Eiffel Tower, Jardin des Tuileries, Champs-Élysées, Seine River Cruise

Today we left the hotel around 9:45am and headed to the Eiffel Tower via the Metro. When we got there, we ended up having to walk around half of the Champ de Mars (the park in front of the tower) because it was gated off for a UEFA Euro Football tournament viewing screen. Once we made it through a security line, we were let into the space underneath the tower. From here, you can choose to buy tickets to walk up the tower (bonne chance), take an elevator to the 2nd/top floor, or simply enjoy the view from the ground. Tickets aren't unreasonably priced in my opinion, although if you're with a big group, it can get pricey quickly.  But, "when in Paris" right?

Viewing setup for the Euro Tournament 

France really loves their football..

On the second floor, the views of the city are wonderful, especially on a sunny day. I've been to the top of the tower, and to the second level, and I personally think the views from the second level are more detailed and easier to photograph. 

View from the second floor

Another second floor view

West view off the tower

As far as lines go, there was barely a wait at 10:45am on a Monday in July, which seemed very strange, given that it's nearly peak tourist season. However, when we came back down from the tower, which was around 12:30, the lines were very long, so the morning seems like the best time to visit.   

For lunch, we ate at one of my favorite spots for a classic french meal. The restaurant is called Le Medicis, and it's right in the middle of the Jardin des Tuileries. The food is great and perfect for lunch, service is friendly and welcoming, and the scenery is unforgettable, with Le Louvre in front and the Champs-Élysées to your back. 

After lunch, we did some shopping along the famous Champs-Élysées, mostly for the Ladurée Royale, a beautiful restaurant/shop where you can buy the most delicious yet overpriced macaroons in Paris. They really do live up to the hype though...

Later in the afternoon, we went on a Seine River Cruise that started at the base of the Eiffel Tower. The company that runs this specific ride is called Bateaux Parisians. The tickets are €15 for adults and the cruise lasts for roughly 45 minutes. There is a narration, but you must sit inside to hear it. We chose to sit on the top deck of the boat for better views and a wonderful breeze. This was my second time cruising with them, and both trips were enjoyable.  

Katherine McVey