Paris – The City of love, history, fashion and food.
One of the most beautiful cities in the world and home to the picturesque Eiffel tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame. Synonymous with fashion and the home to Chanel, Louis Vuitton , Dior and Cartier Paris is a city that you must visit one in your lifetime.
Whether you spend a day, a week or a month in this magical city, it will leave its mark on you and craving for you to return.
I have travelled to this city many a time, from a day’s trip to a few days and it has always fascinated me. This city is most enjoyed when you are not in a rush to tick of those must see tourist spots and spend leisurely time walking the streets of Paris. If you are travelling from London like I do, it is only a short train ride away.
The Eurostar is the most popular and convenient way to travel to Paris ,departing from St Pancreas International in the heart of London to Guar de Lyon in the heart of Paris. A 2 hour train journey and if you book well in advance you could get a some great deals with a one way ticket for as less as €35.
Like any other major city of the world, Paris is well-connected with a large choice of airlines flying in from around the globe. The airport is a 30 minute train /tube ride away from the city and a taxi would cost you just over €50. Keeping this in mind if you’re travelling from London or any other major city in Europe I would recommend the train.
The pubic transport in Paris is some of the best in the world, but the best part of it is when you in the heart of the city it is a very walkable city.
Where to Stay
Depending on your budget there is a choice of hotels, apartments and hostels in this city. Airbnb the new kid on the block can land you some great deals so give it a try. Personally I have always stayed around the hustle and bustle the ever so lively Champs-Elysées. If you look around and in advance you will surely find something in this area in your budget.
Cafes and Patisseries
You can’t come to Paris and not spend time in one of the many patisserie /cafes this city is all about. Everyone has their favourite pastry stop in Paris, but it’s up to you to find yours.
For me it’s the Ladurée, the 149-year-old salon which popularly invented the macaron. The current tearoom you see at Champs-Elysées was crucial for the take-off of the Laduree brand. This outlet is a walking distance to Arc de Triumph.
Note: Paris is one of the most expensive cities in the world so it is a bit expensive but worth every penny. Be prepared to wait for say 10-20 minutes before you get a seat.
The Baguette – It is safe to say that Paris is the place on earth with the highest density of top quality artisanal baguettes so a must try.
One of the best ways to see Paris if you don’t want to walk is via the Big Bus tour company, popular with its famous open top buses and now an iconic tourism mode in most of the major cities around the world. The other option which I will highly recommend is the boat tours.
There’s nothing quite like seeing Paris from a boat on the Seine. The bateaux mouches offer everything from a gourmet meal, a flute of champagne or just sightseeing with commentary. For 15€ you can hop on or off wherever and whenever you like all day long. Stops include the Musée d’Orsay, Louvre, Eiffel Tour, Champs Elysées, and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is to Paris what the Statue of Liberty is to New York and what Big Ben is to London: the ultimate civic emblem. French engineer Gustave Eiffel spent two years working to erect this iconic monument for the World Exhibition of 1889.
Today it is the most visited sights of Paris and breathtaking at night, when a sparkling display originally conceived to celebrate the turn of the millennium sparkles through the Parisian sky. The glittering light show was so popular that the 20,000 lights were reinstalled for permanent use in 2003. The tower does its electric dance for five minutes every hour on the hour until 1am. You can’t miss this.
Avenue des Champs-Élysées
This remains the most famous avenue in Paris and perhaps the world. A mecca for travelers and locals alike and nothing beats a long walk along this. Some Parisians complain that fast-food joints and chain stores have cheapened Avenue des Champs-Élysées, but others are more philosophical, noting that there is something here for everyone. Anchoring the Champs is the Arc de Triomphe, Napoléon’s monument to himself. At the other end, the exquisitely restored Grand Palais.
The most recognised symbol of Paris is the Tour Eiffel, but the ultimate traveler’s prize is the Louvre. Considered to be one of the world’s greatest art museum and the largest one too.
If you really wanted to see then whole museum you would need more then a just a day for this alone. The most popular piece here is none other than the iconic Mona Lisa.
One of my favourite and looming above Place du Parvis is the symobolic heart of Paris the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. Napoléon was crowned here, and kings and queens exchanged marriage vows before its altar. Be sure to arrive early and line up for entrance to the towers to enjoy a fantastic view over the city and see the famous gargoyles.
If designer shopping and elite French brand names set your heart all aflutter,this is the place for you. The favourite haunt of fashionistas from around the he world and the pride of Parisian fashion.
