::: view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower at night :::
One week in Paris was just enough time to decide that I could live there. I’ve already mentioned a few of my favorite things from the trip here, but there really wasn’t much that I didn’t absolutely love. I even purchased my own perfect shade of YSL red while walking around Champs-Élysées. What’s Paris without perfect red lips?
::: side street in the Latin Quarter :::
Below are my “Must Sees” while in Paris. Enjoy!
Eiffel Tower: Of course. We viewed it first from the Batobus (water taxi) and then went up one evening. Long lines in the summer months, but you can book an appointment on the Eiffel Tower website ahead of time.
::: at the Eiffel Tower :::
::: Eiffel Tower :::
Palace du Luxembourg: We planned to walk around Saint Germain des Pres because some friends said it was their favorite area. This was a “must see” there. The gardens are sprawling and magnificent. Take a picnic and lounge for the day if you have time. There’s a cute little pond where kids can rent sailboats to watch float around.
::: Palace du Luxembourg :::
::: small sailboats at Jardin du Luxembourg :::
Moulin Rouge: We didn’t plan to go to Moulin Rouge so we didn’t book ahead (which is necessary it was 100% booked when we got to Paris). I did want to see the Montmartre area of Paris though, so when the hotel found a spot for us due to a cancellation we went for it. The side shows are better than the cabaret (I’m comparing it to Crazy Horse Paris in Vegas), but it was worth it seeing a Paris staple. After we stumbled upon a humble bar two doors down with a live band playing American music that kept us dancing until close.
::: Moulin Rouge :::
Arc du Triomphe / Champs-Élysées: From where we were staying it was a quick walk to the Place de la Concorde end of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. I enjoyed walking and shopping up one side of the Avenue, touring the Arc du Triomphe (and walking up all 284 stairs), and back via the other side. The top of the Arc has a great view of the city.
::: Arc du Triomphe :::
Les Catacombes: This was the best surprise of our trip. I read about Les Catacombes, but no description or picture can do it justice. In the touristy months be prepared to wait more than an hour and a half, but it will be worth it. Descend a spiral staircase 80 steps into the ground to find the bones and skulls of 6 million Parisians, placed there circa 1786.
::: Les Catacombes :::
::: 6 million Parisians :::
::: Underground in Les Catacombes…Scary! :::
Food: Croissants, croissants, more croissants, french onion soup, escargot, cappuccinos, and crepes. I’ve never had so much cheese in my life! Nabuchodonosor is perfect for authentic French and the servers speak just enough English. As an escape from all the bread and cheese, we ate at Buddha Bar which I recommend for a fun ambience and great Asian food. The rest of the week we sat at random cafes along the way while meandering each day, most were very good.
::: Escargot, French Onion, and of course a Cappuccino :::
Drinks: Our first night we made a beginner’s mistake, too much drinking day 1 of vacation. We met some friends who recommended the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz and four shots (30 Euros! a piece) later we decided it was novel seeing the place, but not really worth the price… or the hangover! On a tamer night we visited Harry’s New York Bar where we enjoyed unique aperitifs, mine with champagne (surprise?) and absinthe. Come with convo ammo as there’s no music.
::: Mixologists at Harry’s New York Bar :::
Paris from the Seine: Whether you take a champagne cruise, dinner cruise, or just take the Batobus you should absolutely see Paris from the Seine. You’ll see many of the major sights from the water and after a long day of walking around it’s nice to relax and take in the romance of Paris. We opted for the champagne cruise (surprise again?).
::: Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris :::
::: TIPS :::
- For the Louvre, buy your tickets at the Tourism office on Rue des Pyramids then walk over and use a special entrance for no line
- In summer months it stays light until around 10:30 pm (which made for some really long and incredible days!). Plan to get to the Eiffel Tower in time to see it in the daylight and sparkling at night-time.
- Great shopping on Rue St. Honore (splurge: Goyard scarf)
- Just get lost, but have a map. I brought the Lonely Planet Paris Encounter book and it offered up great suggestions