It’s been a while since I last blogged about our trip to Paris, but as the colder seasons have returned, I figured now is a good time to pick up where I left off. Beach holiday blogs are out, city break blogs are back in! To kick off, here are my top 13 things to do in the city of Paris.
Wander the streets in search of a bakery
Even though we had miserable weather for most of our trip, there’s something comforting about layering up and heading out for a hot pastry in the drizzle. Our accommodation didn’t include breakfast, so we headed out in search of bakeries every day. This is an affordable (and delicious) way to experience the city each morning.
Angelina Paris Tea House
Angelina Paris Tea House is home of “the best hot chocolate in Paris”. Naturally it has an extortionate menu, such as over 8 euros for just one chocolat chaud, but it is worth the money (and the calories!). Refreshments aside, this ornate tea room and shop was the perfect escape from the rain. There are several others dotted across Paris, but apparently the one on
Rue de Rivoli near the Louvre is the best.
Not many people visit Paris and skip the Louvre, even if like us you’re not really into museums. Lucky for us we got in for free for being under 26 and spent a few hours wandering through the many museum wings. Try to plan what you want to see before you visit as queues can be long and sometimes rooms are closed off. We spent an hour looking for one painting before being told it was off limits that day (maybe to Beyoncé and Jay Z for their ‘Apes**t’ video?!).
The 280 monochrome striped sculptures in the Palais Royal courtyard wasn’t something I wanted to miss. Annoyingly this area had scaffolding when we visited, but it was great to see. And of course to get those Instagram shots. It’s been done a thousand times, but there’s something stunning about it. Even in the rain!
We didn’t go into the Notre-Dame because the queue was about two-hours long, but we spent some time here admiring the cathedral, river and the street entertainment going on in the area. That said, if you have the time do make sure you pop in as I’ve heard it’s amazing.
The Latin Quarter
By the time we reached the Latin Quarter, the sun was getting ready to set for the day. This was a great time to visit as the streets came to life whilst we strolled around finding our bearings. This place was so great we actually came back later on that day for dinner. We ate in a restaurant, but next time I’d give the street food a go. The bars had a great vibe, too!
The majestic Panthéon building sits up on the hill nearby to the Latin Quarter. Again, we didn’t go inside because of a strict itinerary, but it’s quite something to look at from outside. And there was a beautiful Maison de Fleurs shop nearby!
Jardin du Luxembourg
We visited the Luxembourg Gardens for a quick walk before getting asked to leave. They close pretty early there apparently and they don’t mess about with their whistles. So if you’re going to go, don’t leave it late! It was still really cold when we went in March, so I imagine it’s more beautiful in spring/summer.
We didn’t plan to visit Le Marais but ended up detouring via this arrondissement on route back to our hotel on the second night. We didn’t stop for long here but it looked like it had a good night vibe if you fancy heading into a bar or two. They also had tons of amazing macaron shops!
This gorgeous Roman Catholic Church sits right on the top of Montmartre hill. It’s free to enter and offers stunning views across the city. Which admittedly were a bit bleak when we visited! You can read more about this here.
What’s a trip to Paris without a visit to the Eiffel Tower? We saved this experience for a day when the sun finally shone and I’m so glad we did. It’s inexpensive to do (especially if you’re under 26) and the views from the top are never ending. And don’t forget to go back at night to see the tower sparkle. I’ll be writing a post dedicated to this part of our trip very soon!
Arc de Triomphe
Not too far away from the Eiffel you’ll find the famous Arc de Triomphe. The roundabout is crazy busy and a bit intense at times, but make sure you pop through the underground pass to see the Arc from underneath. You don’t realise how big it really is until it towers over you.
Enjoy traditional French dining
We were on a tight budget so didn’t get to experience the best of French cuisine, but you don’t need to spend hundreds to do so either. Enjoy a glass of wine and see what takes your fancy on the menu of the countless Parisian restaurants and cafes that line the streets. One of my favourite French meals will be featured in my next post, and don’t forget about the one mentioned here!
Depending on how much time you have, I’d really recommend all of the above to anyone who is planning to visit! We managed to fit this all into three days with no trouble. Speaking of which, you can read my ultimate 3 day Paris itinerary post here to get an idea of how we organised our trip.
Have you been to Paris before? Which part stole your heart?
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