THERE is something about Paris. There must be, as it’s the continental European city I’ve travelled to most. Grab comfy shoes as I’m going to share with you some of my favourite sides of the French capital on a two-day walking tour, as well as tips to make the most out of Paris.

You need a decent Parisian bolthole. Earlier this month I stayed at the 25 Hours Hotel Paris Terminus Nord (, a fun escape with art-kissed walls in a brilliant location opposite Gare du Nord in an area sprucing itself up like London’s King Cross. Doubles start from £100 with a decent breakfast and views of one of Europe’s great rail termini. Swirl in funky, playful décor and views from some rooms to the Sacré-Cœur, and it’s a winner.

Walking fairly flat Paris for me is the best way of exploring, but you can see much more if you combine two feet with public transport, especially the RER and Metro rail networks. The tourist office tries to steer you into expensive day tickets, but nab the Navigo Easy card (€2) and top it up with 10 tickets – all in just under €20.

I’ve got a long favourite walk, which I’ll split across two days. Kicking off with an RER ride to the Champ de Mars, cut one street in from the river to really enjoy those jaw-dropping views of Gustave’s tower. It’s currently a mess around the base with temporary stands being built for this summer’s Paris Olympics so it’s worth ascending for the views.

The National: Strolling through the City of Light

Avoid the temptation to jump on the massive bateaux mouches that hulk below the Eiffel Tower, as you are rammed in for an impersonal experience. If you do want to savour a Seine cruise, opt instead for Vedettes du Pont Neuf, handily based on day two of my walk on the Île de la Cité. Online they offer €30 champagne cruises with only 50 passengers.

It’s across the river now to Place du Trocadéro. This is my favourite Eiffel Tower view – if you want to see it sparkle, come back after dark. A wee break awaits at Carette. My daughter was delighted with the TikTok sensation of hot chocolate with a tower of Chantilly cream to mix in. I had my usual – a grand café crème and a perfect pain au chocolat. Expensive, but quintessentially Paris and we sat there for an hour.

Push down Avenue Kléber gazing at fancy shops that are out of reach for us mere mortals. The Arc de Triomphe towers ahead. Ascend for more sweeping Parisian skyline views, or just watch the traffic mayhem on a chaotic roundabout that apparently renders car insurance invalid.

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We ease down the Champs-Élysées with more fancy shops searching out the green lung of the Jardin des Tuileries. Sit by the ponds on a bench taking in this oasis in the heart of Paris. If you want to lose the rest of your day descend into a world of epic art at the Louvre. Or cut right over the Seine and join the queue at Le Relais de l’Entrecôte. They don’t have a menu – only superb steak and chips in a peppercorn sauce.

Your day out ends with a wee wander around the Left Bank, including Shakespeare and Company if you fancy an English language bookshop alive with American students and an eclectic collection. Cross over to the Ile de la Cité and “McKelvie’s Point”. I’ve claimed rights to a number of these in various cities. This one is perched on the island’s western tip. Sit here and let David Bowie’s Heroes tug on your heart.

Day two begins back on the Île de la Cité at Notre-Dame. Check out the information boards to see what the vaulting cranes are up to in the massive reconstruction after 2019’s devastating fire. Cross over to the Île Saint-Louis, an often forgotten wee hideaway with a superb eponymous brasserie just across the bridge. You can lose the day here, and it will be a joyous one.

If you’re pushing on, make it to Berthillon – the original bolthole of the family-run ice cream maker now found all over Paris. Pop north across the river to the Hôtel de Ville, one of the city’s most elegant buildings, which lies a short stagger from one of its most raucous. The Auld Alliance is a welcoming pub that seriously goes off when Scotland’s rugby or football fans are in town.

Our tour draws to a close sifting through the independent boutiques of the hip Marais. Don’t write off the shops – I once unearthed a bottle of Ardbeg 17-year-old for only €35!

There are more bargains at Le Marché des Enfants Rouges. You’ll dine at this market amongst Parisiens savouring ultra-local produce. Go classic shellfish, or branch out with a superb Japanese bento box.

My walks don’t have dinner. So dine first night taking a metro to Les Confidences at the San Régis, a swish boutique hotel. Their highlight is veal spiced with black truffle.

Your second night is a relaxed one – after you’ve nipped up to the Sacré-Cœur for sunset (20-minute walk), dine in at NENI. This tastebud-tingling Middle Eastern fusion eatery is a joy in a city that showcases many of the world’s great cuisines.

All that is left is for me is to say slàinte. Sorry, santé!

EasyJet ( flies direct from Edinburgh to Paris