INSIDER'S GUIDE / ENTRE NOUS
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.