My trip to Paris a couple of weeks ago was an excuse to unleash my inner tourist and as I made a beeline for all of the places your guide books recommend, I couldn’t have been happier. Having lived in Paris for a few years, I encountered numerous people – expats and locals alike – who were so blasé about Paris’ main sights and my biggest fear was that I too would end up with that mentality. Clearly, that was not the case as there I was, camera et al!
Whilst Paris no longer has the same hold over me (I used to believe it was perfect…), I still believe it to be the most beautiful city in Europe. From visiting la tour Eiffel to Palais Garnier and Pont Alexandre III to La basilique du Sacré-Cœur, who wouldn’t fall in love with Paris? Visit the Mémorial de la Shoah (take tissues), eat still-warm croissants from the boulangerie, go to a fromagerie and marvel at the 227 types of cheese. I’m British so I grew up with cheddar. That’s it. Just cheddar. Oh how times have changed! Stop at the markets, sit outside a café reading and watching the world go by, walk through the streets with a baguette and shop at Repetto. Oui oui, this is frightfully cliché but you know, some clichés exist for a reason. This is la vie parisienne. If you’re not going to do this in Paris, when and where will you ever? Don’t be afraid to live the dream.
If I can only offer you one piece of advice, it has to be to plan and take your time. Plan where you want to go, research it and allow adequate time to explore. Yes, Paris is pretty but if you’re interested in history, culture and art, researching what you’ want to see will only enhance your experience. I highly recommend using DK Travel books. In addition to text, you also have detailed images and drawings. Just to be clear, I do not work for DK Travel and they haven’t asked or paid me to endorse them, I simply prefer using their guides due to the wealth of information provided.
If you think Paris looks good in photographs, wait until you’re walking around the City of Lights. There is a reason why Paris is the world’s most visited city. Time for you to go and discover for yourself.
Bon voyage and stay tuned for the my blog post dedicated to the food of Paris…