Location: Paris, France
Paris, the City of Lights: So much has been said about this city that it’s difficult to bring in something new. Yet, there always is - little things, places that make you realize just how much more there could be in this cauldron of charm!
Here is what we did, and a little extra we could do the next time.
Check in at Hôtel du Prince Eugène located at 247 Boulevard Voltaire. This hotel has the benefit of being directly connected to all corners of Paris as well as to Disneyland, thanks to the neighbouring Place de la Nation subway which is a central transit stop, and being relatively better value for money because it’s not in the more popular touristy areas of the city. The front desk can offer quick tips on how to find your way around.
We began with the Latin Quarter, heading first to La Capanina located at 64 Rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève for an early lunch. What’s special about this place is that it is located opposite the steps of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont Church where Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) takes the cab to 1920’s in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris! Oh, and the Italian restaurant lets you take the bottle with you if there’s wine left over.
We continued our walk to the nearby Le Jardin du Luxembourg. Keep walking and you’ll soon reach the banks of River Seine and across from you, Notre-Dame de Paris.
Towards sunset, we made our way to Eiffel Tower. With a pass worth 25 Euro, you can head to the top of the tower and get a panoramic view of the city. The yellow-lighted tower shimmers in sparkling white lights once every hour - a must watch experience! Do not miss it.
Our dinner was the surprise hidden gem of the day. Steps away from our hotel is an unassuming Pozzio Cafe located at 256 Boulevard Voltaire. You’ll likely not find it on any Paris list, but this place has some of the most “undescribable” pizzas: buttery, dripping with flavour and melting away despite its crust. If you’re in the area, it’s a must try.
Lunch at Bustronome: a double-decker touring restaurant on wheels with a panoramic glass roof. This gem is hidden in plain sight, moving about the streets of Paris and a must try if you can shell out some extra bucks for a worth-it experience. Bookings are at 85 Euro per person and Tour starts from 2 Avenue Kléber. Read more here.
We explored the Louvre Museum, followed by a stroll along the banks of River Seine till the Pont des Arts (the bridge with love locks).
A quick subway ride leads you to the photogenic Pont Alexandre III. If you arrive here around sunset, you can watch the majestic yellow lights come on, while also catching a unique view of the hourly sparkle on Eiffel Tower in the distance.
Take an evening stroll around the nearby Champs-Élysées.
For dinner and in our quest to discover new places, we arrived at Lotus de Siam on Rue la Boétie, for some Thai food. Conclude with a glass of hot chocolate from Jeff De Bruges back on the Champs Elysées at 102 avenue des Champs Elysées.
Breakfast at Le Comptoir Voltaire at 253 Boulevard Voltaire, next door to our hotel.
And then, Disneyland! Details are for a different blog post. If you’d like to dine at one of its many themed restaurants inside the park, be sure to make reservations in advance. Our dinner was at Rainforest cafe, which we could access without reservations.
Le Marais. The area is best discovered by walking along its narrow streets - from cafes nestled around corners to the Picasso museum, from otherworldly falafels to visibly different architecture. Read this blog on how to best cover the area on foot.
Montmartre. The fierce competitor and legendary artists’ paradise, Montmartre is best discovered on foot too, through its equally narrow sloping paths. Visit the Wall of Love in the Jehan Rictus garden square or the cutely nestled-in Cafe La Maison Rose at 2 Rue de l'Abreuvoir. A little further away is the Place du Tertre square where tons of artists can sketch you up. Each place is at a higher elevation than the other, all of it en route to the final destination, Sacre Coeur. Once you’ve visited inside and if stairs are not an issue, buy a ticket and go to the top of the dome for yet another panoramic view of the city and yet another sunset view of Eiffel Tower.
It can get chilly up there, which is why, once you climb down, a truck selling Hot Wine is likely to be waiting. If you do not fancy it so much, don’t worry. A unique wine experience awaits a short distance away. Keep descending some more to arrive for the hidden gem of the day - a dinner at Le Refuge Des Fondus at 17 Rue des Trois Frères. Read here for their claustrophobic fondue, table jumping and wine-in-a-baby-bottle experience.
Sometime flights get delayed or even cancelled. Paris has a way of turning even that into something romantic. The little airport town of Roissy-en-France is that charming little French village that truly completes your visit. Walk around the little town to your satisfaction. For dinner, I’d recommend The Place located at 58 Avenue Charles de Gaulle, because nowhere else will you ever find a tastier and more fulfilling foam of bubbles!
If you’d like more ideas on truly unique romantic escapes in Paris, here’s another blog to satisfy those cravings!
Who are Mrs. & Mr. Fly?
Mr. Fly is a central character in the ongoing Kalki Evian series of books. Originally conjured in the fictional narrative to describe an unbiased view of our everyday world, he was soon joined in real life by a jolly Mrs. Fly who taught him how to truly discover pleasures in little things often missed while living out fast-paced lives. As they began exploring, this blog took shape with a view to share what they saw.