City Trip - Paris, the city of love 04/2023



Over Easter, it is actually always worth a trip somewhere with two holidays including weekend. On Black Friday last year, I was able to make a bargain with Lufthansa, so I will now fly to Paris, the city of love.

The capital of France is one of the classics of a city trip in Europe. As a teenager, I already spent a few days there with my family and in 2008 I was in Paris again for a concert. But to visit the city intensively and to take pictures, that is still missing for me.

After my booking, I started researching. I want to discover Paris in a different way this time, not like most tourists who come to the city on the Seine. Neither the Tourihotspots and sights I will simply canvass, but mainly pursue secret and insider tips.

I hope that I can capture especially beautiful and unique photos of Paris right now in spring, when the cherry and almond blossoms show themselves in full splendor.

Be curious how I will discover and capture Paris anew


The challenge this time was packing: three and a half days in Paris. I had only booked hand luggage for this. The problem with the whole thing: normally my photo equipment alone is the hand luggage. This time, however, I had to think carefully about what I was taking with me and sorted something out so that I still had room for a few items of clothing.

In the late afternoon, a fellow photographer took me to the airport, so I didn't have to take the S-Bahn today.

When I arrived at Terminal 2, I went straight to the security check, because I didn't have to check in a suitcase. There wasn't much going on, which surprised me, because it's holiday time and a long weekend was coming up. Lucky for me in three ways: no queuing and neither my luggage nor I were checked more closely or pulled out, so I made my way to the gate.

After boarding was completed, nothing happened until after 10 minutes the pilot made an announcement and informed us that we would be leaving 50 minutes later because there was a strike in France and our "slot to fly and land" was currently not available. There was a short groan throughout the plane and less than five minutes later we were told that the flight was going ahead after all. We took off with only a slight delay and landed at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport just under 80 minutes later.

There I looked for the train to the city centre. Buying the tickets was easy and so I went to the platform. Here I asked a lady if the coming train would also stop at the station "Châtelet - Les Halles". She answered in the affirmative and we got talking on the train. She is Viennese and had lived in Paris before. She gave me a few tips and at "Châtelet" I said goodbye.

In the "Underground of Paris" I looked for the Metro 7, which was supposed to take me to my hostel, which was in the "Marais" district. But the ticket I had found in the ticket machine did not work. A young man came from behind and told me to just stand in front of the gate. I only understood what he was saying, but when he put his metro card on it, the gate opened and we both slipped through. I thanked him and walked for what felt like a quarter of an hour through the metro system until I finally arrived at the platform for metro 7. I got off two stations further on at the "Sully - Morland" stop. From there, it was only two minutes to the hostel

Check-in went smoothly and I moved into my room.

But I didn't stay here for long. I took my camera and walked towards the Seine, which is almost around the corner. Here, some French people were sitting on the promenade enjoying the evening sun.

I walked south-east until I came to the famous street "Rue Crémieux" in the 12th arrondissement. It is one of the most beautiful streets in Paris.

As it was already getting rather shady and the light was no longer suitable for photos, I didn't stay here too long today and looked for a small restaurant to have dinner. I found one very close to the "Gare de Lyons". While waiting for my pizza, I entered all my destinations for the coming days into "Maps Me" and thought about which ones I would do and when.

In the dark, I finally made my way home, but not by the direct route, so I passed the illuminated "Gare de Lyons", crossed the Seine over the "Pont Charles-de-Gaulle" bridge and walked through the "Tino Rossi Garden".

Gare de Lyons
Gare de Lyons
Tino Rossi Garden
Tino Rossi Garden

On the "Sully Bridge" I took a few pictures of the damaged "Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris". But as it is still relatively fresh during the night and at the waterfront, I didn't stay long here either and went straight to the hostel afterwards.

Tomorrow I start my photo tour through the French capital.

Day 1 - Streetlife

After I had eaten a hearty breakfast, I checked that everything was in my backpack and set off on foot.

I walked through the beautiful "Le Marais" with its small streets, churches and squares. It is the centre of Jewish and Middle Eastern culture in Paris.

When I got to the first item on my list, the "Rue des Rosiers", there was nothing going on. The street was deserted, and at 11 o'clock in the morning! At first I thought it was a public holiday, but that turned out to be a mistake. But I was able to photograph the streets and their colourful shops in peace.

When I got to the first item on my list, the "Rue des Rosiers", there was nothing going on. The street was deserted, and at 11 o'clock in the morning! At first I thought it was a public holiday, but that turned out to be a mistake. But I was able to photograph the streets and their colourful shops in peace.

I also passed the most famous sight in the Marais district, the "Centre Pompidou". With its interesting industrial-style architecture, it's a real eye-catcher. It is also an art and cultural centre, where works by Picasso and Chagall, among others, are on display.

On the way to "Rue Montorgueil", which is also known as one of the typical and popular nightlife districts in Paris, I passed an interesting hall by chance, the "Westfield Forum des Halles". Metro below, shops inside. Here I could really let off steam with my camera. Great architecture and lots of street life.

