If you haven’t been, everything you’ve heard is true: Paris is amazing.
When I was little we’d always have our family summer holidays in France, and we’d nearly always visit Paris on the way home. Paris has tonnes to offer, but you appreciate it so much more as a twenty-something than you do as a teenager. The one similarity on this trip? Once again I tagged along on my parents’ holiday…
On the first day we went to the Sacre Coeur and I climbed all 300 steps to the top. The view was well worth it but it has to be said I lacked a bit of Parisian style the next day when I was hobbling around with sore muscles…
After that my mum wanted to see the Moulin Rouge but I really wish I hadn’t tagged along on this one… because if there is one place you shouldn’t visit with your parents it’s the sex district.
Whilst my Mum was at the Musee D’Orsay, I visited the Louvre with my Dad. He’s one of those tourists who likes to consult the guide book and rent the audio guides in museums… After about 10 minutes of trying to figure out how to work this particular one (whoever thought a Nintendo DS console would make a good audio guide really hadn’t thought it through!) we were walking through one of the many vast rooms, everyone else admiring it in hushed tones, when from 10 paces back I heard ‘THIS IS AWESOME!’ … ‘Turn your volume down Dad.’
If I could give you one tip for a visit to Paris it would be to take comfy shoes. The metro is great, but to really discover Paris it’s a good idea to leave a place in a different way to how you got there. The Louvre has it’s own metro station underneath, but after our visit we decided to walk to Place de la Concorde and catch the metro from there…
On my last day in Paris I discovered Hotel Des Invalides on our way back to the hotel. Parisian history is full of kings and emperors who have all contributed something to the rich tapestry of buildings. Louis XIV created this beautiful complex as a home for unwell or retired soldiers. Today it still serves as a home for war veterans but it is also a war/army museum and a resting place for many famous soldiers – including Napoleon. I wish I had more time to explore it properly… guess I’ll just have to go back!
Where we stayed: Novotel Tour Eiffel
Getting there: I flew FlyBe from Manchester to Charles De Gaulle
But I’d recommend getting the Eurostar from St Pancras. It’s a much simpler and cheaper option. (Not least because Charles De Gaulle is the most expansive and difficult-to-navigate airport that I’ve ever been inside!)