Oh La La! A Bucket List Guide To Paris

10 May 2018

Paris is one of my favourite places in the whole world! In high school, I often had daydreams of wandering the cobblestone streets of the Left Bank with eating a crunchy croissant. My dreams came true a couple years ago when I had the chance to make Paris my home away from home for almost a whole month. Paris is a walking cliche. It’s sophisticated, rich in history and culture and offers the world mouth-watering food to die for. If you are planning a trip to Paris, here is a bucket list guide of the top things you have to do. If you weren’t planning to go to Paris anytime soon, this will definitely change your mind!

Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower…

I mean, do I really have to explain this one? It would be crazy not to go up the Eiffel Tower to check out the spectacular views from the most famous landmark in the whole of France. Buy your tickets online a few days in advance unless you want to spend your precious time lining up. Afterwards, fill up a picnic basket and enjoy the landmark from the ground. Warning, you might use up your whole camera roll.

Spring 💕

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Window shop along the Champs Elysee…

A walk along the Champs Elysee is essential just to say you have done it. I wouldn’t shop along this street though as it is overpriced and filled with tourists and the type of shops they have here, you’ll find in every country. Do some window shopping and save your actual spending for when you check out neighbourhoods like Le Marais and Canal St. Martin.

Watch the sunset on top of the Arc de Triomphe…

By far the best views of Paris! You can see the whole entire city from up here. It’s absolutely necessary to climb up those stairs and catch the sunset and witness the Eiffel Tower sparkle up the night sky.

Go for brunch at Carette…

This is a particularly good spot for people watching. Serving a traditional French breakfast of croissants and hot chocolate, this is the perfect place to start your Sunday morning. Be sure to pick up some macarons on your way out. Their salted caramel flavour is the best I’ve ever had.

Parisian terraces are rarely seen empty – even in the snow 😅❄️

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Read a book at the Jardin de Luxembourg…

Another perfect spot to soak up the sun, get some fresh air and get lost in a good book. It’s also a good spot for people watching. You never know, you might strike up a conversation with some cute French guy. One afternoon I was sitting on a bench reading The Beautiful and Damned by Scott Fitzgerald (cliche, I know)  and an adorable French man came up to me and said something along the lines of, “you are way too cute to be sitting here all alone”. I thought this only happens in movies! Well, not in Paris.

Packing my bags for something exciting tomorrow 😀💛

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Eat macarons at Laduree…

A treasured institution where you’ll find some of the best macarons in Paris. Pick up some colourful, sugary treats at their shop in Saint Germain and head to Place Dauphine, sit on a park bench and savour every mouthful.

Excited for what’s to come… Stay tuned for more next week ☺️💫

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Have a stroll through Le Marais…

My favourite quarter of Paris! Here you’ll find some of the best boutique shops as well as luxury fashion institutions (take a photo for Instagram outside their Chanel store, you’ll see what’s so cool about it when you get there).

You never know what’s on the other side… 💙

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Eat croissants every day for breakfast…

When in France, do as the French do. At all times you’ll never be far away from a patisserie that sells crunchy, buttery croissants. If you get sick of croissants (I don’t see how) try some madeleines (small French sponge cakes), best served with hot chocolate.

Still dreaming about this morning's breakfast in bed 💛

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Have a picnic at the Jardin des Tuileries…

Located opposite The Louvre, this beautiful garden filled with cherry blossoms is the perfect place to have a picnic.

Enjoying some sunny days in Paris before leaving again for another little trip ☀️

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Be inspired by Amelie at Montmartre…

If you haven’t seen the French film, Amelie, you must! It will immediately have you booking a trip to Paris. Cobblestone streets, some of the best French restaurants, artists scattered all around the neighbourhood and of course the famous Sacre Coeur are just some of the things you can look forward to. Have a cafe au lait at Les Deux Magots, the famous cafe featured in Amelie.

So many memories, so many places in this beautiful city ❤️

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Watch a cabaret show at The Moulin Rouge…

Another must-do in this raunchy city! Paris is full of contrast, it’s classy and elegant but can also be rough and gritty but that’s why I love it. The streets around the Moulin Rouge is filled with three-storey sex shops, peep shows and live sex theatres. So you know, if you are curious visit one of the many shops before or after a show. For another cabaret option, you can also check out The Crazy Horse.

Shop for souvenirs at Colette…

If you don’t want to spend money on lame souvenirs, you know, the ones you give to your family and friends that probably gets lost somewhere never to be seen again. Head to Carette for some cool and useful items they will actually appreciate.  

A little bit of autumn sunshine ☀️

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See an opera at Palais Garnier…

An excuse to dress up all fancy? Yes please!

Go shopping at Galeries Lafayette…

The most beautiful department store you will ever lay your eyes on. When you enter the section where they sell all the luxury brand name makeup and perfume, look up at the dome ceiling and click away.

See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre…

Although a lot smaller than I thought, this is an artwork you have to see just to say you have seen one of the most famous paintings in the whole world. There is so much to see here in this museum. It would take a full two weeks to see everything. The best tip I can give you is to visit the museum after hours on a Wednesday or Friday (it closes at 10pm) and is less crowded. Also, don’t use the pyramid entrance, skip the queues and enter via Carrousel du Louvre, the shopping centre underneath the museum.

Walk across the many bridges along The Seine…

There are so many options to choose from, Pont des Arts, Pont Neuf, Pont Alexandre III. Take in all the sights and sounds of Paris and imagine what it would be like living on a boat along The Seine as there are plenty of them (which you can stay in if you want some unusual accommodation).

Feels like summer in the city ☀️🍃

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Take a day trip to Versaille…

The grand palace of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI. This complex is massive but it’s worth a visit to see all the pomp and luxury of the Royal Family. The gardens are beautiful too on a nice sunny day. You have to buy tickets in advance, even a couple weeks before to secure your spot, especially during peak seasons.

Took this sunny Thursday off and spent it strolling around beautiful Versailles ❤️

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Buy a book from the famous bookshop Shakespeare and Company…

One of my favourite hideaways! Inspired by the famous American writers who lived in Paris in the 1920’s such as Fitzgerald and Hemingway, this is lovely bookshop to spend your afternoon browsing the shelves or reading in a little nook on the top floor.

Admire the Impressionist at Musee D’Orsay…

My favourite museum in the whole of Paris! It used to be an old train station back in the day but it’s turned into a famous museum housing some of the most famous paintings in the world. If you’re a fan of Monet, this is the place to be. You may also recognise this museum from the 4th season of Gossip Girl where Blair meets Prince Louis.

People watch at Cafe de Flore…

Let’s end with some food because after a long day of sightseeing you will definitely need to refuel and what better place to do it than the famous Cafe de Flore in Saint Germain.

A Parisian morning together with @Rogervivier on www.parisinfourmonths.com 💚

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Images belong to Carin Olsson.

Words by Tamara Bose.