The Best of Paris: Paris Walking Guide

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After more than a hand full of visits to Paris over the past few years, I’ve come to learn that in order to know Paris one must visit often but never too often, so as to keep the love for Paris alive. Over the years I have also learned that the guidebooks are typically wrong and the best of Paris must be found beyond the overpriced cafes, beyond the “best” neighbourhoods (each offers their own unique flair) and beyond the French stereotypes.

I have also learned that to truly be a part of Paris you must walk. Thus for miles and miles I have walked all over Paris throughout the years and on my last visit I finally started to feel as though my relentless self-guided walking tours have finally come to cover the best that Paris has to offer. So if you’re looking for neighbourhoods to wander, below are my top highlights!

The Heart of Paris

There’s a lot to see in Paris by way of attractions, but you will soon find these are spread widely apart and a better plan of action is to wander at leisure, stumbling across the big names as you venture on. Starting in the 1st arrondissement, you will find plenty of charming cafes dotting Rue Rivoli, also known as the home address to the Louvre Museum. This street is also a mecca for international shopping brands, though there are plenty of prettier places to shop in Paris so better to leave the temptations until later.

After strolling past or through the Louvre (depending on your tolerance for queues), be sure to venture onwards through the Tuileries gardens. Here you can enjoy a light snack at one of the pop up stalls or carry on walking away from the crowds.

Near to the Louvre museum you will find a concept store that has become a destination in itself; Colette. Here you can find a range of goodies, from fashion through to tech gear. My favourite part of the store is the book selection as they offer a few hidden treasures in both French and English.

If you’re looking for dinner in the heart of Paris, try the typically French (and outrageously delicious) Racines – a classic but contemporary bistronomique.

La Marais Montmartre in Spring | World of Wanderlust Le Marais | World of Wanderlust

Le Marais

It was only in the last couple of years that I was properly introduced to Le Marais and only on my recent visit to Paris that I really started to explore this arrondissement more in depth. Le Marais is a renowned eating neighbourhood in Paris and thus best visited around lunch time so you can truly appreciate all the offerings.

Walking around the area without a mapped plan is typically the best way to see Le Marais. Be sure to make a pit stop at Place des Vosges to catch a little summer sun and if you’re looking for a sweet treat to accompany you, Carette have some of the best salted butter caramel macarons I have ever tasted.

Read more: A Complete Guide to Le Marais.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Walking-tour-Paris Angelina_Paris_Pastries

Saint-Germain-des-Prés

For a very long time this has been my favourite neighbourhood in all of Paris. That is, of course, until I recently started to discover Le Marais after being taken out to dinner there by a Parisian, followed by staying in Le Marais on my most recent visit to Paris. But back to Saint Germain!

This area is renowned for its boutique shopping, particularly if you enjoy nabbing a vintage bargain. The area also has many cafes worth visiting, including the famous (and famously busy) Cafe de Flore &  equally famous Deux Margots.

Walking around the arrondissement, be sure not to miss the chance to stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens – some of the prettiest in the entire city. I find this area most enjoyable in the later afternoon, coupled with an afterwards visit to the Latin Quarter for a cheap evening meal.

Read more: A complete guide to Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Latin_Quarter_Eats_Paris

The Latin Quarter

I come to the Latin Quarter in Paris for one main reason: the food. The food in the Latin Quarter comes from all over the world (though really centres around Moroccan, Asian, and Middle Eastern cuisines), it is cheap and it is darn good.

You can’t go wrong with a street serving of falafel or a kebab, but if you’re looking for specifics:

Little Cantine – Jolly good burgers.

Maoz – Vegetarian falafel in pita bread or salad bowl.

Au P’tit grac – Desserts & Pastries.

La Maison de Verlaine – Typical French food.

Coutume Instituutti – The best coffee in the neighbourhood.

Chez Nicos – Crêpes.

Paris in Spring | World of Wanderlust Spring_In_Paris

Ile de la Cité & Île St-Louis

Onwards and beginning to cross the Seine River, you will find yourself almost immediately in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, home to one of the best views in Paris if you are willing to withstand the queue to enter the towers (located on the left of the cathedral when facing it).

Also impressive and if you ask me not to be missed is Saint Chapelle, just a five minute stroll from Notre Dame and with the most impressive stained-glass windows you will find in Paris and perhaps all of Europe!

Although this is an incredibly small area to walk around, navigating your way through the winding streets and alleys will lead to hidden treasures. From Ile de la Cité be sure to wander onwards to Île St-Louis for arguably the best ice cream in Paris at Berthillon.