Behind the hall I found the "Nelson Mandela Garden". There, the French and some tourists were enjoying the spring sun. On the right was the magnificent "Saint-Eustache", a Gothic church from the 16th century.

I walked past her and came to Rue Montorgueil. By now, the shops, cafés, boutiques and supermarkets had opened and the alley was filling up more and more.

Paris is also known for its covered arcades. I passed by one or two of them today and fell in love with them right away. The first was the "Passage du Grand-Cerf".

I continued to "Rue Vivienne", where I discovered a beautiful little bookshop.

When I came to "Rue Sainte-Anne", I thought to myself: It all looks so Japanese. When I asked, I found out that I had landed in the Japanese quarter. But I forgot to take photos because I was so busy looking and looking. In the "passage de choiseul", which was right next door, I took photos again.

On the way to the famous Louvre, I stopped at the Palais Roayal, a Parisian city palace in the 1st arrondissement. Here, of course, everyone was busy taking pictures and having them taken.

When I arrived at the Louvre, I went into the courtyard to the famous pyramid. Here I took a short break, but also photographed from different angles.

The Jardin des Tuileries was too crowded for me. I was there for less than ten minutes.

I was also getting a bit tired and craving a crêpe. So I set out to find a nice little café. Near the opera, in a small side alley, I found a reasonably priced

After this little refreshment, I walked past the opera to the famous Galeries Lafayette Rooftop.

At the top, I had a beautiful view of Paris. But even here there were too many people, so I decided to leave and come back in the evening for sunset.

I took the metro back, because I had already covered more than 14 km. I tried the ticket I found yesterday, but which didn't work, again. This time with success and so I went back to the hostel.

Here I put my feet up, recharged my mobile phone, my battery and myself.

I googled how long the Galeries Lafayette Rooftop is open and when I read that it closes at 20:30, I decided against it. I probably wouldn't have been able to take pictures there because it would have been sunset at exactly that time.

So I changed my plans and wanted to go to the most famous spot in Paris, the "Tour Montparnasse". But before that I wanted to have dinner. I walked to the neighbouring district "Bastille". Arriving at the famous "Place de la Bastille", it was teeming with cafés, bars and restaurants. Of course, everything was overpriced, so I went back to a side alley and looked for something tasty, but cheaper.

After a snack, I bought a metro ticket and went to the "Edgar Quinet" stop. From here, it was only five minutes to the oversized skyscraper. Once there, there was already a long queue. I asked the security how long it would take and how far it would be to the rooftop after the ticket office. When I was told that it was closed and you can only look out of the window from up there, I changed my plan again, as you can't take good photos through the window, and drove towards the Eiffel Tower on the Seine. Here, however, I didn't see the Eiffel Tower for the first time, but the time flew by. Fortunately, there was no beautiful sunset and so I didn't have to be angry that nothing worked out tonight.

I reached the landmark just in time for the blue hour. But I couldn't believe my eyes. Everything was cordoned off, you couldn't even get under the Eiffel Tower, only with an overpriced ticket. I walked around and looked for holes in the barrier, set up my small tripod with my camera and tried to take good pictures with the remote release.

At some point, the Eiffel Tower was still shining and sparkling and when it was really fresh and dark, I made my way to the metro and went back to the hostel.

After 21.5 km on foot, I fell into bed, exhausted but satisfied.

Day 2 - Streetlife and sightseeing

I felt the 22 kilometres I had walked yesterday today, so I actually wanted to take it slower. I had a leisurely breakfast, packed my things and didn't leave the hostel until around 9:30.

On the way to the "Marché d'Aligre", a traditional market in the Bastille district, I passed the colourful "Rue Crémieux" again. Today the light was better. And although it's an Instagram hotspot, it was still quiet so I could take pictures in peace.

When I arrived at the Marche Beauva hall, there was already a lot going on. You can find everything your heart desires: fresh food, exotic spices, cheese, but also junk and pastries are placed around the hall.

When I had seen, tasted and photographed enough, I left this corner, took the metro south and got off again in the 13th arrondissement. This is the hotspot for street art! Up the hill and you see graffiti on almost every house wall. Some of the motifs are really beautiful, but there are also some that make you sad, like the "war in Ukraine".

Then I walked to the Cité Universitaire. I briefly looked at the inner courtyard, but then decided to take the tram a few stops further after looking at the clock.

I got off at the "Portr de Vanes" stop and visited the small but authentic flea market. I strolled along the stalls and looked at the things that the French sell.

But some of them were already dismantling and I decided to walk to the "green street" in the 14th arrondissement. But when I arrived, the little street was not as green as I had seen it on the internet. What a pity.

I continued by metro in a northerly direction. I got off at the "Lamarck-Caulsincourt" stop and walked up the stairs. Here in the Montmartre district, the peace and quiet and the local feeling were over. Tourists upon tourists.

While looking for lunch, I passed one of the last two windmills, the "Moulin de la Galette".

