Sunday, 21 January 2018

A Weekend with my Best Friend in Paris | TRAVEL

A weekend in Paris with your best friend sounds like the ultimate dream holiday and let me tell you something -- IT WAS!

It all began with my beautiful best friend Laura flying all the way from New Zealand to surprise me and my wonderful husband planning the whole thing! 

The day she arrived was a typical cloudy London day and as it turned out I happened to be off work sick with a cold/flu. No hint at all of what was about to happen. 
When she walked into my room I didn't know what to do! I was (and am) so overwhelmed that I have a friend who would travel halfway around the world to visit me and whisk me away to Paris for a long weekend away in the sun!
As the weekend came closer, London got windier and rainier and evidently colder considering it is the beginning of 'summer'. Paris was looking better and better.

When we arrived into Paris and were immediately welcomed with beautiful blue skies and a 30 degree day! And that my friends, was the beginning of a great weekend!

Paris Must Dos:

The Louvre

Originally The Louvre was build as a fortress for Philip II in the 12th century and served as a palace for Napoleon. It is now one of the biggest museums in the world. It is well known for housing Leonardo da Vinci's  'Mona Lisa' and the 'Venus de Milo'. Take 4 hours out of your day to walk around the exhibitions, taking in the art and history that surrounds you. I would recommend that you get an audio guide as the signs on each exhibition are not only in French but the descriptions are very minimal. You cannot visit Paris without going to the Louvre! 





Eiffel Tower

I mean -- this is a MUST! You cannot visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower! Tickets to get to the top are 14 euros and can be bought online but are sold in limited quantities. To avoid waiting in the looooooooong que I would suggest buying your tickets in advance. The view is worth the wait! 









Moulin Rouge

Made famous by the movie, Moulin Rouge is one of the most iconic cabaret shows in Paris. Situated the Montmartre area in the heart of the red light district, the street has an edgy vibe and is lined with strip clubs and peep shows. If your budget allows, I would absolutely recommend going to a show although there are plenty of cheaper cabaret shows in the area as well. We didn't get the chance this time but when I was in Paris 4 years ago I was lucky enough to go to a show and believe me it did not disappoint! 




Sacré-Coeur

The Sacré-Coeur is a Roman-Catholic church situated on a hill in the heart of Paris. It is also the highest point in the city. Well known for its beautiful exterior and incredible panoramas this church is a must see and it is free (BONUS!)! The inside is absolutely breathtaking but unfortunately no photos are allowed. Take a seat on the grass to soak up the astounding view of the city and church in the background but make sure you have you walking shoes on because that hill is no joke! 





Champs-Élysées

The Champs-Élysées is one of most famous streets in the world. It is known for its luxury shopping, cafes, restaurants and theaters. For all those shopaholics (like me!) this is a must! Beginning at the Place de la Concorde and ending at the Arc de Triomphe, the street is beautifully lined with trees and the busy hustle and bustle of cars makes for a vibrant and lively stroll. 



Arc de Triomphe

After walking down the hectic Champs-Élysées, you will arrive at the Arc de Triomphe. The Arc de Triomphe is a monument to honour those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I lies beneath its vault. An underground tunnel allows you to walk under the roundabout so you can get to the centre. You are also able to climb to the top for 8 euros. The Arc de Triomphe is such an iconic and beautifully symbolic structure that I would recommend seeing.





Notre-Dame

Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the most famous medieval Catholic Churches in the world and one of the best examples of the French Gothic architecture. It is also well known from the Disney classic move 'The Hunchback of Notre-Dame'.  We visited the church on our last day in Paris and sadly ran out of time to go inside. Admission is free however once again the line is very long.





Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles has to be my favourite place in all of Paris! The Palace is situated in a small town called Versailles about 1 hour out of the centre of Paris. The best way to get there is by train. The nearest station is: Versailles-Chateau-RG but it is also walking distance from Gare de Versailles Chantiers station. The Palace itself originally housed King Louis XIV in the 17th century. The inside is absolutely breathtaking but also very busy. The walls are lines with gold, crystal chandeliers, and paintings dating back to the 1600s. The gardens cover over 800 hectares of land, and was designed by André Le Nôtre. Each area is dedicated to a different god. Spend the day there soaking up the historic rooms of the palace, walking amongst the beautifully sculpted gardens, watching the musical fountain shows and taking in the atmosphere. Cafes are hidden throughout the gardens too when you are in need of a refreshment. 










The Food and Wine

If the sites of Paris aren't enough to sway you to visit, then the food and wine might just do the trick! Paris is one of the best cities in Europe for food so naturally I was going to be excited! I don't know about you but when I think of French food I think of croissants, baguettes, cheese, snails (although they were not on my list, feel free to add them to yours), frogs legs and lots of wine. Cafes and restaurants line the streets meaning you will never be short of places to go. Set your taste buds on an diverse range of French cuisine and make sure to try something new!




Before we knew it, it was Sunday afternoon and we were packed up and ready to fly back to London. 
I am extremely grateful that I was able to experience Paris with my best friend and being able to show her all of my favourite places in London was so special to me as well.

Heres to many more trips and memories!

Tips

  • Get to the Louvre 1st thing in the morning as the lines get longer and longer as the day goes on. There is also a secret entrance which is a lot less busy. It is located in the building to the left of the pyramid when you arrive from Place du Carrousel. The entrance is called: Passage Richelieu.
  • I would recommend that you get an audio guide at the Louvre as the signs on each exhibition are not only in French but the descriptions are very minimal.
  • Pre-book the Eiffel Tower tickets (which we didn't do) in advance as once again the lines can get VERY long! We waited for just over an hour to get in. 
  • The line to get into the Palace of Versailles is very long no matter whether you have tickets pre-booked or not. Make sure you have a bottle of water to get you through the wait time - especially in summer!
  • The Metro is the easiest way to get around Paris and see all the sites. Buying a day pass is the cheapest option.

Thanks for reading!

God bless 

Amber x
Post a Comment

Blog Design by Get Polished