What to do in Paris in summer

Nikki Parkinson Travel 59 Comments

It was Easter 1980.  My grandparents, parents and brothers and I were on a European adventure.

Two small cars loaded to the max and ferried across the English Channel on an evening where the seas were far from calm.

It wasn’t long until the floors of the area in which we were seated were awash with vomit. Not mine but in my 12-year-old head, vomit from about 99.9% of the other passengers.

Yes, it was as gross as you’re probably imagining. I had my feet firmly off the floor and quickly mastered the art of mouth-only breathing.

Never had I been as happy to reach dry land.

Thirty-five years later, we reached the Continent under the water … via the Eurostar from London*.

At 200km/hour the only discomfort was the pressurisation around our eardrums as we emerged from tunnels, arriving effortlessly in central Paris on a balmy summer afternoon.

We had just two nights in the City of Lights. Two nights I had skilfully carved out of our European itinerary, slotting between UK and Italy as an unashamed exercise in self-indulgence.

Mr SY had had plenty advance warning re such extravagance. I informed him that he could eye roll all he liked in the lead up to the trip but there was to be a cessation of such rolling during the 40 hours we had in Paris.

There was the romance and magic of this incredible city to experience. There were new memories to make to add to those of my 12-year-old self (standing up to go to the toilet, camping on a freezing night at Versailles, being allowed to eat chocolate on bread).

It was NOT about ticking off every major site. It was about frequently pinching ourselves, of living in the moment and absorbing the beauty that is Paris in summer.

What to do in Paris in summer

What to do in Paris in summer when time is limited

1. Go up the Eiffel Tower. Our 1980 family visit to the Eiffel Tower is now the stuff of family legend. My family has always been early adopters when it comes to technology. In the early ’80s that translated to owning a video camera – a home video camera that was the size of what most news crews would use now but that camera also required the carrying of a 10kg “box” the size of a home VHS over your shoulder to record what you were filming. My Dad was the chief videographer/carrier.

Getting to level 1 required walking up a gazillion steps – the queue for the lifts was deemed too long for us to wait. As a kid, I don’t remember complaining about the steps but I probably did. I remember it taking forever and I vowed that should I return to Paris, a lift up the tower would be the only option.

Limited lift tickets at certain time slots are available to book online. Attempting to book those four weeks out for a peak period did yield a spot on the lift on our chosen day.

More Googling later and I found a tour company that still had lunch and lift tickets available. I snapped those babies up and on arrival at the tower, congratulated myself on the result. We still had to queue for the lift up but it was a priority queue. We were up seated and sipping on Champagne overlooking the Seine within 30 minutes.

The set two-course meal (with choices and a kids’ menu) was delicious. The 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant was a cool, calm oasis from the heatwave, crowded conditions outside. It was a chance to catch our collective breaths after a morning out before walking the perimeter of level one for a birds-eye view of Paris.

From this level, you can buy further lift tickets to levels two and three. Something I would have done if we’d had more time.  Next time …

For more information, visit here. We booked the lunch and lift package via here.

Eiffel Tower, Paris France

Eiffel Tower, Paris France

Eiffel Tower, Paris France

2. Dine with a rooftops view. I had a vision of arriving in Paris and absorbing that Parisian feeling within hours of said arrival. Where we stayed (more on that below) definitely contributed to the immediacy of that but nothing says Parisian summer feeling like drinks and dinner from a “Terrasse” or rooftop. Google research led me to Hotel Raphael – only a 10-minute walk from where we were staying. I booked online weeks before but never received an email confirmation for the booking – or whether we could bring our son with us – so I did arrive at the venue at our “booked” time with everything crossed.

The lift at the hotel takes you up to the 7th floor. When you arrive, the bar is to your left; the restaurant to your right. You can’t book a spot at the bar but if you wanted to take your chance on a spot, it’s worth the cost of a Champagne cocktail for the view alone. The entire Terrasse is set up like a French courtyard garden with diners sectioned off by garden beds. Your view? The Arc de Triomphe and Momarte on one side; the Eiffel Tower on the other. Pretty shabby really! A walk around the entire rooftop is a walk around Paris. And on this evening the city glowed under the golden hour that is twilight in Europe. Plane entrails criss-crossed the blue sky as we clinked Champagne glasses and sat down to one of the most memorable meals of our life.

