to Europe and will again start with time in Paris. Such a great start to what will be another wonderful trip in Europe.

  15. How wonderful that you were able to fulfill a dream by getting to visit Paris! We have never been but it’s high on my list. The city just looks so romantic and the architecture looks one-of-a-kind.
    Amanda & Brian – Eat_Work_Travel recently posted…New York State of MindMy Profile

  16. I was extremely disappointed when I first went to Paris but that’s because I had this idea in my head that it’s glamorous, elegant and extravagant everywhere I look. So when I saw some slum and dodgy areas, I was so disappointed.

    The second time however, I already know what to expect and fell in love with it so much! You’re right, you really can’t put a finger on that one thing which makes it charismatic.
    Pinay Flying High recently posted…The Most Fun Friday Brunch In Doha – The Grill, Grand Hyatt DohaMy Profile

  17. Cliched or not, I am so pleased you loved Paris in springtime. I love Paris in spring and in autumn, I would probably love it in winter too. Summer, not so sure. You are totally correct, it is so easy to walk around and have a lot of OMG moments.
    Paula McInerney recently posted…You won’t get Champagne and Caviar on Tigerair AustraliaMy Profile

  18. In Paris you just have to embrace the cliche. It’s an amazing city and totally worth it. We visited at Valentine’s Day. How cliche is that? 😉

    Thanks for sharing your lovely photos of the trip! #wkendtravelinspiration
    Jennifer (aka Dr. J) recently posted…Ten Reasons to add Ferrara to Your List of Day Trips on an Italian Holiday in Emilia-RomagnaMy Profile

  19. Shobha says:

    We love Paris so much that we got married in a chateau in its suburbs and we take the kids there every Christmas. Being in London, it’s an easy Eurostar trip for us. Can I say — it never gets old! that might be another cliche.
    Shobha recently posted…The Covered Bridges of Bucks CountyMy Profile

  20. Beautiful photos! I’m so glad you enjoyed Paris. It is also one of my favorite cities. We’ve visited twice but during Fall. I would love to experience it during the Spring. It is such a fantastic place to get lost.
    Mary {The World Is A Book} recently posted…Adventures in Lobstering in MaineMy Profile

  21. I agree with you. Paris lives up to its reputation and then some. My husband and I spent a wonderful five days there and I wish we had more time to explore because, like you said, there is something about the city. One of my Paris highlights was having a picnic on the grass in front of the Eiffel Tower – eating a baguette sandwich and sipping some French wine. It seemed like the thing to do there in September as many locals were there as well.
    Constance – Foreign Sanctuary recently posted…The View from Above: Taking the Aiguille du Midi Cable Car in Chamonix, FranceMy Profile

    • Lyn says:

      We had five days in 2013 and are finally returning in November. So many highlights, one for us was baking baguettes in a Montmartre boulangerie. Thank you for sharing your time in France with us Constance

  22. Oh I love love love Paris! I know what you mean about it having flaws, but you still love it anyways. My Paris dream came true last October and it is still ingrained in my head when I first saw the Eiffel Tower and just how lovely everything was there. I now want to be back in Paris lol
    Yvonne @ Lost with Yvonne recently posted…Custer State Park – A Loop Around Sylvan LakeMy Profile

  23. Liz says:

    I absolutely loved this post! I guess it is because I can relate so much. I went to Paris last year, and though I was excited, I was half-scared that it wouldn’t live up to the cliche or hype. But I was so wrong. Upon stepping into Paris, especially on seeing the most cliche Eiffel Tower, it was everything I ever dreamed of and more. And agree on it being the food capital —- everything was delicious. It can be messy, chaotic, but Paris is Paris. Just really the most vibrant and beautiful city ever. Thanks for this post!
    Liz recently posted…Czech Republic in 5 Days: The Perfect ItineraryMy Profile

    • Lyn says:

      You are making me excited for my return visit Liz. My most exciting experience was the moment I first saw Eiffel Tower sparkle, it just took my breathe away. I have no ambition to travel up the tower, I am just in awe to stand back and admire it, cliche or not.

  24. Nancie Lee says:

    I love that you like exploring off the beaten path. The tourist places are wonderful, but I love to see what others miss. It is always such a gratifying feeling to visit a place you’ve always wanted to. A mission accomplished and when it’s as wonderful as you’d hoped – oh the joy! Thanks for inspiring me for the day I get to visit Paris myself!
    Nancie Lee recently posted…Busted Wrench Garage – Museum of Classic CarsMy Profile

    • Lyn says:

      I just had to reshare this one Nancie as we are just finalising our plans to revisit Paris in November. We can’t wait to see some of the beautiful places we didn’t get a chance to on our first visit… we still don’t plan a trip up the Eiffel Tower, we will be happy to be there again and explore more of the architecture, culture and food.

