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Cami Wathle, House of Travel’s own resident Parisian, suggests this dreamy day in the City of Lights.
Greet the day with a freshly baked croissant, baguette or pain au chocolat. It’s impossible to go wrong — I swear there are no bad boulangeries in Paris! If I really must choose favourites, I’d say Café de Flore (172 Boulevard Saint-Germain) is iconic and I love the brunch at Les Bonnes Soeurs (8 Rue du Pas de la Mule). We Parisians love people watching from the terrace of a café. It’s a fantastic way to take in our beautiful city.
Try to beat the crowd with an early morning visit to iconic Parisian basilica Sacré-Coeur. Then create valuable belly space for lunch with the walk up to Montmartre, a hefty hill on the Right Bank and the perfect place to get extraordinary views over the city. (Don’t worry, there is also a cable car to the top.) A few cobblestone streets away, stroll through historic Place du Tertre, where local artists sell their work.
Head to one of my favourite spots, Poulette (3 Rue Étienne Marcel), a charming traditional bistro with gorgeously tiled Belle Epoque interiors that will take you back in time. Try the plat du jour (daily special) or a croque monsieur (a hearty, melty ham and cheese sandwich).
Stroll through one of Paris’ iconic parks: My favourite is the stunning Jardin du Luxembourg, which began as a royal residence in 1612, but of course Les Tuileries, in front of Le Louvre (Rue de Rivoli), is equally gorgeous. Afterward, call into the museum to see Paris’ treasured art. A central landmark of the city with its bold glass pyramids, le Louvre houses masterworks like da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
Break for something sweet and find the nearest L’Eclair de Genie (14 Rue Pavée and other locations) for the best handcrafted éclair you’ll ever taste. An absolute must in Paris, they are works of art. Taste a classic like butter salted caramel or fresh strawberry. In fact, it’s maybe better to have more than one.
This hip neighbourhood is the perfect place to admire Parisian style in tiny boutiques, stop into funky independent bars and discover tiny museums like the Musée Victor Hugo (6 Place des Vosges), where the writer lived.
Ease into the evening with an ‘apero,’ usually a kir (delightfully French crème de cassis topped up with white wine) with pâté and a charcuterie board. Then arrive late for the full brasserie experience at Le Bouillon Chartier (7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre), an iconic spot founded in 1896. You’ll find all the French classics like soupe a l’onion and beef bourguignon.
Treat yourself to a last tipple in one of the city’s bustling bars. I like to end the day at Le China in Bastille (50 Rue de Charenton). With red walls, dark wood panelling and a classic checkerboard floor, it feels like you’ve landed in “Midnight in Paris.” Bonsoir!
Longing for a Parisian escape?
Read more about Paris here.
Emirates flies from Auckland via Dubai in about 26 hours.
Mild winters and warm summers are common across the country but the northern regions can also get bitterly cold in the middle of winter. The Mediterranean coast enjoys cool (but not cold) winters and hot summers whereas the southwest gets plenty of rain after the summer.
New Zealand citizen holders with a valid New Zealand passport are not required to obtain a visa to enter France, as long as you stay no more than 90 days.
The SNCF train system is globally regarded as providing a world-class service. Taxis can be expensive but easy. The adventurous should try the historic subway system.
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