After our much needed sleep in (only till around 10am), we finally convinced ourselves to get out of bed and have brunch at Ladurée located inside Printemps. We were overwhelmed by the extensive menu and took a while to decide what we should eat. I opted for a luxurious omelette with black truffles and their Fraisier pastry with a short expresso. The omelette which was light and fluffy, was delightful when combined with the intense flavour of the black truffles. The pastry was even better, madeleine biscuits soaked in citrus fruit infusion with light vanilla cream and strawberries. Utterly divine!
We finished our brunch and headed over to Galeries Lafayette to do some window shopping. This extravagant department store is housed in three separate buildings (Lafayette Coupole, Homme and Maison) and stocks an extensive number of designer labels. The main building has a fabulous rooftop that offers panoramic views of Paris and a stunning stained-glass dome that brings in natural light during the day.
We proceeded to our next stop, Palais Garnier for our 90 minute guided tour. This breathtaking opera house designed by Charles Garnier and built between 1861 to 1875, was used as the setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel, The Phantom of the Opera. The guided tour includes a comprehensive visit of the theatre and a presentation of its history, architecture and the different activities that takes place inside Palais Garnier.
After our tour, we took a stroll down Av des Champs-Élysées lined with luxury shops, car showrooms and haute cuisine restaurants and climbed up 284 steps of the Arc de Triomphe to the platform roof, standing in the centre of Place de l’Étoile (star), the world’s largest roundabout. The view from the top is stunning and it was nice to see the twelve avenues that radiates from the Arc. This monument is included in the Paris Museum Pass, but if you don’t have the pass, it costs €8 to climb up.
Hunger got the best of us and we stopped to get another dose of pastries before we set off to the Eiffel Tower. We waited in line for nearly 2 hours to get tickets to go up the tower’s three platforms (57m, 115m and 276m) but you can save time by buying tickets online, which we did not do as the only slots available when I checked was at 11PM. It’s another beautiful view from the top, where with good visibility, you can see as far as 60km on a clear day. It was dark by the time we left the Eiffel Tower so we got to see the tower lit up.
Despite the long wait and the cold temperature at the top, it was a worthwhile trip. I recommend taking a jacket!