Published On: 2020/10/14

It seems so surreal now, but in February 2020 I traveled to Paris: An extended weekend getaway to one of my favorite cities with my mom and sister.

From a Central European perspective, the pandemic was just around the corner in mid-February, yet still seemed too far away back then.

My sister wanted to do something special for her birthday, my mom hadn’t been to Paris in 30 years and was eager to go back. I was desperately looking forward to a year of travel and weekend getaways to catch up on everything I had missed in 2019.

So we just booked our trip, completely unaware that this trip was going to be our last time abroad for a long time.

My mom was very excited to arrive at Gare de l’Est again three decades after her first visit
My sister on her birthday in Paris

I had been to Paris five times before and I didn’t really care to see any sights, I just wanted to soak in that Parisian vibe.

And I photographed accordingly: Subconsciously, I mostly took photo of random objects like our three empty coffee cups on those iconic tables.

Our three empty coffee cups somewhere in the 10th

When I went through my photos months later, I wondered what to do with these images. And how to blog about a city I have already written about so many times anyways?

My sixth visit to Paris, my first visit in February, my last international trip before lockdown

But I figured, since it’s 2020 and most of us can’t travel internationally, why not share this unique Paris feeling that my photo emit? We could all use a little visual inspiration to dream ourselves away to this magical city, right?

The photos below can hopefully transport what Paris feels like (to me at least): The city is about famous art and grand architecture, but even more about sitting in a café and watching people and listening to buskers.

Go ahead, scroll, and dream — hopefully you’ll forget the challenges of 2020 while you’re at it!

Waking up to a view with the Louvre in the distance
Sacré-Cœur in the distance
Coffee and February sun
Place des Vosges in February
Chocolat chaud in the Marais
The pretty (but painful) view of Notre-Dame from Institut du monde arabe
Sainte-Chapelle from the outside
… and from the inside
Obligatory coffee, obligatory ashtray on every café table
That bustling courtyard of the Louvre
Eiffel Tower view from the Pont de Bir-Hakeim
My mom with her beloved café au lait
Evening on the Pont des Arts
The view from Arc de Triomphe
A gorgeous ivory casket at Musée de Cluny, one of my favorite museums for medieval art
View from the Panthéon
Tea and sweet treats at the Grande Mosquée de Paris

And because it’s 2020, I want to do something nice for you people reading this blog post: If you like one of the images above, let me know in the comments below and I’ll send you the high resolution file of your favorite photo for your private use. You can turn it into a poster for your apartment or a wallpaper for your phone — and I’d honestly be thrilled if my pre-pandemic travel photos brought a little joy into your 2020!