Eiffel Tower & Sacre-Coeur – Paris

As part of my trip to Paris in May 2016, I visited the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur Bascilica and went on a night-time cruise on the River Seine. This post covers  those experiences and shows you the great sights I saw.

Eiffel Tower
We paid approximately £14 for our tickets for the Eiffel Tower, we didn’t pre-buy our tickets, I really wish we had as we queued for 1 hour 30mins  to get out tickets and then another 30 mins to get  into the lift that took us 3/4 of the way up. Getting to the top requires two separate lift journeys. One from ground to 3/4 up the tower and another to take you up to the topmost viewing platform.

The Tower is an amazing structure and a remarkable feat of engineering. The views from the tower are stunning. Paris is  even more so a beautiful city when viewed from the tower, especially when the mostly white buildings that make up the city glisten in the sun. It was very calming on the tower even though it was busy with lots of people around. The air and the scenery allowed me to escape into a place serenity.  It is truly a worthwhile activity to do, but book your tickets in advance and go early to get the most out of the experience.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Up Close of The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Up Close of The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
View from Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Me on the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Me on the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Night Cruise on the River Seine
We wanted to see the city by night and we felt the best way to experience the city would be on a cruise on the River Seine as the cruise take you through the heart of the city and past iconic landmarks. We paid approximately £20 for the cruise which includes a hot drink and a crepe. The night cruise was well worth the money, I personally being on the water as I find it very calming. The boat wasn’t busy so i was able to move freely to get the best views.

Eiffel Tower at Night, Paris, France
Eiffel Tower at Night, Paris, France
The Eiffel Tower at Night from the River Seine, Paris, France
The Eiffel Tower at night from the River Seine, Paris, France
Paris, France by Night
Paris, France by Night
Notre Dame at Night From the River Seine, Paris, France
Notre Dame at Night From the River Seine, Paris, France
Notre Dame at Night From the River Seine, Paris, France
Notre Dame at Night From the River Seine, Paris, France
Paris France by Night on the River Seine
Paris France by Night on the River Seine
Paris France by Night on the River Seine
Paris France by Night on the River Seine
Paris France by Night on the River Seine
Paris France by Night on the River Seine
Paris, France by Night From the River Seine
Paris, France by Night From the River Seine
Paris France by Night on the River Seine
Paris France by Night on the River Seine
Paris France by Night on the River Seine
Paris France by Night on the River Seine

Sacré-Cœur
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, is more commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica or often simply called Sacré-Cœur. Sacre-Coeur is a popular landmark, Parisian landmark and located in the summit of the art district of Montmarte. The Basilica is worth a visit for great views of the city, to get a Parisian caricature from a street artist and to spend some time in the park and gardens located at the base of Sacre-Coeur.

Sacre Coeur, Paris, France
Sacre Coeur, Paris, France
Sacre Coeur, Paris, France
Sacre Coeur Bascilica, Paris, France
Sacre Coeur, Paris, France
Sacre Coeur Bascilica, Paris, France
Sacre Coeur, Paris, France
Sacre Coeur Bascilica, Paris, France
Montmarte, Paris, France
Montmarte, Paris, France
Street Art, Paris, France
Street Art Montmarte, Paris, France
Street Art, Paris, France
Street Art Montmarte, Paris, France

Overall
There are loads to do in Paris, the city is chic, artsy and  romantic. It may be a while before I return to the city but I am sure I will visit again to enjoy Parisian culture. Want to know other things to do in the city check out my previous blogs here and here.

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Copenhagen – Denmark

I went to Copenhagen in March 2015 for 3 nights and as usual I stayed in a hostel, I stay in hostels for the socialising opportunities more so than to save on costs.

The first thing I did in Copenhagen was to buy a 48 hour hop on hop off bus ticket. These type of bus tours are a great way to see as much of a city in a short period of time.  The next thing I did was book myself onto a free walking tour, another great way to learn about  the city.

