Marvel at the Eiffel Tower
Of all the things to do in Paris it would be sacrilege (and almost pretty impossible) to not catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower.
If you’re feeling zippy after your morning coffee, scale up the 1,665 steps. Otherwise there’s a lift for the less adventurous.
Standing directly underneath the Eiffel Tower it is undoubtedly impressive putting into perspective the real scale of the wrought iron latticed monument.
However, due to its size, I think it’s best marvelled at a distance and there are plenty of beautiful spots in Paris to do this.
My favourites are:
Rue de l’Universite
- A quiet street close to the Eiffel Tower giving an unparalleled view.
- Métro: Invalides (line 8 and 13 / RER line C) or Gare du Pont de l’Alma (RER line C)
- To avoid the tourist crowds, the best time is at sunrise.
- Métro: La Tour-Maubourg (line 6 and 9)
At the Top of the Bisilique de Sacré-Coeur
- Standing tall in one of my favourite Parisian districts – Montmarte.
- Métro: Anvers (line 2)
- Website: Sacré-Coeur
Bar Le Perchoir
- Rooftop bar with 360 views of Paris. It’s the best place to watch the sunset whilst sipping a cocktail.
- Métro: Menilmontant or St-Maur (line 2, 3)
- Website: Le Perchoir
L’Instant by Le Paris
- Go here for the novel experience of dining on a boat. It’s a floating restaurant moored facing the Eiffel Tower on Port Debilly.
- Métro: Iéna (line 9) or Trocadéro (line 6, 9)
- Website: L’Instant
- More on this secret spot below.
- Métro: Chaussée d’Antin – La Fayette (line 7 and 9)
Fun Fact: The Eiffel Tower was originally intended to be dismantled after 20 years but it was allowed to stay as it became useful as a wireless transmitter, can you imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower?!
Admire contemporary art at the Louis Vuitton Foundation
I’m not a huge lover of modern and contemporary art but this extraordinary architectural building blew me away. You can easily spend a whole day here, immersed in the art and appreciating the building itself funded by LVMH.
Pack a picnic and you can relax on the bank of the river or in Jardin d’Acclimatation which is the huge green space the envelopes the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
For website, click here.
Taste the falafel at Chez Marianne
Located in Le Marais, the Jewish Quarter of Paris, Chez Marianne offers authentic middle Eastern flavours in a relaxed alfresco setting. A welcome rest bite and an easy choice over the standing in line for the falafel street stalls.
I’d recommend choosing the 10 small dishes for 2 to share so you can try a full selection. Best served with lashings of wine.
For more info, click here.
Rent a toy sailing boat at the Grand Bassin in Jardin du Luxembourg
When was the last time you played with a toy boat on a lake, hey?
Have some fun and soak up the splendour of the immaculate tree lined lawn, Medici fountain and statues that are a back drop to Palais du Luxembourg. The palace was built for Marie de Médici, Henri IV’s consort in 1612 to replicate the Pitti Palace in Florence where she had grown up. Not bad at all!
Have serious house envy on Rue Crémieux
One of the most Instagrammable spots in Paris, this residential cobbled street is lined with the prettiest coloured postcard houses. The street was named in 1897 in dedication of the human rights lawyer, Adolphe Crémieux, who defended the Jewish people living in France.
Shop at Galeries Lafayette
There are 3 awesome things to do at Galeries Lafayette:
- Shop! As if you need telling but hey! When the department store opened its doors in 1912, its vision was to be a “luxury bazaar”. To this day, it doesn’t disappoint.
- Look up and admire the spectacular stained glass windows of the dome roof. Standing 43 metres tall, it is the iconic symbol of Galeries Lafayette and created in the style of Paris Art Nouveau.
- Discover one of Paris’ secret spots to gaze at the Eiffel Tower and twinkling city lights. Head to the 7thfloor terrace bar, La Pailotte.
Website: Galeries Lafayette
Meander along the River Seine & across Pont Alexandre III
For me, this is one of the most elegant bridges in Paris. On a nice day, walk from the Eiffel Tower, stroll along the River Seine and across the Pont Alexandre III, looking back to take a photo of the Eiffel Tower.
Cross the bridge and you’ll come to the Grand Palais – be sure to check out what art exhibitions are happening there. You’ll find yourself next at the Champs-Elysees where the famous Ladurée Café is in all its19th century splendour. After all that walking, surely you deserve a macaroon or two!
Wander the back streets of Montmartre
Montmarte is known as the artist’s district with its landmark, the Bisilique de Sacre-Coeur which stands on the highest point of Paris. Wander the backstreets for picturesque cafes and shops.
Oh la la, the Croissants!
With boulangeries on practically every street, you cannot resist the waft of freshly baked croissants. Indulge.
Seek sanctuary in Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Constructed on quarries in 1867, the park’s landscape is comprised of different levels and includes a suspended bridge, waterfalls and a beautiful viewpoint called Temple de la Sibylle. On a hot day, it’s nice to get an ice cream from one of the kiosks or cafés and seek shade under one of the many indigenous trees by the lake.
OTHER SITES NOT TO BE MISSED
Housing the famous Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo’s Dying Slave, the former royal palace shouldn’t be missed. To avoid the queues and gain quick entry in less than 30 mins, you can purchase your tickets online here for €17 (€2 more than on the door).
TIP: I’d recommend going early in the morning or on one of their late night openings. Bear in mind that they’re closed on Tuesdays.
The cathedral is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Even if you don’t venture inside, it’s worth going to the fourth arrondissement to catch sight of it close up.
Ok technically not a “site” but every time I’m in Paris I visit this teeny tiny Mexican restaurant and cocktail bar so thought it was worth a mention.
I just love the fact you enter the bar through a door at the back of the tacos shop. Very good cocktails and music.
The place is tiny so it is best to arrive early (before 11h30) so you make sure you can get in.
Address: 52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003, Paris
Housing paintings, sculptures, drawings and more from Pablo Picasso. Perfect for a rainy day.
Website: Musée Picasso
Located in La Marais district.
|Getting Around||Metro (underground train line covering city centre), Trams (overgroundtrain), RER surburbanexpress train (the line that takes you to Disneyland. It connects with the Metro) buses, taxis. Uberswork here too.|
If you’re planning to explore Paris, I’d recommend buying the ParisVisitePass which is valid for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days unlimited use on all Metro, trams, RER, buses etc. Tickets start from €11.65 depending of number of days and zones.
|Dress Code||Effortless Chic.|
|Warmest Months||July & August||Average Temp 20 C / 68 F|
|Coldest Months||January & December||Average Temp 5 C / 41 F|
|Wettest Months||April & May // November & December||Average rainfall 26 mm, 14 days|
|January||Chinese New Year|
|July||Paris Jazz Festival / Tour De France / Bastille Day (14th)|
|August||Rock en Seine Festival|
Looking for a fun girl’s day out in Paris? Read: A Fun Girl’s Day Out: Disneyland Paris