I’m sure you’re all familiar with this feeling when life hits you and you just have the urge to go away and travel. Well that’s what happened to me the other day. Don’t get me wrong here, I do love my Strasbourg but sometimes I really love to get away. As making lists has kind of become a habit, my friend H and I started collecting ideas of places we’d like to visit in the near future. That’s when the brilliant idea came to us to just hop on the bus and head south to the capital city of love. Yes, you are right, Paris! Even though I’d been there a couple of times before, going to Paris never gets less exciting. On the contrary,
I was quite happy to have less pressure to see all the touristy places and couldn’t wait to finally try some nice cafés and restaurants and pretend to be a local Parisian girl. I had read lots about ‘how to be Parisian wherever you are’ (seriously, if you haven’t read the book yet, you should do so, it’s very entertaining and having lived in France, yes, I can confirm that most of what’s in there really is true!) so I was well prepared! As Paris is too great a city to only have one post about it, I’ve decided to put together a little Parisian restaurant guide that will be up here soon. First of all, I’d like to share some places you should visit when in Paris.
Galeries Lafayette – terrasse
Lafayette is usually well-known for its department stores but I prefer going there because of the lovely view you get from the terrace. When I first visited Paris, my French teacher ‚made us‘ go up Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tour or Tour Montparnasse to get a nice panorama shot of Paris. Truth is, you don’t need to pay to do so, you just need to know where to go and Galeries Lafayette is one of those places. Of course, it is nicer in summer when you can have a drink or two on the terrace but I won’t complain about the fabulous view you get from up there and all that for free! As a bonus, you get to do some window shopping unless you have the kinda cash to do some shopping there. 😉
Jardin du Luxembourg
Le Jardin du Luxembourg is one of my favourite places that I’ve discovered rather late. I admit I have a thing for parks – Parc de la Tête d’Or in Lyon, Volksgarten in Vienna, Margit Sziget in Budapest – obviously it’s really not that difficult to guess I’m from the countryside, haha. Le Jardin du Luxembourg is a place that is not only popular among tourists, Parisians go there to play with their children, have a nice afternoon walk or go for a run. With its château it seems quite glamorous which is perhaps another reason I quite like it, as it somehow reminds me of Vienna.
I was quite impressed when I first went to Centre Pompidou. I always thought of it as another museum of many in Paris which is perhaps why I hadn’t been there before. Today, I admit it’s a shame I haven’t gone there any sooner. I wouldn’t even go there for the art exhibition only but the view from the museum is fantastic too. The standard exhibition is free for youngsters like myself (members of the EU under the age of 26) and it takes you right to the top of the building which means a perfect view of Montmartre, the Eiffel Tour and Notre Dame Cathedral!
Every art lover should have the Musée d’Orsay on the Top 5 list of what to do in Paris. As an impressionism fan like myself, the MO is a place I wouldn’t want to miss. The pastel colours of Monet and Manet’s paintings, the delicate ballerinas of Degas and not to mention my favourite artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Right up the top there’s a café that I personally find a bit overpriced and disappointing as they don’t even sell croissants or pains au chocolat but in summer they have a terrace that gives you a lovely view of the Louvre. The big clock is quite impressive however and worth to take a photo!