The tastes of Paris and French culture make traveling to the capital a holiday to never forget.
Paris is one of those destinations that almost everyone wants to go to; for my 21st birthday I got to go back to Paris. I adore France, partially because I grew up in the Alsace region there until I was around five, the people, the food, the wine and the language complete the country and the Parisians really have the perfect way of life.
Staying in the village of Montmartre a neighbourhood of Paris most believe is separate from the centre of the city truly was the highlight of the entire trip. It was like a different world in the little village with flea markets everyday (minus Sunday, France is still a very religious country) there was so much to see and do within Montmartre and in the city centre of Paris.
Located on the top of a hill the small artistic village is well known for the marble white cathedral of Sacré Couer with its Gothic gargoyles protecting the building and thousands of visitors daily – to see the grandeur that is the historic cathedral opened in 1914 or to take part in a daily mass.
Art surrounds the local area with street artists beckoning you in to get a caricature, shops dedicated to selling Picasso replicas or street performers enticing young children to take pictures with them before coming to life or charming little restaurants with waiters dressed in stereotypical French attire, beret included, showing the unique characters that inhabit the area making it such a prime location to visit and live. The bohemian atmosphere is all around.
When night falls the passion filled flashing red lights of the Moulin Rouge light up Montmartre and the local sex shops. From the religious and artistic gatherings during the day to the adventures and risqué antics of the performers at night the small Parisian neighbourhood never sleeps. The Moulin Rouge is the night time statement of the area, helped by Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film adaptation starring Ewan McGregor and love interest Nicole Kidman, with class infused into every flashing light; a show in the Moulin Rouge is not distasteful it is done with respect and class – even if the girls are dancing about half naked, it’s not a sleazy experience but an extravagant performance.
Venturing into the centre of Paris the main attraction is Gustave Eiffel’s Eiffel Tower opened in 1889. The iron built icon has three landings opened to the public with the first and second floors accessible via a flight of no less than 300 stairs, that’s 400 metres up or the height of an 81 storey building, where visitors can look out onto a panoramic view of the entire city of Paris or if you fancy making your wallet a few pounds lighter the gastronomic restaurant of Le Jules Verne is open to the public and has its own private lift entrance – not bad for some. Going up the tower is an experience in itself but with ‘Skip the Queue’ tours and a champagne bar on the third level of the tower the experience can be improved so much (but expect a lengthy wait in line to get to the third level).
When you’re not seeing the sites of Paris the food will leave you in a food coma of pleasure. Fresh fish, fruit, wine and pastries if I were to live in France again I can assure you I would probably gain two dress sizes in a week! Flavour enthused tastes, aromas to make your pallet beg for more and rich colours welcome you to try everything on the menu – and this is just for the wine list. Everything in restaurants compliments each other, from the main to the dessert, the wine to the beer, the fresh morning croissant to the late night prawn kebab caught that day without seeing the sights the food in Paris and France is enough to make the journey memorable.
*The food was just too amazing not to take a picture of and share*
The city is faultless and everyone must try and experience the life of a Parisian at least once in their lifetime.