If I had to choose where in the world I would like to live, the decision would be very clear – Paris – the city of lights. It’s so fascinating that you can’t get enough of it! Even the rubbish on the streets and the dirt in the metro can’t change my mind!
It’s my second time in Paris, so I pretty much have covered all the famous landmarks every tourist should visit:
- I’ve been on the top of the Eiffel tower (by night and day)
- I’ve seen Mona Lisa and spent all day walking up and down in the Louvre
- I’ve been inside the Notre-Dame cathedral (thank God, because this time it was impossible because of the fire.
- I have visited almost all the famous places (Sacré Coeur cathedral, Moulin Rouge, musée de la Mode de Paris, etc.)
Besides it was winter, so this time I was able to focus on different type of landmarks like Tuileries garden and Luxembourg garden.
Probably I can’t surprise anyone with info about the famous Parisian landmarks, so instead I would like to tell you more about the best spots with Eiffel tower views, some advice how to make great pictures on the insta-famous locations in Paris and of course my list with top places to eat and drink! Enjoy!
The Eiffel tower:
The best view of it is definitely from Trocadéro square. No matter how many people there are, you’ll still be able to find your spot on the staircase and make a picture of this spectacular view.
If you’re a fan of picnic-with-view activities, your place is Champ de Mars. You can enjoy a meal or just grab a baguette from the nearest boulangerie and spend great time on the grass with this amazing landscape. Beware it’s a bit crowded and noisy!
Here are some alternative places overlooking the famous tower:
- Rue de l’Université – this street became famous because of Instagram but somehow it’s still outside of the popular touristic routes.
- Avenue de Camöens – absolutely unpopular location, there are no people to disturb you, you can sit on the staircase, eat croissants and enjoy the view – lovely combination of authentic French architecture and the Eiffel tower.
- Bir-Hakeim bridge – the bridge itself is pretty photogenic from any point of view and it also offers fabulous view towards the Eiffel tower.
Don’t miss this spectacular art installation in its back yard – Les Deux Plateaux or better known like Colonnes de Buren. The palace’s gardens are great place to walk into.
This is the famous Parisian opera – the biggest in Europe. It’s worth the visit, even if you’re not going to attend some ballet or opera spectacle, you can enjoy the building itself because it’s open to the public during the day. The entrance fee is 12 euro.
This is one of the most fantastic places in Paris. So artistic and charming! You’ll fall in love at first sight! Every street is better than the previous one and the top experience is the view from the terrace in front of the Sacré Coeur cathedral – this is the city’s highest point and the landscape is breathtaking! The cathedral itself is very impressive, you should definitely visit it, it’s better to do it in the evening (around 7-8 pm) because there are not so many people. This is also the best time to do great pictures from the park under the cathedral – the reason is the same – no people, but keep in mind that the park closes at 8.30 pm.
On the right side of the cathedral you can see the famous “sinking” building. It’s a regular building but if you point your camera at it and tilt it the result is funny optical illusion – the building looks like it’s sinking in the ground.
Another must-visit in Monmartre is the incredibly charming pink house, which is also a restaurant with traditional French cuisine – La Maison Rose. If you wish to have a meal there, you should consider that they serve lunch between 12 am and 3 pm and dinner from 6 pm and definitely don’t do like us – going there in the late afternoon to discover that we can have only coffee and cakes! Since the working hours are a bit strange, for your convenience, here they are:
Thursday – 6-11 pm
Friday – Sunday – 11am – 11pm
Monday – 12am – 11 pm
Tuesday and Wednesday – it’s closed.
Keep in mind that the owners and the staff don’t like when people try to make photoshoots in front of the house in the working hours of the restaurant, so they don’t allow it! If you wish to have picture of yourself and the lovely pink building – go there when it’s closed!
Au vieux Paris d’arcole is another famous restaurant that deserves your attention – it’s situated near the Notre-Dame and is one of the oldest restaurants in Paris. We did the same mistake and went there in the afternoon, so it was about to close but this was a good thing from another point of view – we had the dreamy facade all for ourselves to do a wonderful photoshoot, it was wisteria season, so the backdrop was wonderful!
Two more amazing places in Paris, that I really wanted to visit but there was just not enough time, are La grande Mosquée de Paris (incredible garden) and rue de Cremieux – charming street with buildings in pastel hues, but keep in mind that the tourist who go there constantly really disturb the residents, so try to be respectful to them and be quiet and quick as possible!
Le Tournesol – near the Bir-Hakeim bridge, very delightful food and lovely ambience.
Pink Mamma – the famous Italian restaurant is situated close to the Moulin Rouge. The food is great, the interior is even greater, it’s a bit dark in the evening, try to go there for lunch instead, this way you can fully enjoy the awesome ambience. Ask to be seated on the last floor – it’s the prettiest! Keep in mind that It’s very busy in the evening and they don’t accept bookings, so go earlier – the hostess will inform you at what time there will be a free table and it’s possible to wait over an hour! You can use the time to take a walk around the neighborhood – on the street behind the restaurant is situated the famous basketball playground Pigalle – it’s a must-see, but you can enter and take pictures only if you have special permission. Or you can have a glass of wine in the bar across the street like we did!
Chez Fernard – it’s a 15 min walking distance from the Louvre. Very cosy, wonderful traditional dishes. The advantage is that they serve dinner late in the evening which is not very common thing in France ( for example you can book a table at 10 pm)!
Ladurée Camps-Élysées – back to basics – this is very Parisian experience! The ambience is incredible, attention to the details, the staff is very polite, and the food is wonderful of course! There are different rooms for breakfast and for lunch and dinner (which are incredible), if you are there for breakfast ask to be seated on the upper floor, because usually the breakfast room is on the ground floor and it’s nothing special. If you seek for authentic experience, you should go to Ladurée on rue de Bonaparte which is the oldest and it’s quite impressive too!
Another lovely place for breakfast is La Terasse – it’s just next to the metro station École Militaire and it’s not so far away from Champ de Mars.
Every first Sunday of each month the entrance to most of the museums is free (including the Louvre)
The price for a metro ticket is 1.90 euro and it’s cheaper to buy Carnet de ticket – 10 tickets for 14.90 euro.