Almost exactly a year ago I went to Paris during my vacation week at uni and let me tell you the French capital did not disappoint. We arrived after a short stop in Brussels to check out the European Parliament in the City of Love in the evening. As the transport system in the city is one of the most extensive you can be sure that no matter where you stay you will have a metro or bus stop around the corner. I prefer to stay in Montmartre whenever I get the chance to spend some time in the city. There are a couple simple reasons for it, the accommodation in this part of town is rather cheap compared to the super central locations. There are plenty of airbnb’s & hostels which have some of the best price-quality ratio as well as the fact that this part of town is slightly elevated to the rest of the city so great views are guaranteed, not only for sunrise and sunset.
Despite the great weather the Catacombs called us on this marvelous morning. We where sure to go early, as you can easily stay in line for a couple of hours when you arrive too late. The Paul’s around the corner is the best thing to happen when you go there hungry or crave for a hot chocolate as the mornings are already rather chilly in late October. I’d say for lovers of skulls and everything historic this is a must visit and it was indeed quite interesting to see that many bones in one place, for me personally this would not be a stop I’d come back to. However, the area and little streets surrounding it are well worth a visit and a lunch break with some classic Galettes and Crêpes in a super cute backyard. As you cannot spent time in Paris on a sunny October-Day without visiting the Eiffeltower or the Arc de Triomph and snapping one or two or three pictures, this had to be on our list. Because just like red phonebooths and doubledecker busses in London, the obligatory Tourist pic will prove to everyone that you have actually been there. An evening like this is best ended at a local burrito spot, bearing in mind I was travelling with a Mexican. The Rue Oberkampf is probably THE street for foodies that don’t come to Paris with buckets full of money. Affordable, diverse and really great food can be found in this street, so good we came back the next night.
As I mentioned earlier I did spend a week in Paris already back in 2014 so this time I wanted to see what the fuss was all about with the monstrosity that you call Versailles. It is a short Train ride away from the heart of Paris and make your way there reeeeeaaaaaaaalllllyyyy early. As EU-Citizens get free entrance until the age of 26 it is an obvious choice to go there before you get super close to 30. When we arrived at around 11.30, the queue was already massive, so we decided to first take some pictures from the outside and not get in line. Let’s just say we skipped the line a tiny bit getting in line about 10 meters away from the entrance. Sowy, to all the people behind us in line. Once inside the whole opulence of Versailles is unfolding before you. I am talking golden ceilings and doors, diamante chandeliers and the oh so famous Salle de Glace, the estate church is not too shabby either. But the real reason you should go to Versailles are the gardens. I have probably never seen such accuracy in cutting and general layout than here. Even though, you do have to pay a little extra to get in there it is so worth it on a sunny day! Make sure to also stay until the water fountains start the show including music and the whole shebang. How could such a magical day be ended?
You guessed right by simply going to the Eiffeltower with a glass of vino, some baguette, saucission and cheese with a light show that will never be beaten by anyone or anything. The sparkle feels like it could light up the whole city every hour, is just something else. We didn’t quite go for the whole romantic wine thing but had burgers again at Rue Oberkampf at Paris-New York. I would bet you something that it is quite possibly the smallest burger joint I have ever been to and yet one of the most intriguing ones, genius interior design makes it look ten-times it’s actual size, mirrored walls is all I am saying.
We took a casual stroll from Notre-Dame to the Louvre to check out some prime architecture, which undoubtedly shows you really clearly why a stroll along the Seine is so popular with couples. Can you imagine casually strolling in the apparently most romantic city on earth with a cute little frenchie, man not dog, by your side, carrying a 2011 bottle of Bordeaux wine from Saint-Emilion and heading to some secret spot of your new found love, where he will show you what the French savoir-vivre is all about? Me neither, but Paris makes even me fantasize about a life like in a movie. Once arrived at the Louvre my friends could not wait to go inside and see La Joconde in all it’s glory, or not because there are too many other people in front of it. As I have already spent an entire day in the museum I bailed and went to my personal favorite place in the city. The actual shopping heaven with coloured glass ceiling and a hard to beat free view of the city. Galeries Lafayette. Asking any shopaholic or fashionista in your circle you will soon find out that this shop is the incarnation of all our dreams. What most people forget is that across the street is the actual heaven on earth. Food for days from all around the world. Greek, Italien, French Patisserie, Chinese you name it they have it. And probably the most friendly staff in all of Paris, when your French is a bit rusty. Maison Gourmet was so impressive I not only spent the majority of said afternoon there but came back the next day to grab my dinner on the go for the bus ride home.
The last day of this trip lead us to the Marais, focusing once again on shopping and checking out the Centre Pompidou. The reason I dragged everyone here is the bomb-ass Falafel you get at L’As du Falafel, with our luck it was some holiday and the shop was closed but the one across the street was quite alright as well. The street which boosts this Marais Classic also leads to a more than cute and especially quite little backyard like park where we enjoyed the delicacies. Don’t miss out on the little shops in this neigbourhood, they are so worth checking out for some extraordinary pieces and some nice cupcakes in case you already had your fair share of macarons, tarte aux citron-meringue and eclairs.
Missed out on the golden October?! I reckon Paris is magical any time of the year. Just travel with the right companion and you will be sure to have a marvellous time. Maybe you will even encounter a your frenchie to recreate that romantic scene I described above….anything is possible.