I’m not usually one to jump on the bandwagon for Blogger competitions, but when I received the invitation from Accor Hotels about where I would love to spend 24 hours, I caved. At the moment I am loving writing about travel and I feel like I have incurable Wanderlust anyway, so why not join the two together and write this post?
The city I chose is a city that I could actually visit if I win this competition so cross everything for me please! And that is the city of love, the beautiful, the mesmorising, one and only, Paris.
It’s strange that seen as France is so close to us, I have only been twice in my life; once on a school trip and once when I was visiting my Uncle in Jersey and we went for the day. It’s one of those countries that is steeped in so much history and natural beauty that I have always wanted to go back, but never found myself booking to go there. I have been to Paris once before, but because it was with school (and we were only 14) I have always craved to go back and sit drinking wine on the banks of the Seine, visit the Sacré Coeur and climb up with Eiffel tower without someone in the year above who thought it would be a good idea to do it in high heels… *side note, it wasn’t and she only got half way*
And here is how I would spend 24 hours there…
Knowing me I would probably book the earliest arriving flight in the country (most probably Ryanair to some obscure sounding airport that isn’t remotely near Paris, but claims to be…) to make sure I got the most out of the day. Either that, or arrive on the Eurostar, clutching my hand luggage in some high(ish) heels, faux fur, bright red lipstick, big sunglasses and maybe a cheeky Fedora, equipped with a map from Gare du Nord to get the real Parisian experience.
After arriving in the city, I would make it my mission to find a true French bakery in order to eat delicious pastries for breakfast, because let’s face it, that is basically a rule when you go to France. About a 15 minute walk from the station, I would visit Rose Bakery on Rue Des Martyrs, which I read about on ‘Time Out’ Paris as doing some of the most delicious baked treats in a cute little cafe setting. Not being a massive coffee drinker usually, I would make an exception whilst in the French capital, and get myself a very tall, sugary coffee to go, to fuel me for my journey ahead.
When I usually visit a new European city I tend to see the sights by jumping on a tour bus; but with only 24 hours in Paris I would definitely take on the city by foot, discovering all the gorgeous architecture, hidden gems and beautiful side streets that you miss when you zoom past (I use the term ‘zoom’ loosely as double decker buses are not known for their speed…)
After refuelling from my early start, I would then make my way over to Sacre Coeur to take in the morning views of Paris. Having taken the perfect Instragram snap of the beautiful, crisp winter’s day, I would make the hour long walk through the city, to the Arc De Triomphe.
After a few snaps of various angle of the second most famous Arc (little bible joke for you there…) I would take a wander down the Champs-Élysées, visiting the French boutiques, quaint bookshops and window shopping at the designer shops. By now I would probably be getting hungry (I mean it is me…) so would pop myself down outside in the winter sunshine and have something to eat, just people watching and taking in the world going by (maybe with a cheeky glass of Prosecco). One of the restaurants I would try and get into is Brassie L’Alsace, mostly because of the reviews I’ve read on Trip Advisor and the fact that I do quite enjoy a bit of French cuisine. From here I would continue on to the Lourve, through the Jardin Des Tuileries, past the Grand Palace, Petit Palais and the Place de la Concorde.
Once I’d had a nosey around the Lourve and saw the Mona Lisa, I would make it my mission to go to my first Sephora on Rue de Rivoli, about a 5 minute walk away. After undoubtedly spending too much money on all the amazing brands we can’t get here in the UK, I think it would be about time to have a much needed sit down, and what better place to do that than on a river cruise down the Seine. By this time in Winter, I can imagine the sun would be setting, making it the perfect time to see the Eiffel Tower lit up in front of my eyes, which is something I have always wanted to see… call me a cliche!
One thing I have always wanted to do in Paris is put a padlock on one of the many bridges over the Seine so I would make sure to do that before the 24 hours came to an end. Also, what I would try to fit in is seeing a show at the Moulin Rouge, being a badass chick and all (hoping you get the reference…)
Because it would take me around an hour to get back to that part of Paris, I would probably treat my feet to an Uber, making me feel hella fancy getting a taxi in a foreign country (but wondering how much I will be charged on my card because of the exchange rate – lame, I know…)
After needing possibly another coffee, but also most probably slightly tipsy from sipping wine with dinner (pretending I totally have the money for this lavish lifestyle) it would, unfortunately, be time to head back to the airport or train station to get back to rainy Manchester to end what would be quite an eventful, jam packed tour of Paris!
Thank you to Accor Hotels for inviting me to write this post and making me fangirl over this beautiful city which now I cannot wait to visit! The competition closes tomorrow but if you would like to read any of the other entries of this competition, search #AccorHotels24hrs on Twitter. The first prize is a 9 night stay for two across Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam, all of which are incredible cities of Europe – so cross your fingers for me!