A QUICK GUIDE: PARIS, FRANCE
I’ve been really lucky to have travelled to Paris four times, and I still want to go back to continue exploring the city of love. I am by no means a Parisian expert, however over the years I’ve been fortunate to see and do many things in the beautiful city. I’ve had a few friends visit Paris and before they leave I give them my list of things to do which I have aggregated each time I visit. Paris is the perfect city for a weekender and whilst some of these below might seem more obvious than others (I have chosen not to include the Eiffel Tower), I’d love to hear if you have any other suggestions. Bon voyage! Arc de Triomphe Walk up 234 stairs to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. The stairs are killer in the middle of summer so take a bottle of water with you. You’ll be rewarded with panoramic views across the city and down the Champs Elysees.
Laduree Buy a box of traditional French macaroons from Ladurée on the Champs Élysées; my favourite flavour is the caramel buttered salt macaroon.
Pont des Arts Bridge Walk across Pont des Arts bridge and secure a padlock, with the names of you and your loved written on the padlock, to the fence, then throw the key into the River Seine.
Le Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries + Place de la Concorde Obviously visit Le Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, and when you’re finished walk through the Jardin des Tuileries to Place de La Concorde where Marie Antoinette was beheaded. If you’re in Paris in the middle of winter buy some roasted chestnuts from a street vendour and relax by the Grand Bassin Octagonal in the jardin.
Notre Dame Visit the Notre Dame by night when it’s spectacularly lit up and if you go by day, take a visit to the top of the Towers of Notre Dame for free with your Paris Pass.
River Seine Take a relaxing trip down the River Seine onboard the Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise. A river cruise is a great way to see many of Paris’ famous landmarks and sights. When you stop off, browse through the local art, prints and vintage books which are for sale along River Seine.
Montparnasse Tower Take in another aspect of the city from the 56th observation floor of the Montparnasse Tower which offers visitors a stunning view of the city in all directions.
Le Pere Lachaise Cimetiere Jump on the Metro and visit Le Pere Lachaise Cimetiere to find Jim Morrisons grave which is covered with notes, recording sheets, candles and flowers. Up the top of the cemetery you’ll find Oscar Wilde’s grave which was covered by thousands of red lipstick kisses, loves notes and flowers left by amorous women from all over the world. I left a kiss when I was last in Paris, however much to my dismay the Parisian council cleaned Oscar’s grave just before I left London. It is my hope women have defied the council and are still leaving lipstick kisses all over his grave. And my big tip – grab a map before you venture into the cemetery, I can guarantee you’ll get lost otherwise!
Best Vintage in Paris For the best and cheapest vintage in Paris, look no further than Ding Fring, Come on Eileen, Free ‘P’ Star, Coiffeur and Fripes Star.
Orsay Museum If you love museums like I do, make sure you visit Orsay Museum which exhibits work by Monet, Renoir, Sisley, van Gogh and many more great artists.
Le Grande Epicerie The Grande Epicerie is by far the world’s most impressive grocery store; it can be found on the bottom floor of the Bon Marche department store in the 7th arrondissemont. This alone is worth a trip to Paris.
Marche aux Puces St. Ouen de Clignancourt Spend a day at the Marché aux Puces St. Ouen de Clignancourt (the flea market), which is open Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 9 am to 6 pm. Push up your sleeves because there are many treasures to be discovered here.
Versailles Get out of Paris and do a day trip to Versailles. Versailles is a quick 45 minute train ride from the city and remember to pre purchase your ticket if you can to avoid hefty waiting lines. Hire a golf buggy when you get in, it’s the best way of seeing the gardens – trust me you’ll need it. Versailles is situated over 800 square hectares of land and you’ll want to explore every inch of it.