Because Paris Is Always A Good Idea!
Paris is one of those places I would love to revisit over and over again! I love everything about it... the ornate architecture, seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night, the chandeliers, the cafes, the museums, the history, the shopping, and most of all... the boulangeries! I am a French food and French pastry connoisseur, so as you can guess, I was in heaven! The best thing about eating in France is it’s unlikely that you will gain weight. I have many friends from here that eat pasta and an entire baguette daily and don't gain a pound! European food is free from much of the preservatives and chemicals that we have in our food in the U.S.
Whether you arrive by plane or by train, everything in Paris is exquisitely elaborate!
There are SO MANY THINGS TO SEE AND DO. There are dozens of incredible museums and restaurants in Paris, it's hard to choose which to visit! That's why I created this travel guide! I want to thank my Parisian friends Niki Haghpanah & Aria Parker for helping me narrow down the top places to visit in Paris!
Side Note: Uber is unbelievable in Paris. It's like as soon as you order it, your Uber is right in front of you.
Things to Do
The Louvre is one of my favorite places in Paris! The Louvre is a beautiful place to take pictures and explore. The Louvre Museum is known for displaying famous pieces, such as the Mona Lisa. Stop by Café Marly at Lunch for the view, a champagne cocktail, and perhaps some croque monsieur.
This 17th century former royal palace is a beautiful sight to see. My favorite thing about it is the Jardin du Palais-Royal. The striped columns and architecture is the perfect photo op! We seriously had so much fun taking pictures and walking through the gardens.
Avenue des Champs-Élysées
Walking Champs-Élysées is the best thing to do the first day in Paris. It's a great way to take in many of my favorite things in Paris in one stretch. We got quite a bit distracted with the shopping here, but it's easy to shop and then walk back to where you left off! You can download the Champs-Élysées Tour directly from the GPSmyCity Paris app. I am more familiar with Google Maps so I just used that and was able to see the attractions on the way. Champs-Élysées starts off at the Tuileries Garden & ends with Arc de Triomphe. There are SO many famous landmarks and places along Champs-Élysées such as Place de la Concorde (monument marks the start of Champs-Élysées) Jardins des Champs-Élysées, Grand Palais. & more. Ladurée is also along Avenue des Champs-Élysées right before you get to the Arc de Triomphe. Finally, when you hit Arc de Triomphe, you know you have completed the Champs-ÉlyséesTour!
Ladurée is A MUST in Paris. If you read my blog Top 10 Places to Eat in NYC, you know that Ladurée is one of my favorite places ever! I was so excited to go to the OG Ladurée in Paris. Ladurée is the epitome of French luxury and the creator of the macaroon. In fact, no macaroon can compare to theirs! When visiting Paris, you have to stop and get a box! My favorites are rose, strawberry candy, and raspberry!
Arc de Triomphe
You can't miss the Arc de Triomphe and all its glory at the end of Avenue des Champs-Élysées. The top is known to be one of the best views of Paris!
The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most famous cathedrals of all time. This centuries-old medieval cathedral is a must see in Paris.
Luxembourg Gardens is ideal to visit during the springtime, located between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter. There are over 106 statues in between the beautiful gardens, an apiary, orchard, greenhouses, and fountains. There is lots to do and see here!
Personally I didn't travel all the way to Paris to go to Disneyland but I have seen pictures and it looks very different and unique! I would love to see it next time I go back. If you have been, let me know how it was in the comments!
Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles was on my list to visit and I'm so bummed we didn't have time to go! Oh well... just another excuse to go back to Paris! I think it is best to come here in the Spring/Summer anyway! I have seen AMAZING photos of the beautiful Jardins du Chateau de Versailles, The Hall of Mirrors, The Royal Stables, The Estate of Trianon and more. Not to mention all of the history here!
Palais Garnier (Opera)
The Opera is at the top of my favorites list. From the Grand Staircase to the painted ceilings lined with gold and chandeliers, the Opera is nothing short of spectacular. It is so beautiful and ornate in itself you feel as if you are in the midst of a mystical movie. There is so much history to be learned, I highly recommend doing a guided tour! If you are short on time, just walking through the place is amazing and something you don't want to miss.
