At the risk of sounding clichéd, there are some cities that will just touch your heart in a way that no other place can – and that’s precisely what Paris does to me. Something about the way the city moves, breathes, switches on, makes me feel incredibly alive and centered. But romanticisms aside, Paris is truly that same city you see in movies. I’m never embarrassed to admit that my heart still does a little flutter when I see the Eiffel Tower peek out of the skyline when I least expect it.
So here’s how I did and would spend my perfect day in Paris again:
It’s not really possible to have a bad croissant or pain au chocolat in France, so I’d start my day early with a selection of buttery pastries from the nearest available patisserie or boulangerie and either an espresso or a café au lait.
Avoiding the rush of crowds to the Louvre, I’d venture to the Tuileries Garden to take in the first hours of the day because it’s one of my favourite spots in Paris to people watch and have some general “me-time”. Depending on what time of the year you visit, it’s the perfect place to soak up some sun and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
After a light but simple lunch, I’d head directly to Musée Rodin, which is my favourite museum in Paris and also hosts the largest collection of Rodin’s sculptures. Again, the gardens are exquisite here and it’s an absolutely charming place to spend part of the afternoon.
And of course, you can’t go to Paris and not shop! I’d devote a good chunk of my afternoon to browsing the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. From Longchamp to Sephora, it’s impossible not to be attracted to this mesmerizing avenue. It’s Paris’s answer to Oxford Street (albeit much more easy on the eye), though I’m certain Parisians avoid it at all costs, the same way Londoners avoid Oxford Street like the plague. For Parisians, however, they’ll take for granted the grand scene of the Arc de Triomphe which I, as a visitor, still am thrilled to spot. While I’m sure there are plenty of wonderful boutiques and high street shops to choose from, if I had only one day to spend in Paris, you’d definitely find me on the Champs-Élysées.
One of my other not-so-secret favourite places to hang out in Paris is the now rather well-known bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, on theLeft Bank. It specializes in English-language literature, but that’s not why I stop by – I like to pay homage to all the great writers who have stopped in the shop before me, such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce, to name a few. It’s a historical landmark but its low ceilings, postcards from vistors, and little nooks and crannies make you feel like it’s your secret find and yours alone.
Dinner for me would be at Chez Omar at 47 Rue Bretagne if I was craving something warm and hearty: the restaurant produces some of the best cous cous and North African tagines you could wish for on a cold, windy evening. Or I might stop in to Chartier for some authentic, French cuisine on the 9th arrondissement.
Finally, I’d indulge in the inner child in me and travel all the way to the 19th arrondissement for the dragon slide at Parc de la Villette. It might sound insane, but there’s nothing like whooshing down a giant slide in the quiet of the night that makes me look up at the stars and be thankful I have the chance to visit such a magnificent city.
Here are a few snap-shot I took last time I was there…. enjoy.
Paris, je t’aime.
Until the next time xoxo FaisaShow