In May I got to go to Paris and Amsterdam with a small group from my college. It was my first EF tour and undoubtedly the trip of a lifetime. While we saw many wonderful things during our trip, here’s a few that I think should not be missed:
The Eiffel Tower
You can’t go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower. That’s like going to Disney World and just standing outside the front gate all day.
Built by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 for a World’s Fair, the tower quickly became an icon of French architecture and culture. During a bus tour around the city, we learned that the tower was once going to be torn down in 1909. This was surprising to hear, considering how big of a symbol it had become. One night we decided to have a picnic beneath the tower. We stayed until after dark, waiting for the tower to light up and sparkle. While we were waiting, it began to rain. After everyone had their pictures we had to race down the Champ-De-Mars in order to find a taxi to hail. It was a lot of fun and certainly unforgettable.
Versailles is just a short 30 minute metro ride away from Paris. And is well worth the trip. To see the old buildings, gardens, and statues that King Louis XIV had commissioned was amazing. Simply walking through the hallways could transport the mind back to a time when a king and queen walked the halls with their delegates.
My favorite part of Versailles however, were the gardens. They stretched for miles and had tons of statues, fountains, and hedges to look at. We spent nearly five hours there and still didn’t get to see everything.
Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House was one of the first places we headed to once we got to Amsterdam. I had recently read the book for one of my classes, so it was neat to see the place where the young girl and her family had hid from the Nazis. It was a bit eerie at times because of what had happened there. But overall really interesting.
The canals are one of Amsterdam’s main attractions. They’re a nice, scenic way of getting around the city, on or off the water. If you’d like to take a tour, you wouldn’t have to go very far. There are many canal tours throughout the city. When visiting with my group, we went on one of the canal boat tours. It was a warm day and the boat was basically a greenhouse, but it was still neat to float around and see the sights of the city.