Exploring the hidden gems of Paris: 3 day itinerary

Exploring the hidden gems of Paris: 3 day itinerary

Having been here in Paris for 9 months – where does the time fly?! – I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my favourite places that I think everyone should visit when coming to this magical city. Off the beaten track, the places listed here will no doubt provide you with delightful experiences and fantastic memories.

This blog post is based on my entry on a new-and-upcoming website, called Marco, where travellers like myself write about particular trips we’ve been on. There are so many great things about this website. For starters, you can find real inspiration from reading other people’s entries, and be fixated on stunning photographs posted. Without doubt, another great factor of the website is that when you enter the weekly competitions, you have the chance of winning $1000! Think of new amazing places that could take you to!

You can check out my entry here. If you could vote for me, that would be great – just click here to vote, and don’t forget to choose ‘Explore the hidden gems of Paris‘.

DAY 1

Les Jardins du Palais Royale, Paris

WANDER THE BEAUTIFUL JARDIN DU PALAIS ROYALE

Located a stone’s throw away from the infamous Louvre, Le Jardin du Palais Royale is hidden within the busy rush of the city. Here you can stroll around the beautiful garden, appreciating the symmetrically lined trees and colourful flowers; or you can sit and enjoy people watching from many of the various reclining chairs around the central fountain.

L'Arc de Triomphe at night, Paris

ASCEND L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE FOR STUNNING VIEWS OF THE CITY

Whilst the majority of guides will point you in the direction of the Eiffel Tower, I believe that you can get even better views of the city from the Arc de Triomphe. There’s no better time to go than at sunset and into twilight. It is from the Arc de Triomphe that my breath has been taken away with these exquisite views.

DAY 2

Canal Saint-Martin, Paris

SIT BY THE CANAL SAINT-MARTIN

Many people have never heard of the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris, and it is indeed another hidden gem of the city. Situated in the 10th and 11th arrondissements, the area surrounding the canal is super cool and hip. Parallel to the canal are a plethora of cute cafes and shops, and also a ton of vibrant street art work. Exploring this area of Paris will make you feel as if you have been transported to Amsterdam.

The Sainte-Chapelle, Paris

VISIT THE UNSURPASSABLE ROYAL CHAPEL, THE SAINTE-CHAPELLE

The Sainte-Chapelle is often overlooked by those coming to visit Paris. Built to house the sacred relics of the Crown of Thorns in 1248 under the patronage of King Louis IX (aka Saint Louis), for me the Sainte-Chapelle is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The upper chapel is surrounded by the most exquisite stained-glass, which one can look at for hours. In addition to visiting the chapel during the day, you can also attend various classical concerts in the evening – another must do.

DAY 3

The Promenade Plantée, Paris

 ESCAPE THE RUSH, AND STROLL ALONG THE PROMENADE PLANTÉE

The Promenade Plantée offers walkers an unparalleled and unique experience. Often off the beaten-track for tourists, the promenade provides visitors with expansive views of the city – you become one with the various buildings and architecture, yet remain a flâneur simultaneously. It is a surreal experience – hardly do you find a place within a capital city wherein you feel totally separated from the buzz and rush; but whilst uniquely being right in the middle of it.

If you can think of any other hidden gems of Paris that you would like to share, just let me know!

Once again, here is the link for voting – don’t forget to choose ‘Explore the hidden gems of Paris‘.

A guide for the weekend

To all, I am so sorry for the belatedness (is that such a word?) of this post. This week has been so busy. Now that I am properly in the whole ‘Au Pair schedule’ with the family and school, I’m finding it hard to find the time to just have a few minutes to sit and write to my heart’s content. Luckily, I have managed to snag a few minutes from the day to write this post. This weekend saw the visit of my boyfriend Malek to Paris! It was so nice to see him, as we’ve been apart for over a month now. For those who don’t know, Malek is also an au pair but in Madrid! – he copied me, I swear!

Having arrived extremely late on the Friday night, the weekend began slowly, and after a breakfast/brunch on Saturday we headed to the Sainte-Chapelle. Yes, I know how much I go on about this chapel, but Malek’s never been there and he did take the time to read (definitely not forced at all…) to read my dissertation on many occasions, and so I thought it would be nice to take him there so he could see at first hand what I am so passionate about! For the first time in my experience, there was a pretty long queue, but the wait was well worth it. Oh, how I have missed you ma belle Sainte-Chapelle! I cannot believe how much has happened since I last visited in February to standing in there this weekend. So surreal. Sadly a large part of the north wall and western rose window were being conserved so that was all closed off, nevertheless one was able to have a beautiful view of the stained glass.

