I thought long and hard about what the topic of my first blog post should be and the answer was pretty simple – Paris, what else?!
Over Easter me and my boyfriend decided to visit the French capital and, considering it was my first time in one of the most romantic cities in the world, I was extremely excited! We took the Eurostar from King’s Cross St Pancras and stayed at the Best Western in Place d’Italie. I liked the location as it allows for easy access to all of the city’s sought-after tourist destinations; Place d’Italie Metro Station is just around the corner and there’s a big shopping centre where you can buy anything you might need.
On our first day we said Bonjour to the iconic Eiffel Tower and walked around the Champ de Mars area, up to the hill of the Trocadero; from there you can take great photos so I’d suggest a visit if you can.
We then headed to the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile – one of the most famous monuments in Paris – and strolled along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées: 1.9 kilometres long and 70 metres wide, this street is pretty impressive and perfect if you want a taste of the fancy French shopping.
We ended up in front of the Musée du Louvre when it was already dark so we just admired it from outside. The museum packs 30,000 artworks into a 60,000-square-meter exhibition space and, since we didn’t want to simply tick it off the ‘Classic Tourist List’, we decided to dedicate our time to explore as much of the city as possible.
For dinner we chose a little bistro called ‘Au Bouquet St. Paul’ in Le Marais, an arrondissement that bursts with small boutiques, historic buildings, traditional restaurants and hidden parks. The food was nice and the staff very friendly so I highly recommend it.
Our second day started at the The Palais Garnier – a 1,979-seat opera house built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. This building is absolutely stunning!
Galeries Lafayette are just ten minutes away and, although this is not a place when I would usually shop, the interior of the store is truly worth a visit; from the roof terrace you can also enjoy a beautiful view of the city.
We then went to my favourite place in Paris – Montmartre. I know that it’s remarkably touristy but I absolutely loved it! How can you not adore a neighborhood that boasts The Wall of Love?! Le mur des je t’aime is a love-themed 40 square meters wall in the Jehan Rictus garden square created in 2000 by calligraphist Fédéric Baron and mural artist Claire Kito; it’s composed of 612 tiles of enamelled lava, on which the phrase “I love you” is featured 311 times in 250 languages.
Another reason to love Montmartre is ‘Le Grenier à Pain’ – a traditional French bakery where you can find the most delicious pastries and bread; be prepared to queue though, as word got around and this tiny shop is very popular!
Many steps later we got to Place du Tertre, the square where painters, portraitists, caricaturist and silhouette artists do their magic!
Few meters away is the Sacré-Cœur Basilica but, since the queue to enter was endless, we decided to add this beautiful church to our ‘next time’ list (along with the Louvre!).
The second part of our Paris Diary is coming, stay tuned 😉