Paris in Spring | World of Wanderlust Montmartre Paris | World of Wanderlust Paris_In_Spring

Montmartre

No matter what the naysayers will lead you to believe, I am whole heartedly of the opinion that some of the best of Paris is still located in Montmartre. Sure, it is more touristic nowadays and many artists cannot afford the hiking rent, but remember there are two ways to see Montmartre:

The first is to wander the backstreets, get lost, find hidden gems, stop for coffee, bite into a crêpe while you stroll the streets and discover why this has for centuries been the Artist Quarter of Paris.

The second is to walk up the stairs to Sacre Couer, snap a view of smoggy Paris, allow yourself to be conned into a cartoon drawing of your best-dressed-self and pay for an overpriced meal in the al fresco dining area.

I’ll leave it up to you! Somewhere between the two (leaning towards the former) usually works. Or, you can follow this route:

Take the metro to Abbesses station where you will enter the heart of Montmartre, make your way up the hill towards Sacre Coeur, wander back through the alleyways and stumble upon the Moulin Rouge, followed by an interesting stroll back to Pigalle metro station.

Read more: A Complete Guide to Montmartre.

The Amalfi Coast Map & Towns to Visit

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With the world’s best pizza, colourful houses that charmingly line the cliffs and beautiful beaches to let the hours pass you by, the Amalfi coast is one of Italy’s most loved holiday destinations and it is hardly difficult to see why. For first time visitors to the Amalfi Coast, below you will find a complete guide to the towns and islands to visit during your stay to make this trip one of the most memorable of a lifetime!

Amalfi coast map Where to find the Best Pizza in Naples

1. Naples

What more is there to say about Naples other than it is the birthplace of pizza? Obviously there is a lot more that could be said, but really this is the most prevalent reason visitors flock to Naples – to sample all the many incredible pizza offerings. For a full guide to Naples pizzas (or at least, my fave picks), here is a list of where to get the best pizza in Naples.

How to spend a weekend in Sorrento

2. Sorrento

Sorrento is the first town travellers come to when visiting the Amalfi Coast and thus a popular place to base yourself, as the hotel offerings are plentiful and it is easy to reach the rest of the Amalfi Coast towns from Sorrento. This town is also a little more active than other parts of the Amalfi Coast as it is both a resort town as well as home to many locals, so it would be my preferred town for night ambience and restaurants, especially if you are visiting during the low season. See here for a weekend guide to Sorrento.

A Quick Guide to Capri | World of Wanderlust

3. Capri

Capri is the Amalfi Coast’s most popular island and for decades has been the favoured holiday destination of affluent travellers. The prices are sky high both for accommodation and restaurants, but the good news is you can still visit Capri during the day to avoid the price dampener – just pack a picnic lunch! For those who don’t have a budget, by all means, head for Capri! It doesn’t get much more glamorous than this. Read more: A Quick Guide to Capri.

Le Sirenuse Positano

4. Positano

Positano is for me the pick of the Amalfi Coast towns. Incredibly picturesque and impossibly charming at every turn, there really is no way you could come to Positano and not enjoy your time here. We visited during Spring when the flowers were all in full bloom, arguably making this the best time of year to visit before the summer crowds arrive. Read more: A Quick Guide to Positano.

Guide to the Amalfi Coast | World of Wanderlust

5. Amalfi

One final town that cannot go without mention is located just beyond Positano and named after the area itself (or vice versa); Amalfi. This is the final town on the mainland of Italy that is regarded as a must see when visiting the Amalfi Coast and while charming to the eye, it isn’t nearly as picturesque as nearby Positano (however both are great to visit). Amalfi is located approximately 40 minutes from Positano and most easily accessed by the SITA bus (which also connects the rest of the Amalfi Coast). Just be sure to buy your bus tickets in advance from local caffe bars or look out for the black and white “Tabacchi” sign out the front.

From Sorrento, I would also recommend taking a bus, vespa or car to visit nearby Ravello, located a short drive up the hill and offering sweeping views of the coast. This town was a hidden gem!

A Quick Guide to Capri | World of Wanderlust

Of all the Amalfi Coast has to offer, the only two locations we did not get a chance to visit during our time there were Ischia and Procida. I really wish we had more time to visit these two as well(but even if we had have spent a month there, it still would not have been enough!) But alas, the show must go on! Here’s a little break down of what to expect when visiting the two other islands on the Amalfi Coast: Ischia and Procida.

6. Ischia

Lying approximately 30 kilometres off the coast of Naples is Ischia, a volcanic island that boasts thermal spas, hot springs and volcanic mud. The island is sizeable enough to spend at least a few days here, though you can also visit by day ferry from Naples.

7. Procida

Said to be the best kept secret of the Amalfi Coast, Procida flies under the radar compared to its neighbour Ischia and further afield Capri. Colourful buildings line the bay and with little tourist visitation, the experience in Procida remains a much more authentic offering to those willing to go somewhere a little more off the beaten path.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

Is the Eurail Global Pass worth it?

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On our recent trip to Europe we visited a few countries over the course of a month – including a number of cities and towns in Switzerland, a handful of cities in Italy, the countryside of France and of course, Paris.

As train connections throughout these three countries are extremely frequent and reliable, we decided to travel the entire journey by train – even though some of the destinations we wanted to visit were a bit out of the way or hard to reach by train, we still managed to take most of the journey by rail (albeit for a ferry ride or two!)

For our three weeks in Europe we used a 22 day Eurail Global Pass for the purpose of review here on the blog. So – what did we think? Is the Eurail Global Pass really worth it?

Eurail global pass countries

What is the Eurail GlobalPass?

In simplest terms, the Eurail Global Pass is a ticket you buy that gives you unlimited train travel throughout 28 countries in Europe within a certain time frame (see a full list of countries in the above image).

By way of example, we were using a 22 day continuous (3 weeks) Eurail Global Pass, which meant we could travel through all the countries highlighted in green and listed above. For those three weeks we could catch as many trains as we liked on our journey in Europe, though given my boyfriend and I have both already been to Europe before on separate occasions, we wanted to choose specific small towns to visit in Switzerland, Italy and France.

Eurail_Global_Pass

What is the cost?

The cost for a 22 day continuous Eurail global pass is currently:

$788 AUD ($601 USD) in second class or;

$968 AUD ($738 USD in first class).

However the passes come in a variety of different offers, ranging from 5 days continuous travel to 3 months continuous travel. If you don’t intend to do so much train travel each day and would instead like to break it up into longer travel days, you can also select passes of “15 travel days within 2 months” and other variations. See a full list here.

So for us on the 22 day pass, the daily price per person worked out to be $35 per day, per person for unlimited train travel in second class. Due to the small price difference and the short nature of our trip, we selected an upgrade to first class, working out to be $44 per day, per person.

Glacier Express

Is the Eurail Global Pass worth it?

There are a few things to consider when determining whether the Eurail pass is suitable for you.

Firstly: Where exactly in Europe are you travelling? Trains get cheaper (and slower) the further East you travel, so to maximise the value of the pass you need to weigh up whether the pass will work out cheaper than buying individual tickets at each destination and travelling station to station. If you are travelling primarily in Eastern Europe, I would not suggest purchasing a Eurail global pass or indeed any Eurail pass, as it will be much cheaper for you to purchase point-to-point tickets. However if you are travelling primarily or entirely in Western & Central Europe, I would suggest reading on!

Secondly: Read up about required seat reservations and supplements you may need to pay, regardless of having the pass. For example in Italy we found ourselves paying 10 euros per person, per train journey for the seat reservation supplement. While that might not sound like much, it soon adds up after a while! Whether or not you need a seat reservation before boarding a train depends on the service and journey you take, but as an example we were forced to pay 10 euros for a 30 minute journey from Como to Milan per person, followed by another 10 euros per person for the journey from Milan to Naples (even though the second journey was much longer in length!)

Eurail Global Pass Review | Is it worth it?

Seat Reservations & Trains not Included

This review wouldn’t be painting a realistic picture without mention of the downsides to the Eurail Global Pass: the additional expenses.

As we’ve established, the benefits of the Eurail Global Pass are ease of use and travel throughout Europe. But those benefits soon become diminished when you add extra expenses and effort in the form of seat reservations (whereby you pay a small fee to reserve a seat on the train, typically only necessary for popular routes). But the fact of the matter is that the supplements soon add up. A few euros here, 10 euros there… before you know it you’ve racked up a substantial sum of extras.

Add to that the (new to me) fact that not all trains are included in the Eurail pass, including popular routes like the Glacier Express in Switzerland. Part of our journey was covered with the pass, however 1/3 of the journey was not, costing us a col $330 AUD for x2 tickets to cover that part of the journey (including a 25% reduction rate for being pass holders). While a 25% discount is nice for the area not included, Switzerland is an expensive country to say the least and for a few hours slow train journey, we found $115 per person to be an expense we couldn’t justify – but had to partake in nonetheless as we had a paid hotel reservation that night on the other side of the train journey.

Thus I would strongly recommend doing your homework before booking the pass, as the main benefit (ease of travel – there’s no secret the pass is more expensive than buying tickets point-to-point) becomes impacted when you have to keep paying more and doing more research in advance of your trip.  Glacier_Express_First_Class

First Class or Second Class

Having travelled in both first and second class on Eurail routes before I’ve come to learn there aren’t too many differences between the two, though the difference is mainly the level of comfort for the extra price. Whether you choose first or second class really depends on your budget as both are comfortable – but for the sake of helping you to make a decision, here are the distinctions between the two:

First Class is more expensive, though the level of comfort on board is slightly more appealing for the following reasons: less travellers meaning quicker boarding and more empty seats to yourself, more space to yourself in the cabins, a wider chair that has been less used and a noticeably quieter cabin.

The choice is yours.

hogwarts express train

Benefits of Train Travel

I was eager to try the Eurail Global Pass because to be completely frank, there is no better way to see Europe than by train. Sure, hopping on a flight might make the travel distance sound shorter, but when you add all that time getting to the airport, checking-in, waiting to board, and doing it all over again on the other side, the time spent travelling works out to be almost exactly the same much of the time.

The countryside scenery is also another great reason to choose trains over planes, and you’ll be able to see more when kicking back in your train compartment than you ever would when focusing on the road. On that note, there’s much less worry when you choose trains over driving as you won’t need to navigate the roads (or their drivers)!

Thus even if you don’t purchase a Eurail pass for your travels in Europe, I would still recommend travelling by train to reach your destinations.

Money saving tips

Overall: Should you buy the Eurail Global Pass?

If you are travelling primarily or entirely in Western & Central Europe on quick whirlwind trip where you will travel by train nearly every day, then I would suggest the Eurail global pass is for you. However if you have time on your side and plan to take a slower journey through Europe, I would suggest opting for the “22 days over 3 months” type of pass (they come in a range of options).

If you are travelling primarily or entirely in Eastern & or Southern Europe, I would not suggest purchasing a Eurail Pass at all, as these trains are cheaper and don’t make the investment worth while. Also the Eurail passes don’t cover ALL countries in Eastern/Southern Europe.

The main benefits we found by using the Eurail Global Pass were: ease of travel, flexibility for our travel plans, travelling in first class for a small additional cost, and having the Eurail map as a constant point of reference to mark out our travel plans in Europe. Overall we really loved using the pass but it should be no secret that the pass is no cheaper than buying point to point tickets, which is often a cheaper option, especially if you aren’t using trains every day.

World of Wanderlust received a Eurail Pass for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own!

Where to find the Best Pizza in Naples

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Naples (or Napoli to the Italians) is the birthplace of pizza. If you’re anything like me that gives you all the more reason to go out of your way to put Naples on your Italian itinerary… and that is precisely what I recently did.

This year on our trip to Europe (I was travelling with my boyfriend and fellow pizza lover), we picked destinations purely on the basis of food or great views. We thus decided to visit Lake Como, onwards to Naples for pizza, the Amalfi Coast for incredible views, and finished our Italian adventures back up north in Milano for a mini city escape before travelling onwards to France.

We arrived in Naples during the day and had one objective on our agenda: eat as much pizza as we could within the space of just two hours, before travelling onwards to Sorrento where we based ourselves for the first part of our Amalfi Coast adventure.

Below you will find the absolute best pizzerias in Naples – no more, no less. We did a lot of research before the trip to ensure we covered only the best pizzerias in Naples, so below you will find a comprehensive list of our findings… happy pizza eating!

Where to find the Best Pizza in Naples

Pizzeria da Michele

If you’ve ever seen the film Eat, Pray, Love, then you will fondly recall the moment Julia Roberts struggles to zip up her jeans after a carb-induced frenzy of food tasting around Italy (I know the feels and wholeheartedly believe a little weight gain is a small price to pay for the flavours on offer!) The pizzeria she eats at prior to this point in the film is Pizzeria da Michele, one of Naples most famous pizzas and home to a more wet, less crispy, more doughy type of pizza with plenty of toppings.

You’ll pay just a few euros for a sit down pizza in the casual surrounds. Drinks are of course available too if you wish to make a meal out of it.. but be prepared to wait at meal times!

Location: Via Cesare Sersale, 1, 80139 Naples, Province of Naples, Italy (map).

Where to find the Best Pizza in Naples

Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente

If street food is your jam then you’ll find plenty of street pizza on offer in Naples. This diminishes the need to sit down and eat with cutlery (there’s no pizza cutting before serving here) and allow you to grab a pizza on the go to keep wandering the streets.

Our favourite find for just 3.50 euros was this huge, delicious and bursting with flavour street pizza from Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente. The pizzeria was named after President Clinton, who visited the owner’s brothers store (Di Matteo – just a couple of stores down the street), which quickly brought a lot of success to the pizzeria and thus prompted the opening of the second store. You can also opt to dine in, but there’s plenty to see outdoors if you want to eat on the go.

