It has been a whirlwind spring to say the least!
Less than two weeks after I left Canada I was strolling the streets of Paris taking in the early spring sunshine and enjoying a fresh croissant every morning for breakfast.
In my days in Paris I was able to see quite a few of the sites and monuments so here are some of my top recommendations!
While everyone talks about going up the Eiffel Tower as a must do in Paris, I tend to disagree. Instead I recommend going to a local grocery store or boulangerie to pick up some picnic supplies, and going for a picnic lunch at the Champ de Mars. The champs de mars is the grassy area in front of the tower which offers an amazing up close view but also allows you to soak in the sunshine and views without waiting literally hours in line (and that’s even with a pre-booked ticket). Oh and its free! Another neat thing to note is that during the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, Champ de Mars will be the site of the beach volleyball event and five-a-side football for the 2024 summer Paralympics.
If you are looking for that perfect Instagram worthy picture of you and the tower without having to hold your phone by your belly button and capturing all the chins you didn’t know you had – head across the river Seine, cross using the beautiful Pont d’Lena bridge and the walk is maybe 15 minutes away from the tower, to Trocadero Square.
On the way up to Trocadero you will walk through the gardens with beautiful cherry blossom trees and blooming flowers and when you get to the top of a little hill- or if you come from the other side just get dropped off at the square – you will be in the best spot in the city to take your photo with the Eiffel tower.
If you wanted the best view of the city from above, like I mentioned before –skip the Eiffel Tower, instead go to the Arc de Triomphe. Not only is it a few less stairs than the tower but the Arc offers incredible views of Paris that include the Eiffel Tower. From here since you are in the centre of Place Charles de Gualle, one of the world’s busiest roundabouts, you can see all the grid layouts of the city as the streets spike off from the centre like a star.
And for a bonus you are right at the top of the Champs Elysees so you can casually stroll all the way down one of the world’s most famous shopping streets from there.
When it comes to museums by far the most famous in Paris, and perhaps the whole world is the Louvre, but if I had to make a recommendation if I were tight on time I would choose the Musée d’Orsay. This beautiful old train station turned museum houses art from some of the world’s most famous impressionist and post-impressionist artists like Monet and Van Gogh. Also, there is a stunning view on the top floor out of one of the building’s two massive clocks which makes for another amazing photo opportunity.
Another favourite museum of mine is the Musée Rodin. This houses the majority of sculptures done by Auguste Rodin including his most significant pieces, The Thinker, The Kiss and The Gates of Hell. The museum had beautiful gardens where the thinker and some other sculptures could be found and it almost felt like a mini countryside escape from the hustle and bustle of the city once you were inside.
Something cool about Rodin is that he made so many sculptures that if he started from the day he was born to when he died he would have made 1.6 sculptures a week – except he didn’t start as a child. He failed to get into art school multiple times and didn’t actually start his craft seriously until he was in his forties! He died in his 70s which means in 30-something years he managed to make over 6,600 sculptures.
If you are hitting up the Champs Elysees for some world-class shopping a must is stopping by Láduree for a world-famous macaron. They may be pricey but trust me on this they are worth it!
Paris may be busy and big, but there is a reason it is one of the most visited cities in the world. Around every corner there is something unique or that connects back to some of the biggest moments in history, from the French Revolution to Coco Chanel creating the little black dress.
Paris was just one of many super cool cities that I have made my way through in the past month and a bit. If you want to know more about my travels you can visit my travel blog www.boldlines.ca.
Until next time,
Au revoir et merci!