Going to Amsterdam for a weekend is nice, but let’s step it up a bit and go a bit farther: Paris. Plenty of direct flights exist from Berlin, and thanks to budget airlines holding considerable market share in Europe, prices are generally quite low. In my specific case, my planes took off and landed at the inferior of the two city’s airports: Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) and Paris Orly (ORY). But they got me there and in the end, that’s all that matters.
I would stay in Paris for two days in early December and, while it was cold, it was absolutely worth it. In addition, it was not a holiday so there were a bit fewer tourists than there might be just a couple of weeks later, during the Christmas holidays. See the gallery below for some of my Parisian impressions and tips.
Iconic and beloved: the newspaper stands on Parisian sidewalks.
The architecture in Paris draws many spectators and admirers. If you search well enough, then you might just be able to find an AirBnB in one of these old houses!
The Eiffel Tower peeks out behind a building flying the French flag.
The Eiffel Tower, a structure which was never meant to be permanent, was sold for scrap metal twice by a con artist and was almost shipped to Montreal for the world expo.
Flags. Flags everywhere. The French appear to be very proud of their flag. And here was me thinking their flag was just a white bed sheet (cheap surrender joke).
We've gotta give the French that they have some cool train stations, with very funky (and slightly sinister) looking clocks.
Paris is, of course, a go-to tourist destination for millions of American and Asian tourists visiting Europe for the first time. With architecture like that, it is easy to see why.
More flags. Accompanied by the classic Parisian chimneys.
A typical Parisian apartment house with a quaint little café in the ground floor.
By pure coincidence, we ran into a big mass of bikers near the Louvre. I still don't know why they were there, but they were intimidatingly cool and very respectful of the police.
How much more French can it get?
The Louvre, but from an angle that perhaps hasn't been photographed *quite* as much as all the others.
Man, if you jump of that bridge you're in-Seine!
Paris is crowded with tourists, but you can ignore them to a certain extent when you are busy looking up at impressive buildings and beautiful facades.
It is, after all, a city of culture.
The Pont des Arts is - probably - where the tradition of couples hanging locks on bridge railings originated from. Some of them really are quite original. Shortly before I visited, one of the railings of a Parisian bridge gave in under the weight and crashed into the river below.
A relatively average view through a neighborhood in Paris.
Even more love locks!
The iconic Notre Dame, before it burned down in 2019.
Christmas vibes with the Notre Dame de Paris, complete with the spire which dramatically collapsed during the April 2019 blaze.
Paris, the city of light, is also a fun place to explore at night. Cafés like this one radiate warmth, literally and metaphorically, as you walk through the bustling streets.