Ah, Paris. I've had a long-term love affair with this city since I first visited with my mum and sister all those years ago, although thinking about it, I've always had an infatuation with the place. I've now visited three times, and could honestly visit another three. I will always love it! Here are my top 10 places you just NEED to see and experience whilst you are there:
1. The Eiffel Tower- yes it's cliche, but for good reason! It's breathtakingly tall, and you don't even have to climb it to appreciate it in all it's greatness.
2. Grab some cheese and wine and head to the Notre Dame- one of the best examples of Gothic architecture, it's hard not to fall in love with it! Grab some cheese, a baguette and a cheap bottle of Bordeaux wine and head to the gardens surrounding the Notre Dame and absorb the beauty of the architecture.
3. Climb the stairs in Montmartre to the top of the Sacre Coeur- this is one of the best places in Paris to get a glimpse of the city. It's free to wander inside and check out the very Catholic church detailing.
4. Tuck into a crème brûlée in Café des Deux Moulins- I don't know anyone who doesn't love Amélie, and it's pretty damn awesome to step inside the set of the film in the centre of Montmartre.
5. Visit the Parisian bakeries- even as a coeliac I can often find a cheeky treat that is gluten-free. Dotted all around Paris, I doubt you'll be disappointed by any of the bakery goods!
6. Ride the escalator up the Centre Pompidou- this is a pretty cool building with all the 'insides' of normal buildings being proudly placed on the outside. When I've visited, there's been some pretty good free exhibitions on which are worth visiting. You also get a great view of Paris from the top of the escalators.
7. Visit the Mona Lisa in the Louvre- don't expect much and ensure to visit on the first Sunday of every month for free entry (18-25y/o's are free any day of the week with European ID), but seeing the Mona Lisa is quite surreal and one you won't forget! There's also some pretty good art in the museum too.
8. Admire the lights of the Moulin Rouge- another great place to visit whilst in the characteristic are of Montmartre. You don't have to watch a show and it's impossible not to take some photos in front of the lights!
9. Stand under the Grande Arche de la Defense- La Défense is a major business district in Paris with lots of unusual buildings and has an open air museum. There were also a nice few cafes here when I visited- Jour was one of my favorites.
10. Add a lock to the Pont des Arts- rumor has it the council has removed most of the locks, but there are many locations dotted around Paris with very similar bridges. Add a lock of your own and throw your key into into Seine.
What do you want to see in Paris or what is your favorite attraction?