Location: Via dei Tribunali, 120-121, 80138 Naples, Province of Naples, Italy (map).

Where to find the Best Pizza in Naples

Di Matteo 

Of course it would make sense to name Di Matteo before his brother’s subsequent shop (above), but in all honesty we had a slightly more tasty pizza at the former with a richer sauce and generous but not overbearing portion of cheeses and oils.

That being said, you can get a delicious (and deliciously cheap) street pizza here at Di Matteo, a great place to grab one on-the-go as you continue your stroll down Via dei Tribunali towards more (and more, and more, and more!!) pizzerias.

Location: Via dei Tribunali, 94, 80138, Naples, Province of Naples, Italy (map).

Where to find the Best Pizza in Naples Where to find the Best Pizza in Naples Where to find the Best Pizza in Naples

As we were visiting Naples during a rather large travel day (from Lake Como in the North to Sorrento in the South), we didn’t have a whole lot of time to explore Naples beyond the main street between the train station and the town centre as we were mindful of the time to travel onwards to the Amalfi Coast. But if you have more time, you should try these also:

Pizzeria Starita

Starita was chosen as the best on offer by the Serious Eats Guide, a guide that really helped with planning our pizza-eating-mission in Naples, so is certainly worth a visit if you have more time to explore in Naples. There’s also a little more to choose from on the menu beyond pizzas, so it is a great place to visit if your friend (whom you should question their friendship!?) doesn’t like pizza.

Location: Via Materdei, 27, 80136 Naples, Province of Naples, Italy (map).

Pizzeria Port’Alba

Although not nearly the best pizza in Naples (light on toppings in particular), this is said to be Naples first pizzeria, so perhaps worth a look just as well.

Location: Via Port’Alba, 18, 80134 Naples, Italy (map).

Best-Pizza-Naples-Guide

Let me know in the comments below your feedback from your Naples pizza eating mission! Which were your faves?

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

The Parisian Picnic: It’s an Art Form!

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The Parisian picnic is a fine art. Not to be taken lightly, it takes the right amount of preparation, thought and planning to master the perfect picnic like the Parisians manage to every time. Knowing the best locations, which cheeses to bring and how much bread will be needed are all fundamental factors in a make or break picnic. Be savvy, read this guide for all the tips and tricks and picnic like a true Parisian. Who knows someone might even mistake you for a Parisian yourself…

Parisian Picnic_7384

Location, Location, Location

First things first, location is the most important factor when it comes to picnicking in Paris. Many flock to the banks of the Seine for the views, the atmosphere and the crowds of people. My favourite picnic spot in Paris is the Square du Vert- Galant, I always try to get there early enough to pinch the spot where the island ends and take in the magical view of Pont des Arts with my feet dangling over the river Seine. Favourite daytime picnic locations include the Bagatelle park, Buttes Chaumont park and the Monceau park. Favourite evening picnic locations include underneath Pont Alexandre III, anywhere on Il St Louis and the aforementioned Square du Vert- Galant.

Parisian Picnic_8090

The Holy Baguette

The three main components of a picnic in Paris are without a doubt bread, cheese and wine. Or… du pain, du fromage et du vin! Fortunately Paris is abundant in bakeries so finding a freshly baked baguette will not prove a problem. Ensure to bring a generous armful of baguettes if there’s a group of you, I guarantee you will eat more bread than you think.

Cheese Mongers

Next Stop: Fromagerie!

What would a picnic be without cheese? Next stop and equally as important as the last is the cheese monger. Buy a creamy camembert, a rich goats cheese and some compté from the local market or the local fromagerie and I promise you that you’ll earn big brownie points with your fellow picnickers, just don’t forget the knife! (Photo by Luxeat)

Parisian Picnic_8901

Keep it Flowing

You can count on the wine flowing freely at a Parisian picnic and no one would have it any other way. Red is the more sensible choice if it’s to your taste as you don’t have to worry about it getting warm and there are plenty of reds which make the perfect accompaniment to cheese, if you match them well. Make sure to bring some plastic cups or even plastic wine glasses, if you want your picnic to be a classy affair.

Parisian Picnic_7132

On Your Bike

The best way to travel to your chosen picnic spot is by bike. Hire a Vélib and fill the basket with your recently purchased treats and cycle with the wind in your hair to meet your friends. There is no better way to arrive at your picnic destination than by Vélib, you’ll arrive feeling refreshed, excited and unbelievably fortunate to be in Paris. Once more there aren’t many metro stops close to the Seine but there are dozens of Vélib stations.

