A personal guide for a trip to Paris …
Last weekend one of our fashion bloggers visited Paris for a fabulous city break and here she shares her experiences, tips and photos for your enjoyment!
A couple of months ago a dear friend of mine, Julie who I flat shared with whilst working in Dublin invited me to stay with her sister in the quirky city of Menilmontant, Paris (pronounced Men-eel-mon-ton). I couldn’t resist the opportunity to visit the city of love and as I wouldn’t have to pay for accommodation I booked my £99.00 flights instantly.
France is where I often spent family holidays as a child as there is so much culture and history to take in but Paris is somewhere that I have always wanted to re-visit as the last time I was there I was around 11 years old so I was extremely excited for the weekend of adventure.
My trip to Paris was every thing I expected it to be and more and this is all thanks to, Julie and her sister, Sarah who planned out my three days full of fun! Both the Frenchies are fluent in English which made it easy for me to communicate as my French is rather poor.
Sarah is Julie’s older sister and is extremely inspirational as she is well-travelled and intelligent and not only does she speak English and French but she also speaks Spanish and Chinese and she was great to have around for the trip as she knew the history of everything!
Over the weekend I ate the finest of foods and witnessed the most beautiful culture and architecture that I have ever seen and I can totally understand why people instantly fall in love with the city.
I managed to squeeze in many of the tourist attractions around the city which I took photos of to share with you lovely readers!
The Arc De Triomphe – This is one of the cities most iconic monuments and it so much bigger than I thought it would be! You can also buy a ticket to go to the top of the monument to have a fantastic view of the city – or do what I did and have a walk round on the ground for free which is just as good and avoids the queues.
Notra Dame Cathedral – This is where the classic film, The Hunch Back Of Notra Dame is based on and it was built between 1160-1345. This Notra Dame cathedral which in English means “Our Lady of Paris” was breath taking and is the second most visited tourist spot in Paris making it a must to visit!
The Louvre Museum – This museum is the most visited tourist attraction in Paris and this is because it is home to some of the finest art work around the world! The great factor about this attraction is because it’s free for Europeans and you get to see the fabulous, Mona Lisa painting in the flesh. The Louvre Museum is insanely huge and it would take a whopping 4 months to spend 1 minute per item of art which gives you a rough idea of the size.
Just opposite the Princes quarters in The Louvre you can see the bridge of love where people stick padlocks on the bridge with their name and their lovers name on to lock their love forever and then the key gets thrown in the river Siene. Although the bridge is extremely romantic the bridge also has black hearts padlocked to it which symbolises a woman who has been in an abusive relationship which is very sad!
Pont Marie is actually the most romantic bridge in Paris and not the bridge of love and when you go under it on the River Siene boat trip you have to make a wish and kiss the person next to you!
Sacre Coeur Cathedral – This is another popular tourist attraction and it is the second highest point in Paris after the Eiffel Tower where you can sit on the footsteps and have Paris at your feet which is exactly what I did thanks to Julie taking me there. The view from here was amazing and surreal as you could really take in how beautiful the buildings of the city are.
River Siene – This was one of my highlights of my trip to Paris as we took the boat cruise round the River Siene at around half 8 (which I recommend to anyone thinking of visiting) as this allowed us to have a guided tour in the sunset and by the time we arrived back at the dock which is next to the Eiffel Tower it was all lit up which was really breath taking as the tower itself isn’t that beautiful in day light.
The Eiffel Tower is a tourist attraction which very much symbolises Paris as a city and it is gigantic and in my opinion rather ugly up-close! The Eiffel Tower costs billions of pounds each year due to the repainting and replacement of lighting as it has around 5,000,000,000 lights, but I do believe it is a sight which every one needs to see and the views from the top are sensational which is probably why so many proposals take place there!
Another ‘attraction’ which I didn’t expect to see was the flame statue above the tunnel where, Princess Diana tragically died. It was a really eerie experience knowing that she had died there and it turns out she died in the most luxurious district of Paris which is 2 minutes from the Eiffel Tower and 2 minutes from, The Ritz. Although the experience was sad seeing the scene of where her death took place it was nice to see the flowers laid on the statue and the comments written on the wall from loving fans from around the world.
Champs Elysées is the most famous street in Paris for shopping which features car show rooms as shops and every high-end designer that you can imagine! This was also an amazing experience and would have been that bit better with a few extra thousand in the bank to have a crazy shopping spree. This street is one of the points of the star on the Paris map which all meet centrally at The Arc De Triomphe!
One of the things that I found odd about this street was because of the Marks & Spencer’s store which is one of the busiest stores in the whole street as the French absolutely love M&S food!
Another one of the main highlights was the food in Paris as I am a huge food lover and I have a dangerous sweet tooth so I couldn’t get enough of all the naughty sugary treats! Some of the food I had is below as I visited famous bakeries, crepe restaurants, bistros, cafes, chocolate stores and more!
This is a savoury salted crepe which is a speciality in France as it is actually made up of black flour which isn’t common in the UK. I had my crepe filled with tomato, cheese and ham and it was topped off with a fried egg, salad and a large glass of wine!
One of my top tips if you are visiting the city (and this is thanks to Julie’s wisdom) is if you are looking for an experience which combines magnificent views, food and shopping then visit the Galeries Lafayette which is one of the biggest department stores in Paris.
This store features every designer brand imaginable as well as a high quality food store, make-up, perfume, jewellery, bags and extremely tasty cafes! Julie actually brought me here for the views as she took me on the roof which features fake grass and seats where you can witness one of the best views in Paris and see everything from the Opera National to the Eiffel Tower, and here we sat, talked, ate and spent my last hour in Paris which really completed my entire trip!