Paris! Known around the world as the city of love.
Well, I didn’t go to Paris in search of love, I had my love right beside me the entire time. I did however fall in love with the history, architecture and the cobblestone streets filled with cafes and boutique shops. So for me, although having a slightly different meaning, Paris was indeed the city of love.
There is so much I could say about Paris, where to go, where to stay, what to eat, but we’d be here all day! So I have listed below my top five loves of Paris.
What comes to mind when you think of the Louvre?
For many it’s the Mona Lisa. And while yes, it’s a piece of history to be seen, it’s not the only thing that the Louvre has to offer. As I walked through the ajoining rooms and hallways, I was mesmerised by the impressive collection of masterpieces from around the world and throughout history. I don’t often go into museums, I wouldn’t say I’m a lover of art (I still have no idea why 99% of the statutes were missing limbs), but I do have an appreciation for it. Like many others, I went to see the famous Mona Lisa, but I must say, if the Mona Lisa wasn’t there, I would still recommend a visit to the Louvre. For those with a keen eye for art, you’ll be in art heaven, spending hours if not a full day here.
And who can forget the glass pyramids situated in the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace. An artistic beauty in itself.
One of the most photographed landmarks in the world.
I once heard someone say that when the Eiffel Tower was built, Parisians hated it and thought it was an eyesore. Well, I don’t know if that’s true, but what I do know is that I love it! Maybe it’s because growing up the image of the Eiffel Tower was (and still is today) associated with all things French. From good food and wine, to fashion and beautiful countryside.
Now, if you want a great view (and that perfect Instagram photo), head to Trocadero. You won’t be disappointed. This is the perfect spot to sit and gaze at the beauty that is the Eiffel Tower.
Afterwards, you can do as Luca and I did and head right to the base of the tower and pick a spot on the grass for an afternoon picnic.
There’s nothing better than waking up in the ‘city of love’ and starting off your day with a traditional Parisian breakfast. Coffee, crepes, croissants, I couldn’t have asked for more. Just a short walk from our accommodation, Luca and I were spoilt for choice. Seated at our tiny table amongst the locals, we spent a good hour eating and sipping on our coffee as we watched the world go by.
As we explored Paris, we saw a lot of cafés and restaurants that were quite touristy. Always wanting to find places that are mainly frequented by locals, we found ourselves off the main streets and down some quieter cobblestone paths.
A few minutes’ walk from Notre Dame Cathedral is the cutest little café called Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole. Covered in vines and wisteria, it’s the perfect place for a coffee or even a wine.
For dinner one night we ate at a little place called Le Tire Bouchon. The waitress only spoke the tiniest amount of English, and we were the only non-Parisians there, but let me tell you, the atmosphere and the food was sooooooo good!
Travel Tip: Those of you with nut allergies, always check what’s in your dish before you order. My brother ordered salmon and never thought nuts would be present in the dish but apparently a lot of places in Paris use nuts in their sauces and salads, and as a result he suffered a mild reaction. He loved the dish, just not the nuts!
Arc de Triomphe
Walking along the iconic Avenue des Champs-Élysées as we made our way to the Arc de Triomphe was an experience in itself. One side of the road was full of affordable brands that the everyday shopper could confidently enter, knowing they’ll come out with a nice purchase. Whist the other side of the road was full of luxury brands, with the majority of passerby’s only window shopping.
I’ll never forget the entrance to the Abercrombie & Fitch store. You have to see it to believe it. As you step through a gate that looks like it’s from a French Palace, beautifully designed and covered in gold, you enter a box-hedged pathway that leads you to a small garden and then to another impressive door, which is the actual store entrance. With murals displayed on every wall, even if you don’t buy anything, this is definitely a store to check out.
After my shock wore off at the impressiveness of the Abercrombie & Fitch store (I mean #storegoals), we headed directly for the Arc de Triomphe. The earlier you get there, the better, because this place can become tourist central! As we discovered.
And trying to cross the road where there’s no pedestrian crossing, definitely a bad idea. I saw some tourists try and do so before quickly changing their mind. The roundabout is a constant flow of eager cars trying to get from point A to point B, cutting across lanes and in front of each other. It was utter chaos.
The streets of Paris are incredibly beautiful to walk along. But no trip to Paris would be complete without a walk along the seine river. This was one of my favourite parts of our time in Paris.
As Luca and I walked along the river hand in hand, we passed floating restaurants, houseboats and people sitting on benches eating bread and cheese that they no doubt purchased from a local grocer. It was perfect and such a great way to see the city.
View from the top of Notre Dame Cathedral
Location of your accommodation is always key when it comes to travel. Luca is great at finding us places to stay that’s in walking distance of everything. We went for Airbnb whilst in Paris and this place was stunning! Completely exceeded my expectations. We had to walk up multiple flights of stairs to get to it (penthouse), but it was completely worth it. Once inside, it was the perfect Paris apartment.
The first thing that caught my eye when I reached the top of the staircase was the size of the apartment. I was expecting something quite small, but as I looked around at the large open space before me I was pleasantly surprised. As we explored the entire apartment we agreed that this was by far the best Airbnb we had ever booked.
The décor of the apartment consisted of both modern and antique furniture, beautiful artwork hanging throughout and with the natural light coming through the windows, everything blended together perfectly. It was large enough to not feel like we were sitting on top of each other, but small enough to get that warm cozy feeling.
I especially loved the little touches that our host Stanislas put together. There were water bottles on the coffee table for us when we arrived, towels neatly laid out for showering and the Wi-Fi password was clearly displayed.
We were supposed to arrive at the apartment around 11am, however due to unforeseen delays, we arrived closer to 12pm. Stanislas was great, he responded promptly to our messages and waited patiently for us to arrive so he could hand us the keys. He was also flexible regarding checkout. As there were no guests booked in after us, he kindly allowed us to check out later than originally planned. All signs of being a great host in my opinion, making our stay that more pleasant.
You’ll find this incredible penthouse apartment located on Rue Tiquetonne, Ile –de- France, only a 15 minute walk to the Louvre. This street can become a little busy at night; however with the double glazed windows you won’t hear a thing.
At €140 a night I would say this place is affordable as it sleeps up to four people, which only comes out to €35 per person per night. Not a bad deal if you ask me! It was the luxury Paris accommodation we were looking for but at a price we could actually afford.
If you haven’t signed up to Airbnb yet, be sure to sign up here using this Airbnb discount code. It works for all currencies for your first Airbnb stay. Gotta love a discount!
Luca and I travel so much that our accommodation varies quite a lot. We go from luxury hotels and island resorts, to stunning but affordable Airbnb’s and we’ve even stayed in a backyard hut before. No matter where we are, we always make sure that wherever we stay we’re waking up to breathtaking views.