The restaurant, which was heavily frequented by Parisian locals on the night we dined, operates on a 95 Euro set menu basis (entrée, main and dessert with an amuse bouche at the beginning and macarons with coffee at the end). It’s far from budget dining but in terms of five-star dinners it was comparable to what we’d pay in Australia for similar quality and location.  There is no children’s menu. The choices within the set menu were, however, extensive and our nearly 10-year-old was able to chose dishes that were mostly familiar to him … with a little extension out of his comfort zone on a couple of dishes, something we had geared him up for. Part of the travelling experience for us is all about the local food – not about simply dining out on a global menu of chicken nuggets, burgers and chips. Oops, in France I take that back about the chips. The pomme fritte are like no other. Cooked in duck fat maybe?

I ordered the lobster for my main with a side of seasonal vegetables. This was a winner, as was Mr SY’s king crab and langoustine mousse salad and the chocolate bomb dessert (tiramisu encased in a chocolate ball and surrounded by tiny gold balls of coffee cream).

I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking.

Hotel Raphael Paris Terrasse

Hotel Raphael Paris Terrasse

Hotel Raphael Paris Terrasse

Hotel Raphael Paris Terrasse

Hotel Raphael Paris Terrasse

3. Shop with intention. I’ve been asked many times so far on this trip about the shopping, what I’ve been buying and where to shop. It’s now confession time. I had not planned on shopping up a storm in London. I had my shopping sights firmly focussed on buying one “souvenir” from our trip. The one souvenir was a tiny Chanel handbag/clutch, something I’d been saving for and putting birthday money towards for 12 months. I wanted to buy it in Paris – at the original Chanel boutique, at Rue Cambon 31. I wanted the whole experience of standing on the staircase made famous by Coco Chanel and I was prepared to walk past every store with “SOLDES” (the Government enforced sales that happen between late June and the end of July each year) blazoned across its storefront windows. Chanel was also on soldes but (of course) not what I wanted to buy. We arrived just after opening as I’d been warned that there would possibly be a queue outside the store to get in. As we passed by Hermes in the same area, that was definitely the case. As luck (the shopping gods perhaps?) would have it, no queue for me at Chanel. I’d also been warned that the sales assistants could be arrogant and snooty. Not so. My assistant Lola was helpful and generous with her knowledge and time – and she indulged my “need” to be photographed on those famous steps.

Chanel | Rue Cambon 31 | Paris

4. Walk everywhere. The metro system in Paris is very good – we chose not to use it as walking was a better alternative for us to quickly get our bearings and see some of the monuments and sights. It was about a 35-minute walk to the Chanel store in Rue Cambon from our hotel and then another similar trek to the Eiffel Tower for lunch. This took us down the Champs Elysee, into and around the Madeleine Plaza area and on past the Place de la Concorde and over the Seine. It gave us a great perspective and many photo opportunities along the way.

Arc de Triomphe Paris France

5. Eat delicious things. A good thing about all the walking is that it negates some of the guilt attached with eating ALL the delicious things. You won’t be surprised to hear that Paris is NOT the home of gluten-free or paleo dieting. It’s the home of indulging but not over-indulging. The gluten thing held me back from the delicious bread, pastry and crepe offerings but it did not hold me back at Laduree. Sure Laduree may now be in Sydney but it has to taste better in Paris, it just does.

chocolate crepes Paris France

Laduree Paris France

Laduree Paris France

6. Book a photo shoot. Ok, so this is not your everyday thing to do while travelling but remember my indulgence intention? Yep, this was part of it. I’ve long been a follower and fan of photographer and author Carla Coulson. Carla is an Australian living in Paris, married to an Italian. And she is pure genius behind the camera. My girlfriend, Samille (who blogs at Two Mad Rabbits) had a photo shoot with Carla two years ago. I remember seeing her photos at the time and silently vowing to myself that if I ever made it back to Paris that a shoot with Carla would be on my must-do list. I contacted Carla, realising that the odds may be indeed long that she would be available on the ONE day we had in Paris. A week before our trip, I heard from Carla. Yes, she was available. We spent our late afternoon and early evening with her and her team in a shoot that took us to parts of Paris we would not have found on our own.

