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Get Away To Paris | A City Guide For The First Timer

Paris The Musée du Louvre 
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If we’re friends on social media you may know that this comes to you in place of a Prague travel post. Unfortunately, a series of unfortunate events en route to the airport led to us missing our flight. After some angry words and hours on the phone, we sat in the car determined not to waste our week. There were very few flights available and the limited last-minute options decided on the Eurostar to Paris for us.


After only discovering the metro towards the end of our trip to Rome, I made sure to do my research this time. On arrival, we headed to the metro and purchased a ticket for the duration of our stay. Three days cost €26.65 (£23.03) p/p which included not only the underground but also buses (although we didn’t use the latter). The metro saves a lot of steps but more importantly, time.


The Eiffel Tower

I’ve never been one to romanticise the Eiffel Tower but this trip changed that. My biggest tip is to ensure that its night when you first lay eyes on it. You’ll fall in love.

Whilst the structure is much more impressive in person generally, it’s at night when it really shines (pun intended). I hadn’t realised that it was so visible from the Louvre, so we almost came upon it by chance. In an attempt to avoid cliché descriptions of Paris I’m reluctant to describe the experience as magical, but there really is no word more fitting.

Musée du Louvre

Perhaps even more impressive than the artwork it holds, is the building itself. Formally a royal palace and famous for its Louvre Pyramid entrance, it’s definitely high on the list of worthwhile things to see. The building is stunning in the sun but if you have the chance, factor in a visit right before your nighttime viewing of the Eiffel Tower. The Pyramid is another landmark far more stunning once the sun has gone down.

Paris The Musée du Louvre 
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Admission to the Louvre is free for certain visitors including those from the EU, so make sure to remember your ID! It’s also a good idea to check the opening times as they vary and on Tuesdays, it’s closed entirely.

Views of The City | Arc De Triomphe

I read a few Paris travel guides last minute before visiting myself and so many of them advised that actually climbing the Eiffel Tower was a waste of time. Although it’s definitely a bucket list activity, for this trip we decided to prioritise the views from the Arc de Triomphe instead. Again, admission is free for certain visitors including those from the EU. We’d budgeted for both entry fees so were pleasantly surprised to have a little more spending money.

I can’t personally recommend the Arc de Triomphe instead of the Eiffel Tower. I can certainly vouch for its incredible views though. Not only will you get the Eiffel Tower in your pictures instead of being stood upon it you’ll also spot the Champs-Élysées, ‘the world’s most beautiful avenue’.

Notre Dame

After the recent news I count myself very lucky to have been one of the last to see this beautiful building. We chose not to actually go inside (which I slightly regret now) but just knowing how important the Cathedral is to so many people is awe-inspiring.


Le Fumoir

A French restaurant enjoyed by locals, Le Fumoir is the perfect place to head for an evening meal. The menu, although slightly limited in options (very much like a set menu) encouraged us to order different foods than we perhaps usually would of. I enjoyed seared bream and tried a little of Jamie’s duck too, both exceeded my expectations (which are often slightly too high).

Le Fumoir
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Whilst I’d recommend Le Fumoir for the food alone, what really made the meal special was the ambience: low lighting, a candle on every table and service I couldn’t fault. This was the most expensive meal of our trip at around €120, but worth every cent.

Pink Mamma

If you’re heading to Moulin Rouge during your trip then Pink Mamma is in the area. A recommendation on In The Frow encouraged us to travel out of our way specifically for their pizza and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The service wasn’t the quickest but it was definitely the friendliest. On ordering pizza our waiter advised us that there would be a 40-minute wait but the restaurant was so nice that we were more than happy to add a starter to our order and to sit and chat.

Without a booking, we were happily seated at the bar on the second floor. It was a little close for comfort (I think generally in the UK we feel a little entitled to more personal space) but still enjoyable. If you know you’re heading to Pink Mamma though, it’s worth booking a few weeks in advance and requesting a table on the top floor (3rd). The building is beautiful and although it’s very hyped on Instagram, everything about that is justified. Our meal was very fairly priced at around €50.


