When I first got the opportunity to visit Paris with one of my best friends, we were advised by quite a few people not to bother, which to me seemed strange! We were told that the streets were dirty, the people were rude and the hotels were too small, however, me being the stubborn person that I am I decided to go regardless and they couldn’t have been more wrong in my opinion. In fact, this is my second time visiting the city now and it most certainly won’t be my last!
We stayed at a hotel called “Hotel Cervantes” and the staff were so friendly and helpful, the rooms were a reasonable size and the location was good enough for me – about a 25 minute walk to the Eiffel Tower. The city was beautiful, the old Parisian buildings with window shutters and flowers on the balcony, amazing patisseries on every corner and not to mention the shopping!
One thing I loved the most about Paris is that majority of the locals walk or cycle everywhere – something that doesn’t happen too often in Australia. Walking and/or hiring a bike is definitely the best way to see the city in my opinion because it gives you a chance to stop and look at things whenever you want.
As far as the shopping goes my favourite high street stores would be Jennyfer, Bershka and another store I would recommend (although I probably wouldn’t classify as a high street store) is the Guerlain store on Champs Elysses – it is so luxurious inside. The upstairs is absolutely beautiful and I have fallen in love with a perfume called “La Bouquet de la Mariee”.
My top 5 tips for Paris:
1.Visit the Eiffel Tower at night
The light shows happen on the hour for 5 minutes from 10.00pm until 2.00am and it is amazing! (I think this depends on daylight savings)
2. Eat your heart out
Crepes are everywhere in Paris, I am a big Nutella fan so I used every possible opportunity to get myself some Nutella crepes!
The macaron’s and pastries at Laduree are delicious and the store is beautiful. You can also get them in the cutest gift boxes for presents to take home – if you can resist the urge to eat them all! We discovered Laduree through a book that I had received as a gift from my boyfriend called: TASCHEN’s Paris which contains recommendations by Angelika Taschen for Hotels, Restaurants and Shops.
3. Get lost
Hire a bike or walk wherever the day takes you and you will stumble across the most unique places away from the main tourist attractions which I feel gives you a more authentic experience.
4. Try and speak the language
Speak the language as much as you can – even if you’re not great. This is one thing that I attempted to do as much as possible because it really made me feel like I was travelling! Plus – I think that the locals appreciate this, even if your pronunciation is totally wrong haha.
5. Go and see the Moulin Rouge
Now, this is something that I had expected more from after seeing the film and I wasn’t amazed by the dancing however, it is worth going to see in my opinion. We went to the evening session so we were able to go out for dinner and drinks first which meant getting all dolled up for the experience and that is always fun!