Jess Buchan

Paris is hardly a city that needs an introduction. Despite being known as the City of Love, Paris has much more to offer than just a romantic spot for a marriage proposal. This huge, historic city has so many hidden gems that it would take a lifetime to discover. Even after visiting four times, I feel like I’ve barely dived past the surface of the city’s intricate layers but that just calls for another Parisian adventure one day! Below are some of the must-do things I’ve discovered so far in the French capital.

the louvre

When in Paris, eat!

If there is one thing you MUST bring to Paris is an empty stomach and loose pants (I guess that’s two things!). Prepare your palette for a sensory overload as you devour delicious French dishes and treats. From buttery croissants and freshly baked baguettes to garlic drenched escargot and coq au vin, there is something for everyone.

For a unique way to start your day, grab some French-inspired goodies and head towards the Eiffel Tower. While sunset is a popular time, I recommend going early and have a French-inspired breakfast picnic when the crowds are minimal and the views are superb.

picnic under the Eiffel tower

Shop til you drop

If you’re a luxury shopper, Champs Elysee is the street you need to be in. High-end labels line the street and you’ll be dazzled by the excessiveness. Galleries Lafayette is equally as glamorous but the elaborate architecture is a must-see even if you are just window-shopping. For funky, one-off designs, head up the hill to Montmartre where boutique and vintage stores will have that special something for you. There also are regular markets happening around the city, which is perfect for that special Parisian souvenir.

Must-see attractions

I like to compare the must-see monuments of Paris to the African Big 5. Instead of large and rare animals, you have elephantine architectural masterpieces! The Louvre, Sacré Coeur, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower are all remarkable buildings that contribute to Paris’ identity.

sacre coeur

As Paris is such a large city, the best way to get around is either by the Metro or by bicycle. The Metro might seem daunting at first but once you work out what stops you need to get to, it becomes a piece of cake! If you prefer to stay aboveground, there are over 23,600 Vélib city bikes that you can quickly sign up for. These city bikes are the initiative of Paris City Council to make Paris city centre a car-free zone.

eiffel tower at night

Do something out of the ordinary

There is an abundance of museums, art galleries and exhibitions you can visit whilst on your trip to the City of Lights. For a more unique experience, why not try a gastronomy bus tour through the city, take a Polaroid photography walk or visit the Catacombs for a bone-chilling adventure.

Where to stay?

Depending on your travel style, there will be an area of Paris that will be the perfect spot for you. If you’re looking for a trendy stay that’s close to the action and filled with shopping opportunities, the Marais neighbourhood is for you. If you’re looking for a bohemian visit a la ‘Amélie’ I recommend looking for a place in Montmartre. To be right in the centre of Paris without feeling like you are, Ile Saint-Louis will be perfect for you.


Apartment rentals and Airbnb have become increasingly popular and often are in the best locations that give you a true Parisienne experience. If hotels are more your style, there are plenty to choose from depending on your budget and travel preference!

Paris, I love you!

I could list all the things to do and see in Paris that are worthy of a visit but in truth, the best way to explore is by wandering the city. You’ll come across little gems everywhere but be prepared to not see it all. Paris is a huge place and it takes a lifetime to discover! So grab your beret and your best walking shoes and be swept off your feet by The City of Love.


Jess Buchan is an Aussie travel blogger who has lived in Europe and loves to share her travel stories on her blog, Instagram @ablondeandherpassport and Twitter @ablondeandher.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the Policy Documents available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.