I’ve always been a bit of a last-minute holiday planner, and when hearing that my boyfriend had never been to Paris – shock horror – I felt an instant need to rectify the situation. I picked up the DK ‘Eyewitness Travel: Top 10 Paris’ because it seemed handbag friendly and concise. It contained enough tips and information to keep us entertained for months, let alone for the two days we’d hastily booked. I’d recommend it as it’s easy to use and the top 10 lists, which feature subjects such as top 10 restaurants and top 10 sights, seemed to offer such a wide variety of choice. It has a handy pull-out map, with a metro plan and 60 ideas of how to spend your day should preliminary plans go wrong.
Using the guides as a basis, we decided to create our own top 10 list of things to do and see. We stayed at the quirky and colourful Hotel Des Arts in the heart of the bohemian Montmartre, home of the famous Moulin Rouge. As we walked from Blanche metro station to our hotel, I was in the middle of saying “…and the café where they filmed Amelie is around here somewhere…” when up it popped halfway up Rue Lepic. We’d put the Café des 2 Moulins second on our list of things to see and I’d highly recommend you stopping by for a café au lait or two.
On the way back from Sacré-Coeur, the third tick off our list where we experienced the spectacular views of the city, we took a wrong turn and got a bit lost. Using the handy guide, we found that we were near the Salvador Dali museum so decided to stop in. It features more than 300 of his drawings and sculptures with surreal sound effects, including Dali’s voice. Fun and interesting.
That night, we dined on onion soup, steak and crème brûlée, completing five out of 10, and pursued our top 10 guide to plan the next day.
We arose at a reasonable time and still managed to leisurely tick off a large amount of the Louvre; a stroll through Jardin du Carrousel and Jardin des Tuileries; some mouth-watering window shopping along the Champs Elysèes; saw the breathtaking views from the top of the Arc de Triomphe and finished the day with the magnificent Eiffel Tower at sunset, which seemed the perfect ending to our mini Parisian getaway. We knew we’d never see all Paris has to offer in two days, but left feeling satisfied at ticking off our top 10 list and ready to plan a return visit…
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