More to come on the shoot when I receive the photos.

Carla Coulson photoshoot Paris France

Carla Coulson photoshoot Paris France | Eiffel Tower balloons

Where to stay

A short stay in any city is all about maximising the location and we were very fortunate to be hosted by lastminute.com.au to stay at the Hotel Mac Mahon, a stunning boutique hotel just steps from the Arc de Triomphe (we could see it from our balcony window) and the Champs Elysees.

We walked in to see the TV on and realised it was a live stream from a camera on top of the hotel. We really were right in the middle of it all – something essential especially if in Paris for just a short time.

The décor is a modern, eclectic French with a nod to the the Empire style of decoration that was very much the go in the 19th Century. You’ll even find artefacts from the Napoleon Bonaparte era.

Our room was a corner suite and quite sizeable by European standards. A king bed and a sofa bed meant the three of us could share the same room. If staying as a couple, you can use this as a sitting area. The bathroom was small but extremely well designed, as was the separate toilet and bidet (try explaining and instructing a child on how to use a bidet … cue toilet humour now).

I loved the red and black interior, the carpet with purposeful “splats” and bees woven into its design. The ceiling mirrors and red chandeliers were a spin out – in a good way.

Without a doubt, our favourite place was the balcony. Four double doors opened up on to a classic French balcony. It’s here we sat watching the moon rise over the Arc de Triomphe, sipping glasses of Pinot Noir while waiting for Master SY to fall asleep. Even from just the second floor, this was an amazing view.

Yes, there was traffic noise, but somehow in this vibrant city, that just added to the excitement. Once the doors were closed, we hardly heard a thing, quite a feat considering how close we were to one of the busiest roundabouts in the world. The curtains were true block-out too – essential when out enjoying late nights out.

Hotel Mac Mahon has a restaurant/bar/lounge at street level. Two fibreglass rhinoceros heads command the space here. It’s that quirky design thing happening again. So Parisian.  A breakfast buffet is served here offering a selection of hot dishes (possibly the best hotel buffet scrambled eggs I’ve ever had), crepes, cereals fruit, yoghurt and pastries. A multitude of dining and eating options also surround the hotel.

It’s a total smoking-free hotel – a big plus in my books as Paris is very much NOT smoking-free.

I also loved the personal touches left for you on the bed each night. Sweets for our son and nougat for us … as well as a weather check and daily quote.

Staff were incredibly helpful and with any request and made us feel comfortable and at home from the moment we arrived. If you need, they can organise special tours that may not be readily available, for example a macaron cooking class or a back-room private visit to a designer showroom.

Wi-fi was free and worked brilliantly for us.

Hotel Mac Mahon | Paris, France

Hotel Mac Mahon | Paris, France

Hotel Mac Mahon | Paris, France

Hotel Mac Mahon | Paris, France

Hotel Mac Mahon | Paris, France

Hotel Mac Mahon | Paris, France

Hotel Mac Mahon | Paris, France

Hotel Mac Mahon | Paris, France

Hotel Mac Mahon | Paris, France

To book, visit lastminute.com.au, HERE

What to wear

We arrived in Paris at the start of what was to be a heatwave. It was high 20s for our arrival and during our full day in Paris it topped 33 degrees. The day we flew out it was set for a top of 39 degrees. It’s a dry heat so not as enervating as summer in Queensland but hot all the same.

Parisian women were wearing mostly summer frocks and sandals or wedges/platforms. These women were an exercise in effortlessly casual, no easy feat while it’s hot.

Bassike dress | Frankie4 Footwear wedges | Salita Matthews necklace

If frocks are not your thing, lightweight pants and a linen shirt with sandals or wedges/platforms would have you fitting in like a local.

Mela Purdie top and pants | Metalicus tank | Frankie4 Footwear sandals | Karen Walker sunnies

If planning a dinner out somewhere like we did, then a little black dress will always be your Parisian travel wardrobe friend.

