europe recap #1: france

please note: while I was compensated for links included in this post, all thoughts and opinions remain my own.


Many of you may not know that before I came to New Zealand, my boyfriend and I backpacked all over Europe for nearly two months together. I have never done a recap of this amazing trip, but I have always wanted to. There is WAY too much to cover in one post, so I’ll be doing a little series of Europe recaps! Welcome to recap numero uno.


I don’t feel like doing this in order of where we went, so I’m just going to do it in order or whichever lovely country I feel like talking about at the time. Today I am feeling France-y. We didn’t spend a ton of time in France, maybe a week total. We first stayed in eastern Paris in a very homey hostel, but the area wasn’t the greatest and we felt very uncomfortable and unsafe coming back to our hostel at night. I would definitely recommend staying in the city centre, you’d probably have a much better opinion of Paris than I do if you did so.

Me being all class and apparently walking with my eyes closed at the Arc de Triomphe


We did the mandatory stroll down Champs-Élysées, a street full of luxury shops and crazy expensive cafes that we could never afford! It was cool to see nonetheless. And obviously went and checked out the Eiffel Tower…not that we have any good photos of that though because my memory card decided to delete them all. Thanks memory card. We also went to the Arc de Triomphe, which the memory card decided to save. Lucky!


We did have way better pictures than this, but no thanks to the memory card they are gone forever…


I think my favorite thing about Paris was eating baguettes full of delicious and cheap – but gourmet to us – European cheeses and meats (who am I kidding, that’s all I ate our whole time in Europe!), and this amazing night cruise we did along the River Seine. Paris is so alive at night, it’s seriously incredible. The Eiffel Tower is all lit up, the city is all lit up, people gather along spots on the river’s edge and dance. It’s so cool. I would recommend, a million times over, to do a night cruise in Paris if you go.


The night time River Seine cruise!


I should mention that we started our trip on September 1st, so it was still summery weather everywhere we went. Judging by the photos in this article, Paris in winter could be pretty darn beautiful. The next stop on our trip was Nice, which is actually pronounced like niece. It totally made up for how disappointed we were that Paris didn’t meet the expectations of our wildest french dreams. Nice was nice, that’s for sure.


This clearly explains why the night cruise was so worth it!


We stayed in Nice for two or three nights, most of our time spent floating around in the Mediterranean. Honestly, when you find water that warm you just don’t want to get out! The ocean water was crystal clear and like hanging out in a lukewarm bathtub. It was the best. There were lots of great options of places to stay – we chose a hostel close to the city centre – and you could easily find hotels in Nice on a site like this.


I love the Mediterranean. SO WARM. HOW!?


Walking through the windy little alleys in the shopping/cafe area was so pretty and eating out here was far more affordable than in Paris. I loved Nice, not only because the city itself is so wonderful but because you are a mere bus ride (just a simple city bus, not some crazy cross-country bus) from the amazingness that is the principality of Monaco – the second smallest and most densely populated country in the world.


The windy alleyways of Nice full of cute cafes and boutiques.


I know, you’re super intrigued now, but I’m going to leave it at that and come back to Monaco another day. Have sweet French dreams, and if you are planning a trip yourself, feel free to ask me any questions about where to go, what to do and doing it cheap!


  1. says

    I LOVED Nice – we were there in July when they have their weekly fireworks competition and it was amazing. You are so right though, Monaco is a wonderful experience, and for a car junkie like me it was a great way to spend a day!

  2. Joelle Duff :: Something Charming says

    Paris is my favorite city in the world, so I always love seeing posts about it! Thanks so much for sharing…I’m living vicariously through you right now ;) xoxo

  3. says

    I’m so sad the hear that you had a bad experience in Paris!! I lived there for a summer and absolutely loved it! But places are always different when you live there. I never did go on a night river cruise though! That will have to be on my to-do list for next time :)

    I never did get to go to Nice though! I would have loved to and your post makes me regret not going… next time I’ll have to!

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