As some of you avid readers may already know, this past December I started my journey with the Elle International Fashion and Luxury Program. I’ve just recently returned from the second leg of my international education journey from Paris where we dug deep into the world of Haute Couture and Luxury and even got to add on a little extra personal vacation time with a detour to a city I’ve always dreamed of visiting – Amsterdam!
The past two weeks were packed with so many memorable experiences from both my week of studies, to a week of doing my favourite things while travelling to new places, exploring the city life and seeing all that every city has to offer. Since it’s hard to put a finger on one or two things that I absolutely loved and saw while I was away, I decided to take this opportunity to share some of amazing experiences and things that I got do do while I was abroad. Hopefully these inspire you to add some of these stops to your next itineraries!
I know it sounds like a total cliché, but after dreaming of going to Paris since I was 13 years old, seeing the Eiffel Tower was a definite stop on my trip to Paris. And trust me, it should be on yours as well (it was totally everything I expected it to be and more). But one helpful tip I want to pass along is that going up close isn’t necessarily the way to get the best photo of the tower itself in all its Parisian glory. I recommend visiting some of the surrounding bridges or uphill viewing areas if getting the perfect Eiffel Tower shot is on your bucket list.
Another thing I definitely recommend is taking a stop at Paris’ Angelina’s. If you’re on the hunt for macarons but have already tried the delectable bites at Ladureé, Angelina’s is definitely a must-stop restaurant for you to check out. Aside from their selection of beautiful French macrons, they offer an impeccable selection of traditional French baked goods and light breakfast and lunch options. But the earlier you show up the better, because there’s always a busy line up of food lovers waiting for their turn to try out this Paris staple! Some other suggestions I definitely recommend checking out while you’re in Paris is the shopping boutiques sprawled out across Le Marais, visit the luxury district and shopping of Place Vendôme. And if you’re an art-lover like myself, the Pompidou should also be a must see stop on your Parisian journey.
Now moving on to Amsterdam. I have to start by saying that I was only in Amsterdam for four days versus the twelve I spent in Paris. But luckily, Amsterdam is only a small fraction of the size as a city and is a place where three to five days is really all you need to check out some of the best spots in the city! Being from Toronto, I’ve always had this thing with smaller cities versus huge metropolises – so being in a city like Amsterdam was an absolute dream come true. Getting to see the city really balanced out the big city feel of Paris and offered some great places to see and experiences that I just had check out.
As I already mentioned above, I am quite the art lover and appreciator of a great art museums or galleries. With Vincent van Gogh being my favourite painter, this made the Van Gogh museum a must-see stop on my trip and may I say was an absolutely wonderful experience.
One tip I do have to share though is to get your tickets online in advance because it’s always sold out the day of – so this is a stop you definitely have to plan in advance. Some of the other must-see stops you should make in Amsterdam are the vintage shops in Amsterdam West, the Total Palace of Amsterdam right in the city centre and of course the many Dutch Cheese and Chocolate shops that line the canal streets!
I hope by the end of reading all of this, that you’re inspired to check out some of my favourite spots in both Paris and Amsterdam and even add them to your itineraries if you’re heading to one of the cities in the near future. Thank you guys so much for following along and stay tuned because I have some more great fashion and travel content coming your way soon!
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Photos by Aram Eginliyan