Ispahan picnic-1

Look Like a Natural

If you want to look as though you’ve got picnicking down to a fine art, ensure to bring a cork screw for the bottle of wine. I guarantee you will immediately gain the respect of every surrounding Parisian, or better yet fool them into believing you’re not an expat/tourist. Alternatively buy a screw bottle and save yourself a lot of agro and possible embarrassment.

Parisian Picnic_8948

Get There in Time for the Sunset

For a truly magical picnic, make sure to get to your chosen destination before the sunset to catch the sun sinking into the horizon. Watching the last rays of sun softly flicker and dance off the river Seine will ensure your picnic is one to remember.

Parisian Picnic_8126

It’s All in the Details

If you choose to picnic in the evening, chances are you’ll be staying late into the night because the wine is still flowing and there are still baguettes abound after coming well prepared. Also, you’ll want to see the city turn from dusk to dark and catch the Eiffel Tower sparkle as many times as possible before midnight. In which case, come prepared and bring a jumper and a blanket to wrap up warm when the temperature starts to drop.

Parisian Picnic_8185

Sweet Tooths

Dessert needn’t ever be prepared from scratch in Paris. Parisians are big fans of economising on time and leaving certain tasks for those who do them better. Baking is one of them. What Parisian need ever bake when there are dozens of pastry shops creating superior pastries? Leave it to the experts and pick up a box en route. Alternatively pass by your local market for fresh fruits and berries instead.

Photography and words by Faye Bullock

WOW Contributor

Story & images by World of Wanderlust contributor Faye Bullock.

What I ate in Paris

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Food has got to be one of my all time favourite topics to cover on World of Wanderlust because, well, I really like food. If you’ve been following my travels for a while now you will be no stranger to the fact that I love sweet treats and because of said love for sweets, my diet consists mostly of over indulging whilst travelling and a desperate attempt to cleanse afterwards, followed by a healthy balance between the two. Hey, nobody’s perfect!

When in Paris on this trip I was on a mission of sorts, to sample as many sweets as possible and balance it out with a few savoury dishes for good measure. I’ve been working on a new project of late which allows me to regard sweets-testing as “research marketing”, so I’m gonna claim that as my reason for all of the over-indulgence… not that you ever need a reason!

Angelina Hot Chocolate & Mont Blanc

You can’t really come to Paris and not visit the Angelina tea house at least once. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, it is a cliché and no, I do not think any of this matters.

I brought my boyfriend here for his first time (my umpteenth) and he was amazed at the full flavour of the hot chocolate, which is in my opinion the best in Paris. We also tried the Mont Blanc (I had previously avoided the pastries in an effort to fit in more hot chocolates) which was far too rich for my liking and with a difficult to swallow consistency. Angelina is however renowned for their Mont Blanc so perhaps just my personal preference is something a little lighter!

Address: 226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris (and many more locations in Paris)
Nearest transport: Tuileries (1)
Hours: Open every day, 7:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m // 8:30 a.m.-7:30p.m. Sat/Sun

Le_Marais_Paris_guide What-to-eat-in-Paris

Carette Macarons

The best macarons I ate on this trip were not at Laduree or even Pierre Herme. They were a complete fluke as the cafe located next door to our hotel so happened to sell macarons and they so happened to be the most delicious macarons I have tasted (in my life. Ever.) Turns out Carette is kind of famous for their macarons so I do suggest you stop by! The salted butter caramel was a true standout (yes, that is a large size you see pictured!)

Address: 25 place des Vosges, 75004 (also 4 place du Trocadero)
Nearest transport: Chemin Vert (8) or Saint-Paul (1)
Hours: Open every day, 7 a.m.-11:30 p.m

Latin_Quarter_Eats_Paris

Dinner in the Latin Quarter

Whenever I’m in Paris I know one thing for sure: the best cheap eats in the city are located in the Latin Quarter and they never disappoint. Paris is an inherently expensive city to visit, but there are so many great cheap eats to be found in the Latin Quarter with dishes from all over the world, but mostly Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Being a vegetarian I can’t go past a good falafel (Maoz is a safe bet for consistency) and my boyfriend tried a regular ol’ street kebab.

What I Ate in Paris | World of Wanderlust Pastries_Paris

Pastries

I can’t even begin to tell you how many pastries we ate in Paris. Turns out the best pastry we ate was actually two hours outside of Paris in the Loire Valley, but the ones we ate in the French capital were still pretty darn good.

For the best croissant in Paris, head to Sébastien Gaudard – Pâtisserie des Martyrs (22 rue des Martyrs).

You’ll find the best pan au chocolat at Gérard Mulot (6, rue du Pas de la Mule).

And for something a little heavier, La Parisienne is said to have the best baguette in town (48 rue Madame, 75006).

