Whenever anyone ever tells me that they don't absolutely LOVE Paris I just tell them that they've just not done it properly... Believe me, if you did Paris my way you would have no choice but to fall in love.
This year for my birthday the boy whisked me off for a whirlwind 2 day adventure in beautiful Paris. Now, when you've only got 2 days (1 and a half days really). Every, Minute, Counts. Organisation is key. You can't do everything but you have just about enough time to do all of your absolute favourite things. Not sure what they are yet? Suivez moi!
Step 1. You need to wake up early. This isn't about having a relaxing weekend, no sir there's a lot of ground to cover. But trust me, it's so worth it. Grab a croissant to go, literally any semi decent looking boulangerie will do, it will still be better than any pastry you've ever had at home. Top tip, If there are locals in there buying the bread - it's gunna be good. The french don't suffer bad baguette. FACT.
Hop on the Metro to Concorde and start your morning stroll through the Jardins des Tulleries heading in the direction of the Louvre. Make a quick pit stop at Angelinas for the best, most decadent hot chocolate you will ever have in your life. Try and get there before 10am if you want to avoid the ludicrous queues. Once you're sufficiently sugared up keep making your way towards the Louvre. Now if you had oodles of time you could obviously go in and check out the Mona Lisa and the billion other amazing things hiding in there but when you're on a tight schedule, aint nobody got time for museum lines and the absolute fortress that is the Louvre. If you're anything like me, just looking at the buildings blows me away enough to not need to go inside.
We snuck past the tourists and crossed the Seine towards the most beautiful little courtyard called Square Rene Viviani that was covered head to toe in red roses (June is a beautiful time to visit).
From here, It's just a short walk to the Pantheon, a beautiful gothic church which is the resting place of Victor Hugo, Marie Curie and Voltaire to name just a few. Try and time it so you can buy tickets to see the view of the city from the top, it's a different perspective from ones you see in photos all the time so definitely worth the money. We missed it this time and weren't prepared to wait 30 minutes for the next session but if you're better organised than us make sure you check times before you go.
If you get lucky with the weather, then head next to the jardin des plantes which directly translates to the garden of plants. It's probably not somewhere to go in the winter but in Spring, Summer and Autumn it's one of the most beautiful parks in the whole of Paris. In June it's in full bloom and just like something out of Alice in Wonderland. Dreamy A F.
Believe it or not we strolled through the gardens and even stopped and sat on a bench for a while to soak it all in....but before long we were up again and headed back full circle towards Notre Dame.
Next, make a pit stop at one of the cutest little restaurants/cafes in Paris, Au Vieux Paris where you'll be treated to some of the best people watching in town.
Now i know what you're thinking. Maddie, you've not eaten all day, what's that all about?! Don't fret, this was all about to change as we wondered towards my favourite area of Paris, le Marais. More specifically, Rue des Rosiers where you'll find the best Fallafel and savoury crepes you'll ever eat. Yes there will be queues but trust me it's worth it. The road is also home to my favourite tea room in the world, Loire dans la theiere. It's home made cakes at their absolute best. Again, expect queues i'm afraid (nothing this good stays a secret), make sure you go hungry the portions are american sized and whatever you do try the lemon meringue tart. It's life changing.
After tea and cake we decided it was just about time for cocktails! We headed to le Pechoir, a fab rooftop bar that's very Shoreditch vibes. I can't remember how many amaretto sours we had but i can tell you, they were bloody good.
We stayed for a few hours before heading to our last destination of the day, the one place that epitomises Paris and we were chasing the sun to get there in time for sunset.
I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.
Day 2 we headed to my second favourite area of Paris, Montmartre. Head to the love wall before making your way toward Sacre Coeur.
From here you'll get the most panoramic views of Paris, sit on the steps and soak it all in before heading to the right of the church towards the famous Place du Tertre.
Here you can find the most amazing art of all kinds and even get a life drawing or caricature done if you're patient enough to sit for one. Once you've visited the square simply follow your nose and wonder around all of the many cute little streets, don't worry too much about which ones just go with the flow.I promise, you'll soon find some of the cutest little cafes, restaurants and shops that are so quintessentially French you'll feel like you're really experiencing the really, authentic part of Paris that's gone unchanged for years.
If you're anything like me and enjoy a little snoop you'll even make time to poke your nose around the many beautiful little cul-de-sacs with their uniquely shaped houses. I'll take the one with the blue shutters please!
And just like that it was time to go home. It was simply the best birthday weekend i've ever had. I would love to know what your favourite cities are. Leave me a comment below with your recommendations, i'd love to add a few to my list for next year!