Sacha Drake dress | Zoe Kratzmann wedges | Karen Walker sunnies

So, over to you! Share your favourite things to do and see in Paris. It will be a real help for my next visit and for anyone planning a visit soon!

* Book your Eurostar tickets online 12 weeks before your planned trip. At this you’re more likely to snare a discounted fare. We were hosted by lastminute.com.au for our accommodation in Paris. All transport, excursions, food and shopping was at our own expense.

Oh Paris, you stole a little bit of my travel heart. I’ll be back. Two nights was never enough! On the blog, I’m sharing…

Posted by Styling You on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Comments 59

  1. Hi Nikki. I’m looking at heading to Paris next August for my 40th and staying at the Mercure Eiffel Tower. I love the LBD in your bottom pick. Where can I get it or something similar? Thanks

  2. Thanks for the tips I am staying at the Hotel Mac Mahon for two nights in a few weeks time – thanks to your recommendations. I’m looking forward to a wonderful mini break in Paris and watching the end of the tour as they ride through the Arc de Triomphe

  3. Loving your travel posts Nikki. Gorgeous pictures and full of great tips. I referred back to your posts on the U.S. when I went last year and will come back here when I eventually get to Paris. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. I enjoyed two weeks in Paris as part of a 3 month trip to Italy and France when I retired from Joeys. What a fantastic time I had. I had one week with my husband and friends in the Marais , an area I really love. We did a local walking tour and had a fantastic young man guide us around areas we would not have found out about. I loved the local small museums like Jacquemart Andre Museum and Musee Carnavalet, the concerts at Le Saint Chapelle is wonderful, a night at the Opera, Pere Lachaise cemetery so interesting, tea at Laudree or Mariage Freres. I also had the best experience at a very special hairdressing salon. With barely a word of French I experienced the most gorgeous hair colour, cut and blow dry I have ever experienced. I kept a blog of all my experiences it’s called A hair raising day in the blog archive ( joeyslibrary.blogspot.com.au)
    The 2nd week I spent alone in a great little apartment not far from Musee D’Orsay. I walked and shopped myself silly. Also took in an organ concert at a beautiful church, a sunny afternoon people watching in the Luxenburg garden
    Enjoy your holiday. I’m loving all your posts and Instagram.

  5. Ah, Belle Paree j’taime!
    My first visit to Paris was as a 20 something backpacker, totally unprepared for the experience and I don’t remember a lot other than the Louvre which I have never bothered with again, the Pont Neuf and Place de la Concorde.
    More recently (3 years ago) we spent 4 nights in a fabulous B&B in the 10th, B&B Bouchardon, and we walked and walked and walked in Paris itself as well as spending most of a day at Versailles. If you go to Versailles make sure to see more than the main palace; Marie Antoinette’s English village is sensational. We also went to Musee Marmottan on the edge of the peripherique – a small gallery with mostly Monet’s. It was fabulous. We had the most amazing lunch at Maison de la Truffe near Place de la Madeleine. If you are in Paris in Autumn it is truffle season and these guys know how to make the most of them. Do book though, we walked in but would have been more warmly received if we were not sans reservation 😉 We plan to return on our next trip to Paris.
    We are going again in early September (almost counting sleeps but not quite) and staying in an apartment in the 11th for a week. We are looking forward to doing some self catering as an excuse to explore and shop at the markets. We will again walk and walk and our plans include dinner at 58 Tour Eiffel (we have booked a window seat). I am so excited as we have had great feedback from friends on this restaurant and on my 2 previous trips I have never been up the tower. We will head up to the top level before dinner. BTW you can book Tower tickets online a couple of months in advance.
    We also plan to take a sunset champagne cruise on the Seine to watch the City light up. I want to visit the Palais Garnier and my bloke the Rodin Museum. Yes Musee D’Orsay and Place des Vosges too.
    Right near our accommodation is the Pere Lachaise Cemetery which we will definitely visit.
    That said, we are not great sight seeing folks, we much prefer to soak up the atmosphere and one of our favourite ways to do that is to find a little bar near our accommodation for an end of day glass or two of champagne. That is one of the reasons we are happy to stay a little further out where the feel is more local than touristy. It is fun to sit and watch as the Parisians begin to come home from work and a nice rest for the body before heading out to dinner. Sante!