Copenhagen Free Walking Tour, Denmark
Copenhagen Free Walking Tour, Denmark

What I Did

Church of Our Saviour or Vor Frelsers Kirke
This church is located in the Christianshavn district of Copenhagen. The church’s brown and gold spire can be seen from miles around and on a clear day,  the sun against the gold dome at the top acts like a light beacon drawing people to it.  The main reason I visited this church was to climb up its tower, there are 400 steps to the top of the spire, the last 150 being outside. This is an old church so the steps are narrow and rickety and there is no place or time to rest  on the ascent or descent as there is a constant flow of people going up and down. I think I paid the equivalent of £5 to climb up, don’t quote me on that but either way it is very cheap.

Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen, Denmark
Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen, Denmark
Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen, Denmark
Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen, Denmark
Me on the Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen, Denmark
Me on the Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen, Denmark
View of Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen, Denmark
View from Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen, Denmark
View from Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen, Denmark
View from Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen, Denmark

Christiania
Christiania is an autonomous neighbourhood of close to 1000 residents. Abandoned army barracks  were squatted by arty types in the 1970s.  Cannabis has been freely traded in the area since then and still is, hence why photographs are forbidden in the area.  I really liked Christiania, I am a hippy at heart and I  liked that these people where able to take a disused area and build something worthwhile. It is the home of the Christiania bikes used by the Princess of Denmark. Also I had an amazing Vegetarian meal in one of the cafes.

Entrance to Christiania, Copenhagen, Denmark
Entrance to Christiania, Copenhagen, Denmark (Picture not Mine)
Christiania Statue of Liberty, Copenhagen, Denmark
Christiania Statue of Liberty, Copenhagen, Denmark
Mural in Christiania, Copenhagen, Denmark
Mural in Christiania, Copenhagen, Denmark
Vegetarian Meal at Christiania, Copenhagen, Denmark
Vegetarian Meal at Christiania, Copenhagen, Denmark

Christiansborg Palace or Christiansborg Slot
Christiansborg Palace is both a palace and government buildings. The Tarnet Tower at the centre of the buildings offers aerial views of the city, there is something about being high up that makes me feel extra liberated. Entrance to the tower is free  and there is a lift to take you up.

Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
Me at Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
Me at Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
View from Tarnet Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark
View from Tarnet Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark
View from Tarnet Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark
View from Tarnet Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark
Me on Tarnet Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark
Me on Tarnet Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark

St Alban’s Church
St Alban’s church is an English Anglican church in a peaceful park located in the Nordre Tolbold area next to the citadel Kastellet (a well pressured army fortress) and the Gefion Fountain. I liked this little church for its simplicity.

St Alban's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark
St Alban’s Church, Copenhagen, Denmark
St Alban's Church and Gefion Fountain, Copenhagen, Denmark
St Alban’s Church and Gefion Fountain, Copenhagen, Denmark
Inside St Alban's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark
Inside St Alban’s Church, Copenhagen, Denmark
Gefion Fountain, Copenhagen, Denmark
Gefion Fountain, Copenhagen, Denmark
Nordre Tolbold Park, Copenghagen, Denmark
Nordre Tolbold Park, Copenhagen, Denmark
Me at Nordre Tolbold Park, Copenhagen, Denmark
Me at Nordre Tolbold Park, Copenhagen, Denmark

Little Mermaid
Within the same vicinity of St Alban’s Church is the Little Mermaid statue. I could barely get a clear view of the statue as it is quiet small and there were loads of tourist around wanting to see the famous statue.  And no she does not have red hair or a turquoise fin.

Little Mermaid Statue, Copenhagen, Denmark
Little Mermaid Statue, Copenhagen, Denmark
Me at the Little Mermaid Statue, Copenhagen, Denmark
Me at the Little Mermaid Statue, Copenhagen, Denmark

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is an art museum, the collection is built around the personal collection of Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries. I did not go inside as I had limited time but I managed to find a gem in the gardens outside the museum. I came across Rodin’s ‘Thinker’, this really made my day.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Devil Sculpture, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum Garden, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Devil Sculpture, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum Garden, Copenhagen, Denmark
Rodin's Thinker at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum Garden, Copenhagen, Denmark
Rodin’s Thinker at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum Garden, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Back of Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Back of Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Round Tower or Rundetarn
The Round Tower in Copenhagen was  one of the last  places I visited in Copenhagen. It is free to go inside, there is also a small gallery, mid way up and best of all there is viewing platform for aerial views of city. I never got tired of seeing Copenhagen from up high.

