No visit to Paris would be complete without a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower but there is so much more to this beautiful city! Here’s my top five unmissable things to do in Paris.
1. Walk through Paris at night
Paris comes truly alive at night so after a busy day walking the pavements and scouring the shops, take a nap so you’re refreshed to head back out after dark. Watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle her lights for five minutes on the hour from 10pm. The best view of this is from Trocadero just across the Seine opposite the Tower. From this square, you have site of the Fontaines de Chaillot and then the Eiffel Tower. Surrounding the fountains are lots of street performers and musicians to be entertained by.
2. Have a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower day or night
You’ll find the gardens surrounding the grounds of the Tower strewn with couples taking romantic picnics. Remember to take your own wine though. There are lots of street sellers offering chilled beers and wine but they store their wares under drain manholes – not hygienic. Keep your mini-break to Paris sanitary and buy your booze from a local supermarket or bar.
3. Experience the unmissable Moulin Rouge
Best known by the movie of the same name, the Moulin Rouge is a cabaret which has been in Paris since 1889. The historic building remains iconic, welcoming audiences of hundreds each night. You need to book early to avoid disappointment though as this continues to be one of the most booked up tourist attractions in Paris. You can opt to have dinner there from a set menu and enjoy this in front of a live band. With a short break for diners to take to the dance floor, the performance of can-can dancers leads you late into the night. An incredible and unmissable display of dance and variety performances.
4. Take a padlock to love lock bridge
I recommend purchasing a padlock prior to your trip rather than trying to source one in Paris. Love lock bridge is officially known as Pont des Arts. However, in 2015, the pedestrian bridge internationally known for being adorned by thousands of padlocks inscribed by visiting lovers, was taken down due to the sheer weight of the padlocks. 45 tonnes to be exact! However this has not put off the romantic gestures of some visitors who have got creative with where they place their locks – most around street lights on the newly built bridge.
5. Admire the architecture
It’s far too easy to forget to look up in Paris as there’s so much to see but this is where you’ll find the true gems. Narrow roads, originally designed this way to make it easy to barricade during the war, are home to antique wrought iron balconies adorned with leafy hanging baskets and lace curtains flowing in the breeze of windows left ajar. The night air is thick and hangs with an intoxicating musk of fresh sweat and wine. These little glimpses into local Parisian lives through their balcony doors are tourists’ treasures. The opulence of the nouveau riche with their gilded art, next door to the crumbling paint of neglected monuments. Architecture so beautiful due to its neglectful state reminds you that the beauty of Paris is truly timeless.