Now that it's been a month in Paris, I've round up five of my favourite places in this beautiful city. I do admit, I actually live about an hour and half away from Paris city, but the travel costs makes it all that special to explore the city, no? Alors, here they are!
1. Jardin du Luxembourg
French gardens are simply breathtaking. Unlike English-style gardens, trees are planted in perfectly straight lines and lawns are groomed with lots of chairs and there are beautiful fountains and what seems like hundreds of sculptures. My favourite way to enjoy the garden is to grab a croissant and a coffee then sit by a fountain or a lawn, and just chill out for an hour.
2. Eiffel Tower at night
This may be cliché but it is pure magic. The best place to see it is on a cruise, but your cruise would have to time itself very well to pass the tower exactly on the hour, or you can head to Trocadéro Square and get the full view from there (remember to get some wine and cheese too!) It's nice and pretty when it's all lit up but the real magic happens when it sparkles on the hour - definitely a must-see when you're here in the city of lights!
3. Pavillon des Canaux
At the end of Canal Saint-Martin sits the coolest café ever. All the different rooms will satisfy whichever way you prefer to sip your coffee, whether it's on a Louis XV chair or in a bathtub. When you're here, feel free to explore all the different spots: there's an outdoor seating area right next to the canal, traditional coffee tables, couches, a terrace, a bed, and, as mentioned, a bathtub.
- 39 Quai de la Loire
4. Musée d'Orsay
This beautiful museum is such a gem. Converted from an old train station, the architecture and interior alone is mesmerizing; the collection is fascinating, too, mainly composed of pre- to post-impressionism artworks with a whole gallery of sculptures. Inside the museum there are also a few cafés, a small one on the ground floor, a bigger one next to the clocks, and a very fancy restaurant on the second floor where you have to stop by. Here you can sip on a kir royal in the gold-gilded room and enjoy a full view of the right bank across La Seine.
5. La Balançoire
Another food wonder find, this cute little restaurant is tucked away on a side street in Montmartre. The restaurant, whose name means the swing, is themed after childhood memories, and decorated with candies, picture books, toys - all things wonderful and nostalgic. I even spotted a French copy of The Famous Five here (who else was obsessed their adventures?) The menu changes every month and the waitress very kindly brought over the chalkboard and explained to us in detail what each of the dishes was. The set menu for starter + main is 25 euros, and we also got a dessert to share. Foie gras and snails to start, salmon and endives salad for main, and the most phenomenal lemon creme brûlée to finish. That's a high praise because we got so full we couldn't even finish our mains, but scraped every bit of the dessert because it was just amazing. The restaurant also plays a game of modified Yahtzee before paying the bill. If you get five-of-a-kind, the meal is free, if you roll four of the same number it's something else, and any other combination you get a homemade flavoured vodka shot. I rolled a three-of-a-kind plus a pair and won us free champagnes!
- 6 Rue Aristide Bruant
You can read more about my time in Paris in the Paris Reports series.