Paris is such a beautiful place and for us in the United Kingdom – especially London – it’s a super easy place to go to for a quick weekend break with it taking just 2.5 hours on the Eurostar. I hit up the French capital twice last year and I’ve already been once this year with another one booked so it’s safe to say I’m hooked. I can’t say the cities my favourite place in Europe but there’s plenty to explore, I have a good idea of my surroundings now and it’s a nice quick trip away. Here are some of the things you have to do if you have a Parisian break:
Climb the Eiffel Tower
Yes, let’s get the most cliched thing over and done with first, the Eiffel Tower. The slightly tacky looking metal structure which sits literally in the middle of a busy Parisian roundabout and it’s one of those things that you have to do if you head over. During my longer trip last Spring I headed up both during the day and at night and it’s amazing how much changes between the two. During the day you can see for miles and spot great locations and surroundings, and during the night you can see the city lit up looking stunning. Personally, I think you should climb the Eiffel Tower if you head there as it will make the views even more deserving and while it is a long way it’s a worthwhile walk.
Take the Seine River Cruise
Paris is pretty small so you can easily walk around it but opt for a slightly different viewpoint getting on a boat and going on a cruise. There’s loads of different versions, some at night, some with food or you can opt for the standard ones which you pick up behind the Eiffel Tower where you head towards Notre Dame, circle around and come back. It’s not the longest ride but it’s a nice relaxing way to see the city especially if you’re lucky and get some nice weather.
Talk the night bus tour
There are plenty of hop on hop off buses during the day but personally, I think you can walk it all yourself/ get the metro, but the night time bus tour is definitely worth it. Over about two-hours, you’re driven around the city taking in sights such as the Opera House, Moulin Rouge, Notre Dame and more, and usually, the trip will coincide with seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up on the hour – something it does every hour during the dark. Usually by night time I’m tired after so much walking all day so I’m grateful to be sat on a bus. One thing with this is I’d suggest booking in advance – preferably before you go – as they do get pretty booked up.
Head to the Musee De L’Orangerie
Yes you can’t go to Paris without heading to the Louvre, but personally, I prefer the much smaller Musee De L’Orangie which is home to the Monet Water Lily Paintings. The queue is usually a little longer than you’d expect but that’s only because it’s so small inside. When I went I didn’t realize the Water Lily’s were not a singular painting and were, in fact, eight paintings to make the collection showing the same scene during different times of night. Alongside the Monet exhibition, there’s also another exhibition downstairs housing some Picasso paintings and other stuff which was super interesting to look around. I’d suggest heading here first thing to try and avoid the crowds/ queues.
Climb the notre dame
In Paris there’s plenty of things you can climb – The Eiffel Tower, Montneparse tower, The Arc De Triomphe etc – but one of the best views comes from Notre Dame. It’s free to head into the Cathedral which is absolutely stunning but you have to pay to climb the towers, but I’d say it’s well worth it. The walk seems like such a long time when you’re doing it because everything is spiral and there will be times where you’ll need a quick breather but the views you get from the top are amazing. The Eiffel Tower sits right in front of you and Sacre Coeur high on the hills to your right. It truly shows you the expanse of the city and on a bright day you can see for miles.
Get ice cream from Berthillon
Yes you’re going to eat croissants and macaroons in Paris, that’s a complete given, but don’t miss out on some of the best icecream around from Berthillion. The tiny stall nestled on a line of shops behind the Notre Dame is a must visit on any trip. When I went I had a double scoop with white chocolate and dark chocolate and it was incredible, who knew white chocolate ice cream was that amazing?! It’s a little pricy with two clocking up to around ten euro’s but for a treat on a warm day you can’t knock it, especially when it tastes so amazing. You’ll just need to try it for yourself.