I’ve just come home from a 24 hour visit to Paris. I know you’re probably thinking I’m mad but there’s method to my madness. My best friend Nici and I haven’t had a night out in YEARS. We’ve had four children between us over the last few years, so between being pregnant, feeding, owning a tiny newborn, limited maternity pay there’s been little opportunity for fun, so we started looking at spa breaks in the UK and then realised that for about the same amount of money we could go to Paris for a night. Since turning 30 I’ve decided I need to be more spontaneous, embrace opportunities, travel more and maybe do some more street and travel photography, so Paris in 24 hours was just the ticket.
We have walked 35000 steps and cycled 12.5km on Velib bikes, we’ve eaten ok food, we’ve eaten amazing food, we’ve spent a little too long looking at tshirts for our children and laughed at the queues for Notre Dame. We may have upgraded to first class on the Eurostar on the way home. We also didn’t take a plug adaptor so everything ran out of battery, including my camera.
Here’s 24 photographs of 24 hours in Paris, all shot on my Canon M3.
Travel Photography Paris
Some tips for the traveller or the photographer
- For the love of god take loads of batteries for your camera and/or a travel adaptor.
- We loved Sourire, a little restaurant two minutes away from Notre Dame. A quiet spot for lunch with outside seating in the shade with loads of lovely “gastronomical french tapas” on the menu. We shared the cheese and charcuterie board, which was delicious, the service was excellent and the coffee was strong. The place had a nice vibe about it and I’d definitely go back.
- The Eiffel Tower at midnight is awesome. Signposting to get in and get a ticket is rubbish (at least in the dark) but the two of us went up for 22 euros in the last lift of the night – just to the second floor but that’s high enough to see Paris by night. Pretty breathtaking stuff.
- The Police presence in Paris was excellent and I felt very safe.
- The queue for Notre Dame is insane.
- Many of the lovely independent shops shut in August for a holiday, which makes for a lot of window shopping. Good for purses, less good when you really want that tiny china panda.
- Take comfy shoes; Paris is so walkable with so much to see at every turn.
- Velib bike hire was great fun – we cycled from our hotel to Notre Dame and back, saving our walked out feet. The cycle lane provision was excellent mostly and the bikes were fairly comfortable. A word or two of warning: Velib will take a surcharge of 150 euro in case you don’t return your bike. This has been taken from my account and having done some reading it would seem it could be 1-3 weeks before I get that back in my account. This isn’t the case if you book online, so consider that over using the machines on the street. Also, consider leaving the bike at a station a little walk from the attraction you’re visiting. We arrived at Notre Dame to find there were no spaces to leave our bikes and there were people there waiting to leave their bikes too. We walked back over the river and were able to leave our bikes easily and then walk back. You get charged beyond 30 minutes cycling so if you end up standing and waiting for 15 minutes that’s going to cost you (all be it minimal). Also, the Velib english website isn’t as informative as it could be; do read up a little online on Trip Advisor etc before you dive on in. Which we definitely didn’t do.
Check out some of my street photography last year in London.