5 relaxing things to do in Paris.
I’ve previously mentioned the advantage of bank holidays and using them as one of the ways to go travelling. Well, during the second May Bank Holiday, my sister and I took said advantage of the long weekend to chill out in Paris.
Having been a couple of times previously, from uni trips to Fashion Week, my sister invited me off the back of a conference that she was attending the Friday of. Personally, I’m not a massive fan of art and there were a couple of other things that I said to her to do on the Saturday before I arrived. While worth doing at least once, the Louvre and Sacré Coeur are not at the top of my list for must-dos each time I come back to the City of Amour. So instead of doing my usual wake up crazy early and get the first form of transport out, I actually took the opportunity to sleep in and make my way casually down to Paris for the Saturday evening.
The idea was that it was a chilled weekend, no rushing. So I asked my sister what she wanted to do - and then I added a couple of my own must-dos in. This is what I would recommend for a long weekend in Paris:
1. Eat crepes from a street stall. I love the cafes, but there is nothing quite like a fresh crepe made for you to walk along the Rue de Rivoli, trying not to keel over in delight. My choice? Nutella and banana.
2. Walk up the Arc de Triomphe. Quite honestly, I’d say this was a better alternative to climbing the Eiffel Tower - I know, shocker! But if you go at the right time and have a European passport and are under 26, you not only get to the top within minutes of arriving, but also get to climb it for free. Personally I also think the views are better, I’m just saying…
3. Have a coffee and people watch (in cafe near Hotel de Ville/Shakespeare and Company). People watching is just a natural given in Paris. The city is designed for exactly this purpose. Cafe chairs face the open streets, chairs lined around the parks. Take the time to grab a “noisette” and watch the Parisians sashay by, the tourists gabble and the god awful traffic create some kind of commotion.
4. Shop in the Marais. I’ve mentioned the Marais in a previous post and I will say it again: go shopping there! Two years later I found two more bags from the same trunk in Free P’Star for £30: in total. You cannot beat an actual vintage price for well-designed second-hand goods. And if you have a little more to splash, you could also check out a Kilo Shop (where you pay a certain amount and fill your bag with as much as possible).
5. Enjoy a drink on the Seine. The river is gorgeous to walk along anyway but I cannot believe I have not discovered the sheer peace and joy from grabbing a glass of something on the Seine and maxing out. It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday night and many groups even brought picnics. Parfait!
Bonus: take it slow. This city was not made for rushing in. It’s just the way things are. We picked two key things to do in two different arrondissements on Sunday and Monday which, as long as we got to at some point on each day, the trip was fulfilled. Everything else we did because it happened to be on the way, or we happened to have some spare mooch time. I’m talking Shakespeare and Company, the Elizabeth II Flower Market and the full Champs Elysées. Take it slow. It’s the Bank Holiday after all!
C’est tout. Is there anything that would add?