An ideal day out for anyone visiting Paris could only start with a true continental breakfast of typical French pastries, whether that involves a croissant, a pain au chocolat or both! As Paris is a city, it may not come as a surprise to you that all day, every day people seem to be in a rush. To truly blend into the Parisian way of life, breakfast should be eaten on the go, preferably on a metro on the way to a fashionable cultural experience in the form of shopping.
Shopping can then be followed with lunch at Montmartre by the Sacré Coeur, the highest point in Paris overlooking the city. Best known for its arty background with the likes of Dali, Picasso and Van Gogh having spent most of their artistic career within the area, plenty of small, cosy and candle-lit cafés can be found which are perfect for a light lunch; whether it be a savoury or sweet crêpe, a croque monsieur or an omelette, there’s generally something for everyone. And why not treat yourself to a glass of wine with your lunch? It is Paris after all! If there’s time, and you fancy a bit more culture, it’s free entry into the Sacré Coeur itself and it’s quite impressive to say the least.
Not far away from the Sacré Coeur is the Champs-Elysées. Get off at the metro stop ‘Charles de Gaulle Etoile’ and you will find yourself standing in front of the Arc de Triomphe, another impressive sight which is free for students to climb up for a perfect view of Paris and the Champs-Elysées. The walk along the Champs-Elysées is certainly an intriguing one with the queues of Louis Vuitton and Abercrombie and Fitch on one side and the Disney store on the other. Whether you have the money to spend or not, almost every shop is worth having a look in for the experience and the people-watching opportunity.
Off a road at the end of the Champs-Elysées down towards Place de la Concorde is an Italian restaurant called PastaPaPa. Not only is it delicious, but the portions are extremely generous and considering it’s just off the Champs-Elysées the pricing is definitely affordable! The way PastaPaPa works is that on their menu they have a choice of pasta types (penne, tufoli, farfalle, etc) and they have a list of 30 plus sauces. You choose your pasta type, and sauce, and it is brought out in a family-sized dish all for you!
You cannot leave Paris without experiencing the infamous Parisian nightlife. There are lots of café/bars which are perfect for the lead-up (wine is advisable, as it is most probably the cheapest drink on the menu) to a club called Queenie, just off the Champs. It is a gem of a nightclub, with all the club classics and a small but snug dance floor. It’s recommended to go VIP, which includes your own personal seating area, a decent-sized bottle of vodka along with orange, cranberry juice and cola.
By Sophie Spirit
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham