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Paris

WHAT TO SEE & DISCOVER

My favourite neighbourhood: Montematre & Basilique du Sacré-Coeur

You have to spend at least one summer evening in Paris on the steps in front of the Sacré-Coeur! Because the atmosphere here is unique. Parisians and tourists alike sit on the steps, listening to street musicians and enjoying the view over Paris from Montmartre. The best thing to do is simply bring a pizza or picnic and relax up here all evening. It's worth changing your seat from time to time to admire various street artists.

Both before and after your visit to the Sacré-Coeur, you should definitely explore the streets of Montmartre. There are countless small bars and boutiques that invite you to linger and have a special charm. You can also enjoy beautiful views here and there. The Rue de l'Abreuvoir is particularly worth seeing.

I would actually say that Montmartre is my favourite district in Paris! However, it is so touristy there that I prefer the less crowded neighbourhoods. But it's a different story early in the morning. If you arrive at Montematre before all the other tourists, you can take a leisurely stroll through the alleyways in the most pleasant atmosphere and have them practically to yourself. This gives you a much better view of works of art such as "Le mur des je t'aime"!

By the way: you can visit the Sacre Coeur for free and enjoy an incredible view over the city from its dome.


My highlight: Design & sew your own bag at a Parisian atelier

We did something very special in Paris: we designed and sewed our own handbags! It was my absolute highlight! Because it was something so extraordinary. Before travelling to Paris, I actually looked to see where else  you can design your own bags in a studio. There's not much choice. I found ateliers in a few other cities in France and a few offers in Barcelona, but that was it!

So don't miss the chance to design your own bag in Paris! There are several providers for this, but the prices are very similar. That's why I would generally look at which bag designs from the studios you like best. That's how I made my choice at least.

We did the course at Pigeoncoq. I liked their designs best online and I thought the bags looked the best quality in the pictures. Fortunately, we were not disappointed. We were lucky and got to do the course with Marc. He is a successful bag designer and recently designed a bag for Beyoncé! (Check out his Instagram @oziasparis.) He took a lot of time to explain every step to us and told us some interesting facts. In the end, we had beautiful handbags of best quality. The course was so inspiring that I would love to become a bag designer myself now!


A must: Arc de Triomphe & Champs-Elysée

Alongside the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe is probably the most famous landmark in Paris. The triumphal arch was erected in 1836 as a monument to Napoleon's victory. Today, it is best known for the roundabout around it - the largest in the world.

And that's not all! You can even climb the Arc de Triomphe. From its "roof" you have a wonderful view of the Champs-Élysées. You should explore this world-famous shopping street afterwards. After all, where better to shop than in the fashion metropolis of Paris? Incidentally, Louis Vuitton is currently building a hotel on the Champs-Élysèes. The building is still wrapped in a huge metal case from LV. Very worth seeing!

But it's not just worth strolling along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Because all the streets leading to the Arc de Triomphe are simply too beautiful. So you should definitely check out the area around the Arc de Triomphe, too!


Ferry trip on the Seine at sunset

Another thing you should definitely plan is a ferry trip across the Seine. And it's best to do this at sunset so that you start in daylight and are back at the illuminated Eiffel Tower in the dark.

Before the boat trip, I thought it would certainly be cool, but nothing special. Yet, afterwards we were all thrilled. I mean after all, some of the most important sights in Paris are located along the river. While you get a different view of everything from the water. However, the highlight was the illuminated Eiffel Tower, which we approached at the end. The lighting on the tower was so bright that it bathed the entire sky, including the clouds, in a magical light.

We booked the 1-hour tour for €16 via Get Your Guide (affiliate link). With the tickets, you can get on the boat at any departure time. So it's best to check your weather app to see when the sun sets and try to time your trip accordingly. Departure is at 7 Port de la Bourdonnais.


Relax in a park alongside the Parisians

Paris has so many parks to offer. They all have one thing in common: you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city in them. The most famous parks are probably the Jardin des Tuileries and the Jardin du Luxembourg. And not without reason. That's why Parisians and tourists alike love to relax here.

However, my favourite parks are the Jardin du Palais-Royal and the Parc Monceau. The former has a similar flair to the Tuileries Garden, but is much quieter. The second is basically unknown to tourists! Yet, there is a picturesque old carousel in the park and it is often used by Parisians to do sports.

You should also not miss the central park of the Parisians: Bois de Boulogne. A true green oasis in the centre of the city. You can take beautiful walks through nature there.

And while we're talking about New York: The New Yorkers copied the High Line from Paris! The Coulée verte René-Dumont. is a green path on a converted railway line that leads through the city at an elevated level. Beautiful views are guaranteed!


The landmark: The Eiffel Tower

 

The must-see in Paris: Le Tour Eiffel. You simply have to see it once in your life and you have to look out over Paris from the top once in your life. It's simply part of a trip to Paris. If you want to avoid the crowds, I recommend getting to the Eiffel Tower in the morning - around 9am - and starting your day here. The best way to do this is to take the metro to the Trocadéro and walk towards the Eiffel Tower from there. The view is magnificent!

When you buy your ticket for the Eiffel Tower, be aware that it's cheaper to take the stairs than the lift. I've done both and would always prefer to take the stairs (if you can). It's not as strenuous as you think! On the other hand, you get a different view with every step and don't have to squeeze into a very small space with lots of other people.

You can come back around 10 pm to experience the evening light show from the banks of the Seine or on the Champ de Mars lawn.

There are always great views of the Eiffel Tower throughout the city. A favourite photo motif is the view from the Rue de l'Université, although I prefer the lesser-known Rue du Général Camou. The most relaxing option, however, is to sit down on the banks of the Seine with a small picnic at Port Debilly and enjoy a fabulous view of the famous tower!

Insider tip: You can experience a very special metro journey on metro line 6. Let me put it this way: the view on the line from Bir-Hakeim to Passy is something to behold!


My favourite museum: Musée d'Orsay

I've never been a big museum-goer. However, I have visited a surprising number of museums in Paris. But one is my favourite: the Musée d'Orsay.

It is located in an old railway station building, which gives it a special charm. The old railway clocks, which you can see from the inside, are particularly interesting. You also have a wonderful view of the Seine and the Louvre from the museum's terrace. Of course, the works of art themselves are also worth seeing. The museum is home to paintings and sculptures by many famous artists. Vincent van Gogh's self-portrait, for example, has found its place on the wall here.

Fun fact: A night in the clock room of the Musée d'Orsay was recently raffled off on Airbnb. Unfortunately, we weren't the lucky winners. It would certainly have been an unforgettable experience!


Plan enough time: For the huge Louvre

One museum that everyone knows is the Louvre. And there hangs a painting that everyone knows: the Mona Lisa. But apart from the Mona Lisa, the Louvre is home to other great works of art. And not too few of them. Because the Louvre is huge. You can easily get lost here and spend a week seeing everything!

Both Bene and I had visited the Louvre before. So we weren't that keen to go in again. However, when we were sitting in the Tuileries Garden for lunch, I googled the entrance fees for the Louvre out of interest: free for students. Excuse me? Yes, really! Almost all museums in Paris are free or at least heavily discounted for young adults (usually under 25). That's why we went to the Louvre after all!

So Paris is not always expensive! And the concept can promote an understanding of art and culture among young people.


A Hidden Gem: Bourse de Commerce

Whilst we're talking about museums, let's stay straight to the point. As I said, I visited a good number of museums in Paris. And not without reason.

One museum that you should definitely put on your list is the Bourse de Commerce. In the historic building, you will find a huge mirrored floor under its impressive dome, which turns the entire architecture into a work of art. The rest of the exhibition is also well worth seeing and invites you to think.

However, the best thing about the museum is that it is not (yet) that well known. As a result, it is not as crowded as many others. I simply booked my ticket online on the same day for the next admission. Admission costs €14.


Jewel outside the city: Palace of Versailles

I was never particularly interested in history at school (which I sometimes regret now). But one story has somehow always stuck in my mind: That of the Sun King - Louis XIV. He was particularly influential for one building in particular: the Palace of Versailles.

After hearing several stories about this magnificent palace at school, I really wanted to visit it myself. Fortunately, Versailles is not far from Paris and easy to reach by train.

Indeed, the palace is one thing above all: magnificent. It's incredible how many golden elements can be seen along the exterior façade. But the rooms are also worth seeing. Especially the Mirror Room, where history has been written several times and where conferences of heads of state and government are still held today. Yet, I found the palace garden to be the most beautiful, especially when you look out of the palace, the garden has something picturesque.

You can buy tickets for the palace here. Make sure you buy through the official website so that you don't end up paying more!


