An ultimate guide to Paris, one of my favorite French cities. Although I didn’t fall IN love in Paris, I sure did fall in love WITH Paris. The beauty of this city is unreal. I can’t even tell you how many times I was blown away by something I was able to see… The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, the views from Montmartre, and just about everything else. When I first arrived to Paris I was a little disappointed and under impressed. It wasn’t until I spent the next day walking around all day, 15 miles and 35,000 steps to be exact, that I found the true magic of Paris. But, who was I to judge Paris based on the first meeting? No big city is perfect, but not all cities redeem themselves quite like Paris did. I hope that Paris is everything and more for you, too, when you visit. And I hope my ultimate guide to Paris helps you out with spending your time wisely.
1. Eiffel Tower
I’m not exaggerating when I say seeing the Eiffel Tower is magical. I’ve dreamed about seeing it and watching it sparkle at night my entire life. This was a big check off the bucket list. Why not have a picnic with wine and baguettes under the eiffel tower? Then head up to the second level and watch the sunset with a macaron in hand… I can promise you that both of these things are a wonderful experience. I visited the Eiffel Tower all three days while visiting Paris and I was amazed each and every time.
2. Musée de Louvre
I’ll be honest, the museum is a little overwhelming. Make a list of what you want to see beforehand and make sure you see those pieces and if you have extra time walk around and marvel the rest of the museum. I promise that you won’t be able to see it all in one day… or one week, but you could hit a lot of the pieces you are interested in, in one day. Be sure not to miss the Mona Lisa… a world famous painting that resides in the Louvre.
3. Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées
If you aren’t visiting Paris on a budget and you love shopping high-end designer brands, this is the street for you. If you are visiting Paris on a budget, still come here and experience the street and seeing the Arc. It’s a fun place to wander around and see the hustling and bustling of Paris. Not to mention, you can climb the stairs to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and take in the views of the city. I unfortunately did not get to do this, due to limited time and long lines. But, since Paris is one city I would love to visit again, I will make sure to make the trek to the top of the Arc on my next visit.
A large hill in Paris leaving fantastic and extremely beautiful views of the city. Very well known as the art district of Paris, I was able to pick up a beautiful canvas painting of the city. Make the trek up to Montmartre, have lunch, and spend the day wandering through the streets while taking in views of the city. However, be warned that there are usually tons of people up there. We were fighting through crowds to get up to the top of the hill, but the views made it worth the hike.
5. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral
A visit to the medieval Catholic Cathedral in Paris was a must-do! The architecture was incredible and walking through the Cathedral had me in awe the entire time. When visiting Paris, make time to visit this incredible 800 year old Cathedral.
6. Take a Canal Ride on the River Seine
A perfect way to see the city of Paris. Go to the riverside near the Eiffel Tower and buy tickets to take a cruise up and down River Seine, I promise you won’t regret it! It’s a relaxing ride with amazing views of the city that you maybe wouldn’t see otherwise (plus, a great break from walking if, like myself, you spend 12 hours walking around Paris).
7. Eat Delicious Food
I could write an entire post on all the foods to eat in Paris, but I’ll keep it to one little section so I don’t make your mouth water too much. It’s no secret that I love to eat when traveling. I think it’s a huge part of the culture of traveling. Trying new foods, socializing with new friends, treating yourself to dessert a little more often than when you’re at home.
Macarons • a Paris must-have dessert, try one on top of the Eiffel Tower while watching the sunset or buy a box and eat them under the Eiffel Tower with a picnic
Baguettes • because you couldn’t get more French, take advantage of all of the carbs and bread while in Paris
Croque Monsieur • if you liked grilled cheese sandwiches, I promise you that this would be a treat. Imagine a grilled cheese with ham, but with extra cheese baked on top of the bread. It’s as good as it sounds. Make it a Croque Madame, which adds a fried egg on top… yum.
Wine • one of the most important things to take advantage of while traveling around Europe. Where else is it acceptable to drink wine for a meal every day of the week? Make it even better by buying a bottle of wine and hanging out under the Eiffel Tower with friends
Crepes • another one of my favorites, but thats just because I have a sweet tooth. Nutella and banana crepe? Yes please!
I think I could talk about food forever, but here are a few of my favorite indulgent’s from my trip to Paris. I normally like to try and keep a healthy diet, but I will ALWAYS indulge while traveling. It’s part of the culture.
8. Walk Around and Explore
Like I mentioned above, I spent one of my days in Paris just wandering the city. I walked over 15 miles and 35,000 steps in one day. My feet hurt. A lot. But, I would do it all over again. Like I’ve said, I think just walking around is the absolute best way to see a city. Paris is a pretty big city, but I somehow managed to walk from Notre Dame to the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe and to the Eiffel Tower. I was exhausted. There are so many benefits to just walking and exploring a city, besides the obvious fact of fully getting to know a city, you are able to stay active and it is a free activity. Next time you’re in Paris, or anywhere for that matter, get out and walk and enjoy the beautiful weather and city.
Use this ultimate guide to Paris on your next Parisian adventure!