The Round Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Round Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Round Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Round Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark
Inside The Round Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark
Inside The Round Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark
View From The Round Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark
View From The Round Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark
Some Art in The Round Tower Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Some Art in The Round Tower Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Some Art in The Round Tower Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Some Art in The Round Tower Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark

Just Walking Around
Walking around is what I like best, getting lost in the hopes I stumble across unique and interesting aspects of the city and Copenhagen didn’t disappoint.

A Colourful Square in Copenhagen, Denmark
A Colourful Square in Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen Opera House, Denmark
Copenhagen Opera House, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark
Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark
Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark
The MarbleChurch From The Courtyard of The Royal Palaces, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Marble Church From The Courtyard of The Royal Palaces, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Marble Church, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Marble Church, Copenhagen, Denmark
Ship on Copenhagen Harbour, Denmark
Ship on Copenhagen Harbour, Denmark

My Review of the City
Copenhagen is a great city, it is vibrant, culturally rich and has a great history. The city is expensive but you can definitely visit even with a strict budget. I had a great time in the city and I would like to return to explore some more especially in Christiana.  An all round great destination for anyone who wants to experience a Northern European City.

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Prague – Czech Republic

Prague (Praha) the capital city of the Czech Republic is now in my top 5 European cities. The Czech Republic many consider to be in Eastern Europe but it is actually in Central Europe. The currency used is the Czech Koruna (CZK) and £1 (GBP) equates to approximately 34CZK. One quirky fact is that the Czechs are the biggest beer consumers in the world, and not surprising beer is very cheap in the country and even cheaper than water.

Wenceslas Cathedral
This is an amazing Medieval Cathedral that dominates the Prague skyline, the Cathedral sits atop a hill and proudly overlooks the city with its very mythical and folky vibe. There are long queues to get inside so if you want to visit get there early. I didn’t go in I just walked around the building taking in its magnificence.

Wenceslas Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic
Wenceslas Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic
Part of Wenceslas Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic
Part of Wenceslas Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic
Part of Wenceslas Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic
Part of Wenceslas Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic
Wenceslas Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic
Wenceslas Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic

The Old Town Hall, Pražský orloj (Prague astronomical clock)
There are many things that catch your eye as you enter the Old Town Square, however  none more so than the Pražský orloj (Prague astronomical clock)  this is a beautiful clock created by Mikuláš of Kadaň and Jan Mindel and was installed in 1410 on the Old Town Hall, making it one of the oldest functioning astronomical clock in the world.  There is a little show that is played on the hour  and there is always a crowd gathered to hear the tune and watch the little skeleton take centre stage in ringing its bell. If you are going  to visit the square, it is worthwhile to see a great piece of art, science and maths in action.

Prague Astronomical Clock, Czech Republic
Prague Astronomical Clock, Czech Republic
Old Town Hall, Prague, Czech Republic
Old Town Hall, Prague, Czech Republic
Old Town Hall, Prague, Czech Republic
Old Town Hall, Prague, Czech Republic
Old Town Hall, Prague, Czech Republic
Old Town Hall, Prague, Czech Republic

The  Old Town Hall Tower
The Old Town Hall Tower, is one of the most striking buildings in Prague and for a small fee of 120CZK (approx £3.50), visitors can climb or ride to the top to experience terrific views over the Old Town Square and the rest of the Old Town. I chose to use the elevator up but walked down. There is some historical information on Prague and the Town hall and it is fascinating to see how Prague, the  Old Town Square and beyond has changed through the times.