Angelina’s was another choice fuelled by Instagram hype. A very pretty tearoom with the most beautiful restaurant toilets (because that’s worth knowing). We decided to share a breakfast selection as well as their speciality Mont-Blanc pastry and hot chocolate. The traditional pastries included within the breakfast were wonderful and I’d highly recommend them. I also really enjoyed the Eggs Benedict with salmon. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the rest of the order.

Overall I think that my advice would be to stick to your preferences. There were so many wonderful looking treats that I could have ordered so going for the Mont-Blanc just because of its speciality status was definitely an error, but my own. Jamie and I typically like hot chocolate too. At risk of sounding very uncultured, it was far too thick for either of us to enjoy. Whilst it’s clearly very popular with others, I’d definitely recommend ordering one to share and sample first. It comes in a little jug which fills two cups anyway and it’s not cheap. I didn’t mind it to begin with but after eating I honestly couldn’t stomach it. Actually, I ended up leaving more than half.

We spent around €50 but this could easily be done for much less and still be enjoyable. The pastries were the highlight and only a few euros each.

Whilst our trip was a result of less fortunate circumstances, we really did have the most wonderful time. The Eurostar provides such easy access between France and the UK that I have no idea why we hadn’t made the trip sooner. We’ll definitely be making it again. I’d love to hear of any of your experiences of Paris or of any other recommendations!

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  • Reply Luke Heywood

    I adore Paris,
    I’ve only been once for the day while I was visiting Disneyland Paris.
    Your photos make it look stunning.
    Looks like you had a lovely time!

    Luke |

    April 18, 2019 at 5:25 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I adore it too after my trip! Disneyland Paris is definitely next up on my list as I’ve only been to the Florida one! x

      April 18, 2019 at 6:39 pm
  • Reply Jenny

    Wow the value for the metro is so good! I’ve been to France a good few times but only to Paris properly once and that was on a school trip – I’d love to go again on my own and be able to do and see what I want. I’ve luckily seen everything you’ve mentioned here but again, I’d like to do it on my own terms. Your photos are stunning and you’re so lucky you got to see Notre Dame before the awful fire too.

    You’ve massively made me wanna jet off to Paris now!


    April 18, 2019 at 6:38 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It’s definitely worthwhile for the price! I totally relate to this because I have the same feelings about New York, I went with college but everything was on their schedule and I definitely didn’t get to see all I wanted to! Haha I’ll come with! x

      April 18, 2019 at 10:25 pm
  • Reply Sophie Wentworth

    I’m glad you had a good time after the Prague incident. I was wondering if you’d mention the Notre Dame or not after this week’s events. It’s a shame you didn’t get to go in. Last time I was in Paris we didn’t plan our visit that well and accidentally ended up going during Sunday mass. Quite the full on experience for a non-religious person. It looks like you got some good weather too! x


    April 18, 2019 at 6:39 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! It’s definitely a shame, we wanted to prioritise other things this trip and ‘put it off’ for another time but it’s such a shame that it will be so different next time. Oh wow what a great way to see it though, I’m not religious either but I went to a Catholic high school so am used to all of the masses etc. x

      April 18, 2019 at 10:34 pm
  • Reply Lucy

    I’m so glad you had such a great time in Paris Soph! These pictures are amazing, Paris is on my travel to do list! xx

    Lucy |

    April 18, 2019 at 7:01 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you lovely! It definitely should be, you’ll love it x

      April 18, 2019 at 10:38 pm
  • Reply Tiffany

    Those are such beautiful pictures, especially of Notre Dame, and I’m so glad that you got to see it before the fire. I’ve personally never been to Paris, but I would love to go one day.

    April 18, 2019 at 8:26 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you so much. Me too! You’ll absolutely love it x

      April 18, 2019 at 10:39 pm
  • Reply Faye

    I’m desperate to try the Eurostar! It’s been 13 years since I went to Paris, as a child, and I barely remember it. It’d be great to head back again soon, especially if I get to try some of the food that you did! X

    April 18, 2019 at 10:56 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Oh you’re definitely due a trip back then! The food was absolutely amazing, you’ll love it! x

      April 20, 2019 at 9:43 pm
  • Reply Mei Qi

    Wow!! Lovely pictures! I love Paris!

