So if you’ve seen my Instagram, you would know that I have been in Paris for the last couple of days. I have been to Paris once before two years ago, but when Eurostar decided to throw out some cheap tickets online, I knew that it was time I return to this romantic city.
“Paris is always a good idea.” – Audrey Hepburn
So Audrey H. was not wrong! Paris is always a good idea! The city is so much more than just the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe or the Lourve museum that everyone (esp. Tripadvisor) raves about! To me, the city is about sitting outside a cafe people-watching as Parisians and travellers alike stride past in their daily routine (check!), about trying out a croissant or éclair at some Paris bakery just because you know it looks too good to resist (definitely did this), and perhaps also about stuffing your face with foie gras, escargot and all the wonderful dishes of the French cuisine (I was in food heaven)!
So here’s a breakdown of some of my tips for you if you’re planning a trip to beautiful Paris:
1. Download the Citymapper app, it will make traveling around Paris so much easier!
If you’re from or living in London, you would know that the Citymapper app is practically a lifesaver. Fortunately, this app works in Paris too and all you have to do is switch cities in the Settings tab, and voilà – you can navigate around Paris seamlessly. The app allows you to input the location you would like to visit, and finds the quickest route for you to get to your destination, splitting out the options by metro, bus, Uber or even walking! Needless to say, I relied on this app A LOT wandering around the streets of Paris (with my horrible sense of direction)!
2. Go up to the top of Arc de Triomphe during sunset to catch some spectacular views of the city.
Cost: €12 but discounts are available if you are a student or under 26yo
From the top of the Arc, you will notice the symmetry of all the 12 avenues connecting to this one massive roundabout. One thing to note though is that there are LOTS of steps to get up to the top, so I would advise you to wear comfortable shoes before embarking up the spiral staircase to the top of the Arc.
3. Tracadero is a good place to take a full length photo of the famous Eiffel Tower.
Walk out from the Tracadero metro station and almost immediately, you will find yourself facing the full-length of the Tower, what a perfect opportunity for a photo (or perhaps a selfie) with this Parisian landmark!
Beware: There are lots of people (tourist in general) around trying to take photos of the Tower, so if you don’t like to be photobombed, try getting there early when there’s less people! Also, there will be a lot of vendors around trying to sell you key chains or little Eiffel Tower souvenir statues, make sure you tell them clearly that you are not interested, otherwise they will continue to hassle you!
4. Galleries Lafayette has a beautiful viewing terrace for a great view overlooking Paris city!
There is also a lovely bar on the terrace which would be perfect for hanging out on a sunny day.
5. Enjoy some music on the steps of Sacré-Coeur Basilica.
The music is free, and of course, visiting the Basilica is also free of charge. Note that you will need to climb A LOT of steps to reach the Basilica which is on top of a hill. Fortunately, there is also a funicular that could bring you up to the top of the hill for a small fee. Otherwise, if you feel the need to burn some calories from all the good food you’ve been having in Paris, put on your trainers and walk up those stairs! You won’t be disappointed, I promise!
You can also take a walk around the surrounding area, Montmatre. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with this one-of-a-kind neighbourhood, like I did!
Beware: There will be people coming up to you, appearing to offer you some items (friendship bands of some sort) for free! DO NOT ACCEPT THESE! They are NOT FREE, and once they put the bands on you, they will ask you for money! Just put on your resting bitch face and soldier on up the hill!
All in all, I had a wonderful time in Paris and can’t wait to visit the city again (perhaps when Eurostar next goes on sale). Let me know if you have any other tips or must-do activities in Paris – I’ll be sure to add it on to my list when I’m next in Paris!
Till next time,
P.S. Follow me on Instagram to see where I’m headed next!
P.P.S. Misadventures on Eurostar – my nightmare trip to Paris 2 years ago via Eurostar – watch this space as I will update you on the funny story (not so funny back then!) of my travel disasters on board the Eurostar.