View Old Town Hall Tower, Prague, Czech Republic
View Old Town Hall Tower, Prague, Czech Republic
View from Old Town Hall Tower, Prague, Czech Republic
View Old Town Hall Tower, Prague, Czech Republic
View from Old Town Hall Tower, Prague, Czech Republic
View Old Town Hall Tower, Prague, Czech Republic
Inside the Old Town Hall Tower, Prague, Czech Republic
Inside the Old Town Hall Tower, Prague, Czech Republic

Charles Bridge
This is a stunning bridge with a fascinating history and it is home to various monuments with fanatical folk tales attached. The bridge is an interesting place to visit to people watch, listen to buskers and even buy some wares or souvenirs.

Charles Bridge Tower, Prague, Czech Republic
Charles Bridge Tower, Prague, Czech Republic
Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
View from Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
View from Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
Me on Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
Me on Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic

John Lennon Pub and Lennon Wall
After the fall of communism there was an influx of western music and media to the Czech Republic. The Beatles music appears to have struck a cord with the Czech people who had lived with their freedom suppressed for such a long time, the Beatles lyrics on love, peace and freedom was new and refreshing. So inspired one anonymous person graffitied  a wall with the word ‘Imagine’, then someone else came along and wrote some lyrics and from there it just grew and grew, of course the local authority saw this as an eyesore and painted over the graffiti but this did not stop people from doing it all over again, and  I am glad they did, because not only is it a big tourist pull now but you can also feel the sense of love and freedom and desires etched, written and deposited on the wall.

John Lennon Wall, Prague, Czech Republic
John Lennon Wall, Prague, Czech Republic
Me at the John Lennon Wall, Prague, Czech Republic
Me at the John Lennon Wall, Prague, Czech Republic

The wall is only a few yards away from the John Lennon Pub where I had an amazing Mushroom Risotto. The Pub is dedicated to the Beatles  and is decorated  like a British Pub. The bathrooms I found to be confusing because the doors look like the old phone booths. The Czech clearly love The Beatles, however the Beatles never did visit the Czech Republic but their influence did.

John Lennon Pub, Prague, Czech Republic
John Lennon Pub, Prague, Czech Republic
Inside the John Lennon Wall, Prague, Czech Republic
Inside the John Lennon Wall, Prague, Czech Republic
John Lennon Pub, Prague, Czech Republic
John Lennon Pub, Prague, Czech Republic

Prague at Night
The City at night is truly spectacular, the views of Wenceslas Castle from Charles Bridge as the light glistens on the River Vltava  makes a beautiful scene. There is also the Old Town Hall,  the Church of our Lady and Prague Opera House.

The Charles Bridge at night, Prague, Czech Republic
The Charles Bridge at night, Prague, Czech Republic
St Nicola's Church, Prague at Night, Czech Republic
St Nicola’s Church, Prague at Night, Czech Republic
Prague Opera House at Night, Czech Republic
Prague Opera House at Night, Czech Republic
Light at Prague Opera House at Night, Czech Republic
Light at Prague Opera House at Night, Czech Republic
Prague at Night, Czech Republic
Prague at Night, Czech Republic
Prague at Night, Czech Republic
Prague at Night, Czech Republic
Church of Our Lady before Týn, Prague at Night, Czech Republic
Church of Our Lady before Týn, Prague at Night, Czech Republic
Church of Our Lady before Týn, Prague at Night, Czech Republic
Church of Our Lady before Týn, Prague at Night, Czech Republic
Old Town Square, Prague at Night, Czech Republic
Old Town Square, Prague at Night, Czech Republic
Old Town Square, Prague at Night, Czech Republic
Old Town Square, Prague at Night, Czech Republic
I Love Prague, Czech Republic
I Love Prague, Czech Republic

My Review of the City
I am in love with Prague, it is an amazing city with a great history and culture, it is very affordable to eat, drink and do various activities.  I had a great time in the city and I would like to return to explore some more.  Prague is an all round great destination for anyone who wants to experience a central European city with a folky and mythical vibe.

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