    April 19, 2019 at 1:32 pm
  • Reply Melina Elisa

    I went to Paris last year, which actually happen to be my first time in Europe! I had such a lovely time and went to all the places you mentioned. This was a girl first timer’s guide! I had a bit of trouble finding some really good restaurants. I did enjoy the ones I went to, but the next time I go there, I’m definitely going to go to some of these spots! Great post Soph xxx

    Melina |

    April 19, 2019 at 2:55 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m so glad you had a great time too! It’s such a beautiful city isn’t it x

      April 20, 2019 at 9:38 pm
  • Reply Nancy

    Oh man, I really need to get my butt out to Paris one of these days. The pricing of the metro isn’t bad at all. YESSS on seeing the Eiffel Tower! I need to go check this out in person. I can’t imagine how gorgeous it looks during the evening. The Musée du Louvre looks gorgeous. I can imagine so many different photo ops with it. It is unfortunate that the Notre Dame caught on fire. However, I know it’s not the end of the cathedral. OMG!!! There are so many different places to check out. I know I will appreciate the cafes the most, hehe. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    Nancy ♥

    April 20, 2019 at 4:59 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      It’s so beautiful but definitely more of a trek for you! It’s such a beautiful city and it’s definitely all more beautiful in the dark x

      April 20, 2019 at 9:31 pm
  • Reply Danielle Alexa

    I adore Paris, it is such a wonderful city!

    Danielle xx

    April 20, 2019 at 5:05 pm
  • Reply Marielle

    Paris will forever be in my bucketlist – until of course I can visit haha this post definitely gave me an idea on what to expect and what to prepare! Thank you <3

    April 22, 2019 at 6:32 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I have such a long travel bucket list so I know where you’re coming from haha! x

      April 22, 2019 at 10:18 pm
  • Reply Marina W

    Paris is soooo on my next travel bucket list 🙂
    Love your photography style, you a nice week!

    – Marina W

    April 22, 2019 at 10:16 am
  • Reply Michelle

    Notre Dame is very much the historic landmark in France besides Versailles, of course, and I can understand why it is being rebuilt. It has lived beyond the many hundred of years and no doubt, it will continue to do so.

    Paris looks so great!
    I would love to not only visit Paris but the whole of France one day.

    April 22, 2019 at 10:59 am
  • Reply Lucy

    I would love to visit Paris, its been on my bucket list for the longest time!

    Lucy |

    April 22, 2019 at 3:13 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      You’ll absolutely love it! x

      April 23, 2019 at 10:08 am
  • Reply Lupe Hernandez

    I’ve never been to Paris, but I hope to make my way there sometime soon. All the places you went to wear beautiful, and I’m glad you tried different things to know if you like them or not.

    April 22, 2019 at 5:27 pm
  • Reply what corinne did

    I love Angelina! Such a pretty place! I have not been to Paris in so long! There are so many other places I’d recommend like the Latin Quarter, Rue Crémieux or the Jewish quarter!

    April 22, 2019 at 5:31 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It’s beautiful isn’t it?! Ooh I’ll keep those in mind for next time, I don’t think we could have fit in much more this time around! Thank you for the recommendations! x

      April 23, 2019 at 10:11 am
  • Reply Aaliyah

    Paris just looks amazing! I’ve been before but not for many years and I went with school so it’s not really the same, I would love to go again it just looks so gorgeous. I need to go and see the Eiffel Tower again and actually get up there to see the views. It looked like you had such a lovely time, Great Post x

    April 22, 2019 at 5:32 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I adored it! I know what you mean because I went to New York with college and definitely need to go back so that I can do things on my own terms. Thank you lovely! x

