Ever since my parents moved to Paris and I started hanging out there a lot, my friends and others online always asked me where my favourite places to hang out were. Of course, you have the usual “tourist” haunts but I also love nothing better than hanging out in the suburbs and places that the “normal” tourist would never normally know where to go.
Are you planning on going to Paris anytime soon? Do you have ideas for Paris Holidays with tiny people? Do you want suggestions on where to go? One thing I will say is…you are NEVER too old for Disneyland. Saying that, I haven’t been since I was 17… I think it’s time I changed that! Giant Teacups anyone?!
So here are my 5 favourite places to go in & around Paris:
Château de Chantilly
25km away from Central Paris, Château de Chantilly was the home of the princes of Condé, cousins of the kings of France. The Château is rather famous for having the most luxurious royal horse stables in the world (Grandes Ecuries) as well as one of the finest museums of historical paintings in France (after the Louvre), a vast estate of 1900 acres and beautiful gardens. The 284 acres of park land is wonderful, divided into three historical gardens: the parterres à la française of André Le Nôtre, the Chinese-English garden and its Hameau and the English garden. The place is so big that you have to keep going back again and again to explore the land. It’s a beautiful location & you can even have your wedding here!
Musée du Louvre
It wouldn’t be Paris without a trip to one of the many museums. My favourite has to be the Louvre for the Ancient Egyptian collection alone. It’s a must see “pit stop”. I also like Musée d’Orsay for the Van Gogh paintings. I can get lost for hours in museums and love exploring them with my Dad. My mom isn’t a museum kind of person so it’s always nice having that alone time with my Dad both enjoying something we love. The architecture in both is amazing and that is one of the things I love about Paris, the buildings are magnificent! One museum that I have yet to visit is Musee d’Histoire Naturelle so that I can see the life sized mammals they have. I’m a sucker for that kind of thing ever since I went to a Dinosaur exhibition as a kid. Just don’t go to any museum on a Tuesday, they are closed.
9 times out of 10 you’ll find me here. Sephora, Starbucks, McDonalds, Virgin Megastore and the cinema UGC within Le Dôme are favourite haunts. Located in La Défense which is a major business district of Paris, you can even see parts of Paris from high above by getting an elevator up La Grande Arche de la Défense giving amazing views. La Défense is amazing at night with all the city lights twinkling away, grab a takeaway coffee (after shopping of course!) and go for a stroll. It’s worth it!
A suburb of Paris, Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a commune in Yvelines, Île-de-France approx 19km from the heart of Paris. It is one of the more affluent suburbs of Paris, combining both high-end leisure spots and exclusive residential neighbourhoods. Forêt de Saint-Germain-en-Laye and of course the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye are must see locations. The gardens of the Château are great for looking at Paris as a whole from high above and on a clear day you can even spot the La Tour Eiffel. Doggy Dog loves the area too! It is also home to a “little” football team called Paris Saint-Germain, not sure if anyone’s ever heard of it before though *cough*
When I go out at night, Neuilly is where I’m at. Forget fighting over tables on Avenue des Champs-Élysées with millions of tourists, I love the suburb of Neuilly. My favourite restaurant Piccolo Mondo on 11 Rue de Longchamp is a firm favourite in our family. The lasagne is to die for and literally the only thing my dad ever orders. My order? Bruschetta (with artichoke) and then Entrecôte Gorgonzola. BEAUTIFUL. For a little apéritif/digestif head to The Big Ben Pub on 207 Avenue Charles de Gaulle. You’ll probably find my dad perched next to the bar with a pint of Guinness. Say hello if you do!
So now you’ve had a little brief insight into what I do whenever I go to Paris, what will YOU do? If you are looking for “non touristy” things to do in Paris, check out “Ten Things Not To Do in Paris” which gives you a run down on what not to do. I sadly break one of those golden rules by spending an entire day at a museum but that’s cause I love it!