Paris is a city I could visit a thousand times over and have a different experience each time. There are so many cities that I’ve visited that I’m completely mesmerized by, but have never felt the urge to plan a trip to return immediately upon leaving. As someone who thrives on new experiences, I am constantly pushing myself to see as many new cities as possible. Paris, however, is an exception to this rule. To say I’m obsessed is an understatement. No matter how many times I visit, I am equally enchanted by this magical city, and find myself dreaming about the next time I return to it. Like any true charmer, Paris has a way of seducing one into planning a permanent move, a trap I fall into every time I visit. Perhaps one day I will, but until then, I will continue to visit the City of Love and Lights every time I go to Europe.
Before I get into my list of recommendations, I have one thought which I really need to get off my chest. How are French women so skinny? I mean really, the food scene in Paris is completely unparalleled, how does one resist/exercise enough to burn off the 23907524 crepes one consumes? That being said, here are my list of recommendations:
What to do: Walk. Walk everywhere, and just take it all in. There is beauty in every inch of the city, so that’s really the biggest piece of advice I have. Aside from the typical things to do like walking down the Seine, seeing Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, etc, explore different neighbourhoods. Rue Montorgueil is full of cheese, fish, and chocolate shops. There is no shortage of cafes to people watch in Le Marais. Avenue Montaigne for designer shopping and gawking at the most glamorous people you will ever see. Rue de Rivoli for high street shopping. The Grande Mosque for a little piece of Morocco in Paris. Do the 200 step climb to the top of the Arc de Triomph for sweeping views of the city that will make it even harder to say goodbye.
What to eat: Paris is the heart of cuisine, so do yourself a favour and abandon the notion of dieting when you visit. Cafe Madam for unforgettable Eggs Benedict. Holy Belly if you’re looking to commit some serious gluttony. Claus for flakey croissants and soft boiled eggs with crispy, buttery soldiers. L’escargot Montorgueil for, you guessed it, escargot. L’Avenue for the pasta and Sole Meuniere (their mashed potatoes are a silken, buttery dream). Angelina for a brunch that’ll put anything and everything else to shame, and while you’re at it, try their desserts. Go on, don’t be shy, order them all. Pierre Herme and (obviously) Laduree for macarons. Ellsworth for tapas style dishes to die for. Lily of the Valley for tea. L’eclair de Genie and L’atelier de l’eclair for eclairs. Fondation Cafe for lattes. Any and every creperie for crepes.