Paris! I have such a strange relationship with this city. The first time I visited I had just become a teenager. I loved it but then again I loved going anywhere as a child as long as it meant leaving the city and go somewhere outside the borders of Norway. Then I visited again on several occasions when I was living in France years ago. Each time brought a new perspective and a different atmosphere about this city depending on the season, the company, my budget and my expectations. So you can say I have very diverse feelings towards this city. It´s just never the same as the time before. And now I went again and had a great time. Yet again a different experience but still amazing. And I would love to go back. I still haven´t figured this city out but something tells me I never quite will.
I went to visit my friend and her friends and we had such a great time together catching up and just hanging around Paris and drinking wine and eating cheese, chilling in the park, talking and giggling.
We mainly hung around in 1ere, 2e, 3e, 4e and 5e arrondissements and walked around in the Latin quarter, Le Marais and around Louvre. Paris is a huge city and it would take me a whole lot more to see more of the city (as I would have liked). But this time around I basically just wanted to chill, hang out with nice people, drink wine by the Seine and eat and be happy. I came home heavier, lazier and way happier so the trip definitely served its purpose.
5th Arrondissement: Latin Quarter
We spent a lazy morning walking around in the Latin quarter in Paris. Food is important, and so I was introduced to Au P´tit Grec, which is THE place for filled crepes. These iPhone photos do no justice to their mouthwatering crepes filled with yummy stuff though but just trust me on this one, their crepes are a bit of heaven in your mouth. Mine was filled with chevre, chorizo, veggies and tomatoes, that´s the stuffing I went for after thinking long and hard. And honestly, I´m still fantazising about that crepe up to this day!!!
We also passed by a second hand market, I love to stumble across such things.
In this arondissement is also where you´ll find the Jardin de Luxembourg which is a great place for a pique nique.
1st Arrondissement: Pont Neuf, Jardin des Tuileries, Rue de Rivoli…
We spent a lovely Saturday in the beautiful Jardin de Tuileries enjoying the sun. We started with crossing the Pont Neuf and watching all the locks lovey dovey couples had hung up there. It was also a great opportunity to take some photos of ourselves by the Seine. What´s a trip to Paris without a great Paris selfie…..?
Then we moved on to pass by Louvre and enter Jardin de Tuileries to sit in the sun, do some people watching, eat ice cream and very little more. I loved the fact that the garden has chairs placed around its fountains so people can sit down for a short (or long) break and talk, nap or….read Tintin.
Le Jardin de Tuileries is a perfect little stroll and walking long enough you´ll end up in Avenue des Champs-Élysées, undoubtably the most well-known and fashionable street in Paris leading to Arc de Triomphe. I´ve been several times but it´s still something special to walk up there and see this gigantic Arch and a little piece of history and architecture.
Also, although I would have enjoyed a cute little Parisian place for brunch I am glad my friend brought me to Le Pain Quotidien. The brunch there was just absolutely delicious, relatively healthy and inexpensive for the amount of food and drinks (juice and tea) we were given. We were both VERY happy with the brunch and very full as well.
3rd and 4th Arrondissements: The Marais, Place des Vosges, Le Marchè des Enfants Rouges
I also had a moment to stroll around in Le Marais and watch the people, the cute little streets, the restaurants and famous spots, such as Finkelstein which is more likely a bread making institution than anything else. I always enjoy walking around in Paris and Le Marais is a perfect place for such an activity. It´s really enjoyable to walk through the small streets and watch the Parisian life. Also, I noticed some street art along the way as well, which I really took a liking to. I am sure Paris has some decent streets for this type of art as well though so do let me know if there are some pretty great spots for that kind of “sightseeing” for my next Paris trip.
I made my way to Place de Vosges to do some people watching and enjoy the sight of the park, the building surrounding the park (including the house of Victor Hugo) and the ravishing fountains.
While walking around in Le Marais I went to a market that came highly recommended. Le Marche des Enfants Rouges is a little market place right in the middle of the neighborhood and with its establishment in 1628 it holds the title as the oldest food marked in the city. It´s name, the Market of the Red Children, comes from the children who belonged to the orphanage nearby and always wore red when going to the market. The market is a charming little mixture of people selling their products ranging from cheese, fish, fruits and veggies to olive oil, soap, wine and more and you´ll find cosy little cafes where you can get a decent meal or just order a cake and coffee. It´s not very touristic either and is small enough to enjoy without getting overwhelmed. I´m the biggest fan of places that gather the sort of people who just want to chill on the weekend, let their pulse slowly go down a bit after the stress of the week and laugh and talk with the people you enjoy the company of.
We also tried to move up to the rooftop bar, Le Perchoir Marais, on top of the Le BHV Marais shopping center to do a proper cheer to my friend and her birthday. Unfortunately that day the bar was closed but I’m sure it’s a great place to sit with a chilled rosé and enjoy the view. And so we headed to the Seine to look for the perfect place to sit down.We settled with a place I actually wanted to stop by to see when I passed by earlier that day, its a bar by the Seine, behind Notre Dame.
People had gathered here to relax and grab a beer or wine with some snacks. The prosecco and other alcoholic beverages were surprisingly cheap for such a nice place with such a perfect location. I was also able to buy exactly the things I craved such as some cheese, olives, chorizo and more to nibble on. Not to fancy but all the same a place where different people gathered and it was just top notch for me. Nothing beats a place in the sun during sunset. What a great last day in Paris and what a nice celebration for my friend.
While in Paris I sucked in so many impressions and this much is true; you can say a lot about Parisians but their style is on POINT! I sat down for a second to fix my shoe and there I am, sitting next to two beautiful teenage girls with their red designer purses with details in gold and a perfect outfit to go with on my left hand side and on my right hand side a gorgeous guy wearing black and shoes that shine in the sun. Probably designer shoes, no doubt about it. And there he is sitting on a bench in a park in Paris reading his book and turning the pages with great care. I mean, it just sums up this city perfectly. No matter the style Parisians raise the bar!
Looking at these photos makes me really think that I really need to get back to Paris soon and explore yet another time how never ending and enchanting this city is.
If you need some tips on places to go and to see then check out these blogs that have a zillion great recommendations:
- Cup of Joy always have some great tips up her sleeve.
- Lindsey´s recommendations on just about anything in Paris are a great resource. LOTS of great tips on dining places, bars and shops and more.
- I was close to getting Mariell´s guide to Paris but never got around to it as I only stayed for the weekend and I pretty much tagged along with my friend and her buddies around town. But if I happen to stay a little bit longer and will have more time to explore I will definitely get her guide.
- Carin lives in Paris and has some pretty fancy recommendations.