It claims to be one of the most romantic cities on Earth and I had chosen to spend five days in the French capital…as a solo. Being the very last stop on my sixteen-week tour of Europe, I had hoped that I had saved the best for last.
Paris was somewhere I had dreamed about going for a romantic weekend and having lived just a ferry ride away in the south of England for so long, I really had no excuse not to have visited sooner, except that I was of course – single. Being single and romantic European breaks don't usually go hand in hand, or so I thought…
TIP – If you are staying in Paris for a few nights, consider purchasing the Paris Pass. It gives free entry to more than 60 top Paris attractions as well as unlimited use of public transport. You’ll save some money during your trip and also make it easier for you to visit various tourist sites. * Buy the Paris Pass here
Arriving into Paris at night, I felt it – the tingling of excitement as we drove past the Louvre, then the Effiel Tower. The magical feelings that London had once captured, now replaced by the draw of Paris. Okay, so the French accent may have been a plus and the fact that I think French men are the most charming men on the planet but this city was not how I imagined.
I had envisaged couples everywhere, kissing at iconic monuments, holding hands in French brasseries and gazing lovingly at each other on boat trips along the River Seine but there were hardly any couples in sight.
What do I love about it?
Everything. Paris is an amazing city to visit. If you are travelling to Paris alone, here are my favourite places to visit in Paris as a solo.
One big tip – if you are staying in Paris for a few days consider buying a Paris Museum Pass for 2, 4 or 6 days. You can visit more than 60 museums and monuments such as the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe.
Places To Visit in Paris as a Solo
1. Moulin Rouge
In the entertainment district is one of the most famous shows of all, with semi-naked dancers, girls swimming with snakes and a fab ventriloquist to keep you entertained in-between the shows. Did I also mention that you get to drink champagne if you take the package? It's a treat and a night to remember.
- Check prices and availability: Moulin Rouge Show with Champagne
2. Eiffel Tower
Originally built for the World Exhibition in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was designed to be seen from any viewpoint. It’s a well-known landmark that represents the city of Paris. If you plan on visiting the city, you should definitely include the tower in your itinerary and you can always stay nearby in one of Paris' beautiful short term rentals.
Take the elevator up the steel frame for a breathtaking view of Paris or just watch the tower from afar as it lights up and twinkles across the city on every hour. Discover more about the history of this iconic museum with a historic presentation and access to the summit.
- Check availability and prices: Eiffel Tower Summit Ticket
3. Arc de Triomphe
Standing in the centre of a junction known as the Place Charles de Gaulle is the giant Arc de Triomphe. Commissioned by Napoleon, it was built to honour those who fought for France and is the largest arch in the world. It is home to the tomb of the unknown soldier and remains of national importance. Visit the rooftop for panoramic views from the terrace, or spend your evening dancing the night away in the nightclub beneath it!
- Check prices and availability: Arc de Triomphe Rooftop Tickets
The Champs-Elysees is one of the most famous avenues in the world. It’s a great tourist spot to visit, especially if you prefer to look around the city leisurely. Take some comfortable shoes to walk along the wide boulevards, street cafes and Parisian buildings as the avenue is 2 kilometres long!
5. Le Louvre
It's not all about the Mona Lisa (which is really small when you get a chance to see it through the crowds). There are so many rooms in this palace that you can spend hours and hours here and if you love art, Roman sculptures, and Ancient Egypt then you will literally be in your element.
There are more than 30,000 items at Le Louvre so get an audio guide to learn more about this world-renown museum. It does get very busy so be prepared to queue or buy advance tickets to save you waiting in line.
If you want to see all the pieces inside the museum, be prepared to allot half your day going around the place. This way, you can appreciate the artwork and won’t need to hurry to get to the other places on your itinerary in the same morning.
- Check prices and availability: Louvre Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket and Audio Guide
6. Pierre Herme Chocolate
This French pastry chef is famous for his macarons and each year he surprises and surpasses his previous chocolate delicacies with fusions of new flavours such as apricot and pistachio or olive oil and vanilla. Although most people visit Laudree, a famous patisserie along the Champs Elysees, Pierre Herme's should definitely be tried. (Address – 72 rue Bonaparte).
7. Rodin Museum
If you enjoy sculptures then you will love the Rodin Museum – my favourite sculptor and one of the most famous sculptors of our time. The world-renowned works of Auguste Rodin include The Kiss, and The Age of Bronze. Stroll through the sculpture garden for giant sculptures of The Gates of Hell and my favourite; The Thinker.
- Check prices and availability: Rodin Museum Guided Tour
8. River Seine
The most well known of the French Rivers, the River Seine is 800 km long and flows from Dijon in the Alps. A mile and a half of the riverfront is now traffic-free with floating gardens. It’s a great place to visit after a long and busy day. Walk across one of the bridges or take a leisurely boat cruise along it.
9. Sacre Coeur
The Sacre Coeur is a stunning basilica and one of the most iconic monuments in Paris. Originally built from contributions by Parisian Catholics, the Sacre Coeur is on the top of Montmarte hill, with lots of tourist shops for those Parisian gifts (and prints of the Mona Lisa). A visit here is definitely worth the climb up the hill. You could even save the Sacre Coeur towards the end of your trip to shop for some memorabilia you want to take home.
10. Admire the View
You can't come to Paris without seeing a panoramic view of the city and there are a few different places to view the city. You can either see it during the day when the city is busy or at night when all the lights of Paris are on. I chose to climb the spiral staircase of the Sacre Coeur for just €6. There are 300 steps but the view is absolutely worth it.
11. Pere Lachaise Cemetery
Walking around a graveyard may seem like a strange thing to do but I can guarantee you won't be the only one doing it. It is one of the largest cemeteries in France and with fifteen famous people such as Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf buried here, it is definitely worth the spooky visit. It is huge though and very easy to get lost. I actually spent three hours here and left without seeing the tombstones I had come to see.
12. Paris at Night
Exploring Paris at night just highlights how amazing this city really is. If you don't fancy walking around in the evening by yourself then I recommend Discover Walks. Meeting at the Louvre palace, you get the chance to see a different side of the capital and walk around the truly Parisian area of Saint-Germain where the artists and intelligent people hang out.
Five days in this city really isn't enough. There is SO much to see that you will be walking for hours (so wear comfy shoes).
The conclusion – J'adore Paris! I have totally fallen in love with this city and you really shouldn't let being alone stop you from travelling here. It's so easy to get to from the UK with Megabus or Eurolines. Along with London, Shanghai and Dubai, Paris is up there for me.
It's not often I say this but: Paris, I will be back, only next time, it will definitely be on a romantic break – oh la la.
Travelling to Paris
I travelled to Paris from Munich for my very last stop on my Busabout pass – a hop-on hop-off service which I used for most of Western Europe. The hostel the bus drops you at is St Christopher's Canal which is a really clean, sociable hostel with your own curtain for extra privacy! I also stayed at The Loft Hostel, a funky boutique hostel with a fab design. Homelike has also been recommended to me for short lets in Paris although I am yet to use it personally. It could be a good option, especially if you prefer to rent an apartment or studio for yourself.
Tours to France
If you are looking for some company on all or part of your trip, both G Adventures and Intrepid Travel are responsible tour companies and have group tours in France combining other European countries from 8 days to 15 days with prices starting at £909. Booking a tour instead of planning your trip by yourself will save you a lot of time. Additionally, it’ll make your trip less stressful as everything will be prepared for you.
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