Paris was one of those cities that I had always dreamed of going to, and knew I would take off the second I had the chance. Even though everyone grows up seeing pictures of Paris and it’s many landmarks, nothing does it justice than seeing it in person. Walking by these amazing landmarks everyday never got old, and it was breathtaking every time. Even though I could have spent another month there exploring everything Paris had to offer, I was able to see the top things on my checklist. And when you get the chance, say YES to Paris without hesitation!
How We Got There
Eurostar Train: Since we flew into London for the first leg of this trip, we trained using the Eurostar Rail System and went through the English Channel Tunnel, or affectionately known as the “chunnel”. The train ride was easy, comfortable, and you could even BYOB. Though the train station in Paris was a little hectic once we arrived, it was definitely a travel option I would take again. Much easier than dealing with an airport!
Where We Stayed
Saint Germain Des Prés: We found a charming AirBNB in Saint Germain, and we couldn’t have been in a better location. It was a quaint studio apartment on a great street. We were near so many bars and restaurants and a 5 minute walk from the Notre Dame. It was far from the Eiffel Tower, but close to everything else and served as a wonderful home base.
Attractions We Saw
** WORTH NOTING** Something I learned about when I got there was what they call a “Concessions” rate, available to those 18-25 year olds who are not citizens of an EU member state. It was almost equivalent to a student discount in the states, and allowed us to get cheaper entrance rates to museums, and even cheaper train tickets!
Notre Dame: This almost doesn’t need an explanation. This is one of the many Iconic landmarks in Paris that is a must see. After exploring the interior of the Cathedral, we walked around to the left side, and got tickets to climb to the top. They are reservation only, so we waited about 30 minutes before our assigned time. Climbing to the top and taking in the view of the Paris skyline was gorgeous in the afternoon sunlight. Seeing the Cathedral lit up at night was also a sight worth seeing.
Musee D’Orsay: This museum is just outside of St. Germain, and is housed in an old Paris train station. Home to many impressionist paintings by the likes of Monet and Van Gough, it was an incredible museum with amazing pieces that you grow up learning about. Seeing these pieces in person was amazing. The Museum took about 2-3 hours to get through.
Arc De Triomphe: This amazing monument commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 is what I like to think of as one of the most gorgeous traffic circles in the world! One of the epicenters of the city, you can access an underground tunnel to get to the base of the monument.
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées: The shopping center of Paris, and home to every store you could imagine. This long strip is full of cafes, theaters and luxury shops runs 1.9 kilometers and is just cool to see.
River Siene: This river runs right through the middle of the city and it absolutely gorgeous. One thing I would have loved to do but didn’t have enough time was to take a dinner cruise on the river. Next time it will be on my list!
The Louvre: This museum is another well known attraction to anyone who has seen pictures of Paris. The glass pyramid that sits outside of the museum is an eye catching piece of architecture, and a must have photo op. We didn’t get a chance to go inside the museum, because many say to expect to spend a least a half a day wandering the museum, but it was still gorgeous to see the outside of it.
Jardin Du Palais Royal: This gorgeous landmark used to be home to the formal Royals of Paris. We didn’t explore the interior, it was an awesome spot to visit, hang out, and a great spot for some photo ops!
Jardin Du Luxembourg: The Luxembourg Gardens and the Luxembourg palace was built in 1612 by Marie de’ Medici who was the widow of King Henry IV of France. Today, the building is home to the French Senate, who hold meetings at the Gardens and Palace. It is a gorgeous Oasis in the middle of the city, and was a great place to hang out and decompress after a long day of walking around.
Eiffel Tower: I mean, duh. This should be the number one thing on everyone’s bucket list for when they go to Paris. I will say, pictures of the tower do NOT do it justice. This amazing structure takes your breath away the second you see it in all of it’s glory. It is HUGE and absolutely stunning. There is a restaurant at the top of the tower, and guests can go up to the top to take in the view. One of the most amazing parts of this trip came on a Saturday night. The first 5 minutes of every hour at night, the tower glitters and sparkles. It is absolutely an amazing sight. The best part, was sitting in the park where the tower is, with a bottle of champagne, taking in the view. It was one of my favorite Paris memories.
Where We Ate
L’Atlas: 11 Rue de Buci, 75006 Paris A gorgeous little bistro in St. Germain that had a great wine selection, and some of the best charcuterie I’ve had outside of Italy.
Pizza Cesar: 76 Rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris Despite the name, this was a fairly nice Italian restaurant that was full of locals. The pasta was fresh and the wine was amazing. Even better, the people who worked there were incredibly friendly.
Amorino: 4 Rue de Buci, 75006 Paris An AWESOME gelato place that, admittedly, was visited every night. Their specialty was 2 scoops of gelato with a macaron on top.
Paul: 77 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris This was our go to breakfast spot, and it was carb heaven. The croissants and baguettes were incredible, and the coffee was even better.
La Mascotte: 6 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75008 Paris This was a cute little French bistro in between the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. It was the perfect pit stop on the way to the Arc, and had an amazing wine list. The Steak Frites was so tender and flavorful.
Cafe Panis 21 Quai de Montebello, 75005 Paris This awesome cafe is right on the other side of the Siene from the Notre Dame, so while you enjoy a glass of wine and a Croque Madame, you can take in all the views of the amazing Cathedral. This place also served the most delicious Croque Madame i’ve ever had in my life.
Maison Georges Larnicol 132 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris a great Patisserie in the heart of St. Germain, that has chocolate and macarons and every kind of french desserts you could envision. The Macarons were delicious, and the flavors were amazing.
La Procope 13 Rue de l'Ancienne Comédie, 75006 Paris My favorite dining experience in Paris by far. This is a traditional French Bistro serving up incredible french dishes. Even better, this is the oldest cafe in Paris, having opened in 1686. Everything about this meal was amazing.
Where We Drank
Hôtel d’Aubusson 33 Rue Dauphine, 75006 Paris This was a really cool hotel with an even cooler Jazz bar. We stopped in for a couple of after dinner drinks and enjoyed the sounds of the live Jazz band. Was such a cool Parisian experience.
And remember to always be Traveling Trendy.