Paris really lives up to expectations as a wonderful city to visit. Andrew and I were already hooked on French-made croissants after our time in the Alps, so were especially excited to head back to France and visit as many boulangeries (bakeries) as possible. We were staying at an AirBnB in the central city in an area called Reuilly-Diderot. There were many boulangeries to visit here as well as some delicious restaurants. On our first night in the city we headed to Le Globe where we had steak tartare and a croque monsieur (French version of a delicious toastie). This was to be the vibe of the trip – eat as much of the delicious French food as possible!
If you enjoy walking then its best to see all the top sights on foot. We were staying in the East of the city centre and basically did a walk over to the West. We started our walking by heading down to the River Seine and strolling along the bank to the Notre Dame. Unfortunately the Notre Dame had recently been damaged by fire, however, what is left of the building is still impressive. After that we wandered into the Latin Quarter for a treat at Odette (incredibly delicious cream puffs) and a look around the area.
It was then a short walk to look at the Louvre. We didn’t opt to go inside due to the queues, however, the buildings and location are truly spectacular to gaze at. Instead we headed to the Musée de l’Orangerie nearby which is home to some fantastic art in a more manageable (and less crowded) setting. Both the Louvre and Musée de l’Orangerie back onto the Tuileries Garden which is a beautiful place to walk around and relax in, with sculptures in every direction you look.
Still heading West, we walked along the Champs-Élysées, a very wide tree studded avenue that starts at the Place de la Concorde. The Place de la Concorde is a large public square that houses a large Egyptian obelisk and it is also where many executions took place during the French Revolution. A walk along the Champs-Élysées takes you past the Grand Palace and to the Arc de Triomphe. A top tip for heading up the Arc de Triomphe – buy your tickets online then you can skip the huge ticket queue, pop up the stairs and head straight to the queue-less entry. Magic! We bought our tickets online while we were at the Arc de Triomphe as the queue was a nightmare. Once at the top you are greeted by stunning views of Paris in every direction, including picture perfect shots of the Eiffel Tower.
We finished our big walk off with a stop at the supermarket to stock up on supplies and headed straight to the park surrounding the Eiffel Tower. Here we chilled in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower while eating cheese and bread and drinking rosé wine all afternoon – bliss!
Another area of Paris that we enjoyed visiting was the Canal Saint-Martin. We arrived there in the early evening and walked along the canal while locals drank wine and snacked on the edge of the water. We visited a fun and pretty unique bar called Le Comptoir Général followed by a delicious French dinner at Les Vinaigriers.
Overall our time in Paris was fantastic and very indulgent. Cost wise, it is a bit expensive, especially when you want to go out to restaurants and bars. However, as a treat I think it was definitely worth it!
Here is a breakdown of our costs for 2 people for 2 days:
Accommodation – E97.50 (NZ$168)
Food/Drink – E340 (NZ$586)
Activities – E32 (NZ$55)
Transport – E25 (NZ$43)
Total spent – E494.50 (NZ$852)