      April 23, 2019 at 10:17 am
  • Reply Chloe Dickenson

    It’s a shame you couldn’t get to Prague (I was there in November and loved it!) but I’m so glad you enjoyed Paris instead! The views from the Arc de Triomphe look amazing and I wish we’d done that last year on our trip there! Also, you definitely were so lucky to be able to see the Notre Dame, it’s such a shame about what happened but you captured all the images so beautifully of everything you saw in Paris! xx

    April 22, 2019 at 5:35 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It definitely is but I’m sure we’ll book to go another time! Thank you, I’m so glad you think so x

      April 23, 2019 at 10:21 am
  • Reply Lisa

    It’s YEARS since I was last in Paris and I’d completely forgotten about the views at night. Not for nothing is Paris known as the City of Lights, it really does shine and come alive after dark. Le Fumoir sounds fabulous, well worth the money, although it’s a shame about the hot chocolate in Angelina. I should have lent you Flora, she’d have gobbled it up with a spoon! Glad you had a lovely time though, Soph, even if you it wasn’t quite where you had intended to go 🙂 X

    Lisa |

    April 22, 2019 at 5:44 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It really does, doesn’t it. I’m so glad we went for a wander and stumbled across the Eiffel Tower whilst it was all lit up. Haha I’m sure she’d have loved it, it’s such a shame that it just wasn’t to our tastes. Thank you! x

      April 23, 2019 at 10:26 am
  • Reply Chloe Chats

    I’ve never been to Paris before, but would love to go. There’s so many things to see, and of course, I would love to see the Eiffel Tower – I can imagine it being so beautiful at night! That’s pretty good that you got free entry into places, I bet that was a lovely surprise knowing you then had extra money to spend then. Your pictures look lovely, I’m glad you had a great time! <3

    Chloe xx

    April 22, 2019 at 6:22 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It’s so beautiful! Yeah I’m glad we’d budgeted cash for all of them too because it meant I could spend it in Sephora instead haha. Thanks Chloe! x

      April 23, 2019 at 11:09 am
  • Reply New Lune

    I’m so sorry you didn’t get to go to Prague but I’m so glad you had a great time in Paris. I didn’t go back to Paris after I moved to the UK, I was feeling really nostalgic when reading your blog post and looking at your pictures. Hopefully I can go back to France this year or next, fingers crossed! All your pictures are so gorgeous xx

    April 23, 2019 at 12:34 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you lovely! I hope you get to go back very soon, I miss it already and I’ve only visited once and for a short time!x

      April 23, 2019 at 10:07 pm
  • Reply Katie

    I’ve never been to Paris but I’d love to go one day. Good tip about the Arc De Triumph been free for EU residents!!

    Katie xx

    April 23, 2019 at 1:27 pm
  • Reply Hannah

    Oh I just love Paris so much! Everything is so photogenic and pretty
    need to go back asap

    April 23, 2019 at 2:39 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I feel the same, haha I’m already wondering when I can go back too!x

      April 24, 2019 at 9:20 am
  • Reply Jazmin

    It sounds like you had a lovely time in Paris & I’m super jealous! I’ve never been but it’s been on my bucket list for a while now. I love French food!! It’s special that you got to see the Notre-dame too. It looks so beautiful xx

    April 23, 2019 at 4:41 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      We did, thank you! The food was actually one of the things which most impressed me, we loved every place we tried really! x

      April 24, 2019 at 9:23 am
  • Reply Katie

    Really glad you got to enjoy Paris after the issues with Prague! I love the Notre Dame building too, so so beautiful!

    Katie | XX

    April 23, 2019 at 6:56 pm
  • Reply Deborah Kos

    I have never been to Paris but would to see it. Angelina sounds like a wonderful tearoom. So glad you finally made it to Paris.

    April 23, 2019 at 9:12 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It’s definitely one of those bucket list destinations isn’t it? Thank you!x

      April 24, 2019 at 9:38 am
  • Reply Tina

    Ah Paris – my love!!!
    Cant wait to be back in that city, its just a dream I think 😉 and the restaurants sound so great , definitely need to check them out too. I loved Angeline and their coffee and sweeets ♥


    April 24, 2019 at 11:44 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I think so too! We had the best food whilst we were there- I loved every meal haha x

      April 24, 2019 at 2:11 pm
  • Reply Samantha

    What stunning photos! I’ve never ventured to Paris, even though my parents live in France! it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go and I’ll get there one day. Love the photo of you looking at the Eiffel Tower.

