When some people think of Paris, they think of love and romance.
To me, Paris is synonymous with food.
I mean great wine, good company and even better cheese. Never-mind this, this is a city of love.
In all seriousness, there is so much that Paris has to offer. Yes, there is the rich culture and history, but there is also something special surrounding this city. Maybe I am a *little* biased having grown up also speaking French, but you’ll know what I mean when you see it.
While only here for a few days for the launch of the new Huawei P20 Phone, I was lucky enough to spend some time in the city and only had time to wander a few of the many ‘arrondissements’.
No, I am not just saying that in French to sound bougie. Paris is divided into 20 districts all called “arrondissements” that spiral outwards from the heart (am I the only one who immediately thought “Fibonacci?!”). This is key when planning your trip.
Here are just of a few of the things I thoroughly enjoyed here along with my personal Parisien bucket list (scroll down).
Yes, I am recommending an Italian restaurant in France because it is amazing and worth your time. Don’t be turned off by the line outside. They are wonderfully efficient at their seating process, taking your information shortly after you have even joined the line and it moves quickly. We were just two people and they pulled us from the line up with at least 15 people still ahead. You may have to cozy up with new friends, but hey, they can give some advice on where to go next!
Highly recommend the Pizza (any!), Truffle Pasta and the Burrata.
Go Shopping for Food
Aside from restaurants, an ABSOLUTE MUST DO in France is to just pick up your own fresh foods. I mean, it’s FRANCE! Go one and create your ultimate wine, cheese and cured meat combination. Speak to the individuals who work at the shops and ask their favourite selections. Pro tip if you’re like me and not-so-secretly don’t know your wines … also ask them for their recommended wine pairing.
BURN IT OFF
Yes, I am that friend who likes to workout even when they travel. This is what I enjoyed when in Paris.
Lace ‘Em Up & Run
Starting off any trip with a short run can help you get your bearings and scope out where you would like to explore further. On top of that, new and beautiful views make it easier to keep going.
If you’re an early riser, jog over to watch the sunrise at Trocadero and go from there along the Seine. If you’re not, well, you’re missing out and I recommend trying it. Or uber there. No one will judge.
If you’re more a gym person, I highly recommend Midtown Studio. Since my friend lived in Paris, she was a regular at this gym and I can definitely see why. Picture a french Barry’s Bootcamp crossed with a little more athletic drills and the treadmills where the curved ones (which I prefer WAY more for my ageing knees). They have two locations: Place Des Victoires (2nd Arr.) and Champs-Élysées (8th Arr.).
Metro, walking, biking – there are no shortage of good options. I normally would recommend biking to get from place to place faster, and you can go along the Seine, but it looks like their bike share program Velib has been shut down (it was glitchy for me when I used it tbh). It is always worth asking your host or hotel if they have bikes that you can rent.
Ladies, be warned, if you are biking, I highly encourage sports bras for certain brick roads.
I’m not even remotely joking.
Full disclosure: this hotel was covered for us as a part of the trip. This was a beautiful hotel with wonderful service and was extremely central to some tourist hot spots being a 5 minute walk from the Louvre. Be sure to request a room that overlooks the street. They have a secret little back patio with only one table which is great for a private little space form the world. While wonderful, some rooms overlook this patio rather than the street with stunning french windows.
After this hotel I stayed with my friend in her apartment. Personally, one of my favourite parts of France is shopping for local ingredients and making things fresh with friends, so depending on your length of time here, I would definitely weight the options between a hotel vs Air BnB.
Please skip the monstrous line up going up the Eiffel tower. This city is filled with amazing views where you can actually get the tower in your photo.
- Arc De Triomphe – yes, you can climb this. Not literally. There are stairs
- Notre Dame – be sure to check opening hours
- Sacré Coeur – take some extra time to explore this area too! There is a cafe with a great view at the top of Parc de Belleville
- Bar le Perchoir (11th Arr) – can be busy, try to get here early
- Les Ombres (7th Arr) – up close and personal with the tower herself
- Hotel Raphael (8th Arr) – GORGEOUS patio. More on the pricey end (it is a hotel), but worth it
Check out this list below for my personal little experience check list for Paris. Would love to hear what experiences you would add?
pssst passage suggestions:
- Passage Jouffroy – (2nd Arr.)
- Passage Brady – for a touch of Little India (2nd/3rd Arr.)