Five special places to visit next time you travel to Paris 2 years ago

Five special places to visit next time you travel to Paris

Paris is a special place.

Some will disagree and say it's expensive and touristy but in my experience, the majority agree the city has a distinctive 'je ne sais quai' charm that makes you want to return again and again.

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While the capital of France is renowned for its much-talked about landmarks including The Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, there are some undiscovered treasure troves to prioritise on your next visit.

I've been lucky enough to visit Paris a number of times, both for work and play, and each time I've found a different gem to add to my list of Parisian loves.

Le Grand Musée du Parfum

Perfume is such a personal thing and a scent one person adores, someone else abhors. This tour, priced around the €15 mark, delves into the history of fragrance from the first perfumers to the actual process. If you're a bit confused as to what notes you actually like, this experience gives you the chance to discover every scent imaginable, while also deciding what suits you best.

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Not to mention the stunning interiors and multiple Instagram opportunities. You are in Paris after all...

 

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Drinks on the rooftop of Molitor

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In a word - COOL. For starters, there's a car in the lobby. It's effortlessly chic, the hotel equivalent of the classmate everyone wanted to copy in school. There's a huge pool with an impressive history, inaugurated in 1929, the swimming baths were the most popular in Europe for a time.

Nowadays, there's a Clarins Spa to which you can retire for a signature relaxing treatment and after that, you'll want to grab yourself a table on the rooftop. The bar and restaurant overlook the pool but aside from that, you get a stunning view of Paris away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. The sun on your back and a chilled rosé in your hand, you'll soon get into holiday mode. Take it from me, Molitor is not to be missed.

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Take a walk through Montmartre Cemetery 

While a graveyard wouldn't normally feature on my list of recommendations, Montmartre is so much more than just a cemetery. Famous French writer Emile Zola is buried here, as is the esteemed artist Edgar Degas and people have been known to spend hours, wandering around, checking each inscription.

Some tombs are grand, others are falling into disarray but this just adds to the otherworldly feel of the 18th arrondissement. When you're there, make it your business to trek to the top of Montmartre Hill where the views are truly breathtaking.

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Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Although there are a number of parks in Paris, this one is a hidden gem that you would completely miss unless told about it or you accidentally happened to stumble upon it...as often happens in a city as gorgeous as this one. It's located in the 19th arrondissement, not far from Montmartre so you can make a day trip of it.

The park includes a suspension bridge, waterfalls, lakes, caves and a grotto with luscious green lawns, perfect for munching on baguettes and cheese. It was constructed on a quarry which lends to the varying levels and heights of the 25-hectare park and a lazy afternoon here will show you another side to a place often scoffed at as 'too touristy'.

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Place de Valois and Palais Royal

Parisian architecture at its most stunning. Place de Valois is a charming courtyard that houses Bistro Valois,  where you can dine outside and people-watch to your heart's content. Close by is Palais Royal, a palace steeped in history, grandeur and culture. In years gone by, the Palace was frequented by Dukes and Duchesses, today it houses the Constitutional Council and the Ministry of Culture.

The Palace also houses Les Deux Plateaux, often referred to as the Colonnes de Buren, an art installation dreamed up by artist Daniel Burren in 1985. At the time, it was criticised for what some saw as damage to a historic space but others would argue that it is the marriage of old and new.

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