Discover the many different neighbourhoods

 

Paris has many beautiful sights to offer. But if you want to get to know the real Paris, you should take a stroll through the city's individual neighbourhoods. Pop into a shop here or buy a coffee and a delicious pastry there. Experience Paris!

One of the hipper neighbourhoods is Marais (3rd arr.). There you'll also find lots of cool shops like Perlerie 22, where you can make your own bracelet bath. However, my favourite area is along Rue des Rosiers. The neighbourhood around the Canal St. Martin (10th arr.) is particularly popular with Parisians. There is a particularly good atmosphere in summer when everyone meets up for an after-work beer along the canal.

However, I liked the 11th arr. the best. This is also where you'll find the Opéra Bastille, which is famous for the start of the French Revolution. But that's not what I like about the 11th arr. Rather, I had the feeling that I only encountered a few other tourists there. Nevertheless, I experienced a Paris straight out of a picture book. Just in peace and quiet, which is unusual for Paris.

You should also not miss out on the Gothic Quarter (4th arr.). After all, this is where Paris originated, so to speak. Accordingly, many of the buildings are very old. Then walk to the 5th and 6th arr. and be sure to pass through the Cour du Commerce Saint-André on your walk. Towards evening, you can then return and watch the sunset at the Pont Neuf on the banks of the Seine.

You can also take a nice stroll along the Rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, where you will walk right over the location of some films such as "Midnight in Paris". Scenes from Emily in Paris also take place here in the TRAM Café. Once you reach the top, you can make yourself comfortable at the Saint-Étienne-du-Mont parish church. I think it also makes a cool photo spot! Then it's off to the Pantheon (admission is free for young adults!). After admiring its dome, stroll on towards the Jardin du Luxembourg to cool down a little.


A little less touristy

In Paris, there are some sights that not every tourist has on their radar. For example, you should visit the Marché aux Puces flea market in Saint-Quen. You'll find some real antiques here. Even if you don't want to buy anything, the flea market is worth a visit in itself. It is always open on Saturdays to Mondays. But the Marché aux Puces flea market is not the only place to stop by. There are always (small) markets taking place all over Paris. Just keep your eyes peeled!

Want to have a few beers with the Parisians? Or simply enjoy a picnic? Then the banks of the Canal St Martin are the place for you.

But if you're looking for something a little more atypical for Paris, then head to the Grande Mosquée de Paris. I felt like I was back in Morocco for a while. You can also escape the hustle and bustle of the city in the beautiful courtyard. And with an entrance fee of €3, the mosque is a real bargain compared to other sights.

On Rue Crémieux, I also briefly had the feeling that I was no longer in Paris. In fact, it reminded me more of Notting Hill in London. Lastly, you'll be transported to the Middle Ages when you visit Vincennes Castle.

The small passages that you find throughout the city, such as the Passage des Panoramas or the Passage du Grand-Cerf, are also cute and not too crowded.


Free fun in Paris

Many museums and churches in Paris are free or cheaper for young people (under 25). But "older" people can also get away cheaply in Paris. Every first Sunday of the month, some museums are free for all visitors. These include the Musée d'Orsay and the Rodin Museum. However, you should make sure you get your tickets early, as they sell out quickly!

There are also some museums where admission is generally free, such as the Petit Palais, the Musée du Parfum, the Museum of the History of Paris (Musée Carnavalet), the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris or the Musée de la Vie Romantique. The Cimetière du Père Lachaise is also free of charge, regardless of age. Not only are famous people buried there, but the cemetery is also home to a sculpture garden. Moreover, you can admire even more free art at the co-working artist studio 59 Rivoli. The building itself is already artistically designed. You will find very different works of art in the individual rooms. There are also several galleries on Rue des Beaux Arts that you can visit for free.

A view over the rooftops of the city can also be free. The roof terrace of the Galeries Lafayette (Bd Haussmann), for example, offers a magnificent view over Paris - completely free of charge. During the French Open, you can also watch tennis on a big screen for free.

Previously, admission to Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral was also free of charge. However, it is currently closed due to construction work following the devastating fire in April 2019.

However, my personal "free" highlight was Émile Anthoine Stadium. Here you can use the running track for free with a view of the Eiffel Tower. You can also do other sports there, but always with a view of the city's landmark.


Take a day-trip to Disneyland

I went to Disneyland once as a small child and have dreamed of going back ever since. My ex-boyfriend made my wish come true in 2019 when he gifted me a ticket to the theme park.

