I love, love, love Paris and if we're being honest it isn't possible to see everything that Paris has to offer in a day. It is however possible to tick off some of the main sites so how did I do it? Well last year my best friend and I had rather large birthdays and as part of that she decided that she was going travelling on her own. Under the guise of being a good friend but really wanting to see Paris with her, I offered to fly out and meet her for the day.
Thanks to Easyjet and their super cheap flights my 6:00am flight from London Luton to Charles de Gaulle and my return flight at 21:55 was only about £60 including taxes. The joy of being on the 6am flight is that you are in France, on the train and standing outside of Notre Dame eating breakfast by 9am!
We were a bit gung ho and decided to go all 1990's and not have phones, so our plan was to meet outside Notre Dame at 9.30am and take it from there and meet we did. We decided not to challenge ourselves and walk up the stairs to the top of Notre Dame but if you are braver than me this is possible and costs around £8. There is normally a bit of a queue so get there early if this is something you want to do.
From here we walked through the gorgeous Parisien streets to the Louvre. The Louvre is incredible but you need to spend a good amount of time here and in all honesty if you're just there for the day it's unlikely you'll fit it in. You may want to take a photo though to tick it off your list ;) The gardens in front of the Louvre are particularly gorgeous too.
When we were in Paris, I was unfortunately really ill so we decided that we would get on the jump on/off sightseeing bus which actually completely made our day! There are many tours and different tour companies that have several routes across the city. Our tour cost us £20 each but it was worth every penny and at most stops the buses came every 15 minutes. From the Louvre we got the bus back past Notre Dame and spotted the very cool and quirky Shakespeare and Co bookstore which we visited and JoJo re-visited later during her trip for a talk and book signing. Worth checking what's going on in advance of your visit:
We stayed on the bus for a while so that we could make the most of seeing the City so from here our next stop was actually the Eiffel Tower:
In my opinion the best view of the Eiffel Tower is from the Trocaedro which is a 10 minute walk across the road but well worth the walk up the stairs. There were some renovations going on whilst we were there so the fountains were out of action and I don't have any photos from that view. We decided after a while on the bus that we would walk the 15 minutes back to the Arc de Triomphe just to stretch our legs and to get some lunch:
At this stop we seemed to have to wait ages for a bus but one did eventually turn up. We drove back to the Eiffel Tower and by the Ecole Militiare and then around by the very expensive shops and the Champs Elysee and then towards the Opera Garnier. We were ready for a walk around by this point so we got off the bus at the depot which was situated on Rue Montmarte and pottered around the shops buying lots of delicious food.
My absolute favourite place in Paris to eat in Angelina's. The interior reminds me of the Ritz although Angelina's isn't as formal, It is pricey though so if you can't afford to eat in I suggest you visit the shop and buy yourself some loveliness to take away. There are several branches across Paris but I always go to the one on Rue De Rivoli however due to their popularity you will need to book or be prepared to wait a couple of hours for a table. Cakes look very small but my goodness they are rich and delightful:
The one thing that we didn't get to visit on this day trip was the Sacre Coeur but my goodness if you can fit it in then you should make the effort as it's incredible:
My last tip that I will leave you with is if you are doing Paris on a budget then take a step one street back from the main tourist areas and shop like a local. Prices are about three times cheaper and the fresh produce that you can get is amazing. Find a bakery and sit in a park somewhere to make the most of it. My favourite spot in the Place des Vosges which is just off the Rue de Rivoli but feels like it's a whole world away. It's a little square surrounded by beautiful buildings, cute shops that don't sell your usual tourist tat, incredible ice cream, fountains, grass and every day Parisien folk! Amazing - but please don't tell too many tourists about it so we can still enjoy :)
Do you have a secret spot in Paris to share with us?