Last week, the boyfriend and I went to French capital for a few days and managed to cram a lot into that time. While this isn’t a typical guide to Paris, I thought it would be nice to share some of the things that we got up to. Hope it inspires you!
Admire the Eiffel Tower from Les Ombres
I’ve visited the Eiffel Tower before and although it was amazing, I can remember the laborious queuing for tickets and re-queuing for the elevators more vividly than the tower itself. A more civilised approach to the whole Eiffel Tower business is to book a table at Les Ombres, the rooftop restaurant of the Musée du Quai Branly. Eating fine French cuisine overlooking the tower in all its spectacular glory was one of the most memorable experiences ever.
Release your inner child at Disneyland
I’ve been to Disneyland twice before when I was younger and loved it. It didn’t feel quite as magical this time but that might have been the fact that several of the rides were closed due to technical difficulties and some areas of the park were sealed off for redevelopment. Despite these minor disappointments, it was still lots of fun! Be sure to buy a ticket for both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park to get the full experience.
Dine at a traditional French restaurant
We arrived late on the first night and wanted something quick to eat but not necessarily room service or fast food. We read good reviews on the internet about a traditional French restaurant near our hotel called Golden Pat and decided to give it a go. The chalkboard menus on the walls offered a mouth-watering range of classic French dishes at reasonable prices. Although the staff spoke very little English (my GCSE French definitely came in handy!), they were really friendly and welcoming. Not to mention that the food was delicious!
Seal your love at Pont des Arts
Built in 1804, the nine-arch metallic footbridge is a destination for couples wishing to memorialise their love. Sweethearts visit the bridge to attach padlocks engraved with their initials and messages before throwing the locks’ keys into the Seine below. We’re not a particularly ‘lovey-dovey’ couple but there was something super cute about having a padlock of our own.
Visit Coco Chanel’s apartment (kind of!)
Gabrielle Chanel opened her couture house at 31 Rue Cambon, Paris in 1918. Above the boutique and couture house is Chanel’s apartment where she worked but never slept. Every evening, Chanel left her apartment, walked five minutes across Rue Cambon to the Place Vendome, and entered the Ritz through the rear door to retire for the night. Each morning, she crossed back to No. 31. Unfortunately, the apartment isn’t open to the public but the boutique alone is worth a visit!
See the Louvre
A trip to Paris isn’t complete without seeing one of its famous landmarks. The Louvre or the Louvre Museum is one of the world’s largest museums and a historic monument in Paris. If we were around longer, we would have gone inside the museum itself but it takes at least a week to see the whole of it and the queues are bewildering. If, like us, you don’t have the time to go in, it’s still worth seeing the Louvre Palace as well as the Louvre Pyramid, which serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. The Jardin les Tuileries is also next to the Louvre and it’s a great place to wander around.
Eat macarons at Ladurée
French macarons consist of two meringue-like cookies bound together by a delicious ganache. There are many patisseries in Paris to try them but Ladurée are still one of the best known makers of macarons in the world. Created in 1862, the French luxury bakery and sweets maker house has six stores in Paris, one in Versailles and another three locations at Charles de Gaulle Airport. It’s not cheap (expect to pay 7 euros for a tea) and service can be a little slow but it’s a must-visit.
Marvel at the Notre Dame Cathedral
When I think of the Notre Dame Cathedral, I instantly think of Victor Hugo’s ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame,’ set in one of the most famous churches in Paris, located on Ile de la Cité. Notre Dame is a French Gothic architectural dream and its stained glass is just beautiful. Look out for the famous gargoyles too!