If you're following me on Twitter or Instagram, you'll know that last week I headed off to Paris for a little holiday with my fiance, Pete. We'd been to Paris five years ago and had been desperate to go back ever since. In the run up to going away I'd spent every spare moment researching interesting places to visit. Blogs such as The Golden Bun, HiP Paris and Messy Nessy Chic came in VERY handy, alongside a number of instagrammers I found - and so I thought it might be helpful to write up my own mini guide for you.
We stayed in an apartment in Montmartre which we found through Airbnb - it was our first time using the website and it took us a little while to find the right place for us, but we were really impressed and had a lovely stay. The apartment was minutes from Lamark Caulaincourt metro station, and it took us ten minutes to walk to the Sacré-Cœur. We choose Montmartre as we'd fallen in love with the place when we visited previously, so wanted the opportunity to stay there and experience it more.
We wanted to stay away from doing touristy things as much as possible, but we couldn't resist going to the top of the Eiffel Tower as we'd never done it before. We timed it just right with the queues (go early evening and everyone's having dinner!) and although there was still a little bit of waiting around, the view was worth it.
A couple of places on our check list were Canal Saint-Martin and Île Saint-Louis. The main thing I love about Paris is that you can just walk around for hours and find beautiful hidden streets and interesting places, and this made up the majority of our trip. I'd seen Le Pavillon des Canaux online and so took an opportunity to meet Emily of Ever After Press there for an afternoon drink in the sun. Each room inside is different - you can even enjoy your food in the bath if you fancy!
My favourite place had to be Le Comptoir Général, again somewhere I'd stumbled across online, and in fact stumbled across in real life. It was a little tricky to find and access - we had to squeeze down a small lane past three vans, but it paid off. Located near Canal Saint-Martin, it's a culture centre including a restaurant, bar, cinema, theatre and small shop. The decor is incredible - full of plants, paraphernalia and old furniture. I could've spent hours in there! Oh and the chai latte was the best I've ever had.
With us staying in a self catered apartment, it meant we had some of our meals there instead of out at a restaurant. One of my favourite things to do was grab a baguette plus some bits to go with it and have lunch outside somewhere. But we did of course visit a few places for an evening meal. A particular favourite was Le Ruisseau in Montmartre, who offer the most incredible burgers. We also revisited Café des Deux Moulins (the cafe from Amélie) which is a lovely place for an afternoon treat, and to rest your feet from all the walking.
On my list of places to visit, L'Objet Qui Parle was one of them. It's a tiny antiques shop in Pigalle, full of interesting items. We didn't end up buying anything but it was great to have a look around. During one of our afternoon walks, I spotted Tombées du Camion - the window display caught my attention and upon entering I found rows upon rows of tiny objects and vintage treasures. Basically, my dream shop. The woman working there kindly told me a little more about the shop and explained that all of the objects had been found in abandoned factories across France. I spent quite a while in there, rummaging through all the items, and came away with a handful of souvenirs.
As I mentioned before, a lot of our trip was spent simply exploring - I found it handy to have a few places in mind to visit, but a lot of the time we did just walk and see where we ended up. The metro is super simple to use and a little tip for you - if you're going and you're not fussed about visiting the museums, buy standard "T+" metro tickets. You can pick up a book of 10 for around €13 and each ticket can be used for a single trip. It's much, much cheaper than buying one of the all encompassing passes, especially if you're not planning to visit any museums during your trip.
So that about sums up our little trip! I fell in love with Paris all over again during the visit, and I can't wait to go back again. If you're heading to Paris, I hope you found this little guide useful. I'd love to hear about the places you've visited so please feel free to leave a comment!