INSIDER'S GUIDE / ENTRE NOUS

GREATER PARIS - - [ Contents ] - By San­dra Is­kan­der

24h in the Ci­ty of Lights 24h dans la Ville Lu­mière

The French ca­pi­tal of­fers vi­si­tors a ple­tho­ra of things to discover, which at times may feel overw­hel­ming. So what do you do if you on­ly have 24 hours in Pa­ris? The Eif­fel To­wer was ori­gi­nal­ly built as a tem­po­ra­ry ex­hi­bit for the 1889 World Fair and it is the sym­bol of the French ca­pi­tal around the world so stan­ding be­neath it and clim­bing it all the way to the top is one of the most un­for­get­table things to ex­pe­rience. The iron struc­ture, sym­bo­li­sing the Ci­ty of Light the world over, is now over 125 years old, and is as grand as ever, spark­ling and glit­te­ring with lights for five mi­nutes eve­ry hour on the hour. Gus­tave Eif­fel crea­ted the Iron La­dy to stand 300 metres high, and with 1652 steps lea­ding to the top, it is where you can see Pa­ris from high above and fall in love with the most beau­ti­ful ci­ty in the world.

Pa­ris is de­fi­ni­te­ly a wal­king ci­ty, with ama­zing ar­chi­tec­ture to be dis­co­ve­red at eve­ry turn. A great neigh­bou­rhood to discover on foot is the village above the French ca­pi­tal, Mont­martre. Sy­no­ny­mous with the bo­he­mian li­fe­style and the art world of Pa­ris, the area is where Re­noir, Pi­cas­so and Tou­louse-lau­trec cal­led home, and it is where you could still pick up ori­gi­nal prints of up-and-co­ming ar­tists ga­the­ring in Place du Tertre. And en­com­pas­sing the square are tra­di­tio­nal res­tau­rants ser­ving au­then­tic French cui­sine to give you a taste of the cu­li­na­ry culture the ci­ty is known for. A great table to try is La Mère Ca­the­rine, the ol­dest res­tau­rant found on the Place de Tertre and serves clas­sic bras­se­rie fare. Loo­king down on the Place de Tertre is the Sa­cré Coeur. Brea­th­ta­king in the view it of­fers, the wed­ding cake Ba­si­li­ca sit­ting on the hil­l­top of Mont­martre, the hi­ghest peak in Pa­ris, is one of the most po­pu­lar areas, with its ma­gni­ficent stairs of­fe­ring the ideal des­ti­na­tion to take in the pic­ture-per­fect view of Pa­ris. Built in de­di­ca­tion to the Heart of Ch­rist in pe­ni­tence for sins com­mit­ted by the French, the construc­tion on the Sa­cré Coeur be­gan in 1875 and was fi­ni­shed in 1914, fi­nal­ly being conse­cra­ted in 1919 af­ter World War I. ins­pi­red by Ve­nice’s Saint Mark’s Ba­si­li­ca, the Sa­cré Coeur is Ro­ma­no-by­zan­tine in style and it fea­tures a to­wer that houses the Sa­voyarde, a 19-tonne bell.

And a fun way to end your eve­ning in the Ci­ty of Light? Find the ci­ty’s ve­ry se­cre­tive bar. So­mew­here in the Bud­dha Bar hides Se­cret 8, a spea­kea­sy that is so se­cret that not on­ly is its en­trance hid­den but it is ac­ces­sed on­ly with a pass­word that changes eve­ry month. Solve the riddle found on the bar’s web­site (www.se­cret8­by­bud­dha­bar. com) and Ins­ta­gram ac­count (@se­cret8­by­bud­dha­bar) and you are wel­co­med with open arms in­to the se­cret bar. Once in­side, head bar­man, Ré­gis Cé­labe will sur­prise you with his 8 crea­tions. Open from Tues­day to Sa­tur­day, from 7pm to 2am, the bar can on­ly ac­com­mo­date 25 at a time so re­ser­va­tions are high­ly re­com­men­ded.

Sa­cré Coeur

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