Berthillon Ice cream | What I ate in Paris

Berthillon Ice Cream

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now you will know I take my ice cream testing and tasting pretty seriously. Googling where to find the best ice cream in town when I visit a new city is a common occurrence and if you ask me where my favourite ice cream is in the world, you will get a response of at least 20 establishments across all continents.

For Paris, you can’t go past Berthillon. On this trip I stuck with my old classic faves: salted butter caramel, dark chocolate, and pistachio.

Address: 29-31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 75004 Paris
Nearest transport: Pont Marie (7)
Hours: Open Weds-Sun, 10 a.m.-8 p.m

What I ate in Paris | World of Wanderlust

Hôtel Plaza Athénée Afternoon Tea

I know, I know… by now you’re starting to wander if I ever eat savoury food. The truth is that I don’t eat a whole lot of savoury food that excites me, as being a vegetarian with a handful of intolerances I find it difficult to find great dishes I can eat.

So next we dropped in to the Hôtel Plaza Athénée on Avenue Montaigne to try their afternoon tea, as they are renowned for offering a sweets only selection of pastries (no scones, no tiny sandwiches… just straight to the good stuff!) I’d love to give a detailed description of everything we ate but there were just so many pastries and so little time! We mistakenly ordered x1 setting per person, later realising x1 serving is enough to share between two.

Address: 25 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris
Nearest transport: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1, 9)
Hours: Open Weds-Sun, 10 a.m.-8 p.m

Angelina_Paris_Pastries Angelina_Paris

Back to Angelina (oops!)

Because I have a total of zero self control and because there are now so many Angelina locations throughout Paris, I couldn’t help but to stop in once more to grab a couple pastries to go.

I didn’t love the macaron selection nearly as much as Carette, but I did enjoy the delicious and overly indulgent Joconde – a combination of macaron, lightly whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Drool!

Il_Carpaccio_Paris Il_Carpaccio_Pierre_Herme_Dessert

Dinner at Il Carpaccio

On our last evening in Paris after eating ourselves into what can only be described as a sugar-induced coma, I treated my boyfriend to his first Michelin star restaurant experience at Il Carpaccio, an Italian one Michelin starred restaurant located inside Raffles Hotel. We ordered three courses:

The meal began with an artichoke starter, not a typical choice for either of us but unquestionably delicious with a variety of textures to open our minds to the experience ahead. Sadly my main dish (asparagus risotto) was nothing to write home about and lacked any flavour whatsoever, but my boyfriend’s face lit up as he worked his way through his main meal.

But the true highlight (hardly a surprise) was the Pierre Herme dessert. This would have had to been one of the best desserts of my life to date: a pictachio mousse enrusted in a crunchy case, topped with whipped cream, whole pistachios, strawberries and raspberry sorbet + coulis. To die for!

Address: 37 Avenue Hoche, 75008 Paris
Nearest transport: Charles de Gaulle Étoile (1, 2, 6) or Ternes (2)
Hours: Open Tues-Sat, 12 p.m.-2.15 p.m // 7 p.m.-10 p.m

‘Til next time Paris!

Paris in the Spring

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Paris is magical any time of year, but no season compares to visiting Paris in the Spring. Cherry blossoms, streams of sunshine, friendly locals before the summer crowds flock in… there really is no better time of year to visit Paris. On my recent trip to Paris with my partner we wanted to capture all the magic of Paris in the spring to share with you our favourite time of year in the French capital. Below you will find an endless stream of ideas for a spring time visit to Paris, including where we stayed, played, ate and got merry in the city of lights.

Hotel-Pavillon-de-la-reine

Paris in the Spring

First things first: we arrived off the TGV from the countryside around lunch time, so our first mission was to find our hotel. A little tired from our travels thus far and eager to shed the layer of suitcases, we hopped in a cab and headed straight for our hotel instead of navigating the subway with our heavy load.

We checked ourselves in to our home for the next few nights: Hotel Pavilion de la Reine, a gorgeous little boutique hotel in the Marais district – one of my favourite areas in all of Paris. This area is renowned for its great restaurants and lively night scene, so it really was an ideal position for us as we wanted to have the full Parisian experience during our stay.

The exterior of the hotel is beyond mesmerising, but the room itself was spacious, well-appointed, and incredibly luxe feeling – just what you want for a magical weekend in Paris! This hotel is incredibly highly rated by guests and many return to the hotel year after year on visits to Paris, and after our few nights here it isn’t hard to see why. Although it doesn’t come cheap, it is much cheaper than other hotels I have visited of this calibre – so it is a steal if you’re looking for that quintessential Parisian experience.

