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Although Paris was not initially at the top of my list of places to visit abroad, when a group of my friends scheduled flights and hotel rooms, I jumped on the trip. And I’m so glad I did! I enjoyed Paris more than I thought I would, even though I didn’t have much time there.

What I got to Do:

  • Disneyland Paris– This is a stop that probably isn’t for everyone. It’s expensive, and a lot of people think that by the time you’re in college, you’ve outgrown Disney. But I disagree completely! We spent one day of our weekend in Paris’ Magic Kingdom, exploring the park, watching parades, and going on rides. Disney Paris was in some ways a mirror of Disneyworld, Orlando, but in other ways completely unique with a very different atmosphere. I loved every minute spent there, from the soap-bubble snow on Main Street to the closing fireworks show.

  • Crepes– We didn’t try a lot of French cuisine during our trip. When you’re college kids on a budget, foie gras doesn’t sound all that appealing. But one thing we did try was crepes. I kept mine simple, butter and sugar from a cozy corner café. Ducking inside after nightfall, it was the perfect way to warm up and have something sweet before dinner. Absolutely delicious!

  • Eiffel Tower– I couldn’t possibly go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower, right? It was our number one must-see in downtown Paris, even though it was a hike from the train station. We took our time getting there, stopping for lots and lots of pictures along the way. As we walked, we could see it from the river, coming in and out of view as we got closer. But seeing it from afar couldn’t compare to our up-close and personal views.

What I Missed:

  • Louvre– I was really disappointed to miss the Louvre, Paris’ most famed art museum. Home to masterpieces like Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the famed Venus de Milo, and Victory of Samothrace, the Louvre contains an enormous collection of art. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it inside. But the Louvre could easily be a whole day by itself, and we just didn’t have the time. All that beautiful art will have to wait.  

  • Notre Dame– Though we saw the famous cathedral from the outside, we didn’t have time to wait in line to get in, which was a shame. The cathedral is free entry, but the line is long, and we only had one day in the city. The exterior of the building is absolutely gorgeous, intricately carved and lined with statues. Any big Disney fans could just imagine Quasimodo swinging from one gargoyle to the next. Still, it would’ve been even more perfect to see the building from the outside.

  • Eiffel Tower– I know I said we did do the Eiffel Tower, and we did. But we didn’t go up the Eiffel Tower, which I would’ve loved to do. Again, we had limited time and money, and the tower was beautiful from the ground too. Of course, the overhead view of the city would’ve been amazing, but I can’t complain about our sunset view by the river.

Not only did I enjoy Paris more than I anticipated, it’s definitely somewhere I would go back to. Two days is never enough for one city, but that felt especially true in Paris. Hopefully someday I make it back to visit all the things I didn’t get to do this time.

Mallory Fitzpatrick is a senior at John Carroll University, who loves reading, writing, and travel. 
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