top of page
  • Writer's pictureNatasha Cara

A Parisian Bucket List (part 3)|Paris Travel Tips

Essential Paris Travel Tips for 2024

If you've been following my blog for a while, I started a mini-series trying to create the ultimate Parisian bucket list. This is the third and final instalment, have a read and don't forget to share with others and save these Paris travel tips for your next trip to the city of love!

31. Swim in an outdoor pool

I've spent the two summers working in Paris and both times we had crazy heatwaves! Each time, I hauled myself to the nearest pool since I no longer had a local beach to go to. Parisian pools are really strange- you need to have a swimming cap and guys can't wear trunks, they have to be in speedos. I've seen a lot of things I wasn't prepared to see! If visiting Paris or its outskirts, I would recommend the "Piscine de la Grenouillière" in Antony, just outside of Paris near the wonderful Parc des Sceaux, it's very quiet and very inexpensive, plus it gets you out of the sweltering hot centre of Paris.

32. See 'The wall of I love you'

I'm not quite sure where I'd heard of this or who had recommended the Wall of I Love You to me. It's a very romantic space, filled with couples. I visited this spot twice, once on my own, which I talked about in my Amelie post, and once with my parents when they came to visit.

Picture of the wall of Love in Paris

33. Drink wine along the Seine

In the summer of 2019, the city tried to clamp down on social drinking outside, particularly drinking alcohol along the Seine. Luckily I spent many summer evenings last year languishing along the riverside, drinking and relaxing.

34. See an exhibition at L’Atelier des lumières

This exhibition was something that I had been desperate to see since last year. Atelier des Lumières is an immersive art exhibition- paintings are projected onto the surrounding space, accompanied by music. Last year the main event was Gustave Klimt, whereas this year the artist of the hour was Van Gogh and his painting Starry Night took centre stage. I saw There were also projections called 'Verse' which was set in space and another centring on Japanese art. If you're in Paris between now and the 2024 Olympic Games the next expo is focused on the Egyptians, you can get your tickets here.

35. Eat some macaroons

This task was pretty easy to accomplish- I held a dinner party for my friends last summer as a final farewell to Paris and I decided to splash out on some macaroons from La durée. I will say, that there are much cheaper options (even McDonald's sells them here). I discovered that macarons are overrated and that I don't like them that much but hey, when in Paris!

Disneyland was everything and more than I could have imagined. I liked Disney as I kid but I wasn't obsessed with it. I always favoured the 'anti-princesses, Alice in Wonderland, Pocahontas, Mulan and Meg from Hercules. Nonetheless, I was determined to squeeze a trip in before I left Paris. And who better to take the trip with than my best friend Holly, who used to work at Disneyland Florida! We had a fun-filled day, hopping between the two parks- and queuing for hours for the rides. Our one mistake was heading at peak time- a sunny September Saturday morning. Despite it being outside of term time, the park was packed with families- more than either of us had anticipated. We even spent 90 minutes queuing for one 5-minute ride. I don't regret the trip- it came at a really good time for me; that week I had been feeling quite low and homesick and this day infected a bit of energy into me that I desperately needed.

37. Have a cocktail at the Rooftop bar "The Generator" near Colonel Fabien

I also ticked this off the bucket list with Holly. The Generator is a hostel located in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, but it's known for its wonderful rooftop bar which is free to enter and open to non-guests. My landlady had recommended this rooftop to me and whilst the Eiffel Tower was out of sight, it was amazing to see the Parisian rooftops glistening in the sunset as well as the Sacré Cœur in the distance.

Sunset view of Parisian skyline

38. Try another rooftop bar at sunset

I also visited another rooftop bar, now known as Le 43 Rooftop later that week. My friend Zara from Durham University was passing through Paris. This rooftop bar is located in a bougie neighbourhood in the 6th arrondissement and is a stone's throw away from the iconic landmark 'Pont Saint Michel" and Notre Dame Cathedrale. Due to the bar's prime real-estate location, we did have to wait a while to head up but we were not disappointed. The drinks were very pricey; my Aperol spritz was 15€ (back in 2019) and I still think that 10€ of that paid for the view!

Grils sat on rooftop with a cocktail in front of the Eiffel Tower

39. Ride an electronic scooter!

This is one thing that I haven't completed yet I'm also in no hurry to. Parisian drivers terrify me- I don't think that people truly understand the meaning of a zebra crossing. People are pretty reckless on the streets- both motorists and people of the 'trotinettes électroniques' and I'm in no hurry to join them. UPDATE As of September 2023, Paris has banned the use of self-service electronic scooters; in part due to the recklessness and abandonment of the vehicles, I can't say that I'm devastated about not ticking this one off the list!

I visited this museum in early September on the first Sunday of the month which most museums have free entry. It's a very small museum and I did all of it in about 50 minutes. If you like Romanticism then I would recommend this museum. There is also a cute tea room which is worth checking out.

Image of the outside of an 18th century white house with green shutters

This museum was the true catalyst for me heading to Giverny. This museum showcases some of Monet's best works and his water lily collection, the museum is also free on the first Sunday of the month like so many others.

42. Do a Street art tour in the 13th arrondissement (Boulevard Vincent Auriol)

I never really venture into the 13th arrondissement but anyone who knows me well can tell you that I'm a great aficionado of street art. I stumbled upon an article dedicated to the boulevard dedicated to finding street art. I had heard this strip was full of bright and often inventive pieces of art so I ventured down one evening after work. I wasn't disappointed. The true tourist in me came out, snapping photos at every chance that I could get. Every so often it's nice to stumble upon new things in your city.

