Bonjour! Welcome to Part II of our European adventure. After six fun-filled days in London, we took the Eurostar to Paris. This was my second trip (my uncle took me for my 16th birthday), and I was so excited for macarons, hot chocolate, and exploring. Considered one of the world’s most romantic cities, it seemed like the perfect anniversary trip destination.
From the Eiffel Tower to street art in Montmarte there’s always something to see, a new arrondissement to explore, and food to be eaten 🙂 But, if you only have a few days in the City of Lights (“La Ville-Lumière”) like us, here’s everything you can’t miss!
The Eiffel Tower is the world’s most visited paid monument, and you can’t miss it. To wait in a shorter line, save money, and get some exercise, we opted to take the stairs to the second level. After all, not many people can say they’ve walked the Eiffel Tower. The view from the top is phenomenal, and we got a good sense of just how much ground we had covered on foot the day before. Tip: If you want to go to the top and still get some exercise, you can always purchase an elevator ticket to the top after you climb to the second level (and save some time in the queue as well!).
The Louvre is one of the world’s largest and most impressive museums. So, you can’t go to Paris without a stop. We arrived around 9:30 a.m. and only waited twenty minutes or so for entrance. But, I have read the line could take hours if you don’t time it right.
After our visit to the Mona Lisa (there were hundreds of people trying to take a picture), we navigated the hallways, explored, and took some fun statue pics. My husband spotted one of his favorite Iron Chefs (Geoffrey Zakarian) wondering the halls with his family. Excited is an understatement.
A Foodie Tour
Perhaps this isn’t on any travel lists, but my husband and I took an afternoon to sample macarons and treats. It’s Paris, and with all the walking—you deserve a pastry (or two!). Thirty macarons later (seriously) Laduree was our favorite (in addition to the macarons we sampled at Borough Market in London).
Jardin du Luxembourg
The perfect summer spot for an afternoon picnic, or some great people watching. We walked the grounds on our first day in Paris and there were hundreds of people. I felt so Parisian walking in the gardens, and soaking in the sun (until I took out my map).
One of the most famous avenues in the world, Avenue-des-Champs-Elysees is known for luxury shops, cafes, and theatres. We had fun window shopping, and got a few laughs at the red carpets in front of stores like Abercrombie & Fitch. We were ravenous and got a quick bite at a nearby restaurant. But, I recommend looking for a spot a few blocks off the Avenue to avoid the inflated prices and lower quality (live and learn).
Other great spots to see in Paris (there are just so many!)
- Arc de Triomphe
- Musee d’Orsay
- Notre Dame Cathedral
- Les Invalides
- Tuileries Garden
- Hotel de Ville
- Place de la Concorde
- Catacombs of Paris
- Saint Germain des Pres for Shopping
- Montmartre for Artists, Art, and the old Paris
- Day trip to Versailles Palace: Do not miss the Palace gardens!
Foodie Faves in Paris
I will admit, I struggled a bit food wise in Paris. Parisian food is typically a bit heavier than what we’re used to, and the french eat later (similar to other cities in Europe). When hunger strikes at 5:30 p.m., there aren’t too many open options. That being said, we did discover several foodie spots with the help of friends’ recommendations and Instagram. We found Yelp to be quite inconsistent with our experiences, so beware if you happen to rely on it for the city. #parisfood
Marlon Paris: Yes, it’s true. I went all the way to Paris to dine at a Californian style restaurant. Avocado toast, acai bowls, and more, this bright and airy spot was the perfect spot for brunch. My husband got the dreamy acai bowl pictured below, and I opted for an egg dish. I will admit, it wasn’t what I expected. I ate it in two minutes and was still hungry. Perhaps that’s how French women stay so trim?
Season Paris: I know, I know. More avocado toast. But seriously, this place was delicious, and well worth the two mile walk. I scarfed down avocado toast with fried eggs, and my husband absolutely loved their shakshuka. The rich and spicy tomato sauce and baked eggs was the perfect spread for the fresh bread on the table.
Daroco: Considered one of the best Italian spots in town, we were ready for some pizza. Pizza in Paris? Well, sometimes a girl has a craving 🙂 And Daroco did not disappoint. Aaron and I both consider it the best dinner on our Parisian adventure.
L’as du fallafel: Multiple friends told us about this falafel spot in the Marais. True to reputation, it was some of the best falafel we’ve ever had (it’s hard to beat the falafel in Israel). L’as du fallafel isn’t fancy, but the order-at-the-window style stop makes a delicious sandwich. I wish I had gotten a picture of Aaron scarfing down the falafel pita…it was pure joy.
Laduree: We came, we saw, and we ate tons of macarons. The final verdict: Laduree. We tried a dozen flavors and loved the chocolate (dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and more) and the black currant (cassis). I recommend getting multiple flavors and taste testing. It’s impossible to pick just one.
Angelina Paris: Angelina has the best hot chocolate, well worth the $9 price tag. Visit the location by the Louvre to sit at a table, sip hot chocolate, and enjoy a pastry. Even with the heat wave we went twice.
Fauchon Paris: One of my memories from my first trips to Paris is pastries at Fauchon. The pastries are mini pieces of art. I just had to return for more.
Over 10 days my husband and I walked 105 miles, took tons of photos, ate delicious food, and made a ton of memories. I can’t wait for our next adventure. Now, I could really use a foot massage 🙂