Oh Paris, je t’aime!
I was fortunate to attend a Bilingual Primary school in Australia where we did half our school day and subjects in French from the age of six. Since I first heard about the Eiffel Tower and munched on the Bastille Day crepes, I dreamt about visiting Paris!
As soon as I finished school I bought a backpack and a plane ticket and travelled Europe for six months, dedicating an entire month to France. Today I have been to France countless times and I don’t think I will ever get sick of it!
These are my top tips in Paris, please leave a comment if you have more suggestions!
VISIT THE LOUVRE AFTER HOURS, ON A WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY NIGHT!
No matter what time of year there is always a line to get into the Louvre.
My favourite time to visit is between 6-9pm on a Wednesday and Friday when majority of the crowds have left. It is also cheaper at night, a bonus!
Most tourist don’t realise there is an entrance on Rue de Rivoli which is much faster than entering at the pyramid in the central courtyard.
My favourite rooms to visit in the Louvre are Napoleon’s apartments and the ceiling of the Apollo Gallery!
DON’T MISS THE VIEW FROM GALERIES LAFAYETTE ROOFTOP
A stunning view for free?
Exploring this jaw dropping department store is on many tourist’s lists but many miss walking the last two staircases from the top floor to the building’s rooftop.
Time your visit at sunset and soak up the sweeping views across Paris’ chimney tops and the Eiffel Tower poking out in the distance.
HEAD TO THE TROCADERO FOR ICONIC PHOTOS OF THE EIFFEL TOWER
This is where you will get the iconic shot of the tower at eye level across the river.
BE A PICKY CREPE EATER!
I have no problem eating my body weight in crepes on my visits to Paris, they are too delicious to deny myself that indulgence!
There are many crepe shops with take-away windows opening onto the street. I always want a really good quality crepe and the best indication is to watch when they serve other customers to see if they make it fresh from batter or sneakily slip a pre-cooked one onto the hot plate.
Believe me, it makes such a difference having it cooked fresh on the spot, ain’t nobody got time for a bad french food.
I am sure everyone has their favourite place and I have certainly not taste tested every créperie in Paris but the best crepes I’ve had to date were from Chez Suzette Créperie in Saint-Germain de Pres.
Oh I am drooling thinking about this french buttery delights oozing with nutella, I go back to this créperie every time I visit Paris.
DO NOT SIT ON THE GRASS!
There are signs in most public gardens telling you not to step onto the immaculately manicured grass. It seems ludicrous, I know.
You can sit on the grass behind the Eiffel Tower and in front of the Hôtel des Invalides.
PRE-PURCHASE YOUR VERSAILLES TICKETS
Attracting more than three million visitors a year, it is worth getting your Versailles tickets online to avoid the snaking queues at the ticket office in the courtyard.
Head out early in the morning, you may have already bought your ticket but the rooms are jam-packed by midday which ruins the ambiance somewhat.
WALK UP TO SACRÉ COEUR IN MONTMARTRE
Montmartre is the original Bohemian neighbourhood from the Belle Époque in the north of the city.
The square next to Sacré Coeur is nice but over run by tourism, the true beauty of Montmatre, I believe, is found wandering the surrounding streets.
If you have the stamina, take your time and wander your way through the local streets to the highest point in Paris.
My best advice is to get off the metro at Blanche Station. Once you come up from the underground you will be greeted by the Moulin Rouge’s Windmill looming over the street, take your photos here!
Then, walk up Rue de Lepic and indulge in a coffee and a pastry at Cafe les deux moulins, this cafe was used in the filming of Amelie (it is the cafe she works at). Continue to wander north up the hill through the rambling cobbled streets towards the white domes of Sacre Coeur Basilica.
DO A WALKING TOUR
I have done the Sandeman’s Free walking tour three times and each time I learn something new, who could possibly remember all the historic dates and figures of French history!
I like to do these free tours in Europe in the first few days so I can get my bearings and brush up on my history.
Get your weekly dose of travel stories and insider knowledge directly into your inbox.
So who am I…? Hi! My name is India.
I am a nomadic Australian who has wandered the world full time exploring over 60 countries and 5/7 continents.
After ten years on the road, I have launched my own website – Travelling Notebook – to share the knowledge I have gained on the road and the images I have collected over the years with fellow adventurers. Keep reading…
I am a freelance travel writer, photography and videographer, based in London. If you need specific travel advice or would like to collaborate please send an email my way!
Always say yes to adventure!