We had a cool day and a lot of fun, buuuuuut I thought Disneyland was more spectacular when I was 4 than 20 years later. Because the selection of attractions for the little ones is definitely bigger than the selection of rollercoasters & co. However, we are probably spoilt as we have some good theme parks in Germany. It might have been more worthwhile for us to buy a ticket for both Disney parks - there are 2 parks with different attractions. Because then we could have experienced a few more rollercoasters...

Nevertheless, I got to be a little princess again for a day. And the day at Disneyland Paris was worth it for that alone!


Watch top-class tennis at Roland Garros

Anyone who knows me already knows that I love watching tennis. That's why I've already attended the Grand Slams in New York and Melbourne. And now in Paris, too. Because my brother and I gifted our mum tickets for Roland Garros 2024.

I can always recommend Grand Slams even to people who don't play tennis, as the whole event itself is already incredibly cool. This was also the case in Paris. The atmosphere in the stadium was particularly good! People were always singing and laughing.

You didn't just feel the atmosphere of the tournament in the stadium, but throughout the city. When you walked through the shops, where everything was full of French Open merchandise. Or when you sat on the roof terrace of Galeries Lafayette in front of the huge screen in the sun. We certainly had a good time!


What else you should have seen

There is so much to discover in Paris that I could spend hours listing everything... But I'll try to be a little shorter now and just give you a few small suggestions along the way. Of course, you can always ask me more in-depth questions about Paris!

Two places you shouldn't miss on your way through the city are Place de la Concorde and Place Vendôme.

In addition to the Galeries Lafayette, there are other shopping centres worth visiting. These are Printemps (Bd Haussmann), Le Bon Marché and La Samaritaine.

I can also recommend Plaisir d'équi'thé for affordable jewellery and Bouquinistes and The Abbey Bookshop for books.

If you're interested in art, why not stop by the Centre Pompidou? Its viewing platform is even accessible free of charge. You can also find more art and interesting architecture at the Louis Vuitton Foundation. If you're looking for a slightly different museum, I recommend Les Catacombes de Paris.

I've also always wanted to see the Moulin Rouge and the Opéra Garnier. We passed by but didn't go inside, so I'll have to make up for that.

And last but not least: Paris even has its own Statue of Liberty! You can find it below the Eiffel Tower on the Île aux Cygnes in the Seine.


Where you can take the best photos in Paris

Hardly any other city is as photogenic as Paris. That's why you can take incredibly beautiful pictures in Paris. I've put together a list of cool photo spots in Paris so that you can come back with some great holiday pictures.

  • Avenue de Camoens (it's best to arrive early as it's very popular!)
  • Rue de l'Université
  • Rue du Général Camou
  • Trocadéro (best to come early as it's very popular!)
  • Avenue d'Eylau
  • Port Debilly
  • Jardin du Palais-Royal
  • Passages at the Louvre (very early in the morning, before the other tourists arrive!)
  • Metro station Lamarck - Caulaincourt
  • Louvre - Rivoli metro station
  • Avenue de la Grande Armée at the crossing to Place Charles de Gaulle
  • Steps in front of the Sacre Coeur
  • Rue de l'Abreuvoir
  • La Maison Rose
  • Rue Crémieux
  • Saint-Étienne-du-Mont parish church (on the steps with the Pantheon in the background)
  • Petit Palais (in the courtyard and the steps in front of the main entrance)
  • Galeries Lafayette Rooftop
  • Café de Flore

For more inspiration, you can also check out my Instagram. I've uploaded some photos there.


Searching for the filming locations of Emily in Paris

Few series have gone through the roof in recent years like Emily in Paris. As the series is set in Paris, you can logically visit some of the film locations. More and more tourists visit places in Paris just for this very reason. I've put together a list of some of the filming locations so that you can follow the trend:

  • Place de l'Estrapade - Emily and Gabriel's home
  • Terra Nera - Gariel's restaurant
  • SAS boulangerie moderne Rabineau - boulangerie where Emily always gets her croissants
  • Place de Valois - Office building of Emily's work & bistrot where her work colleagues go to eat
  • Fontaine Saint-Michel - Where Mindy plays street music with the boys for the first time
  • TRAM café-restaurant - Café where Mindy & Emily often go
  • La Maison Rose - Restaurant that Mindy & Emily often go to
  • Le Flore en l'Île - Where Emily and Luc talk in the first episode
  • Jardin du Luxembourg - Where Emily often goes for a run


I have put together a list of all the places on Google Maps.

You can find the list here.