It has been my dream to go to Paris ever since I was a little girl and finally after 20 odd years of wishing and missing the opportunity, my partner booked a surprise trip to celebrate our anniversary.
Now I know Paris for romance can be seen as a cliché, which I hate, but Paris is magical. I guess as with most places, it’s who you go with that can also make or break an experience. Luckily, we get on – so that’s a good start.
We took EasyJet which was a super quick 45 minute flight, and grabbed a cab when we got to Charles De Gaulle Airport. We arrived at our accommodation for the weekend, Hotel Residence Foch a lovely hotel hidden down rue Marbeau. If you want to do Paris on a budget, then there are cheaper hotels dotted around the city. But as it was our anniversary he chose this one, which was lovely.
The room was spacious with a small balcony, bath and all the amenities you would need. The hotel had also followed the request of my other half and had a beautiful bouquet of roses and wine waiting for me. I say me as I doubt he requested the roses for himself.
On the first night we unpacked, explored the local area, had dinner and finally got to bed in the early hours. The next day it was up early and off exploring the city. Without going into too much detail we saw all the tourist attractions and walked a total of 26 miles, our phones died and we tucked ourselves away in a side bar for beer and snacks. One thing to be prepared for are queues to see any of the historical landmarks. The weather was amazing and by walking (even though we bought a batobus ticket) we even got to visit padlock bridge which has now had padlocks removed, saw more of the stunning architecture and felt to experience the hustle of the city.
Here are some of my favourite snaps from the city
For those who want to walk along the river, do it. They have small market stalls along the riverside on the main road where you can pick up some great little finds. Regardless of what some people have to say about the French, I am completely the opposite; they are welcoming and even more if you attempt to speak their language – afterall, you are in their country, so make the effort.
If you want a break from it all, take a little picnic and head to the river. When I go back I will be doing this; taking a small bottle of wine and some nibbles and just soak up the city’s buzz whilst watching the river buses go up and down.
Another lovely addition is Jardin des Plantes Menagerie where we spent a couple of hours relaxing in the zoo. You can see more on the animals on a post I have here
The city is a wonderful place and full of life at any given time of day. After our long day of walking around, we were heading back to the hotel when we saw the nightlife on the riverside. We ended up going to Flow, a riverside cocktail bar, grabbing a deck chair and unwinding from the day. Everyone was chatting, dancing and just enjoying life. It was fantastic. About 2am we called it a night, our feet were covered in blisters and ached, but it was all worth it.
The next morning we were out early as it was our last half day before flying back to England. We went off to explore the main city centre. Grabbed breakfast at a restaurant where they did refuse to speak English but my basic knowledge of French got us both breakfast, drinks and a lovely seat looking at the Arch De Triumph – breakfast never had such a stunning view.
We did try and bring back some macaroons from the Ladurée, but the queue was so long we never got the chance by the time we had to head back for the airport – I was quite annoyed at this as I went not only for me but a friend. Honestly the queues in Paris are something else, and I though London was bad! If you do go to the Ladurée be sure to book a table. Inside is absolutely stunning and very quaint – I will be booking my table before my flight takes off next time.
Paris really was magical for me. It was everything I thought it would be and more. My partner even enjoyed it. I have been meaning to go back since we went last year, and hopefully I’ll be going back this year at some point for a few days to do some shopping in their boutiques and eat more wonderful French cuisine.
You can find many deals for Paris, so it doesn’t have to break the bank. Check around these holiday sites for package deals, or just flights and plan your trip to Paris to suit you. Hotels.com, lastminute.com, Secret Escapes (Lead Generation), Travelodge and Travelodge.
Ours was very last minute in terms of planning what to do when we got there, but I spent the flight duration planning the Saturday and Sunday. One website to use for planning and find more about your destination is Lonely Planet Publications
Good luck and if you visit Paris, I hope you have and amazing time xoxo