It’s been a busy few weeks. Starting a new job and trying to achieve some level of balance has been a challenge that I hadn’t expected. Typically, I am someone who sticks by her schedule (really, I’ve never veered from my routines too much!) but it seems that working from home has thrown my typical routines for a loop!
Thankfully, I’ve been able to get myself organized enough today to sit down and hash out for you my absolute favourite spots in Paris. The truth is, I loved Paris. It was the first place we visited on our trip, and it left a lasting impression on me for the entire duration of our travels around France. Since then, I’ve sworn I’d learn French and go back someday to live there for a few months. I look back on our time there and am completely taken with how beautiful it was, how kind the people were, and how whimsical the city felt.
Your Guide to Paris
Things to See
Visit the Eiffel Tower
If you’re in Paris, you have to see the Eiffel Tower. Don’t let those naysayers or “typical tourist” commentors get you down – go see it! It’s quite a spectacular site, and one I highly recommend not to miss. We were there during a cold time of year, but we still forced ourselves to go and have a picnic on the grass in front of it, and it was nothing short of magical. We stayed through the atfternoon until late a night to see the entire lit up and sparkling. If you have enough time, be sure to make time to see the Eiffel tower at night as the view is nothing short of spectacular!
The Catacombs in Paris were something that I had wanted to go see and walk through for months before our trip, and they did not disappoint. The catacombs of Paris hold over 6 million bones, and are located right underneath the city! Walking through the underground tunnels, it was overwhelming to see all the bones and take in just how many lives the bones represented. It was spooky, sad, and incredible to see.
Like all the other attractions listed on here, there is quite a long wait to enter the Catacombs, so be sure to wear shoes you’re comfortable standing and walking in. And one more reason to wear comfortable shoes: to get down to the catacombs you walk down a series of very steep stairs – and you’ll need to walk up them at the end too!
The Louvre Museum
One of my favourite memories from our time in Paris was the day we spent at the Lourve Museum. I was in awe from start to finish – from standing outside and simply taking in all the grand and beautiful architecture, to actually walking through the levels of the museum and getting the chance to see Leonardo Divinci’s Mona Lisa (I almost fainted I was so excited).
The incredible amounts of historical artifacts, paintings, and sculptures at the Louvre Museum are not to be missed, so if you’re in Paris be sure to get your tickets, and wear some good walking shoes.
*We spent about 8 hours walking around (and could have easily spent longer) and by the end of the day both of our feet were aching
The Notre Dame Cathedral
This medieval Catholic cathedral is something I have always dreamed of seeing. Sadly, by the time I got there I wasn’t able to actually explore inside, but we sat outside and had a snack and viewed the incredible cathedral at night. Be smarter than we were though, and show up early so that the doors of the Notre Dame are still open when you arrive!
Walk down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées (on the sidewalk, please!)
One thing we did a lot of in Paris was walking, and one place that stands out as being so memorable to walk down was the Avenue des Champs-Élysées leading up towards The Arch de Triomphe. While it may seen like it’s just a road, it’s a road that leads to an incredible momnument, and it’s a bustling part of the city that is home to many shops and restaurants for you to try out along your walk.
The Arc de Triomphe
After talking about the Champs Élysées it just seems right to move onto the Arc de Triomphe! Paris is home to so many incredible monuments, including The Arc de Triomphe. The Arc de Triomphe was erected to honor those who faught and died during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, and it stands tall at the end of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. It tends to be a very busy monument to go visit, so be sure you get there early so you can snag a spot to view it, and to avoid the line-ups to go into it.
The Seine River
The Seine River runs through the center of Paris. Lined with walkways and benches, this is the perfect spot to go for a walk, pack up a picnic, and stay for a while. Often, if you cross the wooden bridges that arch over the Seine River, you’ll be able to sit and listen to beautiful live music while watching the boats float by. Each night we were in Paris, we would go and walk along the Seine River to see the passing boats, listen to the live music, and catch a twinkling view of the Eiffel Tower.
A notable district in Paris, Montmartre is the largest hill in Paris and is home to the Basilica Sacré-Cœur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris), Moulin Rouge, and the art gathering area.
Where to Eat
Have an Authentic French Meal
One of the best meals we had on our trip was in a restaurant that had no sign, but looked to be packed with locals. When we travel, we always try to dine where the locals dine to get a really authentic feel of the city we’re in. On our first night, we spotted a restauranted packed with locals and we decided to try it out ourselves. We loved that our first night there we had found a hole in the wall gem, and we both are dying to go back. I wish I could tell you all the name of this quaint restaurant, but part of the beauty was the spontinaity of it all.
Have a Picnic infront of the Eiffel Tower (psst – pack along some wine!)
One thing that you need to do (and yes, I know it’s very touristy) is grab a bottle of wine, some cheese, a baget, and some cured meats and make your way over to the Eiffel Tower. One of my best memories from our trip was simply sitting together infront of the Eiffel Tower with our picnic set up. It’s a fun experience and one I really think you shouldn’t miss out on!
Go to a Michelin Star Restaurant (for lunch – it’s cheaper!)
Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m going to get fancy than it just feels right for it to be in Paris. One thing we planned to do before heading on our trip was to try a Michelin Star restaurant while we were in Paris. We both love to eat (though my waistline sometimes begs to differ) and after looking online at the Michelin Star restaurants in Paris it felt like the perfect opporunity to try one out. We went to L’Agape for lunch, as the lunch menu at Michelin Star restaurants tend to be more affordable, and we had the most incredible meal of our lives. It was an amazing experience (so amazing in-fact that I had to be “one of those people” and take a photo of each plate served!)