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13 July 2012

My mini-break in Paris: Sights

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…

44 Comments leave one →
  1. 13 July 2012 11:24

    Terrific suggestions Milla.
    And thanks so much for letting me know I could get into Les Gobelins for tea if I went during a weekday.
    Pas de problem!
    http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.fr/2012/07/la-galerie-des-gobelins.html
    merci carolg

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      14 July 2012 08:40

      I’m so happy you made it to my favourite place!

  2. 13 July 2012 13:22

    Y’know, just the other day I had a hankering for cheddar. It was so bad I nearly bought 150g for 12€ at the grocery store. It’s one food item I realized that I miss.

    It appears you were in Paris on one of the few sunny days. Great photos!

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      14 July 2012 08:39

      When you start missing cheddar, you know you’ve been in France for a long time! Come to London and stock up.

      Very lucky with the Parisian weather – was wonderful warm for the 5 days. Such a beautiful city.

  3. 13 July 2012 13:30

    Look at you in your cute little summer dress!! My 2 fav shots you had were the signs for Laduree and Berthillon. Macarons and amazing ice cream (their gingerbread ice cream will forever be etched in my palate as the best I’ve had)-what a great time! I’m glad you got into the tourist parts of it-very glad to hear you’re not one of those who takes Paris for granted! I could go back every weekend and still go to the tourist places! I missed going to Ile St Louis and Ile de la Cite when Mum and I were there-we simply ran out of time. Looking forward to your post about food….drooling in anticipation!

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      14 July 2012 08:32

      Thank you! I actually don’t really care for ice-cream but Berthillon is an except. Do you mean the Pain d’épices flavour? If so that is my absolute favourite. If I go to a Berthillon shop which doesn’t have it, I leave and go somewhere else. Oh no, I have a craving for it now… So good!

      Before moving to Paris, I’d been there 25 times and I still didn’t know anything. It’s the most amazing city full of everything a woman could want.

      Something tells me we’ll have to get Sheilah over for a long weekend… :-)

      • 15 July 2012 10:05

        Yes pain d’epices!! Amazing! It was 6 years ago and I still remember how good it was! Yes, we will definitely get Sheilah back! With 2 people who speak more than basic French (and 1 of them practically fluent-you!), we should be able to show her why we love the city so much! She much preferred London but I reckon we can bring her round on Paris :)

        • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
          17 July 2012 21:33

          Could we have more in common?! Seriously, this is getting freaky – even down to ice-cream flavour. Oh, your mum prefers London? Well, I knew she was a woman of good taste. As beautiful as Paris is, London is phenomenal!

  4. 14 July 2012 10:59

    Gorgeous photos..love Paris. Am really happy you enjoyed yourself. Thank you ever so much for visiting my blog…I enjoy yours too :) Have a wonderful weekend flower xx

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      17 July 2012 22:15

      Love your blog – such a positive space! Have a great week!

  5. 14 July 2012 12:26

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. Beautiful pictures, I’m jealous! I’ll look forward to the Paris food post…

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      17 July 2012 22:17

      Thanks Gemma. Plenty more Paris-related blogs to come!

  6. 14 July 2012 18:35

    Oh, I will definitely save up for Paris after le Tokyo trip! *nudge nudge*

    I love the intricate details in French architecture and yes, I will be taking my time exploring Paris then! Speaking of cheese, I may also need to plan a detour to Italy to just eat, eat, eat!

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      17 July 2012 22:18

      2013 = Tokyo. 2014 = London and Paris. Yes, these are my plans for you!

  7. 14 July 2012 22:06

    Hello Milla,

    I always like to read what you have to say about Paris, “when and where will you ever” mmmm.. I would love to visit, and in this stage i think i have to travel alone. Maybe you can/will recommend me some good hotels (not to expensive Milla, i’m just a poor office girl, haha).

    I hope your weekend is good so far!
    Audrey

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      17 July 2012 22:02

      Bonjour Audrey,

      You simply must go to Paris! Let me have a think about some hotels and I’ll email you. I think you’ll just love it!

      Have a great week!

      x

  8. 14 July 2012 22:19

    Hi Milla,

    Lovely to discover your blog and many thanks for visiting mine.
    I agree with you Paris is one of the most beautiful Cities in the world, so much to see and do.
    I enjoyed seeing your wonderful photos and thanks for sharing.
    We went to a few of the same places and I have a snap of those fabulous gates by night.

    happy weekend
    Carolyn

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      17 July 2012 21:54

      Thank you so much for your words Carolyn! Don’t you just love Paris! How long did you spend there?

  9. 15 July 2012 12:26

    Ah beautiful Paris. Looks like a fantastic trip!

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      17 July 2012 21:18

      It was indeed. Paris is such a gorgeous city!

