For Part 1 of my guide to Paris, I want to share with you a bunch of sights that are all clustered very close together / near the Opera Garnier arrondissement. I think you can easily complete all of these in a day and it’s all very walkable (but do make sure you have walking shoes on as you will be on your feet the whole day!)
1. OPERA GARNIER
The 9th arrondissement, Opera Garnier is where we stayed during our time in Paris. But we actually had no idea what Opera Garnier was aside from a place that holds opera shows. It’d always sit so grandly at the end of the street staring back at us, full of mystery, every time we walked back to our apartment. On the last day, we decided to check it out and I’m so glad we did. Behind the mysterious exterior is a crazy beautiful interior full of painted ceilings, suspended chandeliers, hidden rooms and more. We bought a ticket that allows you to explore the public areas of the building by yourself – I actually had no idea it was a thing to just look around inside, as I assumed people visited to see opera shows only. Turns out, there was a massive line out front of people who simply wanted to look at the building. And it’s totally worth it. It reminds me of the interior of Palace of Versailles, but in the heart of Paris.
Wearing The Tinsel Rack Eve Embroidery dress (Use the coupon code ‘TTRXCONNIE’ for 10% off all orders from The Tinsel Rack – excludes sale and resident brands) | Bared Shoes ‘Rooster’ double monk shoes
As one of the main sights in Paris, I totally recommend visiting Louvre early, before it opens. I find that Paris isn’t as busy as London and felt much sleepier than I remembered. You can be out and about in London at 8am and it’d be full of people (heck it’d be full of people at 6am) but in Paris, 8am is still very quiet from experience. Check out the sights, buildings and the area before lining up for the museum should you wish. Then come again during the middle of the day to see how different and how busy it can get! We passed by the Louvre more than three times during our time in Paris, as we would walk through it to get home. Each time it’d be a completely different experience depending on the crowds and time of day and I totally enjoy the more peaceful times of the day.
3. TUILERIES GARDEN
Tuileries Garden is basically right next to the Louvre – so it’s a good sight to couple with the Louvre. Just cross a road (if you can even call that a road) and you’re there. It’s a beautiful garden with stunning tree lined paths, flowers and in summer time, a little carnival area as well. We went on the ferris wheel there and saw the Eiffel Tower from above as well as Basilica du Sacre-Coeur all the way on the other side. It’s so nice to see Paris in summer actually – when I visited Tuileries in winter back in 2012, all the trees were bare with not a flower in sight!
4. PALAIS ROYAL
Again, also next to the Louvre is Palais-Royal. It’s a hidden (though not so hidden anymore) gem with an inner courtyard with picturesque black and white striped columns which is an art piece known as ‘Les Colonies de Buren’. It’s heaps busy here as everyone just loves it. Hang around here and explore the architecture, the little garden in the courtyard as well as the line of shops nearby. I love it here as it’s all enclosed within the inside of the building, which makes it feel like a hidden space.
Stay tuned for part 2, where we venture out of the Opera area to explore some sights a little further away!
Photos: Rowena Cao & I