There are few places in the world as iconic as Paris. The land of great art, music and food has throughout history served as a melting pot simultaneously for both the new and fashionable, as well as the magnificent but misunderstood. It is no wonder that to date people flock to the museums and cafes to find a piece of themselves, with movies set here always proving to be box office successes. If you’re planning a trip to Paris any time soon and are looking for some inspiration, here are a few of my personal favourite movie scenes in paris from recent visits that you simply have to try out.
There is something about a place like Paris that never ages, no matter how time passes or what new French slang becomes popular with the locals. To be walking by the Seine snacking on baguettes and reading by Notre-Dame on a September morning still brings as much pleasure now as it did in 1800. This lack of aging makes it the perfect place to hunt down those iconic movie scenes in Paris infamous moments lived by your favourite characters.
1. Snap Amelie style photographs on the Metro and at Sacre-Coeur
GCSE French class was made all the better by the presence of film, specifically Amelie. This quirky story follows Amelie Poulain as she meanders Paris on what is best described as somewhat of a scavenger hunt of kindness. The central point of this journey being Sacre-Coeur, there seems to be no better spot to begin with than here.
Let yourself get lost in the city to see what you can find. There is no end of delicious cafe dishes to sample and vintage stores to explore on your way. As you go, take some Amelie style snaps to collect in your scrapbook, the most iconic being a passport photo in the train stations of the Metro.
2. Watch the sun rise and set behind the Eiffel tower, Ratatouille style
If you’re up for some early morning and late night wandering, this should be top of your list. See Paris in all of its many perspectives as Monet did withing the movie scenes in Paris, or observe with a good view of the Eiffel tower, as in the more recent example of Remy from Ratatouille. If you’re going to visit Disneyland Paris whilst away, this is certainly one to fit into your city to do list beforehand.
And if it’s raining? Why, all the better! Find a spot along the Seine, take along your umbrella and some macaroons – and don’t forget your camera. With the Eiffel tower glittering away, see if you can snap that moment when the lights switch off and the sun is fully risen.
3. Find your favourite Fitzgerald and Hemingway at Shakespeare and Co, as featured in Midnight In Paris
Of course, I doubt you’ll be as lucky as the characters of Midnight In Paris to suddenly find yourself in the presence of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Picasso, but you can get pretty close to it. One of the first places protagonist Gil Prender visits is the Shakespeare and Co. bookshop, located just around the corner from Notre Dame on Rue De Bucherie.
Lose yourself amidst the pages of classics, new novels and poetry typed up in store. Leave your headphones on playing the soundtrack for that extra finishing touch.
4. Relive those last moments of The Devil Wears Prada by wearing your finest down the Champs-Elysees
There is a part in all of us that wants to be Andy Sachs as she walks away from Miranda at the end of this classic movie, taking back power over own her life in doing so. But equally so, there is also a bit in all of us that hopes she at least keeps the stunning wardrobe!
You can have a bit of both and reenact these movie scenes in paris with the most glamorous part of the film by wearing your favourite winter coat and boots whilst wandering the Champs-Elysees. Window shop in the company of your hot chocolate whilst being your most stylish self.
5. Sing the title song of The Phantom Of The Opera at the Opera Garnier
The musical adaptation of the original Gaston Leroux novel is perhaps Paris’ biggest claim to fame. Lloyd Webber even found his copy of the book in the city for only £1! The production has gone on to be performed all over the world for over 25 years now, with the movie being a must every Halloween.
Memorise those lyrics in advance so that when you spot the Opera Garnier you can be ready to commence the singing! You won’t be able to snap a photo from the roof but if you’ve got tickets to see a concert there, keep your eyes peeled to see if you can spot the Phantom in box number 5.