  25. Lovely post 🙂 We lived in Paris for 8 years, and were both pretty sure that we would stay there for ever. But last year, we got tired of the Parisian lifestyle, and decided to leave the city (and even the country) for good… That being sad, Paris DOES have a lot of charms and elegance! And no where else can you find baguettes and croissants as fresh and crispy as in Paris! 🙂 Next time you travel to Paris, you might want to go there in Autumn. It’s our favourite time in this capital (especially in November), when tourists are all in some sunny city, and most Parisians are away too during the long weekends of 1st & 8th of November. Let us know if you need tips for Paris! Cheers 🙂

    • Lyn says:

      Thanks for your comments Mei & Kerstin. It must have been hard to leave behind those baguettes and croissants. I did a post on Montmartre where went to a Boulangerie and never had anything like it since. We didn’t go in Spring (that was just a cliche) we went in September which is our spring here in Perth. We will definitely make contact when we are ready to return next year, thank you.

  26. Thanks for sharing about Paris! Oh, what a lovely place. The pictures are just to die for.
    Coincidentally or not 🙂 I plan a blogging retreat in Romania next year. Who knows, maybe a destination for you Lyn as well, as part of your next big European vacation. That would be amazing!
    Delia @ Blog Formatting recently posted…How to create awesome images for your blog with CanvaMy Profile

    • Lyn says:

      Thanks Delia, glad you enjoyed the post and my photos. The blogging retreat sounds wonderful and I would love to get to Romania, it would be amazing if I would find a way to make it happen.

  27. Thalia says:

    It is nice to hear that you managed to get to my hometown and have such a great time! I’ve often heard people dreaming of Paris and then ending up disappointed because their expectantions were too high maybe, or too far away from reality… It sounds like you did a good job looking for the city’s real spirit… maybe the next step would be to try and meet some locals and get some really authentic suggestions and advice! Unless you did already… let me know if you go back!! Really enjoyed your shots by the way… I live in Florence now and I miss Paris a lot! I get very emotional when I see these spontaneous, street life photographs! The impact is very different from what the “clichet” (as you say), post-card shots make you feel (or not feel!).

    • Lyn says:

      Thalia, I am so please to hear you enjoyed my shots. We really did try and capture the city’s real spirit and draw our own conclusions rather than build expectations from other’s experiences. We did get a real experience in which we tell the story in our Morning in Montmartre post. I’d love you to read and comment on that one.

  28. JB & Renee says:

    “A cliche is a cliche because it works.” Lovely post.
    JB & Renee recently posted…Karma was a Ladyboy in Koh SamuiMy Profile

  29. Evita says:

    Hello Lyn, now I know – what is the best time to plan trip to Paris and feel authenticity of experience ! So great to hear how you made your dream trip 🙂

  30. Lisa H says:

    Wow! I feel like I just went to Paris in the Spring time, lovely, lovely, lovely

  31. Anda says:

    Paris in springtime! What can be better? Your post reminded me about this great city and the excitement that you feel when you stroll on its beautiful streets.
    Anda recently posted…La Recoleta Cemetery: the Final Rest of the Rich and FamousMy Profile

    • Lyn says:

      I am so glad to have reminded you of the excitement of strolling the streets in this wonderful area Anda, I want to experience it again next year when I plan to return.

  32. Karla says:

    Gorgeous photos!

    Paris is always a great idea and the Spring is an ideal season to visit 😉

    You know the city is so mysterious, enigmatic and no matter how much you hear about it, there is always something waiting to be discovered! A visit sure is not enough and yes you fall under its spell 😉

    I for once fell in love and hard with Montmartre, I could totally see myself living there. Loved the ambiance and how great it feels!

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us 🙂

    • Lyn says:

      Hi Karla, Thank you for coming to the page and for your feedback. I share your love with Montmartre and too could easily live there.

  33. Leanne Lewis says:

    Thanks for a great read. You have a way with words. Inspires me to plan a visit.

  34. Great post – yes, sometimes it feels like everything about Paris is a cliche but at the same time that’s what makes it so amazing. Each time I’ve visited I’ve done some throw-the-map-away walking too, it’s one of those cities where there is stuff to see no matter which way you go.

    • Lyn says:

      Yes I agree totally, better walking shoes next time… and hopefully I won’t have my mouth open in awe of all the beautiful places we kept coming to.

  1. September 12, 2015

    […] Linking up with A Hole in My Shoe for #TheWeeklyPostcard […]

  2. September 14, 2015

    […] collection of travel stories: #WeekendWanderlust at Southern Gypsy and #TheWeeklyPostcard at A Hole in My Shoe and  #wkendtravelinspiration at AlbomAdventures. Check them out for your next trip […]

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