Paris is the third most visited city in the world and if you ever get the chance to visit you’ll quickly understand why! Paris is an incredibly beautiful city that remains authentic and traditional in a modern world. The architecture is absolutely stunning, the food is mouth-wateringly delicious and the monuments are breathtaking. It’s a city that a lot of people fall in love with, charmed by its unique beauty.
Guest post by Chloe Martin
What’s the best time to visit Paris?
Paris is one of those places that is beautiful in every season. Really! In the spring, the cherry blossom trees bloom all around the city giving the impression that the city is covered in candy floss. In summer the sun shines brightly and the river banks transform from a busy road into a beach – a pedestrians Paradise! In fall the red and orange leaves make the city feel warm and alive and people outside on terraces soak up the last of the good weather while sipping wine. And last but not least in winter the days get darker but the city lights up with Christmas markets and decorations, literally transforming into its nickname The City of Lights.
If I had to choose I would say come to Paris in May. The weather is warm, the city isn’t too over-crowded and there are plenty of things to do in the city!
What’s good to know about Paris?
Paris is not a gigantic city so you can actually walk from one monument to another! The Louvre to the Champs Elysees is a 20 minute walk, the Champs Elysees to the Eiffel Tower is a 15 minute walk and Notre Dame to the Pompidou center is only 15 minutes too! And the route you take is always really beautiful!
And if you don’t feel like walking, don’t worry! Paris has one of the most efficient metro systems in the world and ticket prices are very reasonable. I would recommend buying a pack of ten tickets when you arrive which you can buy at a discounted rate.
Interesting events that take place in Paris:
Fête de la Musique (World Music Day) on June 21st
On this special day the city comes alive with music. There are free events all over the city and famous musicians even come and play for free. It’s an amazing and unique day that you have to experience in Paris!
Fête de la Bastille (Bastille Day) on July 14th
Every year the Parisians commemorate the beginning of the French Revolution with a huge firework display around the Eiffel Tower and all day picnics on the Champ de Mars. It’s by far one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen!
The best sights to see:
The Louvre Museum
This converted Palace is truly magnificent. If you’re a history lover try to choose the areas you like best, the museum is so large you would need a month to see it all. My favorite part is the Egyptian section!
Marché des Enfants Rouges (The Red Children’s Market):
This historical market takes its name from the 16th-century orphanage that was originally built on this site. The orphanage closed before the revolution but was eventually reopened as a deluxe food market in 2000 after extensive campaigning from locals. It’s a fantastic place for locals and tourists to eat!
Notre Dame and Île de la Cité
Notre Dame is an absolute must see with its beautiful stain glass windows and breathtaking architecture, it looks pretty good for its age – over 800 years old! Behind Notre Dame is a small island with traditional French shops and restaurants, it’s like stepping back in time!
Chateau de Versailles
A little outside of Paris you’ll find the Chateau of Versailles which was built by Louis XIV. The palace is stunning with the hall of mirrors and the King’s Grand Apartment and you have to visit Marie Antoinette’s Gardens. It really is something special!
One day in Paris Itinerary:
Top things to do in Paris, France
If I only had one day in the city I would start off my day by picking up a croissant or pain au chocolat from Du Pain et des Idées (34 rue Yves Toudic, Paris 10eme). Their pastry has a hint of almond to it and simply melts in your mouth. It happens to be very close to my apartment and voted one of the best bakeries in Paris.
From there I would walk the short 100 meters to the metro and jump on the line 8 to Opera station. At this station you will find, drumroll please…the Opera house! It’s one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris and you can visit it for just 5 euros.
After a tour of the Opera house I would pop into Galeries Lafayette, a huge department store located directly behind the Opera. As well as being great for shopping it has a beautiful dome ceiling and a terrace where you can eat, drink and have a beautiful view of Paris. It’s totally free to use the terrace so even if you don’t enjoy shopping it’s worth checking out the view.
After some shopping/Paris gazing I would hop back on the metro line 9 which is just outside the department store and head over to Trocadéro to visit the Iron Lady – the Eiffel Tower! When you exit at Trocadéro you should make your way onto the square where you can enjoy the most superb view of the Eiffel Tower! From there walk down the steps and through the Champ de Mars (the park at the foot of the Tower) and to the tower itself. Go to the top and enjoy the view!
It’s lunchtime! Take the line 8 (the station École Militaire is located just behind the Eiffel Tower) to the stop called Filles du Calvaire. At this stop you will need to walk a short distance (430m – 5 minutes maximum) to the Marché des Enfants Rouges. Follow these directions:
Head southwest on Rue des Filles du Calvaire toward Rue de Turenne for 200 m
Turn right onto Rue de Bretagne after 220 m
Turn left after 30m onto Rue des Oiseaux and your destination will be on the right.
At the market you can find a variety of food to try from all different countries making it the perfect place to grab some lunch!
After you have satisfied your stomachs head to the metro station Arts et Metiers which is a short walk away (about 7 minutes!). Follow these directions:
Head northeast on Rue des Oiseaux toward Rue de Bretagne for about 30 m
Turn left onto Rue de Bretagne after 260 m
Continue onto Rue Réaumur for 100 m
Turn right to stay on Rue Réaumur after about 100 m
Turn right onto Rue Volta after 60m and then sharp left onto Rue de Turbigo.
When you reach the station take the line 11 just two stops to Hotel de Ville. This is the city’s town hall and another exceptionally beautiful building. From the town hall’s square you can see our next two destinations! The Pompidou Center on your left and Notre Dame on your right.
Go and explore the Pompidou Center, a building built entirely inside out! This modern art museum is totally one of a kind and holds some of Dali’s most famous work.
Time to go to Notre Dame! Walk the short distance and check out the beautiful Cathedral and its gardens. You won’t be disappointed!
Take a break after this, you’ll be tired! Go grab a coffee at Shakespeare & Co’s lovely little café just across the street.
For dinner head to Chartier, it’s on the line 9 at the stop Grands Boulevard, you can’t miss it there’s a big lit up arrow with the name on it! Chartier is a fantastic, authentic French restaurant with waiters in penguin suits and delicious French food. It used to be a train station and has been open for over 100 years!
After dinner take the line 9 again to Republique and check out Lavomatic, 30 Rue René Boulanger, 75010, one of Paris’ speakeasy bars. It’s actually a bar concealed in a laundromat and you wouldn’t know it was there unless someone let you in on its secret!
To dance the night away finish at Barrio Latino (46 – 48 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75012) a Spanish bar and club which is a short walk from Lavomatic. A fantastic place for dancing and drinking!
Some extra tips for visiting
If you are under 26 and here on a weekend or bank holiday buy a ticket jeune. You can use this ticket all day until 1am and go all around the city with it. It only costs around 4 euros!
Look into Museum passes if you’re a history buff. It will work out cheaper to get a pass if you plan on visiting a lot of museums.
Be careful with your belongings, Paris is a city after all and there are occasionally pickpockets. However, as long as you are sensible you won’t have any problems!
Last but not least – check out my blog before you come, I recommend the best things to do in Paris including bars and restaurants!
Guest post by Chloe Martin
In case you have more than just one day in Paris, check out Tripadvisor for detailed list of all the top things to do in Paris.
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