Somewhere in a small side alley I discovered a small Indian restaurant with a lunch menu. The food was delicious and afterwards I made my way to the most colourful photo location in the neighbouring district of "Pigalle". Between the houses in the "Arie Duperré" I discovered it: a basketball court. And there was a lot going on here.

I had a blast taking pictures and when I had my pictures in the can, I walked to the other windmill, the most famous: "The Moulin Rouge". 

However, I didn't like it here at all and so I strolled towards the famous basilica "Sacré-Coeur". It was so swarming with people that I had to queue to climb the stairs myself.

At the top, I had a view of Paris, but not of the Eiffel Tower. Actually, I wanted to photograph the sunset and the Eiffel Tower from here, but nothing came of it. So I walked on and came to the famous square "Montmartre". Restaurants lined up and in the middle the artists and painters. I watched them draw for a while, taking the occasional photo.

Later I googled where I could photograph my idea of sunset after all, and came across the "Terrass Hotel", which had a rooftop bar. I asked if I could get a seat right in front, as I am a photographer and travel blogger and would like to capture the sunset. After a bit of waiting, I got it. I ordered a glass of wine, enjoyed the sun and started editing my photos and summarising the day.

Somehow it didn't work out with a beautiful sunset today either, so I paid at just before 9 pm and actually wanted to make my way home. On the way to the metro, I turned around and walked one last time to the Sacré-Cœur, which was almost around the corner. There I tried to take some great pictures at blue hour, without people. It worked quite well.

However, it was getting colder and colder and I started to freeze. So I immediately looked for the nearest metro station, went back and reached the hostel after 18.5 kilometres on foot.

Day 3 Easter Sunday in Paris

An Easter breakfast without an egg? I've never had that before. Today was a premiere. Instead, I had a delicious croissant, orange juice and other French treats, and I was still full.

On the last day, there were still a few items on the list, but I wasn't sure I could really do them all.

I walked along the Seine in the sunshine through the "Tino Rossi Garden" and came out at the other end at the "Jardin des Plantes".

Here I finally saw some cherry blossom trees in bloom. There wasn't much going on just after 9 am, so I enjoyed the peace and quiet. 

Behind the botanical garden, I strolled along the streets in the "Qartier Latin", which is the oldest district in Paris and also the student quarter, until I came to "Rue Mouffetard".

Although it was Sunday, the first shops and cafés were already open. I found this corner very beautiful, not at all touristy, so that I could enjoy the French flair and capture it photographically.

A few winding streets further on, I came to the well-known "Place de l'Estrapade". This is known from the series "Emily in Paris".

After I had taken a few photos here, my way led me past the "Jardin du Luxembourg" until I passed a small patisserie called "Odette" near the cathedral "Notre-Dame". I treated myself to a small cream puff with coffee flavour.

Just around the corner I also found "Shakespeare & Comapany", probably the most famous bookshop in Paris. It was still closed, but the coffee shop right next door was open. I took a chance when there were no tourists in front of the shop and took a few pictures. I was also told that the bookshop was due to open at 12 noon, so in ten minutes. I waited for that and then I was able to explore the familiar shop from the inside. And I have to say: it's a dream.

I only photographed Notre Dame Cathedral from afar, as there were already too many tourists there.

My walk continued through the streets and alleys to the square "Invalides" with its gilded bridge "Pont Alexandre III". On the other side of the river, I could also see the "Galeries nationales du Grand Palais". But there were crowds of people there too, so I quickly looked for the distance.

In the early afternoon, I got hungry and, as usual, I found something tasty to eat in a side alley, not too expensive.

After the break, I continued walking along the Seine until I reached the Eiffel Tower again.

And here the blow hit me: even more people! I tried to get away from it all very quickly and kept walking until I reached the "Bir Hakeim" bridge. There I was able to take some nice photos again.

But that was not my real goal, but the Statue of Liberty on the "Ile des Cygne". I found it at the very end. Once the photos were in the can, I walked back along the other side of the Seine until I reached the famous "Jardins du Trocadéro" with its "Palais du Trocadéro".

From here I had a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower again. I tried to implement a few new ideas photographically, but didn't stay too long because of the incredible crowd.

My last item on my "Paris ToDo" list was the famous "Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile". I walked there along the "Champs-Élysées". Unfortunately, the Arc de Triomphe was fenced off on the side, there were far too many cars and people. Besides, I was tired and felt my feet starting to give out. The motivation to take pictures left me accordingly. I took the metro back.

At the hostel, I put my feet up and rested.

After my break, I didn't want to try one last time to experience and photograph a sunset in Paris. I made my way to the Seine and couldn't believe my eyes: the French were lined up like sardines on the bank, enjoying the evening. Crazy!

Unfortunately, there was nothing happening in the sky, so I walked through the alleys of the small island "Ile Saint-Louis" and the district "Le Marais" again and captured the nightlife there photographically.

After 26 km, I was finally done for the day and fell into bed, exhausted.

Tomorrow it's then: Au revoir Paris