Paris, one of the most beautiful and exciting cities I’ve ever visited is the capital of France and has a population of aprox 2.3m people.Somehow, I only managed to go there for the first time for my 30th birthday, booked as a surprise by my husband.
We did a long January weekend on the Eurostar from St Pancras International (much easier than flying!) and arrived late Friday night.
As a massive lover of eggs in any form, my breakfast recommendation would be Eggs & co in Saint-Germain-des-Pres.
The eggs benedict was huge and came with potatoes, salad and bread. The coffee was velvety smooth and the building itself seemed to be a converted flat, making it very charming and friendly. If you’re an egg lover too, I’d highly recommend.
For lunch, it’s pricey but definitely worth it – anywhere along the Champs-Élysées that you can sit outside and watch the world go by. We went into Le Deauville for no particular reason but it was nice and food was great. Personally, I don’t think you can beat a glass of two of red wine with meat, cheese and bread.
Out of all the places we ate, my top recommendation would be Chez Papa on Rue Froidevaux. It wasn’t anything high end or fancy but the food and service were incredible.
If you haven’t been to Paris before, note that when the French go out for dinner, you’re out for the night. It’s the main event and something you should savour so don’t expect to be in and out.
I had baked eggs in blue sauce, followed by sliced duck and potatoes and apple tarte tatin – I’d give it a solid 9/10. One of the best dinners I’ve ever had and all washed down with a beautiful full bodied red
Top tourist attractions.
- Take a stroll along the river and take in the sights. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Paris and there’s a big 16th century Renaissance influence, making the city feel very feminine.
- Unfortunately, you can’t attach padlocks to the bridges anymore as the weight of the extra metal was beginning to put strain on the structure but, you can tie a ribbon instead so make sure you do that!
- Every trip to Paris must include a visit to the Eiffel Tower. If I’m being honest, I had in my head that the tower would be a massive tacky, tourist attraction but I was absolutely blown away when I saw it.
Standing at 1,063 feet, it was the tallest structure in the world until 1930 when the Chrysler building was constructed in New York City.
Make sure you walk around the feet and stand directly in the centre of the structure before looking up to get a feel for its scale.
If you want to go up the tower, book your tickets in advance to explore the three viewing platforms for €11 per person.
- Next, take a trip to the Louvre museum. As I’m sure you know, there is a very famous female resident there named Mona Lisa. Painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, she is the size of a half portrait and is one of the most-famous pieces of art in the world.
The painting is so precious (and once stolen) that it is in a taped off area and enclosed in a display cabinet.
It’s an absolute must see and was a big tick off on my bucket list. Be warned though, it’s not as big as you may think!
Apart from Lisa, the Louvre has an amazing collection of art. So much so that not all of it can be displayed. Instead, there are thousands of pieces stored underground and brought out in rotation for exhibitions.
The museum itself is stunning – looking very modern on the outside:
- Notre Dame Cathedral is awesome. I didn’t actually go inside as the queue was so long but if you want to take the tour, make sure you get there early. From the outside there are gargoyles, steeples and giant windows. The front is amazing but the back is even better – it’s quite Gothic and dark.
- Keep a close eye on your bags – Paris is well known for pick pocketing
- Take a cruise down the Seine to see the top tourist attractions all in one go
- Eat as many pastries as you can, you’re in Paris!
- Explore Ile St Louis – it’s full of independent shops, giant macaroons and is quaint. This is where I would stay on my next Parisian adventure