  10. 16 July 2012 07:39

    Lovely photos… thanks for taking me back there. Can’t wait to read about the food too:)x

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      17 July 2012 22:19

      Merci Helen! It’s hard to take a bad photo in Paris because everything is so beautiful!

  11. 16 July 2012 11:40

    Ok, so this is bookmarked, dear Milla. If I ever get to Paris, no x that–WHEN I get to Paris, I shall heed your tips. :)
    P.S. BTW, Laduree opened up here in NYC on Madison last year and its crazy trendy. All the neighborhood ladies and gents plus every darned tourist goes there!

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      17 July 2012 21:10

      WHEN indeed! As I told you before, I cannot think of anybody who belongs in Paris as much as you do Kate. You will be so inspired!

      I love Ladurée Kate. It’s so expensive here in London. Is it crazy expensive in NYC as well? Have you tried the rose flavour? Holy smokes Kate, better than you know what!

      xx

      • 19 July 2012 11:42

        I haven’t set foot in Laduree, I am sorry to have to admit. It is probably for my own good, yes? I’m sure it is crazy expensive which only fans the flames of passion for the place. The little rebel in me avoids it because it is so trendy. But now that you have endorsed it, I just might set my footsies in and try a macaron for gosh’s sakes. (Better than that?? OK! haha)

        • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
          24 July 2012 09:06

          Ask Anne what she thinks about Ladurée. Personally, I never go to the one in London because it is my Parisian thing but Kate, you have to get your hand on a rose flavoured macaron. Whilst there, you might as well try a pistachio, lemon, café, lavender… Oh who am I kidding, one of everything!

  12. 17 July 2012 01:19

    Ahh thank you so much for this post, it could not have come at better time as I’m visiting Paris in September. I’m going to get one of these DK travel books you recommend + will definitely be taking my time whilst there! Your photos are beautiful, it looks like you had a wonderful time! xx

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      17 July 2012 21:14

      Oh how wonderful Rachel! How long will you be there? Will this be your first trip? So, so exciting! If you want any tips, do let me know.

      xx

  13. 17 July 2012 07:03

    Beautiful photos and I miss Paris..! Do you speak Japanese? コメントありがとう〜!xo akiko

    Style Imported

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      17 July 2012 21:01

      コメントありがとう! パリに行きましたか。

      少し日本語を話します。。。日本が恋しい。日本語を2年間勉強している。東京にに住んでいました。

  14. 17 July 2012 11:06

    I’m carefully bookmarking your suggestions. Thank you for the travel guide recommended, it’s always hard to find one you can rely on.
    Ada

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      17 July 2012 20:44

      You’re welcome Ada. I’ve spent so much time trying to find good travel guides and time after time, I return to DK Travel. I love how detailed it is. Please let me know your thoughts on the books; I love a bit of feedback.

  15. 17 July 2012 20:35

    Was so bummed to have missed you! You look lovely and I’m glad Paris showed you her sunny side!

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      17 July 2012 22:21

      Likewise my dear. Really looking forward to hosting you in a few weeks. x

  16. 18 July 2012 01:49

    I am hoping to make it back to Paris after my next visit back to London Milla. I shall be in touch nearer the time for some recommendations. When I have visited before I have always felt overwhelmed by the choice of things to do and see, mostly I liked to wander around St Germain, and people watch. It is indeed a beautiful city. I do love the dress you are wearing in this photo – so pretty!

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      18 July 2012 07:48

      St Germain is a lovely neighbourhood steeped in history with nice boutiques and traditional French cafés. Make sure you visit some other areas as well – I particularly like walking along the river and taking it all in. Thank you: I bought the dress about 9 years ago but have only worn about 5 times!

  17. 19 July 2012 09:28

    Gorgeous photos – looks like the weather is considerably better in Paris than it has been here in the UK of late, as well!

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      24 July 2012 09:07

      Exactly but now the sun is shining and all is right with the world.

  18. mpchouchou permalink
    27 July 2012 23:00

    I don’t believe it, just cheddar?! Haha, it’s fun to play tourist in a place you know well, or grew up in. I find myself doing it in Boston a lot. I have been here for more years then I will admit, and I always finds new things to explore. We have a relatively large amount of history for the US;)

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      6 August 2012 12:17

      That’s really cool. We tend to pay less attention to where we live, so it is nice to have the time to explore. I have a friend who just moved back to Boston after 15 years living in Europe. He’s quite a history buff and shares some cool pics of the city.

  19. 25 December 2012 16:54

    Milla darling i missed your visit ! see you next time xx

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      14 January 2013 14:06

      I promise to visit next time! We must go to Café de Flore for a little coupe de champagne! x

  20. Catherine permalink
    5 June 2013 18:04

    Welcome back :) see you soon xx

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