It’s fair to say I’ve been to Paris a few times but when a friend asked me to go with her on a girlie weekend I was booking tickets in an instant.
Nowadays it’s hard to see Paris with a little one in tow. Gone are the days when we’d leave the apartment in the morning and not return until after dark, logistically, it just ain’t that easy any more.
But hello there freedom! A girly weekend away allowed us to do just this. And my friend wanted me to show her all the top spots (no pressure) in just two days.
We covered quite a bit of Paris given the short timeframe (FYI – my marks as tour guide by the end of the weekend were 10/10 – why thank you!).
But before I start considering this as a new career, I thought I’d share my top 5 outdoor spaces in Paris with you. Mais oui!
Number 1 – Place des Vosges
This beautiful square used to be called Place Royal. That gives you an idea of just how stunning it is. It’s described as one of the finest squares in Paris, and you’ll definitely realise why when you check it out. With boutiques on one side, swanky bistros on the other, not to mention an uber cool smoothie bar at the top. It has a lot to offer. But the best bit about this square is the heart of it, a green park with regal fountains which is the perfect spot to bask in the sunshine, enjoy a baguette or cool down with an ice cream, which is what we did. It’s situated in La Marais, my all time favourite arrondissement in Paris; it’s central, super trendy and steeped in history so gorgeous old buildings too.
Number 2 – Jardin Tulieries
This is one of Paris’s largest parks, stretching from the Louvre right up to the Champs Elysee. And the view from both ends, infact all angles, is pretty special. Lined with big grand buildings, with the Louvre at the bottom and Le Arc de Triomphe at the top, it’s worth a visit and a stroll through. There are lots of ponds, with mini sailing boats for the kids to play with, aswell as manicured lawns and flower beds oozing colour and blooms, all year round. There are chairs to stop and catch some rays aswell as cafes and carousels to keep you fed and entertained.
Number 3 – Le Sacre Coeur
Now if you can see past the tourist crowds that flock to this place, and venture up the steps to Le Sacre Coeur, then do it. Once you’ve climbed the steps to this stunning church, you’ll realise that you are at the highest point in Paris, even higher than the tip of Le Tour Eiffel. Oui oui! The view as you stand at the top is spectacular. And if you venture behind the church and meander off the tourist path, you’re sure to find cobbled alleyways and cute pink houses that are super insta worthy, when taking snaps. This area is where the likes of Edith Piaf, Van Gogh and Picasso hung out. So if it’s cool enough for them, it’s cool enough for you.
Number 4 – La Cour Carree
This place is a courtyard in the middle of the Louvre Museum. It’s a hidden secret that you can find through four different arches but really, unless you stumble upon it, I think a lot of people miss it. In the middle is a water fountain where you can perch and gawp up at the gorgeous facade that is the Louvre museum. And if you’re lucky, you may be serenaded by a cellist or accordionist under one of the arches. Oh, I should mention, this is where hubs proposed to me. It’s his favourite place in the whole city, that’s coming from a born-and-bred Parsian. So take that as confirmation that this square is worth checking out.
Number 5 – La Seine
It’s so easy to overlook, but the famous river running through central Paris offers itself as the perfect place to hang out too. It’s lined with bars, boats and there is always some sort of festival going on. I love Paris plage sur la Seine, where the banks are transformed into a beach for the summer (https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g187147-d487589-i74709698-Paris_Plage-Paris_Ile_de_France.html). And if you’re around late June, look out for the city’s music festival, the place comes to life. When we were there in October there was a rollerskating race, so we got to enjoy all the hype on this, and nearly got knocked down while we were at it. Events aside, the banks of La Seine are the perfect place to sit at enjoy lunch or take a bottle of vino and watch the sunset.
Wherever you go in Paris, there are always beautiful spots. My ultimate tip when travelling anywhere is never follow the crowds, go off the beaten track (if it’s safe to do so!). That is where you will discover authenticity and hidden treasures, wherever you are.
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