To quote the great Audrey Hepburn; “Paris is always a good idea”.
and I couldn’t agree more. There is no city in existence that has captured my heart as much as the winding gothic streets of Paris has. Locals lazily wander the streets and tourists gaze adoringly at the cutesie cafes that clutter the cobbled streets. It’s simply beautiful, and I’ve now been lucky enough to fulfil my teenage dreams of visiting this gorgeous city more than a handful of times.
Having spent many hours exploring Paris myself, I would totally recommend roaming by foot because this way you are more able to enjoy the whimsical scenery and make your own secret discoveries along the way. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share with you my favourite locations to get you started.
Cafe Au Vieux Paris
This is an alluring little cafe down a quiet street a few minutes walk from Notre Dame that has enough charm to tempt even the most un-charmable of people! Pull up a chair outside in the sun and enjoy the oh-so Parisian exterior of this cafe.
Cobbled Streets of Place de la Bastille
The cobbled streets of Bastille are lined with quaint little cafes and bars that are calling for you to come sit with a chocolat chaud or cold beer (weather dependent!) and gaze over the Bastille square and it’s majestic July Column.
There is the most wonderful air of calm and happiness around the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacre-Coeur, on a balmy evening as the sun sets over the cityscape of Paris sprawling at your feet. Tourists and locals alike embellish the steps leading up to the ancient church with fresh baguettes and cured meats, whilst music fills the air and beers are passed around. An evening not to be missed!
Parc du Champs de Mars
A commonly photographed spot but nonetheless an unmissable picnic spot with the most incredible backdrop of the Eiffel Tower.
The Gardens of Notre Dame
Often overlooked in favour of the building itself, but the gardens of Notre Dame are just as splendid as Notre Dame itself. Take a walk around the immaculately tamed lawns and it will make your trip to the gothic cathedral just that little bit more special.
Views of the Institute de France over Pont des Arts
The River Seine is lined with gorgeous buildings showcasing some of the best architecture of the French Renaissance, and the Institute de France is no exception. It is connected to the Louvre via the Pont des Arts bridge and is well worth a wander down after you have the museum, or else it is a perfect scene at night with music and dancing or first thing in the morning.
The Louvre and it’s Gorgeous Ceilings
Of course the Louvre Museum’s incredible collection of art is a sight to behold, but for me the real attraction is the architecture and in particular the ceiling. I am always enraptured by impressive architecture, but the ceilings here really take it to the next level (pun intended)! Turn your phone and camera off and keep your head up to take in all these amazing features.
The Cafes of Montmatre
Being quite the foodie that I am, there’s no doubt that great grub is one of the things that draws me to Paris. And maybe I have chosen Montmartre because it is the first place that I ever visited in Paris, thus it holds a special place in my heart, but arguably this little area is my favourite for food. I would recommend an aimless wander around these winding streets rather than trying to Google for the best restaurants and cafes – just get lost in Paris and love what you find.
This cute little square is pretty centrally placed between Saint Chappelle and Notre Dame but mercifully not overrun by tourists, which just makes it all the more appealing. Find it down a little alleyway and take a wander around the petite art galleries or use it as a place of rest to recharge between sightseeing.
The Best Cityscape Views
Okay okay, so this is arguable. But for me, the best views of Paris can be seen from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Views stretch for miles and miles and of course feature the Eiffel Tower itself, which makes it a spectacular cityscape view.
Let me know if you try any of these out and of course comment below if you have any of your own secret locations to share!