If I had a list in front of me of my favourite European cities then Paris would be right up there at the top, just under Amsterdam and just above Berlin. It’s simple really, I am in love with the city. Completely and utterly besotted. Are you currently preparing for your first trip to Paris? Or perhaps your first trip to Paris with someone new? Be ready to fall in love..
I have decided to take a trip down memory lane to the first time I visited Paris as an adult. I went with my boyfriend as a young and eager 20 year old who was freaked out at the thought of traveling to Paris without a tour guide or family member to tell me where to go and what to do- my, how things have changed!
The main sights of Paris are obviously already there on your list so I won’t go into them too much. The obvious sights such as Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower are a must but don’t forget the not so well known attractions (to use Brits anyway). Such as the Catacombs of Paris; underground ossuaries that hold the remains of about six million people! It is spooky, it is not for people who don’t like dark and small spaces but it is definitely somewhere you should visit if you can. If you are into contemporary art then Palais de Tokyo is a must do, or even if not, you could just visit to use the vintage photobooth and get some fun snaps. Other sights such as Arc de Triomphe and The Louvre should be on your list too.
The picture above to the right shows ‘The Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation’. It is a beautifully designed, simple memorial with a very big message. It was created to represent those who were deported from Vichy France to the Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
Inside there are 200,000 glass crystals to symbolize each of the deportees who died in the concentration camps. It is a 10 minute walk from Notre Dame.
Shown also in the picture above is a walk along the river Seine. For couples this is a definite must do, especially on a lovely day- you’ll feel like you’re in a Chanel advert!
Travelling around Paris
I have definitely had my fair share of funny stories that have come from being on the Paris Metro. Think, the tube in London, then double how busy it can get and how desperate people can get to get on. Did no one ever tell Parisians that the metro runs every 2-3 minutes? Apparently not.
There are faces squashed against doors and peoples armpits in other peoples faces (yep, been there!) and general awkward positioning between both sexes- that my friend, is the sight of the Paris metro every day at rush hour leaving all the main stations. Here’s my advice, just wait. Wait for the next train, because a strangers Odour in your face never leaves you.
Aside from that the metro is great, it’s convenient, cheap and regular and I would advise using it as much as possible to get around to see as much as you can- and buy a book of tickets as you save £££ and you will use them all trust me!
One thing my boyfriend LOVED and I wasn’t particularly fond off was the graffiti along the train lines outside. I mean literally it is EVERYWHERE but saying that some of it is pretty good and well, you would only be looking at boring old grey walls if it wasn’t there right?!
Take pictures. Take sooooooo many pictures that your index finger starts to hurt from clicking that button too much. You can never ever get a bad picture of the Eiffel Tower, it’s like a supermodel- it looks great from every angle! The weather, sky and lighting gives you a different shot each day and Paris is just the most photogenic city. I got the above photo whilst going out of the city on a train, literally I was leaving the city and the Eiffel tower still looks amazing.
Eiffel Tower– Enjoy it! However keep an eye on the bags and pockets and try not to get sucked into the horde of keyring and merchandise sellers on your way up to it. You can buy exactly the same things in any tourist shop in Paris, don’t feel you have to stop. Secondly, just sit and people watch. I’m not afraid to admit that it is amazing to pretend you’re a local and just sit back and enjoy Paris. The greenery by the Eiffel tower is the perfect way to sit on a nice day and just people watch. I have seen so many things from Australian tourists trying to take a ‘pyramid photo’ to a Parisian girl being greeted by her man with a bunch of roses followed by a massive kissing marathon- at which point I promptly turned English once again, tutted loudly and looked away.
This is only half of what I could recommend to do so if you enjoyed this then check this out-