Plaza_Athanee_Afternoon_tea

Plaza Athénée Afternoon Tea

On the day we arrived in Paris I had long in advance booked us a table to Plaza Athénée for afternoon tea, mostly because the courtyard just looks absolutely to-die-for. As a huge romantic myself, I had planned this long in advance as a surprise for my boyfriend who in all honesty would have been just as happy eating a croissant for lunch, but his face lit up when the elaborate afternoon tea setting arrive at our table! I’ve tried a few afternoon teas in posh Paris hotels over the years and I would have to say the Plaza Athénée wins for ambience and excelled food-wise as well.

Eiffel Tower Sunset

Eiffel Tower at Sunset

That early evening we made our way with full stomachs and a spring in our step to the glittering gorgeousness of the Eiffel Tower. Just after sunset the tower lights up, so be sure to arrive right before sunset to experience both views – sunset and after dark. A glass of bubbles and a picnic rug will provide the best setting for two – and yes, its totally okay to drink in public in Paris!

Neighbourhoods-Paris What I Ate in Paris | World of Wanderlust

Neighbourhoods to Wander

Given our location in Le Marais district and the fact that we had both already visited Paris before, we picked a few spots to visit and stick to, instead of trying to see it all in our few short days here in Paris.

Thus we found ourselves wandering the streets of Saint Germain des Pres, visiting a number of cafes on our afternoon walk and finishing our stroll in the Jardin du Luxembourg, before making our way to the Latin Quarter for a cheap and delicious dinner on-the-go.

We also weren’t too far from Ile de la Cité, so made sure we had time to wander through here in greater detail. Previously I have overlooked this area beyond visiting Notre Dame Cathedral, so it was a delight to spend more time here. Make sure you don’t miss stepping inside Saint Chapelle and its newly restored stained glass windows. The church opens at 9:30am and to avoid crowds I would recommend visiting first thing in the morning.

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Day Eating

Anyone who knows me or has been reading this blog for a while (thus I feel like you know me by now!) will know that I LOVE food. It is perhaps my single most favourite thing about travel and my preferred way to get to know a country. However being vegetarian I tend to stick to sweet treats as there’s nothing I can’t enjoy!

Day eating is as important as anything when experiencing Paris, and my favourite spots from this trip include: Du pain et des Idees (for the best croissant in Paris & every flavour escargot for my boyfriend), Café de Flore (mainly for people watching), Berthillon (for the best ice cream in Paris), Pierre Herme (for Ispan + Isphan Croissant), L’éclair de Genie (for eclairs), Angelina (for thick hot chocolate + Mont Blanc!)

Il_Carpaccio_Pierre_Herme_Dessert

Michelin Dining: Il Carpaccio

On our last evening we decided to head out for a romantic Parisian meal before heading onwards to a cabaret show. Because my boyfriend had never dined at a Michelin starred restaurant before, I took the opportunity to spoil him at Il Carpaccio, a one Michelin star Italian restaurant inside Le Royal Monceau. The meal was an absolute delight but the true highlight was the Pierre Herme dessert – my mouth waters just thinking about it!

Crazy Horse Paris

Being a huge fan of live theatre, I decided to book a cabaret show for our stay in Paris as well. Having already seen Moulin Rouge and Crazy Horse years before (I loved both, by the way!) I decided to pick the best of the two and subsequently booked us in to Crazy Horse to see the new acts and because I loved it so much the first time. Thankfully it was just as good the second time round, though tickets don’t come cheap at nearly $150 AUD per person, so be sure to know what you’re in for before you book (the show is risqué but artsy and strikes a really nice balance between the two).

We flew to Europe with Emirates. Emirates flies to Paris multiple times daily from Dubai. Hotel Pavillion de la Reine is part of the Small Luxury Hotels collection, who assisted with accommodation for this trip.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

WOW Book Club: Five

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Given my current location at the time of choosing and writing this month’s book club selection, I couldn’t stop myself from picking another romance novel written in and centred around the French capital.

As an overt fan of Paris and all its intricacies, I often find myself day dreaming of what it must be like to pack up all my things and board a one-way flight to the city of lights. Earlier in the year many of you enjoyed Paris Letters, so I’m absolutely certain that if you enjoyed that, you will love this months selection.

Lunch in Paris

For those of you who did join for the January selection (Paris Letters), I can assure you Lunch in Paris is equally as entertaining and delightful to read, though with the added benefit of recipes and a whole lotta food talk. If you love Paris and love food, you will love this book.

I first read this book a while ago before I read Paris Letters and both draw many similarities but each with their own unique flair and take on the French capital.

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this book and hope you enjoy reading another Parisian love story – I just can’t get enough!!!

xo Brooke