We were so excited to visit Paris in February 2017. When we booked our trip we had a really basic idea of what there was to explore in the city (Goal No. 1 was to see the Eiffel Tower!). We did a lot of research into Paris and relied on advice from family and friends who had been previously. We would have missed so many beautiful sites and gorgeous food without this advice, so I’ve put together a City Guide to gather it all in one place. I hope it helps for anyone making a similar trip in the future!
~ To Stay ~
Hotel St Honore 85 Rue St Honore, 75001 Paris. We booked a Superior Double Room and really enjoyed our stay. The room was quite large for a Parisian hotel (they are traditionally completely tiny) and we loved that they left complimentary sweets and bottled water out for us every night. We planned to walk pretty much everywhere during our trip and the hotel was located perfectly for this, with only a 7 minute walk to the Louvre.
~ To Explore ~
Obviously the big hitters are the Louvre, the Notre Dame, the Champ de Mars, and the Eiffel Tower. We also fell in love with some slightly less well known attractions, which I’ve listed below:
Sainte-Chapelle 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris. The stained glass windows in this gothic-church (pictured above) took our breath away. It seems nondescript when you first enter the church doors, but a short walk up a winding stone staircase brings you out into the main hall where the stained glass windows are set. It was absolutely beautiful.
Musee Rodin 79 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris. This holds Rodin’s famous statutes The Thinker, The Gates of Hell, and The Kiss. The statues aren’t only inside the museum but also in the surrounding gardens, which made it feel like a real adventure to go and discover them all. We found the audio-guide really helpful as it explained the story behind each statue. The museum is also a short walk to the Champ de Mars and the Eiffel Tower, so we got to visit them all in one day.
Catacombs 1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris. This is perfect for the really adventurous type! We would recommend buying tickets ahead, as even in the morning the ques are gigantic. The Catacombs underground chambers hold the remains of more than six million people – it was a very moving experience.
Musee de l’Orangerie Jardin Tuileries, 75001 Paris. This peaceful museum (shown below) was built specifically to house Monet’s water-lilys. I was amazed that you could walk right up to the paintings and really see the detail. It’s a real must-see for anyone interested in art (or who would like a quiet rest from the city’s hustle and bustle).
~ To Eat ~
Whilst most of our meals were discovered by jut popping into places, our favourite meals and treats were ones that we researched beforehand. These were our top picks:
Au Passage 1bis Passage Saint-Sebastien, 75011 Paris. This restaurant serves authentic French cuisine in a tapas style – part of our meal is pictured above. The menu changes every day so the food is always fresh and exciting. We also loved that they served local bottled cider! The restaurant had a fantastic atmosphere, and it was our favourite meal of the trip.
Le Vauban 7 Place Vauban, 75007 Paris. It was slightly more expensive here than at Au Passage but the food was utterly stunning. They did a fantastic sharing starter of oysters (shown below), and the meat on our main courses was perfectly cooked. We visited for a romantic meal before walking to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up at night, and it was a really perfect evening.
TIP: Rather than ordering dessert, try asking for a Cafe Gourmand. It’s available pretty much everywhere and is an espresso with a selection of gorgeous mini cakes & desserts. It was one of my favourite things to order and I can only hope the trend catches on in the UK.
~ To Shop ~
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann 40 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris. This is the most beautiful department store I’ve ever seen – the picture above really doesn’t do it justice! It has a really great selection of fashion and beauty products. If you are visiting in the summer, there’s also a lovely roof terrace to relax on.
La Boutique 14 Quai de la Megisserie, 75001 Paris. The perfect place to shop homeware and interior design. It has such a quirky mix of items it’s a great place to pick up something to bring home. We purchased two handwoven rugs (for 49 Euro each!) which serve as stunning reminders of our trip.
Where are your favourite places to visit in Paris?