Pont Alexandre III
Beautiful ornate bridge across the Seine, connecting the Champs-Élysées and Invalides. Pont Alexandre III leads to the Grand Palais and Petit Palais. You can also find Paris Seine River Cruises here (as well as many other places along the river) where you can take in the views of famous Paris landmarks and enjoy a three-course dinner.
Sacre Coeur Basilica
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. A grand basilica seated atop the highest point in Paris, the butte Montmartre. Sacre Coeur is one of the most famous places to visit in Paris.
Boulevard Saint Germain, Galeria, Avenue Montaigne, just to name a few popular shopping spots.
Honestly there's shopping in every corner of Paris. Shopping in Paris is everything you would expect it to be... grand, upscale, and glamorous. Paris is home to many luxury designers and haute couture. Most designer items are so much less expensive in Paris than in the U.S. because they are made in Paris or close by. At one point there were three Chanels all in a row... I went into each of them and they all had different things! If you are shopping for more expensive items, make sure you bring your passport with you! You can get a tax-refund form to bring with you to the airport for your purchase! Shopping in Paris is a dream.
Last but not least! One of the most famous landmarks in the world! At night, the Eiffel Tower sparkles at the top of every hour for a duration of five minutes. It is SO BEAUTIFUL in person. You can of course go up in the Eiffel Tower for a view of the city. Restaurants in the Eiffel Tower include 58 Tour Eiffel, Le Jules Verne, Champagne Bar, and Gustave Eiffel Lounge. If you want to dine in the Eiffel Tower, I would call before you leave for Paris to make a reservation!
Coat is from Lacy Coe
Louvre Museum - World's Largest Museum, features famous pieces such as the Mona Lisa.
Musée D'Orsay - Second most famous museum in Paris. Built inside a train station. Lost of Monet & Impressionist paintings.
Foundation de Louis Vuitton - The architecture of this museum is amazing! Art & cultural center, mostly impressionist paintings.
Musée Rodin - Famous Rodin Museum known for the sculpture of "The Thinker."
Centre Pompidou - Museum with a vast variety of collections and exhibitions!
Musée de L’orangerie - Art gallery of post-impressionist and impressionist paintings. Known for having some of Monet's famous Water Lilies!
Musée de Picasso - Famous Picasso Museum, beautiful inside. All Picasso pieces.
L'Acanthe - Delicious Authentic French breakfast.
Holybelly - Has the best reviews for brunch that I have seen in Paris! It's supposed to be really good!
Eggs & Co - Also has really good brunch reviews, however it does get really crowded! May be best to go on a weekday.
Crepes - ANY crepe place, especially off of the street, is my favorite for brunch or even a snack!
Cafe de Flore - Famous Cafe in Paris, and one of the oldest. Good place to get coffee & a croissant!
Sip Cafe Babylone - I highly recommend getting the cheese board!
Cafe de Flore - Best for coffee, brunch or a snack.
Les Deux Magots - A more upscale cafe, known for famous people in history dining here such as Pablo Picasso.
Le Procope - Walking into this cafe is like stepping back in time. It is the oldest cafe in Paris, Benjamin Franklin dined here.
Le Petit Chatlet - Good view of Notre Dame Cathedral. Exceptional service and food.
Le Petit Cler - Excellent french food with good pricing.
Ferdi - Must try cocktails and Mac and Cheese burgers.
A La Biche Au Bois - Good prices and amazing authentic french food.
II Sorrentino - Beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower. Italian cuisine.
Le Ciel de Paris - Means "Sky of Paris." Best night time restaurant view in Paris. It is more upscale and will require a reservation ahead of time. Perfect for date night.
French bakeries are my absolute favorite thing in the world! They are all pretty much the same, but here are some of the best!
Eric Kayser (many locations in Paris)
Du Pain et des Idées
Le Grenier à Pain
Chupitos Shot Bar - Fun young bar, they have shots where they light your mouth on fire it's INSANE!
La Pigalle - Great area for bars, you can see the Moulin Rouge!
L’Arc - Upscale club, world famous.
Where We Stayed
Hotel de Sers
Our hotel was nice, nothing extremely fancy but they did leave us champagne in the room! I don't think we could have been in a better location. The hotel was a two minute walk to the Louvre, so we were able to start the Champs-Élysées walking tour from there. It was a good central location in Paris. We did not include breakfast in our stay because there are so many amazing breakfast places in Paris!