Thursday 2 August 2018

The Paris Instagram Guide

If you’ve been following along over on Instagram, you would have noticed my Paris trip has come to a close! I’ve visited three times in the last year and each trip doesn’t disappoint. This trip was a little different to my previous 2 trips with my tripod. It was a girls trip with Hannah Crosskey from A Fashion Fix blog and we had an absolute blast! It’s one of my favourite cites to photograph, and due to popular demand I have put together a guide to the city for anyone that is gracing the streets in the near future. 

Where to stay? 

Each Paris getaway I have experienced a new area, and this trip we had the pleasure of staying at Hotel Bourg Tibourg which is located in Le Marais. The location is conveniently located a short 5 minute walk to the 1 line on the Metro (yellow train) which will connect you easily to major tourist attractions like The Louvre, Saint Michel and with a quick change to The Eiffel Tower. This is the best way to explore Paris and trains are frequent. I can confidently say Paris has one of the best subway set ups for any major city. Download the Paris Metro app to navigate around and buy the 10 book tickets as it will save you money buying each train ride individually. 

Le Marais is one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in Paris. Quaint coffee shops, cool boutiques and a handful of museums are all located in walking distance from the hotel. I visited The Pompidou years back, and to this day was still my favourite museum. It’s a lot more interactive than most and they always have cool contemporary exhibitions on. The view from the roof cafe is a hidden gem!

The ‘Instagram Spots’ 
After numerous trips, I have a handful of locations that are winners every time. To get the ‘it’ shot I believe a big factor is rising at sunrise to capture the image efficiently without the crowds. Hannah and I were waking up at around 5am, and were photographing until about 11am. This gave us the afternoons to go at a leisurely pace, kick back and people watch from our favourite cafes. If you are not a morning person you will struggle at this, but the more you get your ass out of bed to produce magical sunrise work it gets easier, and in turn motivates you more the next time.

The Eiffel Tower is accessible from numerous Metro stations, but I always jump off at Concorde. There are multiple locations to shoot around here, but start by walking down the steps towards the river. The locations in today’s post are on the bridge crossing The Seine, and a cobbled street across the river called Rue De L'Universite. (If you wanted to miss out the first part catch the train to Bir Hakeim to be on the correct side of the river). We were lucky to have a sunny morning so the light play was phenomenal but literally lasted about 10 minutes at around 7:15am. Perfect warm light I literally live for so, this made me so happy!

Tuileries Garden is perfect for something a little different to your usual cafe shots. It’s peaceful and super quiet in the mornings and is only a short walk from The Louvre. It’s also a great place to take a book and have some time out, or even take a journal and write down your thoughts. There's a Ferris Wheel nearby so take a second outfit in your handbag so you can change to get a completely different backdrop.

The Louvre opens at 7am (including the outside area) so we were the first in there to capture these shots. We were actually 30 minutes too early so decided to wander around for a little bit! Be mindful it’s closed on Tuesday’s. Make a booking at Cafe Marly. They do the best Club Sandwich and vanilla hot’s a must! You can book online and I have only ever requested outside seating when I arrive. Staff are super friendly and for such a busy cafe it never feels rushed. Avoid 2pm onwards, it's a lot quieter in the mornings.

Rue Saint-Honoré is located behind The Louvre and has great shopping and cafes. Just a warning, coffee is not cheap in Paris and cafes don’t open early like in some countries! You can pay up to 12 Euros a cup so you have been warned (but so worth it to use their bathroom as a changing room!) I photographed at La Rotonde Cafe on my trip last September which you can view here

The Peninsula Hotel. If you want to splash out, this is the place to dine for lunch! We chose Le Lobby, and sat on the terrace as the weather was glorious. I have to say it was the best meal I have ever had! I opted for duck and melon to start and lobster bisque tagliatelle for main. Hannah had Beef Carpaccio. If you’re a Pinterest girl like me you may have stumbled across the glass restaurant on the top floor - L’Oiseau Blanc. You have to book at least four weeks in advance to secure a table. They also have a beautiful rooftop with views of the city so make sure you head on up for drinks after lunch. 

Place Vendôme. I first shot this location all the way back in 2014! You can see the post here (cringe!) All the high end designer shops Carrie Bradshaw would die for are located here: Chanel, Dior, Van Cleef and Arpels to name a few, and if you are feeling super fancy head across the street to Hotel Costes for a cocktail.

Montmartre. Jump off the train at Anvers and take a right uphill towards The Sacre Coeur. The streets are cobbled and winding so make sure you have sensible footwear on! There are many locations on the walk up and I particularly like the cafes just to left of the carousel. I didn’t venture there with Hannah on this trip, but shot here back in March. See the post here. There are numerous art shops and painters towards the Sacre Coeur and none of the cafes or shop owners had any issues me taking my pictures outside. 

Pont Alexandre III. Again, we didn’t shoot at this bridge on this trip but photographed here with my tripod back in March which you can view here. This is the bridge with the gold ornate details and you’ll see the Eiffel Tower in the distance. 

Cafe Kitsune is located in the gardens of The Royal Palace, and what I love most about this place is the merchandise you can purchase - from coffee cups, to the coffee beans to tote bags. They are constantly collaborating with new artists, so each visit feels a little different.

There are so many more photogenic spots in the city but I have tried to condense all my favourite spots into one post. Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions about visiting Paris. Like any major city, be aware of pick pockets and if you have a camera on you make sure it's inside a bag away from sight. I’ll be making these travel guides more frequently in the coming months. I have some fun trips planned so look out for them!

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