This fabulous entry from our SuperBreak Travel Writer Competition by Cathy Creighton is enough to make us pack a suitcase and jet off to Paris today! What do you think, are you with us…?
Paris… it means memories of happiness, adventure, style, architecture, people, places, and most of all bliss for me.
I spent five days/four nights in this vibrant, wonderful, beautiful city a few years ago. Booked cheaply as funds were low, but with loads of enthusiasm for what lay ahead. We stayed about a ten minute walk from the Arc De Triomphe; the room was very basic but clean, and the nearby surrounding cafes and small supermarkets were brilliant.
We easily fell into the French way of relaxing, sitting outside to watch the world go by and enjoying a coffee and baguette or a glass of wine. As well as watching the stylish and chic Parisians, we visited the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower to enjoy a lovely picnic on the grass below.
The Eiffel Tower lit up at night is lovely, a visit to Sacre Coeur was brilliant with people outside on the grass verges relaxing in the sun without a care in the world. Watch the traffic at the Arc De Triomphe, it’s a sight to behold! The Louvre is worth a visit too, but pick a quiet time early in the morning to go so you can really get a feel of the place and appreciate its stunning art work. Street artists sell paintings in Paris too, and I still have an oil one hung in my hall – be prepared to haggle though if you want one too!
Make sure you enjoy the River Seine by walking along the banks and watching the Parisians – many on roller blades and scooters – who go on family walkabouts in the evening, dressed to kill!
Go off the beaten track to the smaller streets, this is where you will find really good food and wine. I found beside the Montmartre had the best value and it was much more relaxed. The Basilica was amazing too, and I felt there was a sense of peace even through the crowds.
If you like flea markets, a visit to Puces de Montreuil is amazing. I stayed there for hours and even picked up some really nice jewellery and vintage items.
The metro is simple to use, but plan ahead and get a deal on passes beforehand. Use good manners at all times in Paris – the locals like you to be polite. Try using some basic French too, even in cafes and shops. Courtesy goes a long way.
Well, I’m just saving to get there again, au revoir Paris – ’til next time!
Have you had the pleasure of visiting Paris on a short break too? What were your highlights of the trip? Let us know using the comments box below.