The best thing about having friends abroad is that they know their own city and therefore are able to show you places you wouldn’t usually think of (being a tourist). Here are a few things I think everyone needs to see and do when in Paris:
- Tour de Eiffel – Of course this was going to be number 1 on my list. You can’t go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower. I’ve been up the tower twice, once by climbing the hundred flights of stairs (yeah, I don’t know how I did it either!) and the second time I took the lift. The view is amazing but I personally think it’s not a big deal if you don’t get to go up the tower as it’s as beautiful from the ground. Can you guess what my favourite thing about it is though? I bet you can. I love it when it sparked every hour – I remember just sitting on the grass by the Eiffel tower for a good two to three hours and obviously it lit up about three times in front of us but every time I would be as amazed as the first time. BEST. THING. EVER.
- Louvre – Even though this is technically a museum, I love it for the aesthetic landscape. It is so stunning both, in the day and at night so if possible, try visiting it at both times. There’s just something thrilling about this glass pyramid. I would definitely recommend going to the museum at least once; this is where you can find the famous Mona Lisa portrait. I have to be honest though, it was much smaller than what I had expected but it was still worth going in. It doesn’t even cost much to get in; when I went it was about 10 Euros.
- Sacre Coeur – I can never pronounce this in a French accent, it’s so hard for us non-French speakers! Anyway, I have to say this is such a beautiful building and the best part is that its located in Montmartre which is the highest point of the city at 130m so as you can imagine, the view is pretty amazing from up there! It’s a village within a city which use to be a home to many artists and the artistic spirit can still be seen with many local artists occupying the square. If you walk further down, you can find a less touristy part of Montmartre which is full of cafes and markets giving you a more local feel.
- Boulevard Saint Michel – I would always find myself here, I don’t know what is was but I guess I just loved the atmosphere. I have had many dinners here; there are some amazing restaurants here and not to forget the St Michel fountain. The quarter is actually split into two main streets the other being Boulevard Saint Germain which has the church of St Germain des Pres and is also filled with many restaurants, galleries, museums and what not. So bottom line, you won’t get bored here!
- Laduree – This has to be the best pastry shop in the city! I don’t even have a sweet tooth but oh.my.God. The macaroons here are nothing like I have tasted before. It also happens to be (what I think to be) the prettiest patisserie in Paris. You just HAVE to go there. I didn’t find it to be amazingly expensive, I think one little macaroon was around 2 Euros which isn’t bad.
- Bastille – Not many people talk about this area but I loved it here. It’s surrounded with many restaurants and cafes/bars and it’s just buzzing! I remember just going for a drink (a mocktail of course) with my good friend Marie-Louise here and even though it doesn’t sound like anything special I still remember how amazing the atmosphere was and I would definitely go back here.
- Ponts de Arts Bridge – So this is the famous bridge where hundreds of lovers come to this bridge over the Seine and write their names on a love lock to fasten it onto a part of the bridge and then throw away the keys in the river; securing their love and hoping for it to last forever. Okay, maybe I am being a bit OTT but you get the idea. Now, I don’t know how many of you know this but as of June, these padlocks have been removed as they were weighing down the bridge and it was no longer safe. However, don’t you worry because there are many other areas around the Seine where you can secure your love, it just wont be the famous Ponts de Arts Bridge. Even if you don’t want to fasten a love lock, I think it is still worth seeing as it’s really fascinating.
- Notre Dame – Right by the Seine is the Notre Dame Cathedral and it is truly amazing. The work that has been done on the exterior and interior is so beautiful and it is definitely worth a visit! Many people say that all the cathedrals are the same but I definitely have to disagree with that. They all have a different structure, different work and especially a different story which is portrayed through the cathedrals. If possible, try going to the Sunday morning mass – it’s a whole different experience.
- Arc de Triomphe – Everyone knows this is one of Paris’ most distinctive historical landmarks. Right? Walking on the base, under the arches was amazing; I never knew it held so much history within it. So you can either stay at the base for free or you can pay around 10 Euros and climb to the top. Not many people know you can go to the top but it is an absolute treat! The view is completely different – you can be distracted by the traffic around but that’s also pretty cool to see. You can see many of the famous Parisian landmarks: the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Montparnasse Tower and of course you can see down Champs Elysees. It’s absolutely awesome seeing all these from a different angle!
- Champs Elysees – This has to be the most well-known streets of Paris; starting for the Place de la Concorde to Arc de Triomphe. Most people come here to shop! It has many higher end stores but you can also find some more affordable ones too. It is filled with cafes and the most amazing restaurants! It’s always busy so you won’t have to look for things to do here!
So these are the things I think everyone needs to see when in Paris, some of these are pretty obvious but oh well. What are your favourite things to do in Paris? Comment below!