I’ve just spent a couple of weeks in Paris so thought I’d list a few of my favorite things to do in this beautiful city.
1. Walk until your feet feel like they’re going to drop off
Paris is a great city for walking, and with two of my usual sure fire ways of finding out what’s going on in a city ruled out (Twitter Moments isn’t available in Paris, neither is the Snapchat City Story) you never know what you’ll find when you’re out and about. The first weekend we were here it was the Paris 2024 Olympic bid, which saw the road between the Grand Palais and Invalides shut down to host all manor of Olympic themed activities, including a floating running track on the Seine.
The second weekend’s unexpected discovery was the somewhat bizarre, given the days unseasonally chilly weather, a Tropical Carribbean parade which shut down the Champs Elysees for the early part of the afternoon. Slightly annoying if like me you were trying to get to Sephora on the opposite side of the street, but at the same time loud, high energy, and fun to stop and watch for a bit.
It’s easy to find yourself walking for hours, and the Paris cobblestones can be brutal, so leave the fashionable shoes back in your hotel wardrobe to wear to dinner and don your comfiest pair of trainers before you start your explorations.
2. If the walking gets too much hire a Segway
Segway’s are a great way of exploring a city when you’ve got a lot of distance to cover and limited time. In 90 minutes you can ride past just about all of the major tourist attractions, which is great when you’ve got limited time, or kids who are less than impressed with the ‘walk until your feet feel like they’re going to drop off’ strategy outlined above. It’s much more engaging than a bus tour (well I think so anyway), as well as being a lot of fun. This is definitely one of my go to options when I’m travelling and Sascha has also joined me a few times previously, but this was Stuart and Sam’s first time as Segway tourists and they absolutely loved it. I always find early Sunday morning a great time to book a Segway tour, the streets are nice and quiet and you can cover even more ground as you don’t have to spend all your time dodging pedestrians and cars.
This would seriously have to be one of my favorite hotels in the world. I love hotels that are quintesential to their surrounds, and the Plaza Athenee definitely fits the bill. With its red awnings and window boxes, its beautifully decorated rooms, and beyond amazing breakfast setting, you couldn’t be anywhere but in Paris.
If that wasn’t enough it’s an easy walk to all of the iconic Paris sights, and if you find yourself worn out from all that walking you can always take yourself off to the on-site Dior Institut for a little pampering.
4. Eat at resturants with views of the Eiffel Tower
Sam’s always been a fan of the big monument, and I have a sneaking suspcion it may be hereditary. I could look at the Eiffel Tower all day long, but I love watching it change over dinner as the sun goes down and the different light hits. Once it’s fully dark the entire tower lights up every hour on the hour, but be prepared to be patient in summer as the long summer evenings mean the sparkles don’t kick in until 11pm!
There’s no shortage of options, from grabbing a quick mid-afternoon coffee at Chez Francis
5. Pick the museums that interest you
Paris has no shortage of museums, and you could spend your entire visit here standing in museum queues, particularly at the most popular ones. It can be a different story in a winter visit, when the idea of escaping the chilly temperatures and icy winds makes being inside appealing, but being jammed into those same buildings with hordes of other tourists in the summer heat has significantly less appeal. Personally I love the Rodin museum, where you can enjoy the magnificent sculptures while staying outside, with the added benefit of beautiful gardens which also provide the chance to quite literally stop and smell the roses.
6. Eat the raspberries
Raspberries in Paris in the summer are seriously one of my all time favorite things to eat, I don’t think they taste as good anywhere else in the world. I find it almost impossible to pass up a raspberry themed dessert (or cocktail) while I’m here, and happily indulge, figuring that it’s also providing good motivation to keep on walking and exploring.
7. Enjoy not just the joy of shopping, but the beauty of the stores
Paris not only has fantastic shopping but beautiful stores to do it in. Everything looks incredible with the backdrop of the stunning stained glass domed roof at Galleries Lafayette,
and of course I have a particular soft spot for the stunning Dior store at Rue Montaigne which is just as beautiful inside as it is from the street.
These are just a few of my favorite things to do when visiting Paris, I’d love to hear what some of your favorites are so I can include them in my next trip!