Five Things I Wish I Had Done Whilst In Paris

19 March, 2018
Travel blogger, Leigh Travers, sits in front of the Eiffel Tower

Last September I headed to Paris for a long weekend with James to see Bon Iver. For those of you that don't know, Bon Iver are probably my all-time favourite band so when they announced an European tour without a London date, the options were Blackpool or Paris. Obviously, I chose the latter.

I had only been to 'Paris' (you'll understand the quotation marks in a moment) once before in my lifetime, which was when I was a kid and we didn't leave the Disneyland Paris park. In all honesty, I didn't even expect to like the French capital that much upon hearing a few other people's experiences. Whilst our visit did come with a couple of bad experiences, I actually loved Paris much more than I first thought I would. I had always found the idea of it being dubbed 'the most romantic city in the world' a little cringey but we had the most incredible weekend there.


Candid vintage photobooth snaps in front of the Louvre, Paris

We hopped off our Eurostar train without much of a plan but with a scheduled forecast of 27 degrees over the next few days that weekend, our lack of plans didn't really matter. We spent those three days walking as far as we could, stopping off at the typical tourist spots for photos, drinking wine and eating cheese (this was in my pre-vegan days) beneath the blazing sunshine. Honestly, it was perfect.

Although I wouldn't change that weekend for the world, there were a few things that I wish I had seen and done in Paris if we had the time. Here are a few things that are on my bucket list for next time I'm in the city of love:

1. Wander around the Jardin du Luxembourg



The Luxembourg Gardens sit south of the river, cover 25 hectares of land and are split into French and English influenced gardens. It was originally designed for Medici princess, Marie de Medici (1573-1642), who then went on to become the Queen of France.

This inner-city refuge is filled with luscious lawns, lines of trees and flourishing fountains; it's a place of tranquility and beauty where you can step aside from the winding streets of Paris and indulge in a more natural surrounding. The stunning gardens act as a backdrop to the Palais du Luxembourg and the Musée du Luxembourg. It seems like the idyllic place to set up a picnic on a warm summer's day or simply stroll through when the orange tones of autumn hits with leaves crunching beneath your shoes.

Address: Le Jardin du Luxembourg, 75006 Paris, France

2. Explore the catacombs beneath Paris


We actually intended to explore Paris' famous catacombs (also known as "the gateway to Hell") whilst we were in the city but the draw of the endless sunshine that weekend meant we didn't really want to spend it below ground. Also, we made the mistake of not pre-booking our tickets and the queue to get into the catacombs would have taken us a good few hours.

The underground ossuaries house the remains of more than six million people throughout its tunnel network that runs beneath the bustling streets of the French capital. It was originally built to accommodate the overflowing cemeteries in Paris during the 17th century. It definitely would have been incredible to experience the darker side of the supposedly most romantic city in the world, eh?

Luckily as of April, a brand new tour operator named The Paris Guy (sister company of The Roman Guy) will be offering 'Skip The Line' tours for the Catacombs meaning that if you book with them you'll simply stroll past all of the other visitors in the queue. Every tour guide at The Paris Guy is carefully selected through a special screening process to ensure that their guides deliver their customers the most authentic, knowledgeable and enjoyable experience. They promise to provide a one-of-a-kind experience and their guides will even take you to view an area that is usually restricted within the catacombs!

The Paris Guy's manifest is essentially to take their customers out of the lines and completely immerse them within the experience and culture to create a memorable experience. Sounds amazing, right?

Head on over to their website to browse their tours: https://theparisguy.com/tours/France/

3. Eat all of the vegan cheese at Jay&Joy

A post shared by Jay&Joy (@jayandjoymarket) on

Despite the fact I wasn't a vegan when I last visited Paris, I really wish I had stopped by the Jay&Joy vegan cheese shop to taste their plant-based cheeses. As France is a country that is notorious for its love of all things cheese, now vegans don't have to miss out on the experience thanks to the city's first wholly vegan cheesemongers. Pick a cheese from their huge selection, grab a baguette and head to the banks of the Seine to enjoy a light bite like a true Parisian!

Address: 5 Rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris, France

4. Get lost within Père Lachaise Cemetery

A post shared by Rob Middleton (@middlerob) on

Wandering around a cemetery may seems like another slightly morbid activity to do on a city trip but Père Lachaise Cemetery is well-known and often frequented by visitors because of its sheer size with over 69,000 ornate tombs and estimated over a million people buried there. It's also the resting place of notable figures such as Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Frédéric Chopin and more. Apparently, it's the first cemetery that ever put in place a code of conduct as fans would pilgrimage to Jim Morrison's grave to indulge in drugs.

The cemetery grounds are located on a hillside and span over 110 acres of land making it not only the biggest cemetery in Paris but the biggest park too. Towering concrete tombs, intricate sculptures and overgrown headstones cover every inch of the cemetery supposedly making it an interesting and unusual place to explore that is a little off the beaten track.

Address: 16 Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris, France

5.  The colourful houses of Rue Cremieux


It's no secret that I'm a lover of colour and during my travels I usually tend to hunt down colourful little streets to photograph. I discovered the wonderful, multi-coloured side street, Rue Crémieux, whilst scrolling through Instagram before our trip and saved it into my phone with the intention of stopping by to photograph it. Unfortunately, considering I was under the haze of cheap wine for most of the weekend, I completely forgot to visit.

Rue Crémieux is an Instagram hotspot for fashion and travel bloggers thanks to its pastel palette houses and vintage vibe. If you're planning on heading there, make sure you bring a pal to help you shoot some cute pictures for the 'gram.

Address: Rue Crémieux, 75012 Paris, France

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Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with The Paris Guy but all words are my own.

5 comments

  1. Ooh that street with all those colourful houses looks amazing! I'm hoping to make a little weekend trip to Paris this year so definitely saving this for future reference - I *need* to visit that vegan cheese place! xx

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

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  2. Oh my those pretty houses!! I've been to Paris twice (not including Disney!) and had a horrible time both times. I'd love to go again and experience it properly.

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  3. A few tips for some great stuff I haven't heard of in Paris. Love that road of colourful houses, so so pretty! :)

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  4. There is just so much to see and do in Paris it's impossible to see everything in one weekend. We also missed out the Cemetery last time and I really want to go back and do that too

    Laura x

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  5. Paris is famed for the macabre feel and I would love to explore the darker side to the city

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