    So tragic to have lost the majority of Notre Dame, such an iconic building. at least you got to see it in all its glory, I’m sure you’ll treasure the memory. loved finding out more about your trip to Paris. x

    Samantha |

    April 24, 2019 at 12:10 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! I can’t believe it had taken me this long either, I’m sure you will and you’ll love it! I agree, it’s crazy how much money they’ve raised for it though x

      April 24, 2019 at 7:47 pm
  • Reply Amie Cadwallader

    Paris is literaly one of my favourite places & there is so much to do and see!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    April 24, 2019 at 9:08 pm
  • Reply Mercy

    I needed this, I haven’t been to Paris and currently planning to there hopefully sooner than later. Yes, you’re lucky to be able to see the Notre Dame irl. Such great tips!

    April 26, 2019 at 4:49 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Oh I’m glad that this came at a good time for you then! Thank you, I’m glad you think so x

      April 26, 2019 at 7:15 pm
  • Reply Kim

    I love visiting Paris and completely agree that both the Eiffel Tower and the Lourve look even more picturesque at night. We were lucky to go inside Notre Dame and thankfully I purchased a photographer pass (€2) so I have photos. It’s a stunning building. We used the metro throughout our stay too.

    May 4, 2019 at 11:03 pm
  • Reply Bexa

    I’m so glad you had a wonderful trip to Paris, and great you didn’t let Prague spoil your fun! Last time I went to Paris, we went to the Eiffel Tower, it was such a cool experience and the views were amazing… I’d love to experience it at night too, I imagine it looks incredible! The views from Arc De Triomphe look fantastic, great shot! It looks like there is so much to see and do in Paris, I’d love to visit again someday, it’s such a beautiful city. Thanks for sharing your trip Soph, fabulous photos as always! <3 xx

    Bexa |

    May 5, 2019 at 7:22 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you so much Bexa! I’d definitely love to do it at some point but it was a pretty short trip so we had to prioritise. Thank you! I’ll definitely be headed back at some point too, I feel like its one of those cities where there’s always something new to see x

      May 5, 2019 at 10:25 pm
  • Reply Stacie

    It only took one trip to Paris for me to fall in love with it. I love the monuments, of course, but there is a certain vibe to the city that I haven’t found anywhere else.

    May 6, 2019 at 1:11 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Same here! I love that different places have such different vibes to them!x

      May 7, 2019 at 3:17 pm
  • Reply natalie

    Oh your pictures are stunning. I went to Paris sightseeing when I was younger with my boyfriend and I would love to go back again and take my children.

    May 6, 2019 at 5:09 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you so much! I’ll definitely be going back too, it’s such a beautiful place isn’t it?x

      May 7, 2019 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply Cristina Petrini

    It seems easy to go to Paris and think you know exactly what to see, but it is not! Great guide!

    May 6, 2019 at 5:41 pm
  • Reply Wander Women Abroad

    I’ve been to Paris a few time and to be honest its not one of my favorite places. The architecture is spectacular and the history is rich but overall wasnt for me bc I am more of a country side kind of girls

    May 6, 2019 at 6:04 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Oh thats such a shame, I fell in love with it completely. I live in the country though so have always been drawn to cities! x

      May 7, 2019 at 3:33 pm
  • Reply Jenny MacKenzie

    Getaway to Paris! Yes please. Great post- loved the pics!

    May 6, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    oh my goodness what an awesome trip! I’ve been meaning to head back to Paris. I went when I was younger but I was too young to truly appreciate the beauty! I need to organize my next trip for sure!

    May 7, 2019 at 12:59 am
  • Reply Terri Steffes

    I’m glad to hear of EuroStar because we are thinking of a trip to England and I want to go to France before I head back over the ocean. Maybe this is a way to do that.

