This year (and literally two weeks before lockdown) my boyfriend took me to Paris for my 24th birthday. I’ve been to Paris quite a few times before but I’m forever ranting and raving about how much I love the city so he thought it would be cool if we could go together. I also love how familiar Paris now feels and it seems the more I go, the more opportunity I have to visit the less touristy spots and experience the other amazing aspects of the city (mainly the food, obviously!)
We travelled to Paris by Eurostar which is an excellent way to travel because you end up slap bang in the middle of the city within 2 hours of leaving London. The one new experience we did have was staying in an air b’n’b on the outskirts of the city which I don’t think I’d do again – I’m sure it gave me the authentic experience of staying in a small apartment in Paris but the wonky floors, higgledepiggledy layout and slight chill was not quite my cup of tea. If I were to go again, I’d definitely opt for a hotel. That being said, I had a great time anyway!
Here is what we got up to during our 72 hour stay in Paris:
L’Entrecote de Paris, Champs-Élysées
This was our first stop as soon as we got off the Eurostar. We had been told by several people to try out L’Entrecote. There is nothing on the menu other than steak, fries and green sauce for a fixed price. Our waitress was SO rude but the food was so delicious. I feel like this definitely got us in the Paris state of mind. I was very very appreciative of the fries to steak ratio.
Arc de Triomphe
At the end of the Champs-Élysées, is the Arc De Triomphe aka. in my opinion, the world’s coolest roundabout. You can visit the top of this landmark and it is something I do EVERYTIME I go to Paris and is one of my favourite viewpoints. You really do get a 360 view of Paris and can get a great view of the Eiffel Tower. Word of warning: If you decide to climb, there is no lift so get ready for a workout!
This is a beauty of a shop located on the Champs-Élysées. I know this is a bit of a cultural cop out and Laduree is all over the world but I just couldn’t resist. I associate the macaron with Paris so decided to go inside for a birthday treat. It is one of the rare places I don’t mind queuing because I get to gawk at all of the amazing flavours and colours on offer. I got to try a Marie Antoinette one and as always, left a very satisfied customer.
As it was my birthday, I wanted to go for dinner somewhere a little fancy and all dressed up. Kong, which is perched on top of the Louis Vuitton offices, looked like a great spot. The design of the restaurant itself was SO cool and I loved sitting in the glass dome for dinner. However, if you do visit this spot – completely ignore the cocktail dress code because I was probably the only person in the whole restaurant wearing a nice dress. Some people had turned up in trainers and ugg boots so I felt like a bit of a prune. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the experience and had a delicious steak and cocktails – my favourite!
This was bit of a 5 minute stop off. This is a highly controversial art installation and is located in the inner courtyard of the Palais Royal. I’d seen this on the ‘gram many times before and wondered how I’d always missed it. On our way to the Louvre, we took a detour and stopped off at the cool monochrome columns and snapped some pics. Don’t be fooled by these columns, they are near impossible to climb up onto!
Louvre Art Museum
Beyonce has definitely changed my view of the Louvre… I spent the whole time admiring the art work whilst reciting APESHIT by The Carters which was a bit of a contrast to usual the quiet calm environment that comes with an art gallery. My boyfriend had never seen the Mona Lisa so I knew we just had to visit. They have now added a queuing system to see the famous lady which I’m not sure is entirely necessary but we waited our turn. We were here two days before the gallery because of coronavirus, eek!
I asked to go to the famous Moulin Rouge for my birthday to see a show. I must admit, I naively had assumed that this was just a show with lots of dancing and sparkles. What I hadn’t anticipated, was the level of boob. I definitely would recommend going to see the show at least once but it’s not for the faint hearted (or those that don’t support the free the nipple movement!)
Wall of Love
Another place I’d spotted on the ‘gram and never been to before. This is located in the lovely neighbourhood of Montmartre. I didn’t visit Montmartre much during this trip as I have been many times before and wanted to see some other places. If I lived in Paris, Montmartre would be my home – I love it! This wall is in a tiny little park on the side of a building. It is a blue tiled wall featuring the words ‘I love you’ in lots of different languages. It was busy so taking a picture was difficult but I still thought it was a pretty cool spot if you’re in the area!
If you go to Paris and don’t eat crepes at least once, you really aren’t doing it properly. This was my second round of crepes in 24 hours and SO yummy. We stopped off at this spot in Trocadero on our way to the Eiffel Tower. We sat outside and had chicken with chips and finished off our lunch with crepes. There are many different brasserie style places like this around Paris which I think are always good to try out! This place was great.
Eiffel Tower and Jardin du Trocadero
The Eiffel Tower is so magical – my favourite moment every time I go to Paris is coming out of the trocadero metro station, turning the corner and seeing the Eiffel Tower. It is always the focal point of any trip and I always find myself gravitating back towards it. On this trip, we went once during the day and climbed to the first level to see the sights. I personally always think the Eiffel tower is best from the outside and if you want to see views of Paris then the Arc de Triomphe is a better pick. We also came to the Jardin du Trocadero on my birthday eve and watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle at midnight (which it does on every hour ) as I turned 24. It was one of those movie moments and I couldn’t stop grinning!
So that was some of my highlights of Paris. We visited many other places including: Pink Mamma (an Italian restaurant which is part of the Big Mamma group), the Galeries Lafayette which is a famous shopping centre in Paris with a beautiful dome ceiling and a river cruise down the Seine.
Have you been to Paris? If so, what was some of your favourite spots?