After coming back from Paris, I thought I would write about what Connor and I got up to and our recommendations. We got the Eurostar to and from Paris and stayed in an Airbnb apartment close to the Gard du Nord. If you can’t be bothered to read my rambles, I’ve written a summary list at the bottom! 😉
We arrived in Paris on the Saturday at about 5pm and went straight to our Airbnb to drop off our suitcases. We quickly found that although only a 5minute walk from the Eurostar, the Gard du Nord was not the most pleasant of areas. It was ideal in terms of location to get around but it was dirty and the people, rough. Having said that, our apartment was lovely and suited our needs perfectly.
After sussing out the apartment, we walked along Canal Saint-Martin which was beautiful and had a hipster feel to it. We stopped for dinner at Brick Top pizza where we had the most incredible sourdough crust pizza topped with high quality ingredients. Once we had inhaled our pizzas, we travelled to the Montparnasse Tower. We timed it so that we would be going up before sunset and I’m so glad we did. The views were amazing and I think it was one of my favourite activities that we did in Paris.
We started our second day with breakfast at home before heading to the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is the attraction that most people associate with Paris and as a result it was heaving with people from all over the world. I loved going to see it as it was something I’ve always wanted to see but I did prefer the view from the Montparnasse Tower. After being typical tourists and taking 101 photos, we walked to the Bateaux Parisiens sightseeing boat trip on the Seine.
I would definitely recommend the boat trip if you’re planning to go to the Eiffel Tower (which of course you are). The guide pointed out key monuments as we travelled down the Seine but we were mostly left uninterrupted to enjoy the view. The boat trip was a fantastic opportunity to get photos and for us, to soak up the sun as the weather was glorious!
For lunch we attempted to go to Candelma for traditional galettes which are savoury buckwheat pancakes but despite their website telling us otherwise, it was closed. Instead we chose the healthy option, N2 Extreme Gelato! This place was incredible. The lady behind the counter made each gelato to order with liquid nitrogen in a ginormous mixer which was a novelty to watch. I had the crazy cookies gelato pot which consisted of Nutella gelato with cookies on top and throughout with a syringe of salted caramel sauce – a party for my taste buds!
After, we made our way back to the other side of Paris to visit the Arc de Triomphe. If you are 18-25 and from a country in the EU (not us Brits for long…) then you can go up the Arc de Triomphe for free by showing your passport. We then decided to walk to the Bois de Boulogne and tried to go to the Louis Vuitton Foundation but we had missed the last entry. We attempted to try and find a nice place to have a picnic dinner in the park but decided to leave after we saw two prostitutes on the side of the path we were walking down – one of which disappeared into the woods with her next client, ew. This event definitely ruined the park for us and I wouldn’t go back there personally.
Pancakes. That’s all I need to say. We arrived at Holybelly for pancakes at 8:45am and well, by the time it was opening time (9am) there was a queue of people behind us – that’s when you know a restaurant/café is going to be good. We were not disappointed; the pancakes were the best I’ve ever had! I had the savoury stack which consisted of pancakes, two eggs, bacon, maple syrup and butter and Connor basically ordered the whole menu. After Holybelly, we waddled to the Louvre with our food babies.
Like the Eiffel Tour, the Louvre is one of the museums you have to visit in Paris. I mean, did you even go to Paris if you didn’t take a photo of the overrated Mona Lisa?! The next attraction wasn’t originally on our list but was recommended by my mum and I’m so glad we went. Sainte Chapelle is a small gothic chapel – you look up and just, wow! It doesn’t take long to visit – short and sweet.
With a detour to Le Comptoir de Mathilde for speculoos spread because c’mon, priorities, we then went to Notre Dame. Again, another iconic symbol of Paris and it was beautiful. From Notre Dame, we went to the Jardin du Luxembourg. The park is beautiful and the atmosphere was lovely. We loved it so much we return the day after for a picnic. For dinner we kept it cheap and had street crepes are finding that Candelma was again closed (yes we were pissed off), followed by Amorino ice cream.
I was determined to have a croissant in Paris as it’s the proper Parisian breakfast isn’t it? We went Du Pain et des Idées for our breakfast before starting our last day. Again, there was a queue out of the door of this lovely little French bakery – a positive sign. We were extremely lucky to nab one of the last croissants along with a pain au chocolat and a berries and cream cheese escargot. Oh my word, the escargot was unbelievably good and I hope I can find something similar in London! We choose three pastries to share as I couldn’t decide what I wanted (situation normal) but wanted to try the escargot as it looked pretty (again situation normal). From the bakery we headed to the Catacombs.
The Catacombs are underground ossuaries in Paris which hold the remains of millions of people. It is not for the faint-hearted but it was interesting to visit. Connor and I thought it was quite expensive for what it is but we did enjoy navigating the tunnels bursting with remains using the audio guides. We booked the tickets in advance which I would recommend as people were queuing for 1.5-2hours to gain entry.
The next museum on the list was Musée d’Orsay. I loved the Musée d’Orsay as it has all the French impressionist painters, especially Degas which reminded me fondly of my late Nanna. I preferred the Musée d’Orsay to the Louvre, as did Connor.
After returning to the Jardin du Luxembourg for lunch, I dragged Connor, kicking and screaming (I joke), shopping to Galeries Lafayette. This is a massive department store spanning across several buildings, divided into women’s, men’s and home. Even if you don’t like shopping, it is worth visiting just for the amazing architecture and fantastic ceiling the building has to offer.
Our last attraction was La Basilique du Sacré Cœur which is a Catholic church. The church was beautiful and I would definitely recommend going to see the panoramic view of Paris. After, we headed to Sacré Fleur for our last meal before getting the Eurostar home. Connor and I both had the fillet steaks which came with crusty bread (I love bread so much omg), homemade chips and three different sauces. The steak was cooked to perfection! For dessert we shared the brioche French toast – the only problem was that we wished we hadn’t shared!
Paris was a lovely city to visit and I’m so glad we went. Connor and I both rated the trip 8.5/10. We deducted points for the disappointment of Candelma and for the dirty, rough area we stayed in.