    1. Oh what a wonderful trip you’ll have Jan … yes we tried to book tickets to the top of the Eiffel Tower but they were booked out in advance. Thankfully we found the lunch and lift ticket through another company.

  6. Ah, Belle Paree j’taime!
    My first visit to Paris was as a 20 something backpacker, totally unprepared for the experience and I don’t remember a lot other than the Louvre which I have never bothered with again, the Pont Neuf and Place de la Concorde.
    More recently (3 years ago) we spent 4 nights in a fabulous B&B in the 10th, B&B Bouchardon, and we walked and walked and walked in Paris itself as well as spending most of a day at Versailles. If you go to Versailles make sure to see more than the main palace; Marie Antoinette’s English village is sensational. We also went to Musee Marmottan on the edge of the peripherique – a small gallery with mostly Monet’s. It was fabulous. We had the most amazing lunch at Maison de la Truffe near Place de la Madeleine. If you are in Paris in Autumn it is truffle season and these guys know how to make the most of them. Do book though, we walked in but would have been more warmly received if we were not sans reservation 😉 We plan to return on our next trip to Paris.
    We are going again in early September (almost counting sleeps but not quite) and staying in an apartment in the 11th for a week. We are looking forward to doing some self catering as an excuse to explore and shop at the markets. We will again walk and walk and our plans include dinner at 58 Tour Eiffel (we have booked a window seat). I am so excited as we have had great feedback from friends on this restaurant and on my 2 previous trips I have never been up the tower. We will head up to the top level before dinner. BTW you can book Tower tickets online a couple of months in advance.
    We also plan to take a sunset champagne cruise on the Seine to watch the City light up. I want to visit the Palais Garnier and my bloke the Rodin Museum. Yes Musee D’Orsay and Place des Vosges too.
    Right near our accommodation is the Pere Lachaise Cemetery which we will definitely visit.
    That said, we are not great sight seeing folks, we much prefer to soak up the atmosphere and one of our favourite ways to do that is to find a little bar near our accommodation for an end of day glass or two of champagne. That is one of the reasons we are happy to stay a little further out where the feel is more local than touristy. It is fun to sit and watch as the Parisians begin to come home from work and a nice rest for the body before heading out to dinner. Sante!

  7. Squeezing the most out of your precious hours in Paris and still finding time to take us on the journey. Salut. As for Chanel deigning to provide a photo opportunity on the stairs, reckon they should be grateful for the exposure. Lucky them. Ps you looked stunning in Sasha Drake en terasse. Below the equator and nine hours west of Greenwich, I cut a far less elegant figure in bed socks and a flanalette shirt as I watch the Fed fly at Wimbledon. Maybe Italian pics will inspire me to lift my sartorial game, even if I am glued to the sofa watching TV. Please help me out.

    1. I’d abandoned the Fed and gone to bed
      When a niggling thought entered my head.

      It’s east not west which describes how best
      To point the compass to my point of rest.

    2. Hahaha Angela … I haven’t seen any TV or the tennis but my husband is keen to watch the start of the Tour de France in a couple of days. And with the Chanel staircase, I think everyone can have a photo there if they ask. It’s just to the side of the store.

  8. Spent two weeks in Paris in the New Year with teens, can highly rec Citadines apt on Bd Richard Lenoir , close to Bastille area and station, walk to Louvre, Place de Vosages, museums, gorgeous to walk to Hotel de ville area with beautiful beautiful Parisian shops.
    Our apt v handy for self catering, no charming architect @ apt but everywhere outside (we were being practical with teens). Exquisite shops nearby, Poilane bakery, Popillini pastries and meals made from amazing individual food shops (cheesemongers, green grocers, charcuterie, all on Bd Beaumarchais and a charming little market Les Marches des Enfants Rouges).
    I love the Eiffel Tower but my must do was Musee D’Orsay, , lunch there as well, outside it overlooks the Seine and access is via the bridge with all the padlocks. Bon voyage to all of Nikki’s lucky readers going there.
    So look forward to your pics by Carla and continued happy travels.

