Visiting Paris in the Easter break was one of the best traveling decisions I’ve ever made – I know I say this everytime I come back from a trip, but I have to admit: I’m a pretty darn lucky person when it comes to traveling!
I’d been to Paris once before this Easter trip. It was last June and somehow similarly to my experiences in Amsterdam, the second time coming back to Paris was when I officially fell truly, deeply, madly in love with this city.
Paris is the dream city. For me. I don’t even know how to fully express this feeling – There’s a kind of feeling that apparently can’t always be explained in words, but you just need to feel it – love. Paris is the city of love, isn’t it what people say? Couples travel here on their weddings, honeymoons, holidays. But I feel like Paris is already my perfect partner even when I visit “him” on my own.
We can’t talk about Paris without mentioning Montmartre, a gorgeous hill and also the only hill in the city. It’s definitely my go-to destination in Paris now. I was lucky to stay in a hotel very close to Montmarte thereby I could walk to my favorite place whenever I wanted.
From the bottom of the hill, you can get on a funicular to get to the top, or alternatively, I would always get there on foot – because I’m always down for lovely walk, especially since the views on the way up are so beautiful, which leads to perfect photo ops.
Montmartre is dominated by the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, located at the top of the hill and also the highest point of Paris. Sacré-Cœur is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, perhaps that’s why the church exudes a holy aura that hypnotized me (and pretty much anyone else) the very first time seeing it.
Montmartre often gets extremely packed on sunny afternoons, when people gather there to enjoy the sunshine and the view from the top of the hill.
A very interesting spot in Montmartre is the skewed house that is very popular on Instagram. I genuinely had thought the house was skewed, then when I got to see it with my own eyes, I realized it was the angle from which the photo was taken that tricked the viewers.
One thing you can’t miss and probably won’t want to miss in Montmartre is Artists’ Square, which gathers many skilled artisans, caricaturists and painters. They may grab you while you are walking around and showing their incredible skills by sketching or caricaturing your face; some artisans can craft your site profile on a piece of paper while casually talking to you, complimenting your looks and asking where your boyfriend is because you’re enjoying your time alone (LOL). I was most impressed with the Parisian painters who create such brilliant drawings of many places in Paris, from Tour Eiffel, Pont de Arts (the used-to-be love lock bridge) over La Seine (Seine river), to the houses of the Parisian architecture on empty streets. Apparently it was not possible to take close-up photos of their works so that I could show you how amazing and real those paintings looked, which I totally respect.
Artists’ Square also has many restaurants, cafés and bars so you surely won’t have to worry about your empty tummy when you need to recharge your energy after spending some time exploring the hill. I had the chance to have breakfast and lunch in 2 different restaurants in the Square, which were La Cremaillere and Chez Eugene, respectively. They were both nice places to eat, and I specially recommend La Cremaillere because they serve really good Nutella Crepes and have a perfect location, which allows you to enjoy your meal while having a nice view of the whole Square.
I absolutely adore the cute little shops and restaurants in Montmartre, which would be best taken on early mornings (8-9am), when most of the stores are usually opened and set up, otherwise you may have to deal with tons of tourists, who might make it harder for you take artistic photos, unless your idea is to photograph a busy and touristy Montmartre.
One of the prettiest places in Montmartre:
The La Maison Rose restaurant is so picturesque, and the perfect pastel pink-green color combination explains why.
I did not at all plan on wearing an outfit that perfectly goes with the restaurant’s pastel wall, but again, I was lucky!
When I realized that my outfit and the restaurant as the background could make an esthetic picture, I decided to ask some random tourists to photograph me. Fortunately, I met Aurora and Alice, two of the loveliest strangers I’ve met in my life, and Aurora totally nailed it when she took those photos for me. Bless them! It’s such a pleasure to make new friends from all around the globe everywhere you go.
Notre-Dame de Paris
Once you already are in Notre-Dame, why not climbing to the top to admire the whole Paris from up high? It’s nearly 400 steps to get to the top but trust me, it’s worth it!
La Seine and the Ponts
One word only: romantique.
Shakespeare and Company
The most popular bookstore in Paris. I literally felt like Belle when I got inside this cozy store! Photography was not allowed yet the outside of the shop was picture-perfect to compensate.
Musée du Louvre
Hôtel de Ville
As someone who’s crazy over colorful houses, Rue Crémieux was one of my must-visits in Paris. And nothing to discuss – this colorful street totally got me! I’d call it “the Parisian version of Bywater Street in London”!
Throughout my time in Paris, I kept asking myself questions like: “Why do I come to you now Paris? How come not earlier and really enjoyed it just like now?”
Paris was treating me nicely. Even though I fall for the city’s charm a bit later, there is no regret. I finally found my #7 mistress*, and I’m more than happy to take part in this affair every weekend (if I have time and money of course), since Paris is only a 2 hours away by train from London.
“Have you been in a situation where you meet someone for the first time, you immediately click with them then gradually develop a crush on them, and although knowing it’s still early to call it “love”, you know the crush probably won’t fade away? Did someone appear in your mind just now? For me, that special someone is Paris ❤️” (Juliey Pham, 2017)
Text and photography by ᴊᴜʟɪᴇʏᴛʜᴇ1sᴛ
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*I often call my favorite cities “my mistresses” (next to “my husband” – my most favorite city – Oxford) and number them in no particular order:
#1 mistress: London🇬🇧
#2 mistress: New York City🇺🇸
#3 mistress: Saigon🇻🇳
#4 mistress: Santorini🇬🇷
#5 mistress: Venice🇮🇹
#6 mistress: Mdina🇲🇹
#7 mistress: Paris🇫🇷