Can officially confirm – a weekend in Paris is just as magical as it sounds.
Here is a quick run-down of our time in Paris, where we soaked up as much of the city as we could in 3 short days.
Believe me when I say it – typing the title of this blog STILL feels surreal. It’s hard to put into words how stuck I felt during these last couple of years. Living in Melbourne during the multiple covid lockdowns was – to put it bluntly – so shit. To now be doing what I love most once again – traveling in a foreign country, embracing an entirely different culture from the one I’ve know my whole life, and getting lost in streets with no real hurry to find my way out, is bringing me back to life. It’s as if I’ve been waiting for this moment forever.
Being in Paris on a weekend in May – where the weather was perfect, the food and drinks were superb and the freedom of being abroad was actually a little overwhelming – felt much like being in a movie. It felt too good to be true.
If you’ve never been to Paris – it’s exactly as you imagine it would be, but better. Bars and restaurants line every street, the chairs all facing outwards for the best views for people watching, the buildings are grand, chic, and each one more beautiful than the next. The Eiffel Tower can be spotted from multiple view points across the city, but it’s not until you’re standing right in front of it – particularly when the sparkle show begins at the start of each hour after sunset – that you truly appreciate its size and beauty. The fashion is incredible and there is always something, or someone to look at and admire.
Each day for us began with a stroll around our neighbourhood – we stayed in the Latin Quarter near the Notre-Dame – enjoying the early morning quiet, as many of the Parisians start their days a little later than we are used to. We’d stumble across a cafe of our choosing (which wasn’t easy when they all look so cute, but I can say very good things about Maison Forest) to enjoy a crumbly, buttery croissant, freshly squeezed orange juice and a latte – for somewhere around 8€. Simplicity is key here.
Our first night (which officially began after having a slight meltdown about how small our hotel room was) took us to the Le Marais area – an incredible part of the city that I highly recommend for dinner or aperitif hour – it’s extremely vibrant, with countless options for food and drinks. We enjoyed a delicious alfresco dinner as we took in all Paris was offering.
On the Saturday morning we walked across the Seine and over to the Louvre, before getting ready to enjoy a beautiful long, long lunch at Mun – a rooftop restaurant with views of the Eiffel Tower right on the bustling Champs Élysée, for Vanessa’s birthday. The food was superb and the staff were great – they even gave us hats to stay SunSmart. After lunch we headed down to the Arc de Triomphe, before wandering around the 8th Arrondissement, where we found a spot to settle for the evening with some rosè. We people watched, chatted with locals, learnt new French words, and even caught a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower sparkling as we walked home, very full and very content.
A later start on Sunday morning consisted of strolling through the stalls along the Seine and window shopping for hours (the shopping in Paris is truly astounding and my GOD Melbourne has a ways to go to even come close), before heading to the Eiffel Tower for a picnic as the sun went down. This is (in my opinion) a MUST-DO for Paris. You can find all the meats, cheese and wines you could dream of at any supermarket in the vicinity, or grab a take away pizza like we did, find a spot on the grass and sit for hours and enjoy the view. It’s very much a ‘pinch me’ moment when the sparkle show begins. Despite the fact we got caught in a thunderstorm right as the sun went down, and the rain was coming down HARD, it was a moment I will never forget. Will gladly forget waiting 30 minutes for an Uber while drenched from head to toe, at least Paris looks pretty in the rain.
It felt bittersweet to leave after such a short and incredible time, but I have nothing but confidence when I say – J’adore Paris, à bientôt. And thank you for igniting something within me.