  9. I just spent a week in Paris with my Mom without my kiddies…we had the best time! Dinner at the Eiffel Tower, Costes Hotel, Le Colburn, Fashion Show at Galeries Lafeyette, Fauchon perfume museum, Lanvin Exhibition, Moulin Rouge, Chanel and the stairs too plus a souvenir…Versailles, Seine River cruise – we did it all – we stayed in the Opera District Hotel Madeleine…what a gorgeous beautiful city and I will definitely go back with my husband! When the Eiffel Tower sparkles at night…just magical!

    Looking forward to going to the UK in a few weeks just my hubby and me to attend a close friends wedding in the Lake District…

  10. We’re off to Paris for a week in September followed by a 2 week Mediterranean cruise – it’s our wedding/elopement and honeymoon all in one. Excited? You could say that! This post was SO helpful and brilliantly timed – thanks Nikki! So impressed by what you’ve been able to squeeze in to 2 days – it gives me hope that our week will have us comfortably ticking off my ever growing to do list!

    1. Oh Alina … what a magical adventure you will have! You will have plenty of time to explore the city – lots of great ideas in these comments and on the SY Facebook page too for you to work through. Happy planning!

  11. I want to go back! Take me back! We spent 2 weeks in Paris on our honeymoon with the total opposite weather scenario. In fact, I experienced snow for the first time in my life – in Paris! To say it was magical would be a total understatement. You look like you made the most of your 2 days. Glad you enjoyed every second (and can’t wait to see your Chanel purchase). x

  12. So exciting to see your photos Nikki, bringing back lots of memories for me even though we only had half a day & one evening in Paris. We stayed in a little hotel near the Bastille and walked all the way to the Eiffel Tower, crisscrossing the Seine many times over the bridges. Such a beautiful city, the architecture is amazing and at the Place de la Concorde you just can’t help but think of the revolution. Thanks for your great post, it’s helping me plan for a longer visit!

  13. I love Paris! The first time I went was more than 10 years ago when I was a poor university student and the Australian dollar was much worse – a very different experience to what it was like when I returned two years ago! Because I’d already seen a lot of the landmarks the first time around, I stayed in a beautiful apartment in Montmatre that I found on Airbnb and enjoyed living like a local, which included buying a whole lot of fancy cheeses from the local fromagerie and having a picnic at Sacre Coeur. THE BEST.

  14. Thanks Nikki. Beautiful short stay. Been to Paris twice & south of France once & have been learning French for last 2 1/2 years. I’m a huge history buff, so for me as well as the usual tourist visits these are my favorites: L’hôtel des Invalides (Napoleons lavish tomb), Versailles ( think Marie Antoinette & all that ), Giverny (slightly out of Paris on the train) for Monets garden, l’Orangerie ( to see those Monet paintings inspired by his garden) and Musee d’Orsay (top floor) for all those impressionist paintings. There are many others like wandering in the Cemetry, the Jardins de Luxembourg, the many street markets for food, the Macarons and Patisseries…….. Profitez bien!

  15. hellooo! … you can see why I was squealing nikki! … I’m an excitable child!
    clearly you did well and you’ve done as much as possible in two days!
    <3 u!
    I've already banged on about places when I wasn't supposed to be off topic! … but I'm not good with rules!
    other places of interest adding to last list which Julie was happy with!
    I'm an art enthusiast so …L'ECOUTE giant head in hand statue … superb!
    I needed a day at the LOUVRE as I am obsessed with all art!
    VICTORY OF SAMATHRACE is my favourite and
    MICHELANGELO'S SLAVES are weep worthy!
    MUSEE DE L'ONGERIE if you like the impressionists as they display them beautifully!
    sitting outside sipping a coffee at a sidewalk cafe and people watching is priceless!
    walking along the banks of the SEINE through the JARDIN DES TUILERIES through to somewhere else!
    we walked everywhere because one can see more and soak up the nuances and ambience … that which is PARIS! X
    mr m's favourite statue near there is a man holding his head and he named it travels with merilyn! … not nice!
    keep having fun in italy! more sqealing! but I haven't been to Puglia
    lol m:)X

    1. Oh you’re gorgeous Merilyn! I always enjoy reading your comments! Thankyou again for these tips! I’m heading to France & Italy with my mum in September – our belated 40th & 65ths! Cannot wait…and yes, we are planning on lots of café noir in cafes & simply people watching… and trying not to cram TOO much in…famous last words! xx

    2. Oh I just love your list M! Amazing. And after two days in Puglia, you need to add it to your list. It’s so incredibly beautiful and our friends who have been living in the north say it is so laid back in comparison with other parts of Italy.