Housed under the soaring roof of one of Paris’s grand old Beaux-Arts railway stations, the recently renovated galleries of the Musée d’Orsay contain the world’s largest collection of Impressionist masterpieces by the likes of Cézanne, Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Degas, Gaugin, and many others.
Also known as The Mountain Of Martyrs another one to put on your itinerary when in Paris. A very popular district to go walking in the footsteps of famous celebrities such as Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso and visiting the cathedral.
Far from the noise and bustle, these serene formal gardens and elegant shops tucked behind the walls of a 17th-century palace are a delightful haven and one of Paris’s best-kept secrets. Once a royal residence, the hushed arcades and manicured gardens of the Palais–Royal are now home to world-class perfumers, antiquaires and designer boutiques.
Galeries Lafayette, as one of the world’s largest department stores, and can be a daunting prospect but if it’s to tick off your Paris Bucket List then you can attempt the smaller but more negotiable Lafayette Maison store across the street. In terms of Parisian design and lifestyle, you’ll find it all here. Ever-changing pop-ups freshen the scene, such as the Parisian parfumier Diptyque offering edible-smelling scents for your body and home.
Disneyland Paris is a great day trip for the kids as well as adults. Getting to Disneyland Paris is very easy from the city centre, or if you are travelling to Paris on the Eurostar you can skip Paris and head straight to Disneyland.
It’s about 20 miles outside the city, and you can take a short, 40-minute train ride right to the front gate. From one of the departure stations below, buy a ticket the morning of and get on the RER A (Red) train towards Marne-la-Vallée. Trains start around 5:30 AM and leave every 15 minutes. Tickets can be purchased in advance over the internet or att the gate the difference is a few euros.
Departure Stations: Charles de Gaulle Etoile, Auber, Chatelet Les Halles, Gare de Lyon, Nation
A Lido Experience
Le Lido, Paris is a legendary venue known for its exotic productions, dancers, singers, ice-skaters and more, the venue has received world-fame and is known as a premier front runner in producing breakthrough cabarets.The spectacle is highlighted by the sumptuous costumes, elaborate visual effects, enchanting pictures and majestic scenery.
Situated at the Champs-Elysees, Le Lido opened in 1946 and has since been the go-to venue for cabaret and burlesque shows in Paris. The cabaret is known for its fabulous shows, each of which takes millions of dollars to develop. What made the Lido world-famous was the revolutionary concept of the Dinner Show. The now-replicated concept originated within the walls of the Lido and played a huge role in propelling the venue to international success.
A night at the Moulin Rouge
Step into the dazzling world of rhinestones, feathers and sequins with an enchanting night at the Moulin Rouge! So much more than just a show, an evening at this famed Parisian cabaret is sure to be an unforgettable experience.Situated in the heart of the lively Montmartre district, the Moulin Rouge is instantly recognizable with its lipstick-red facade and giant windmill. For over 125 years, the theatre has been showcasing the talent of hundreds of actors, dancers, make-up artists, costume designers and stage decorators, including the legendary Ella Fitzgerald, Liza Minnelli and Frank Sinatra.
Known as the birthplace of the French can-can dance, it has become the greatest venue embracing the art of dance, entertainment and femininity. An early harbinger of female liberation and empowerment, in the world of cabaret, it’s the ladies who lead the show! Since the theatre first opened its doors in October of 1889, the Moulin Rouge continues to evoke the spirit of a festive Paris. With a sensational explosion of feathers, sparkles and colour, witness the French can-can come to life as you sip champagne in one of the most beloved entertainment hotspots of the world.
Paris is for everyone and everyone will find something they will fall in love with in this fascinating city.
Must Do’s in Paris.
Free first Sundays – visit some of the most popular museums and monuments in Paris for free, thanks to the free first Sundays programme.
The Love Wall – Check out this love wall for some slushy, romantic photo opportunities at the Montmartre.
A late night picnic – Get a taste of the real bohemian vibe, make your way down to the Square du Vert-Galant with a bottle of wine in the evening. The cosy park is situated on the western tip of the Île de la Cité and can be reached by taking the stairs down from Pont Neuf.
Free Fashion Show – Getting a seat for Paris Fashion Week might be beyond the means of most visitors, but it’s possible to get a taste of what this city is all about on a Friday afternoon at the Galeries Lafayette department store
Moonlight stroll – Just like in the movies there is something indisputably enchanted about strolling through the Parisian streets and the banks of the Seine in the warmer months.
Rooftop Bars – Enjoy the nightlife scene of Paris by visiting one of the many laid-back, but stylish Rooftop bars for a great night out, as long as you’re not intimidated by fashion-conscious crowds.
Go fall in love with Paris.