Areas to explore 

The usual suspects but also try to drive and visit Pont Alexander III, aka Alexander III Bridge – you’ll remember so many movie scenes from there (The Devil Wears Prada is one of them)

Book a boat trip on the River Seine and enjoy some incredible views of the Eiffel Tower while enjoying a three-course meal

Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Montmartre is a must visit, especially if you’re planning on going to Moulin Rouge.

And if you can, take a Tuk Tuk along the Champs- Élyseé – it’s so fun!


Best Shopping 

To be honest, when I’m in Europe I ball on a budget. Real talk. I don’t go there to shop because damn, the Euro never loved the Rand. But the Champs- Élyseé is a dream for those shopping with no exchange rate issues or budget constraints. But put me on if you know other places! 😉


Greatest memory

Taking the Euro-star into Paris from London. There’s nothing like a train ride overseas. In third world countries like South Africa and India, trains symbolise transpiration for those living in poverty but in Europe trains can be awesome for long distance travel.

Taking photos with my sister at midnight at Arc de Triomphe (don’t try this kids, no matter what)


Where to stay
I’ve been fortunate enough to go to Paris, Lyons and Monaco in France and more than where to stay, my best advice to you is not to book anything less than four stars. A 3-star hotel in Europe is actually two stars for most South Africans. Hotel rooms are notoriously small, breakfast is not warm and you get charged for nearly everything, including WIFI, so manage your expectations. 

What/where to eat 

My feeling is that since you’re in the country of origin you might as well have all the croissants, crème brûlée (my favourite dessert in the world ), coq au vin and beef bourguignon to your heart’s content.

And have some crêpes with rose in Montmartre if you can squeeze it in.


Any tips for new travellers

If you don’t know French, stay away from the underground. Nothing is translated and you’ll get lost because the French are not partial to people who speak English. No uber so take taxis instead. It’s not worth the stress.