Hits & Misses: Paris, France

“Paris is always a good idea.” Audrey Hepburn in the film, Sabrina

HIT:  SACRED HEART OF MINE

My Pop (Grandad) was a great storyteller, and some of his best stories was about his travels. He visited the Sacré-Cœur Basilica many years ago, and raved about visiting it and climbing the dome.  So it became a must-do for me on my last visit, as a homage to him, as he had passed away that April.
After climbing approximately 230 spiral steps – phew! – you are rewarded with spectacular views over Paris, and everyone goes away with Postcard Perfect photos! I loved absolutely loved visiting the basilica, and for sure it captured my heart; all the architecture, views, stairs, candles, and gorgeous mosaics inside.

MISS:  FOOD IN TOURISTY AREAS

Food near iconic sights, are such big no no’s in my book.  Convenient yes, but absolutely sub-par!  Try and do your homework before you go, because there are so many great eateries that aren’t to far away.
Or you can do what I did quite often in the mornings, and go to wonderful épiceries (small grocery stores), found in all the arrondissements, for food to-go, or a baguette and some cheese—et voilà! A picnic ready to go.
I loved to grab this food, and maybe a pastry along the way, and head to a quiet park and read for an hour, and just soak up the atmosphere.. magnifique!

HIT:  LOUVRE LOVE

It is arguably the most famous art museums in the world, and yes it’s busy, but definitely worth it.  There is a back entrance to save time waiting, however entering through the glass pyramid is such a great experience.

It is stunning inside!  There are so many lovely pieces of art, but what I couldn’t stop gawking at.. were the ceilings!!  So ornate!  Other hits I recommend are; the headless Winged Victory of Samothrace, Virgin & child with St Anne, Borghese Gladiator, Michelangelo’s Slaves, & of course enigmatic Mona Lisa.

HIT:  THE EIFFEL TOWER

On it, under it, or further away, the Eiffel Tower is the gorgeous icon of Paris.  How can you not go see it?!
My favourite place to visit it, is the park just to the left of the tower (when coming from the North).  I loved just chilling there, and people watching.  Whether they were lined up, heading up on the lifts, or all loved up on the lawn, it was awesome!
Another hit, were the views from the top – gorgeous to say the least!

paris view - just exploren

MISS:  CHAMPS-ELYSEES

My idea of the Champs-Elysees before visiting was a Parisian tree lined avenue, what I got instead was, a busy American chain store feel road!  H&M, Levi’s, A&F, amongst others.  Not ideal.

So either get lost in the streets that go off from the Champs Elysses, or even better go to Boulevard Saint-Germain, or the Rue des Martyrs.

HIT:  ALL THE REST OF THE ICONS…

The list can go on and on, but other hits in Paris include; driving around the Arc de Triompe like a crazy person with the rest of them!, visiting Musee d’Orsay in an old Belle Époque railway station, staring in wonder inside and outside of Notre-Dame Cathedral, walking around Saint-Germain, lounging around in the Luxembourg Gardens, and eating macarons at Ladurée..  j’adore! 🙂