Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris
What an amazing base for our weekend in Paris! A magnificent view of the Cathédrale Notre Dame and a perfect day to enjoy it: strolling the banks of the Seine, perusing the stalls of the bouquinistes booksellers along the Quai Saint Michel.
Pont des Arts
Long known as a destination for couples to attach padlocks engraved with their initials before throwing the locks’ keys into the Seine as a sign of their commitment, the Pont des Arts is now boarded up to prevent any more locks being added in an effort by the city to preserve the heritage of the monument. The boards are completely covered in graffiti and new padlocks continue to be added to padlocks…
Jardin des Tuileries
A stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries never fails to reward with some of the most beautiful sights to be seen in Paris – beautifully manicured gardens, locals enjoying their time in the most parisien of ways, and glimpses of the Tour Eiffel in the distance…
We discovered this restaurant almost 10 years ago, when we lived on the top floor of the building that houses this Japanese restaurant in the 1ère arrondissement. Seduced by the scent of onions frying and chicken grilling from the ground floor, we soon became regulars and have been returning on each visit to Paris ever since. The locals seem to have caught on as well, with long queues now the norm at lunchtime. Higuma’s gyoza and katsu don dishes never disappoint.
This market street is a foodie’s dream – scents of rotisserie chicken, succulent strawberries and freshly-baked bread; sights of fresh king crab claws and sea snails for sale; and opportunities to sample cheeses, patés and mustards. A delicious way to spend a morning.
Rue Mouffetard and surrounds
It pays to pay attention to the surrounds as you pass through the streets of the 5ème arrondissement nearby to the markets at Rue Mouffetard – quirky store names and shopfront signs, surprisingly beautiful street art and even the occasional vintage french motor vehicle…
Jardin du Luxembourg
A spot for both relaxation and recreation, the charm of the Luxembourg gardens can be enjoyed in many ways – taking a leisurely stroll, sipping coffee while on a garden chair by the pond, practicing tai chi, playing some tennis, or joining the mob of joggers around the perimeter.
As we crossed the Pont de L’Archevêché en route to the Île Saint-Louis it seemed amourous couples had found a replacement for the boarded-up Pont Des Arts and were starting to declare their love by attaching padlocks here instead. Love continued to be in the air on the Île Saint-Louis, with couples enjoying time along the Quai d’Orléans, watching dogs swim and street artists perform, or simply enjoying the sunshine.
In the creative hub of the Marais district one can find many examples of artistic expression – from poetry, wordplay and interactive sculpture exhibitions in the street, to bakeries specialising in phallic-shaped loaves and sweet treats…
Paris by night
A sunset promenade by the Tour Eiffel and an evening saunter along the banks the Seine show Paris at its picturesque best.
Gare Du Nord
As our much-too-brief-visit to the city comes to an end and we board the Thalys train back to Brussels, the exposed structure of the interior of the train station presents us with a final chance to be wowed by the wonder and beauty to be found in the most unexpected places in the enchanting city of Paris.