Paris was on my hit list to visit with Steve for ages. We’d both been previously with friends and exes, but I wanted us to take a break in France’s beautiful capital together. I think it was the girly, romantic side of me I am normally able to repress taking over, wanting to experience the most romantic city in the world with the man I love. YUCK, YUCK and YUCK again!
But Paris has and probably always will be one of my most favourite cities in the world, and our holiday there this Easter was simply perfect.
I’ve put this article together simply to celebrate the highlights of Paris, and to give those who haven’t yet visited the city a taste of what they’re missing…
Getting Around Paris
It it’s your first time in Paris I’d recommend taking advantage of the city bus tour service to get around. The tour bus might be a little more expensive than the subway but it allows you to soak up the city’s relaxed, vibrant atmosphere, and take in a lot more of its landmarks – who wants to spend time underground on a subway system that’s identical to every other one of the planet of they can help it?
I liked the tour bus because it gave me opportunity to people watch, and there are certainly rich pickings of weird and wonderful moments to observe in this eclectic city!
That said however, if you’re going to be spending a bit more time in the City of love and there are some of those instances where you just simply need to get from one place to another, it’s perhaps better to take a taxi. A private taxi or shuttle-type service like T2Transfer is a great way to get around if you’re just a little bit more specific about where it is you want to go and it’s definitely a service I’ll be using much more of now that I’ve caught sight of a few more interesting spots to explore, which are some way off the bus route.
It’s just nice sometimes to be able to stop anywhere, especially if you’re like me and sometimes like to spontaneously check out some attractions which may not have been part of the original itinerary.
1. The Eiffel Tower
I’ve stuck the Eiffel Tower at the top of my list simply because it’s the city’s icon – but it’s also bloody awesome as well! For me, I didn’t just get the excitement of experiencing Paris from a bird’s eye view, but got the hilarity of Steve’s reaction to heights as well – he HATES them! I definitely don’t think a trip up to the top of the Eiffel Tower would make his list of highlights…
I highly recommend you visit early in the day if you want to go right to the top of the tower as its highest accessible point often becomes saturated with visitors, and then access is only permitted to the mid-level of the tower. Avoid being disappointed!
2. The Sex Museum
This is a few doors down from the Moulin Rouge, and consists of 7 floors of graphic pictures, sculptures, sex toys and carvings, punctuated with the occasional porn film playing in random areas of the museum.
SO. MUCH. FUN!
I don’t think you’ll find this museum on many recommendation lists, but this is definitely one for the open-minded.
Besides being a great place for some light-hearted fun, it’s also pretty fascinating looking at how people’s attitudes to sex have changed over the years, and how it’s presence has altered and developed in art and the media over the last few decades. Fun and education; what more could you want?
3. The Louvre
I LOVE the film The Da Vinci Code –the bit at the end when Tom Hanks is kneeling down at the pyramid at The Louvre in is so moving! (I really am sad!) It’s one of Paris’ top attractions, and hosts the works of Da Vinci – including the Mona Lisa, – Michelangelo, Raphael and Greek sculptures such as the Venus de Milo Don display. My verdict: definitely worth a visit.
TOP TIP: be really sneaky and skip the long queues at the pyramid entrance by accessing the museum through its underground entrance through the Carousel de Louvre shopping mall! (This is also where you’ll find La Pyramide Inversee (the inverted pyramid) – where Tom Hanks kneels down!
4. Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral is my personal highlight of my trip to Paris. End of.
The French Gothic architecture is stunning, but my favourite thing about the cathedral is the quirky gargoyles watching over the city in every direction.
Don’t make the mistake Steve and I did: book in advance as the queues at the cathedral are long, and there are only so many games of the Celebrity Name Game a person can take!
5. The Moulin Rouge
You HAVE to add this to your itinerary – it ain’t cheap but it is a great way to kick-start a night out and is well worth the money. Steve showed zero reluctance to add it to out To Do list when he realised the lovely lady dancers would be topless, but one of my favourite parts of the show was the shadow puppet act – I know that sounds really geeky and childish but trust me, it was hilarious!
I’m well aware the theme of this article seems to be book in advance, but it’s a good idea for the Moulin Rouge because you can sometimes get discounts with booking on line, and with it being a pricier activity in Paris, every little helps!
6. La Basilica du Sacre Coeur and Monmarte
My first glimpse of La Basilica du Scare Coeur sitting proudly on top of Monmarte hill literally took my breath away. I guess Steve and I were lucky because the weather whilst we were in Paris was glorious, and so we got to view the magnificent white building gleaming in the sun against a cloudless, brilliant blue sky.
But what we loved most about our visit to Sacre Coeur were the quaint little cobbled streets and artists lining them within the area of Monmarte. We spent a whole lazy afternoon chilling out amongst the street artists, cafes and treasure troves the area has to offer. It was also rather a drunk and childish afternoon that I may very well not remember in all its entirety – but I’m sure we were in Monmarte, honest…!