5 Things You Should Totally Do While In Paris: Nora Fatehi

A city in the world that needs no introduction; Paris! Lovers come here to fall more in love, families come here to learn about the history, tourists and travellers come here to bask in what is known as the ‘Parisian culture’; each person comes to Paris with expectations and more times than not, they leave quite satiated.

I was on a quick trip to Paris last week and thought I would tell you a few things to not miss for sure if you’re on a short visit to the city of love, cheese, wine and more.

Paris will always have something new for you each time you go. But a few things remain constant like the Louvre, the Sacred Heart and the Eiffel Tower of course. These three need to be seen because they tell a story of a different time. But what I want to write about isn’t just what one would see but how one can take in this city with open arms and let the city become part of you too.

Here is how you should see Paris to fall head over heels in love with it in 5 days.

Here is my list of things you should do to feel like a total Parisian.

1. Find the Little Café and Bistros on the Street Corner

“The best and the biggest surprises are the little bistros and cafés all over the place”.

As a traveller the first thing on my mind is to try the local food, I love experimenting with dishes and enjoy trying out what the locals have to offer. There are so many restaurants that these websites talk about but the best and the biggest surprises are the little bistros and cafés all over the place. One might struggle a little with French but don’t let that get you down. French food is diverse and has something for everyone, find what interests you and devour it. My favourite is Steak Frites and delicious buttered fish with Radish, an unlikely combination but as delicious as it gets. I love the Bistro 25 right on the Champs Élysées Avenue for its location, food and ambience.

2. Do the Touristy Things But In a Different Way

“Relax on the Champ De Mars”.

Don’t just go to see the Eiffel Tower. Relax on the Champ De Mars, find yourself a quick bite, walk to the lush gardens around the Eiffel and take in the beauty of this massive structure. Yes, I understand there is a lot to see and do in five days, but the point of a holiday is to relax, what better way than on the grass, watching a huge monument, with the River Seine nearby, nothing gets better.

3. Desserts Desserts Desserts

“When in Paris, there are no rules when it comes to desserts”.

I have a sweet tooth the size of India. And even though I can’t cheat and indulge always in desserts, when in Paris, there are no rules. Try the pain au chocolate, my quick easy fix between meals. It is basically a puff pastry stuffed with chocolate and is delicious with some coffee or hot chocolate. Don’t miss the lemon tart, the éclairs, these delicious chocolate and pistachio rolls (They call them escargots too), stand in line and have a Financier, it is an almond tea cake and trust me, they are AMAZING. Go and find nice gelato and ice cream places, don’t miss the macarons and crepes, lots of places online where they suggest getting them, I think you should try them all and decide for yourself. Also, try these amazing little desserts called Profiteroles; you will not be able to eat just one. Paris is the best place to indulge your sweet tooth and you definitely should.

4. Moulin Rouge

“Don’t miss the Moulin Rouge - the original cabaret of Paris”.

I am sure you would've spent the whole day seeing the Louvre, it does take the whole day so don't skimp out on it. But once done there are two night shows one cannot miss. The Moulin Rouge is the original cabaret of Paris; it is where the Can Can dance form originated. It is scintillating and unforgettable and as someone who loves dance and is a dancer myself, I was mesmerized by the talent and the production. Go to the one near Montmartre, Blanche station. That is the best show there is. If you can't get tickets to Moulin Rouge, try and catch a show of the Cirque Du Soleil.

5. Shopping

“Vacations are taken only to shop”.

I am a typical tourist when it comes to one thing and that is shopping. Vacations are taken only to shop and I truly believe there is no harm in spending on yourself after working hard the whole year. Paris, like Japan gives you a lot of tax back on your shopping. So buy the brands you've been meaning to buy and get some money back in the process. Don't forget to ask before if they are a tax saving shop.

Also, I’d like to say to first time travellers, Paris is beautiful but there are parts of it that are unsafe, please please please take care of your belongings, I have been pick pocketed in this city once and I almost swore never to come back but I did. If you want to have a good holiday, stay safe.

Paris makes you feel rich in culture, style, and class and poor that you don't stay in the city always. It has a beautiful mix of old and new whether that is trends, architecture or people. But I would suggest you go to this city, especially if doing a small trip, with no expectations at all. Let the city do what it does best; take you in and make you fall in love. Which is why when a tourist leaves they always say, “Paris, je t’aime!”

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