The most romantic city in the world…? Well, before this last trip it was probably the least romantic city in the world to me.
Four years ago I took my boyfriend of nearly ten years – now ex – for his birthday treat. I might be widely wrong here, but if someone surprised me with a trip to Paris I would be pretty chuffed. As it turns out not everyone feels this way and on the Eurostar home I got dumped. In the end it was a strange and horrible weekend and has always left me with a funny feeling about the city.
Four years down the line one of my best friends was turning 30. To mark such a momentous occasion a special little trip was needed, a special little trip to Paris.
Two girls running around Paris, drinking wine, eating carbs and seeing some iconic sites had me dreaming… but we all know what happened last time I surprised someone with a Paris weekend away… I didn’t want to loose a best friend too… was it worth the risk?
Well, hungover and dying on her sofa after an incredible 30th birthday party I decided the risk was worth the reward. Luckily, I was met with dazzling eyes and kisses, it was going better already.
Fast forward three months and we were on the 6am Eurostar to Paris, about to live our best lives.
Where to stay
While we were in Paris we were lucky enough to be hosted by Citadines Opéra Paris, a stylish, clean and well functioning hotel in a perfect location. We were lucky enough to be staying on the top floor which meant we had a split level apartment with a spiral staircase leading up to the bedroom and main bathroom.
It was the perfect location for us and we had a wonderful view out on to a very Parisian street with little eateries dotted around close by. We were able to walk absolutely everywhere we needed too which was ideal to us. Even to the Eiffel Tower which was actually about 40-minutes, but that doesn’t matter when you can bakery hop on the way.
Citadines Opéra Paris was perfect for us, it’s not the fanciest place in the world, there isn’t a turn down service and breakfast is a buffet. But, in a crazy expensive city it was exactly what we wanted. Plus, we would 100% go back to stay in our pretty little spiral staircase apartment.
What to do and see
Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero Gardens
I mean can you go to Paris and not see the beautiful Eiffel Tower up close? As you’re now aware I have been to Paris before which means that I have seen this iron monster before, climbed it before, stood under it and felt incredibly small before. So, this time I felt like seeing it from a completely different angle and with the new security measures around the tower a much better angle.
If you head over the Seine and and through the Trocadero Gardens then you come to some white marble steps. Once you’re at the top the view is amazing and definitely the best I’ve seen.
Walk along the Seine
This is such a treat. We wandered along the river on the north side from the Louvre to the Notre Dame – it was the most charming walk. There are not only beautiful views of the city but also little bric-à-brac shops which sell prints, trinkets, flowers and books… pretty much anything you could think off. The walk can take a while as you’re stopping every few steps to see what the next stall has to offer, but it’s such a lovely way to pass an afternoon in the sun.
Colonnes De Buren
Now, these had intrigued me for years. I had seen some amazing photography shot at Colonnes De Buren and I had always loved the contrast between modern and old. We were lucky when we arrived, we’d had a rather lazy morning due to slight red wine hangovers and even though it was mid-day we had the place pretty much to ourselves. However, I soon realised why.
The columns are an interesting concept and its fun to take a few snaps, but once you’ve seen them for a few minutes there is not much more to see and do. It is worth a quick visit for sure but only as a quick stop off on the way to somewhere else.
Musee Du Louvre
Again, like the Eiffel Tower, did you even go to Paris if you didn’t go to the Louvre!? It is the most beautiful setting and has some of the most magical pieces of artwork inside. Is it cheap? No. Is it worth it? Well, if you love art, architecture and history then yes, but if you’re more of an out-door person then maybe not… always still worth seeing the glass pyramid though!
Last but not least… eat and drink in all the Parisian cafes
Now, we went with the best intentions, we asked around for the best restaurants, made a list longer than our arms… but we got swept up in Paris and didn’t follow the list at all. Our days were filled with, ‘Oh this place looks cute do you want to stop for a croissant?’, ‘I’m in desperate need of a red wine shall we pause here?’and ‘Oh look you can see the Eiffel Tower from here, shall we stare at it for a little bit with a baguette?’…
Luckily our us Paris is the perfect place to be swept away and ignore the itinerary. Plus, it is very hard to find a bad Parisian cafe.
In conclusion, there is nowhere more perfect for a beautiful girls weekend from London than Paris. I can safely say my love affair with the city has been re-ignited!