Last summer I travelled to Paris for a long weekend and tied it into a trip to the French countryside to see my Nana who lives there. It was an amazing week overall and I’ve been wanting to post my pictures for so long and what better time than now, to hopefully give someone a summer trip inspo. I thought I’d collate everything that made my trip special and places which I’d 100% recommend – from food, to attractions to picnic spots, I’ll take you through everything Parisian below.
I’d say Ross and I were pretty much on the same page when it came to doing the ‘touristy’ things and found it not only too stressful and crammed, but found such enjoyment in finding hidden places of the city which beamed character and felt so much more special. I don’t know about you, but I’m one for admiring the Eiffel tower from a distance whilst relaxing with a beer rather than standing on top of it packed in like a sardine – but that might just be me.
#1 – Pizza, Beer and Sunset at the Sacré-Cœur
This is one of my fondest memories of Paris and one i’d love to re-live everyday yet this was a product of complete unorganised minds. We were staying in a beautiful apartment in the centre of Montmartre and left the building at about 8pm to go out for dinner, without a plan of where to go (mistake number one). We then decided to turn to TripAdvisor and being the ambitious couple we are, walked to #1on the list (mistake number two). They looked at us like anyone would when the couple who are turning up at 8.30pm, on a Saturday night, to the #1 restaurant in Paris without a reservation. It was a no. We then traipsed up the hill to the Sacré-Cœur area in hope of food. We must have tried three more resturants to be greeted with the same response and we started to give up hope. Until, Babalou, offered to make us a takeaway pizza. We were so relived to find some form of food, we took the offer and the amazing evening began.
We took our pizza, sat down on the bank of the Sacré-Cœur and basked in the evening heat whilst eating, drinking beer from local street sellers and watching street performers balance on railings and dance in the square. Not only did we have the pleasure of viewing a Parisian sunset from one of the highest points but we had the best entertainment with hundreds of other people laughing, eating, drinking and having an amazing time around us. I felt so blessed to witness this.
#2 – Eiffel Tower by Night
We weren’t much for the Eiffel Tower by day as the mass crowds really put us off – we did go up it, but by night is was so much more special. As we were staying in Montmartre, we took the metro to Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel and walked through the gardens to see it twinkling in the night. We lay on the grass, watching the Tower change from sparkling to flashing and to still and it was so, so relaxing. Groups of people we having picnics, drinking wine and dancing on the grass, it was such a great sight. It was such a contrast from the day version of that place and redeemed it’s beauty in my mind. A must see for queue-haters!
#3 – Montmartre Snacking
As we were staying in this district we became very familiar with it’s backstreets and particularly it’s eateries. You find yourself bumbling from street to street along the cobbled alleyways and finding pockets of excitement everywhere. It’s such a beautiful area to explore which hosts some of the most beautiful street food in Paris. The pictures speak for themselves and not only did they have great food, but eclectic shops and museums around every corner. Around here you can find the Van Gough museum and wander around many boutiques without having the blatant tourist attractions you get further into the city.
#4 – Crème-Brûlée at Café des 2 Moulins
One of my main reasons I have fallen in love with France is down to the the film ‘Amelie’. It’s such a beautiful film that captures the essence of the effortless Parisian lifestyle. Audrey Tautou’s character is the ultimate role model who devotes her time to helping others around her and the film oozes romance and comedy. I couldn’t not visit the Café des 2 Moulins in Paris to see in person the iconic film set and feast on a classical Creme Brûlée in the whimsical surroundings. It was picturesque and as perfect as the film – despite being a novelty trip, every time I return to Paris I’m going to make a special trip.
#5 – Sainte-Chapelle and the Latin Quarter
Whether you’re into architecture or not, Sainte-Chapelle will blow your mind. Possibly the best stained glass techniques I’ve ever seen – Sainte-Chapelle may be small but has heaps of character. The pictures don’t do half the amount of justice this beautiful place deserves. On the same day we visited Sainte-Chapelle, we ventured into the Latin Quarter which was one of the best areas for food and culture around. Hidden just to the side of Notre Damn, you’ll be drawn in by the smell of spices cooking and music bellowing from the restaurants. We also had an amazing pizza at La Solita Taverna (I promise we did eat other food, not just pizza).
#6 – Musée de l’Armée
Having a boyfriend who is not only an Ex-Royal Marine but also a self proclaimed History Geek – any war museum whilst on holiday is a must for him. I was sceptical, as always, but actually enjoyed the museum so so much and thought it would be a highlight of anyone’s trip. It took you through Revolutionary France and all the Wars and was even home to Napoleon’s Tomb. It was an afternoon well spent and a great shelter from the 40 degree sun (we went in the middle of a heatwave). It was also the setting for another memorable adventure whereby we had to run through the museum at top speed because I got a giant unexpected nosebleed whilst wandering around the museum – you’ll begin to realise that a holiday is not complete without a medical emergency from me.
I hope this helps someone to gain some holiday inspiration and if anything it’s made me realise what a great few days away we had.