My Paris | A Perfect Day
In my Paris, days are not spent lining up at museums packed with tourists nor spent trudging with a million other people along the busy streets of Île de la Cité (believe me, it can be grim, yes even in Paris). I always (always) visit the Musee Marmottan Monet; an old hunting lodge on the outskirts of Paris that holds over three hundred works by Claude Monet (the largest collection in the world). I discovered it by accident a few years ago, and for those who love Monet - it is an absolute must see. I remember my first visit; descending the stairs into the darkness of the basement gallery and being surrounded by his beautiful masterpieces. Tears ran down my cheeks like an overwhelmed groupie as I sat for long, long moments in front of each painting before moving onto the next. Did I also mention that unlike the bigger galleries, there are only ever a handful of people there at one time?
The Musee d’Orangerie is another must do (if you can catch the right time of day when the crowds are smaller) the oval viewing room of Monet’s Nymphéas is unforgettable (Tip: Take the audio guide option – I don't normally bother at art galleries, but this one is really interesting).
Shopping in Paris spans an entire range of budgets – from the international chain brands of Zara and H+M to the haute couture houses of Dior and Chanel. The upmarket department store Galeries Layfeyette has an extensive range of local and international designers and the lingerie floor is worth a visit alone (Tip: Visit the rooftop terrace for great views of the Opera House and the sprawl of Parisian rooftops beyond). For less mainstream shopping, the streets of Le Marais are filled with quirky boutiques and edgy designers and you can get happily lost amongst the maze of streets. Take your credit card. You will not regret it, I promise!
Tired of digesting all that art and shopping and need some time out from the busy Parisian streets? Then I suggest taking a late afternoon stroll through the Jardin du Luxembourg (make sure to stop and admire la fontaine Médicis) or the Jardin des Tuileries (Tip: I think the best people watching in Paris is done here) before heading out for a glass (or 2...or 3) of champagne and a long, relaxing dinner.
On our latest trip to Paris, we had the luxury of experiencing a wonderful private city tour with the charismatic (and very knowledgeable) Cedric. Cedric will pick you up in one of his little Citroën 2CV’s, settle you in the back seat (with a bottle of champagne!) as he guides you around the secret corners of the city. It’s ridiculously romantic and Paris absolutely dazzles and shines before you at that time of night. The best part is that you can tailor the tour to exactly what you want to see so you aren’t forced to go anywhere you don’t want to (Cedric is a mad Midnight in Paris fan and will happily take you to all the film locations if you are too). Cedric always makes sure you are back at the Eiffel Tower for the 12am light show. It was a major highlight of our time in Paris and I highly recommend it to anyone who would like a unique view of the city. It really was a perfect end to a perfect Parisian day.
|| So tell me, what does your perfect day in Paris look like? ||