    3. Oh I just love your list M! Amazing. And after two days in Puglia, you need to add it to your list. It’s so incredibly beautiful and our friends who have been living in the north say it is so laid back in comparison with other parts of Italy.

  16. Now I’m getting really excited for my trip! We will be in Paris for the 4th time the first week of September for 4 days and we are making some activity bookings right now, so I’ll be clicking through to your dinner suggestion.One of our favourite places is the garden of the Musee Rodin. Lovely gardens, with Rodin sculptures including ‘The Thinker’ around the grounds a small cafe and only 2 euros entry to this area. Also love walking around St Germain and visiting a great little gelato place called Berthillon near Notre Dame on Ile de la Cite.

  17. Fabulous post ! My first visit to Paris was in 1981 as a 15 year old on a school trip (from Scotland ). I fell in love with the city and am lucky enough to have been 7 times since. The best way to see so much is by walking around, just looking at the architecture is fantastic ! One thing we did in 1981 was visit the Pernod factory in Creteil, I remember eating Pernod flavoured chewing gum ! On reflection a strange choice for a bunch of schoolchildren ! One visit we took our 4 children, with a twin buggy we walked everywhere, even though it rained a lot we still had fab time, and found lots of little parks for them to play in. Last time I was there was some sort of fireman’s holiday and there were thousands of them all dressed in ceremonial uniform marching up and down the Champs Élysées! Looking forward to seeing your Chanel purchase! Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

  18. Thank you Nikki I am loving your holiday and living voraciously through you,it all looks amazing the photos are stunning,I think you made the mostest of your 40 hours in Paris!
    I can’t wait to see what your souvenir is I hope a little Chanel 2.55 bag,it will make it more special to say ” I bought this in Paris”
    I think you should eat all the things when holidaying especially in Europe there is enough time to be good when you get home.Enjoy the next chapter of your trip Nikki Xx

  19. Wow, it looks beautiful Nikki! What a wonderful 40 hours and yes, I agree seeing Paris on foot is the way to go. I’ve been to Paris twice and my favourite memories of Paris are eating crepes on street corners, wandering around the markets near the Sacre Coeur and any other food and flower market we could find, walking along the Siene and lunch outside in the summer (I’d just read Almost French, so we went to the author’s favourite local market street).

    In terms of other sights, my favourites include the Palace of Versailles (its a half an hour metro ride out of Paris and is ah-mazing) and in Paris, the Picasso Museum and the Musee D’Orsay are beautiful and much more manageable in size than the Louvre. We also took in a cabaret show too which seemed to interest the lads more than the ladies! x

  20. Hi Nikki…fabulous post especially since my Son is taking me to PARIS soon! I am gluten free and have looked up gf in PARIS and there seems to be quite a bit in the 8th….a Chef doing Baguettes etc…..Biosphere cafe…..I will check it out! I too want to go to Chanel (to buy a red lippie!). The Tower is booked…..wow, fancy getting a shoot with Carla….awesome! Now the packing!!! Enjoy Italy!!!!

      1. Oh yes a wonderful thing for my Son to do Nikki as we have a Daughter with a disability and it would be too hard finding care for her here…..Son stepped in and it was such a huge surprise! Can I ask…did the photo shoot cost an arm and a leg? Happy Travels to you!

  21. Oh my Nikki – all sounds so incredible!! Thank you so much for sharing all your hot tips…I’m taking lots of notes! xx

  22. Inspiring post Nikki, beautiful photos and great information. Will store it away for one day in the future when I get to France!

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