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My perfect day in Paris

Find out how our BA expert, Karen Stride, spends 24 hours in Paris.

Rue Montorgueil – a foodie paradise
Rue Montorgueil – a foodie paradise.

Rue Montorgueil – a foodie paradise

You’ll think that you’ve arrived in ‘foodie heaven’ as you stroll along Rue Montorgueil – I couldn’t quite believe what I’d stumbled across! It’s lined with the most incredible patisseries, boulangeries and chocolatiers and the smell of bread, chocolate and cheese will make you want to eat it all. If you have time, I’d recommend grabbing a café au lait and an outdoor seat – the perfect spot for people watching. Or simply absorb the wonderful atmosphere as you pass through – although in my opinion, window shopping is impossible as the colourful macarons, flawless chocolates and irresistible gateaux squares call out to you.

Unmissable Marais
Unmissable Marais.

Unmissable Marais

I loved the Marais area. Even on a drizzly day its charm and appeal won me over. Trendy but not pretentious, this picturesque area is bursting with an eclectic mix of shops. I stumbled across two taste-bud-tingling finds that shouldn’t be missed. After some retail therapy, head to locals favourite, Chez Hanna, for lunch and for enormous (and somewhat impossible to eat) falafels. You’ll be far too full to savour another bite, but before you move on make sure you visit L’éclair De Genie. If like me, you're a sucker for a sweet treat, a peak through the window at the endless lines of eclairs will lure you in. Don’t let the queues or price tag put you off – they’re well worth it!

Pop-up bars along the Seine
Pop-up bars along the Seine.

Pop-up bars along the Seine

The Musée d'Orsay is a ‘must see’ on any trip to Paris – even if you’re not an ‘art lover’ you’ll appreciate this stunning building and its contents. Grabbing a drink in the museum isn’t cheap – so I was delighted to find some laidback ‘pop-up’ bars along the Seine that are quite charming.

Lose yourself in the Jardin du Luxembourg
Lose yourself in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Lose yourself in the Jardin du Luxembourg

My favourite Paris park was definitely Jardin du Luxembourg. Grab yourself a drink (mulled wine does the trick when it’s chilly) and make your way down to the boating lake. The surrounds are scattered with chairs – the perfect place to rest your feet and take it all in. I spent ages just watching people sailing the boats – wondering if they would ever capsize! My favourite sight was a group of older French gentleman playing chess – there was something very humbling about it. If you like a bit of ‘people watching’, you’ll love it here.

The best views of Paris
The best views of Paris.

The best views of Paris

I love the way that the lights of Paris twinkle at night and after-dark the Arch de Triomphe provides an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower's dazzling light show. As the meeting point of 12 avenues, the base of the monument is somewhat chaotic. But climb the stairs (there’s quite a few) to the top and you’ll be greeted with a much calmer experience.

Walking tour of Montmartre
Walking tour of Montmartre.

Walking tour of Montmartre

I’d highly recommend an evening walking tour of Montmartre with a local – for me it ticked every box. Many people recommend seeing this area at night, but probably an equal amount warn you of its somewhat promiscuous reputation. We started off by the bright lights of Moulin Rouge and wound our way up to Sacré Coeur – the highest point in Paris. It’s a bit of a walk, but by the end you’ve seen lots, learnt about the crazy antics of its artist residents and built up an appetite to grab dinner in one of Pigalle’s neighbourhood bistros.

Popular multi-centre breaks from Paris

Visit other stunning European cities on a Paris multi-centre break

Paris – Rome
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Fall in love with romantic Paris. Take a gentle boat cruise along the Seine or a stroll down the famous Champs Élysées. Immerse yourself in its world-renowned art and culinary scene. Or simply watch the world go by over coffee and croissants at a pavement café. Then travel by car or train to historic Rome. Marvel at the magnificent Colosseum and Sistene Chapel. Shop until you drop and let Rome’s restaurants awaken your taste buds.

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