43. Visit the Musee de Picasso

I love Picasso's artwork, he's one of the artists that I desperately have to separate the art from the artists. I had seen one of his exhibitions in Valencia and at the Reina Sofia in Madrid when I heard that he had a museum dedicated to his works I couldn't resist- I had to see it. Whilst his most notable pieces aren't displayed here it was nice to get a snapshot into her personal life- look at the beginnings of his artwork. I was bowled over by the architecture of the museum too.

Ornate gold plated ceiling

44. Try and get into sculpture by visiting Musee Rodin

This museum was a wild card. Rodin is best known for his sculpture and whilst I can say that I know a little about art- sculptures don't fall into my domain of knowledge. Nevertheless, knowledge is power and I decided to go and visit anyway. I was pleasantly surprised by the collection and I especially loved walking through the gardens. I can now say that I have a newfound appreciation of sculpture and how difficult it is to mould and carve something remotely good out of marble and clay.

45. Visit Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny

Myself and the other interns from my company decided to do a group day trip to Giverny in Normandy and it was one of my favourite trips of the year. As much as I love Paris, this concrete jungle can become a little suffocating at times; it's always nice to have the option of retreating to the countryside and breathing in some non-polluted air. Monet's gardens are truly outstanding- I can see why he was perpetually inspired by them. It was also a nice way to bond with the other two interns Elettra and Kaia.

46. Holybelly Coffee Shop for Pancakes

I had been meaning to head to this cafe for the longest time- again I can't quite remember where I heard the recommendation but I'm so glad that me and my friend Marta were able to go- even though we did wait for over 45 minutes to be seated. I loved the pancakes and the vibe is chilled, playing SZA and Frank Ocean- I would say try to get there as early as you can, it's a brunch hotspot for Parisians and tourists alike but well worth a visit.

a girl eating a plate full of pancakes and fruit

47. Go for a walk in les Arènes de Lutéce (5th arrondissement)

Did you know that there's a Roman amphitheatre in the middle of Paris? I didn't either but as soon as I heard about it, I knew I wanted to visit the Arènes du Lutéce just out of sheer curiosity. It's a historical monument and a piece of Roman history. These ancient ruins are usually filled with teenagers kicking around a football but I came one Saturday afternoon and sat down to journal.

48. Place to study- Bibliothèque Mazarine (6th arrondissement)

This is one of the oldest libraries in Paris and unfortunately, I didn't make it to this library- despite writing two assignments for university this summer I was able to squeeze in working during quiet periods in the office- it was extremely empty in August- and I didn't want to spend my evenings at a library. Oh well, maybe next time in Paris I'll pass by.

49. Grab a pastry and a hot chocolate at Pâtisserie Viennoise

Again I didn't quite fulfil this task but I've made up for it by trying plenty of pâtisseries this year and Franprix has taken a cut of my paycheck the amount of money I spend on their croissants! My favourite boulangerie is Leonie in the 17th arrondissement and Cyprien which is in the 9th- they make a delicious choux à la creme- although my heart will forever belong to the millefeuille.

Millefeuille pastry with the book Bonjour Tristesse positioned in the backround
The humble millefeuille: the undisputed best pastry to have ever existed

50. Climb up the Arc de Triomphe or Montparnasse Tower for the views

Now it's free to climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe if you're under 25 and a member of an EU member country (it was good when it lasted right). With a whopping 284 steps, I hauled myself up there twice- the first time with my friends Olivia, Gwen and Amy. I enjoyed it so much- you get an amazing panoramic view of everything- that I decided to go again with my best friend Holly.

51. Visit the Bois de Boulogne for an afternoon.

If you ask any Parisian you'll come to find that Bois de Boulogne has a bit of a reputation at night. It's not necessarily somewhere you would venture on your own unless you're looking for something specific (if that floats your boat). However, when my friend Gwen asked me if I wanted to come with her to see a French adaptation of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in the forest I wanted to go. That day was really special- I haven't acted in a few years but it was heartwarming seeing a live performance of one of my favourite plays take place in the outdoors. I knew the plot inside out but I still could follow the French pretty well which was a huge confidence boost for me.

52. Weekend trip to Bordeaux

I wanted to head out of Paris for just one weekend but I never quite got around to it. Before living in Limoges I didn't have much knowledge of France in general- I'd been to Lille and Calais before and now Normandy but for some reason there was something about Bordeaux which attracted me. Since initially writing this blog post, I've visited Bordeaux three times and I adore this city, keep your eyes peeled for a city guide blog post!

53. Visit the Grand Mosque in Paris and the Institute du Monde Arabe

Last year, I met up with another Durham Student Thomas who studied French and Arabic. He had lived in Paris for a few months and he told me that I had to visit the Grand Mosque and the Institute of the Arabic World if I had time. I made it my mission to do some this year during the Journées du Patrimoine, which is a weekend in early September when a lot of museums and cultural centres in Paris are open and free to visit.

54. Grab a bite to eat at ‘The Hood’- when friends come to visit (11th arrondissement )

Again, another thing that I didn't quite manage to fulfil, it's a wonderful Asian canteen and coffee shop but I'm hopeful that one day when I'm back in Paris I can do everything I wanted to and more!

And there we have it! A comprehensive guide of 54 things to see and do whilst you're in Paris. During my 5 1/2 months there I did so much more than ever could have expected and met so many wonderful people along the way. I truly loved my time in Paris and it holds a special place in my heart- something tells me that this won't be the last time I'll be living in the city of Love and Lights.

Paris me manqueras, merci beaucoup pour tous, j'ai hâte de revenir à l'avenir.

"Paris is always a good idea" - Audrey Hepburn
Eiffel Twoer on a clear blue day shot from below amongst the trees

15 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page