    May 7, 2019 at 3:39 am
  • Reply Bernd

    Richtig tolle Eindrücke aus der Stadt der Liebe! Habe das große Glück in knapp 3 Stunden mit dem Auto dort sein zu können. Fahre seit Jahren zu Ostern nach Paris und finde jedes Jahr wieder neue Gründe die Stadt zu lieben! 🙂

    Wünsche dir eine tolle Woche!
    Bernd – STYLE and FITNESS

    May 7, 2019 at 10:07 am
  • Reply Yeah Lifestyle

    What a great guide to a beautiful city. It makes me want to visit all over again!

    May 7, 2019 at 7:58 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m so glad you think so, me too!x

      May 9, 2019 at 10:04 pm
  • Reply Chelle Dizon

    My bestfriend was able to visit Paris too and she told me how lovely and amazing the view is. Hope we can also experience that someday.

    May 7, 2019 at 8:27 pm
  • Reply Emmy

    These are such great tips. I have yet to visit Paris, but after hearing how crazy long the lines are for the Eiffel Tower, I would prefer to see it from a distance and see views of the city.

    May 7, 2019 at 9:00 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! I agree, its something I’d like to do at some point but I’m happy we chose the Arc de Triomphe instead! x

      May 11, 2019 at 8:45 am
  • Reply Claire Lee

    I really want to go to Paris and UK in general. I am saving this for the future! Thank you for the guide 🙂

    May 7, 2019 at 11:29 pm
  • Reply Viktorija

    Such a great review! I am currently planning trip to Paris with my Mum. She will be a first timer and I am going for a second time! It has been while ago, so excited!!!

    May 8, 2019 at 12:11 am
  • Reply Catherine

    Paris is stunning! Every time I see pictures, it takes my breath away. I hope to see it someday and see that beautiful architecture.

    May 8, 2019 at 1:47 am
  • Reply Jasmine Hewitt

    very informative and helpful. paris would make a fun trip

    May 8, 2019 at 2:50 am
  • Reply Kara

    We went to Paris in October and I am so glad we saw Notre Dame too – the view from Arc De Triomphe is stunning, sisnt it

    May 8, 2019 at 9:17 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Oh I’d love to see it in other seasons.. yes it’s so beautiful!x

      May 11, 2019 at 8:54 am
  • Reply Rosey

    You do want to know where to find the good restrooms! I loved the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre as well. I also enjoyed Musee d’Orsay quite a bit!

    May 8, 2019 at 11:17 am
  • Reply Alexandra Cook

    The pictures are absolutely awesome. It is pretty obvious you had an awesome time with your trip. I am quite jealous actually

    May 8, 2019 at 12:23 pm
  • Reply Amy

    Oh wow! I’m not sure I could ever leave that place. it is absolutely one of the most gorgeous place I’ve ever seen.

    May 8, 2019 at 12:25 pm
  • Reply Karin

    Gorgeous! Paris is high on my list of places to visit, it looks incredible. I love everything about it and I haven’t even been there yet!

    May 8, 2019 at 12:27 pm
  • Reply Suzanne

    I cannot wait to see Paris with my husband. One day I know we will visit soon.

    May 8, 2019 at 5:31 pm
  • Reply Kami | Life with Kami

    My dream destination. The city of love, Paris. Thanks for sharing your great experience.

    May 8, 2019 at 7:46 pm
  • Reply siennylovesdrawing

    I Iove to eat & travel around. Your sharing makes me missed my Paris visit many years ago. Gonna plan a trip to visit my Paris friends. Thanks for this amazing sharing
    cheers, siennylovesdrawing

    May 8, 2019 at 11:19 pm
  • Reply Rosemarie Gonzales

    Eiffel tower 😍, this is the thing I want to see in person and Paris is the place I want to visit and wanna see in person.

    I never been there, I only see those in pictures only 😅.

    May 10, 2019 at 1:47 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It’s so gorgeous, especially at night! Maybe you’ll make it one day! x

      May 16, 2019 at 7:34 pm

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