I’ve been dreaming about going to Paris since I was a little girl. I feel like that is such a cliché statement but it is the absolute truth. I took French all through high school and for two years in college. Yes, 6 years of French and you wanna know how fluent I am? Zip, zilch, none. Kidding I can speak a tiny bit but not near as much as I should be able to from studying the language for 6 years. Sorry mom & dad, your money was not well spent (:
Recently a few people have asked me some things to do in Paris, so I thought I would share my absolute musts when visiting the city!
Things to Do:
You can’t go to Paris without hitting a museum or two or five. If you plan on visiting more than one museum I suggest getting a museum pass, this lets you cut all the lines and save you money. You can’t leave Paris without going to The Louvre, but there are so many other museums in Paris that are incredible. Musée d’Orsay (my personal fav), Musée de l’Orangerie, Musée Rodin just to name a few.
If you have the time, take a day and hop on a train and go to the Palace of Versailles. Make sure to buy your ticket the day before so you don’t have to wait in the crazy line at the entrance! This can be said for most places you’ll visit in Paris- planning ahead is key. It will save you so much time, money and patience and leave you with the best experience possible, but more on that below.
There are so many places to view this gorgeous city. Most would tell you to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower to see Paris, but seeing the Eiffel Tower is one of the best parts of the city. Instead, go to the top of the Arc de Triumphe for stunning views that include the iconic Eiffel Tower or venture up to Sacred Heart Cathedral (Sacré-Cœur) for more of a birds eye view of the whole city. Go on a clear day so you can see far and wide!
If you are in Paris over a weekend, there is an amazing flea market to check out. It’s kind of difficult to find so I’ll leave the address below! There are so many booths with beautiful pieces from furniture old and new, to paintings & other art, tourist souvenirs and vintage designer items. The best booth is Le Monde du Voyage. Vintage designer items. Think Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel, all the goods. This is an amazing flea market so definitely check it out if you are in the city over the weekend!
Address is: 108-110 rue des Rosiers
If you are a shopper, Paris is the place to be. Here are some streets that have the best shopping!
Champs de Elysse
Rue des Francs Bourgsois
Les Trois Marches de Catherine
Where to Stay:
Paris is the best walking city, so it’s super important to pick a spot that is centrally located. In my opinion, the 7th Arrondissement is a great area. Near Champ de Mars, museums, Saint-Germain (where I dream about buying an apartment one day), and so much more. These areas are relatively walking distance from so many major sights, but if you’re worn out, or frankly just dont feel like walking anymore there are metro stations everywhere, as well as Uber, and cabs.
check out my Tips for Booking Airbnb Abroad post to find out where I stayed in Paris!
What to Eat:
The french really know what’s up when it comes to food. You could spend a year in the country just trying all the yummy delicacies, but most of us don’t have time for that so here’s just a few things you have to try!
Crêpe’s savory or sweet whichever you fancy, you just have to get one! Croissant in the land of pastries the most buttery flakey thing you will ever put in your mouth – you can’t go wrong with a simple butter or smear some Nutella on it. Try an assortment of macarons from either Ladurée (my personal fav) or Pierre Hermé, hot chocolate & pain au chocolat from Angelina’s you pour your own amount of melty chocolate into your cup and mix it all together I’m drooling just thinking about it. If you watched Gossip Girl, Blair and Serena always hung out at Café de Flore and for obvious reasons sip on an espresso and enjoy a croque madame or monsieur.
Check out this article with with so many other things to eat while in Paris.
First and foremost, plan out your days. There is so much to do and see in Paris that you don’t want to waste your days thinking about what you’re going to do next! If you want to go to museums, check their open times. Each museum is different and most of them are closed one day a week. It would be a shame to show up to a museum you’ve been dying to go to just to find out it doesn’t open for a few more hours or it’s closed that day… Do a quick google search to find out. There are also days where museums are free for certain demographics or at certain times of the month- so definitely check into that as well! Download an off-line map of the city on google maps. International service can be dodgy so download it just to be on the safe side! I also suggest downloading the app CityMapper. It completely takes the stress out of using public transportation! It quit literally saved my life while I was traveling abroad. It’s free, super user friendly, and such a time saver.
If you’ve been to Paris, what are some of your favorite things to do? If you haven’t what are you dying to do?! I’m already planning my next trip and I’d love to add more things to my list! Let me know in the comments below!