Malek in the Sainte-Chapelle
Malek in the Sainte-Chapelle

We also spent a bit of time just wandering around the Seine and taking in the sights. It was such a beautiful day, it seemed silly not to spend as much time outside as we could! We spent some time walking around the Jardin des Tuileries, which was especially pretty on this autumn day.

Malek enjoying the sun and Seine.
Malek enjoying the sun and Seine.

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The pretty colours of autumn in the Jardin des Tuileries.
The pretty colours of autumn in the Jardin des Tuileries.

 

Jardin des Tuileries.
Jardin des Tuileries.

 

We also ventured toward Monmatre, because I wanted to show Malek the amazing views from the Sacre-Coeur. For those who don’t know, Montmartre is in the 18th arr. of Paris, and its pretty much all on a hill. This meant that, bien sûr we had to stop and have a coffee on the way up! We explored some of the many roads of Montmartre, and found some really cool places that we have to go back to again at some point. There were a few piano bars, which is amazing! What could be better than a cocktail and live piano? Not much. Once we managed to make our way through the hordes of tourists, we got to see the beautifully anticipated views of little ol’ Paris.

 

The beautiful walls of Concorde Metro
The beautiful walls of Concorde Metro

 

Concorde mosaics up close
Concorde mosaics up close

 

Some tranquil music whilst walking around
Some tranquil music whilst walking around

 

A beautiful street of Montmartre
A beautiful street of Montmartre

 

Crowds of people sitting in front of the Sacre-Coeur taking in the amazing views!
Crowds of people sitting in front of the Sacre-Coeur taking in the amazing views!

 

On Sunday we headed towards the south of Paris, and went up Tour Montparnasse. I had never heard of the tower until I read a blog post by Lost in Cheeseland. Tour Montparnasse is a bit of an anomaly on the Parisian skyline, as it seems to be one of the biggest buildings around. However, the fee is pretty cheap – for us is was just around €11 to go up. There you experience an observation deck (which you get to be elevator thank goodness! Montparnasse Tower claims to have the quickest elevator in Europe) and then climb a few floors to get to the terrace floor which is where you can see some more spectacular views of Paris. I would recommend going just before sunset, so you still get to see the city during the last few minutes of daylight, and see the sun setting – how romantic!

 

Malek taking a photograph whilst trying not to drop his camera from the great hight!
Malek taking a photograph whilst trying not to drop his camera from the great hight!
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A handy guide to help you make the most of your visit and the skyline.

 

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Tour Eiffel
Tour Eiffel

 

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Jardin du Luxembourg
Jardin du Luxembourg

 

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To end our lovely weekend and Malek’s time here in Paris, we decided to pay the Eiffel Tower a visit at night time, and boy did she do her best! It was lovely to see the tower all light up and sparkling (something Malek thought I was making up!). We had a cheeky bottle of Champagne, but I must admit that we couldn’t finish it, because me being me decided that we should have the cheapest €6 Brut Champagne, and so it was of course un-drinkable. Next time I think we should splash out for at least a bottle costing €10! I had an amazing time having Malek here with me, and it was so much fun being the tour guide and showing him the places that I like to go to and see etc. In November I shall be going over to Madrid where Malek is currently working – the guide becomes a tourist!

A cool beam of light from the Eiffel Tower
A cool beam of light from the Eiffel Tower

 

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Amsterdam – 2014

My wonderful boyfriend has written up this amazing account of our little weekend adventure to Amsterdam. It is well worth a read, especially to people thinking about going! x

Mal of the World

Few European cities are steeped in contrast and contradiction to the same extent as the Dutch capital, Amsterdam. The romance and culture surrounding its many canals, cobbled streets and museums, combined with a liberal attitude toward drugs and prostitution, make it a memorable destination – whatever your intentions.

A typical street in Amsterdam A typical street in Amsterdam

Having booked an apartment through AirB&B, my girlfriend and I arrived on a late flight from London and navigated our way to our accommodation with surprising ease. Being from London, you expect the public transport in a major European capital to be both uncomfortable and unreliable, but apparently that’s just a London thing. A quick train, followed by a free ferry across to the north island, and we were there.

Our beautiful apartment Our beautiful apartment

Our first day began with a walk into the centre of Amsterdam. With just the weekend at our disposal, and so many possible things…

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