I get asked, several times a year, by my friends and family, for my Paris List. It’s no secret that I love Paris. It’s my favorite city in the world. I fell in love with Paris when I was 18, on a trip with my Dad and Stepmom. There’s just something about that city, the bridges, the bakeries, the parks, the restaurants, the shops, the neighborhoods, the metro, the wine, the Eiffel Tour… I just love it all.
I decided to put my Paris List into a series of posts for anyone who’s lucky enough to be traveling to Paris. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be writing about my favorite museums, restaurants, cafés, parks, things to see and do, and more. I’m using photos from our Honeymoon in Paris, along with quotes from a travel journal I kept while we were there.
To get things going, here is my list of 10 things you absolutely must do when you find yourself in Paris…
The Champs de Mars is the perfect evening hang out. It’s a wonderful place to have a little picnic and take in the view of the Eiffel Tower when it lights up late at night. There are lots of people camped out along the Champs de Mars all through the spring and summer. It’s the perfect spot to share a bottle of wine and talk, and talk, and talk.
Bread and Cheese paris
Whether you are in Paris for a few days or a few weeks it’s so much fun to find “your own” little bakery, wine shop, cheese shop, etc. Paris is grouped into little neighborhoods so you can easily make an area feel like it’s yours.
We used our map everyday to make our plans. We marked all of the places we wanted to see with letters and the restaurants were marked with numbers. That way we could easily pick an area to visit that had sights and good food nearby. Paris has great transportation. The buses are great and since they’re above ground you can take in the sights while getting from place to place. The Metro is really efficient and easy (watch out for pickpockets though)! My favorite way to get around Paris is to walk as much as possible. Often Kyle and I would walk “there” and take the Metro “home” after a long day of sightseeing.
There are so many great bridges over the Siene River. When we were picking an area to explore we would try to cross a new bridge on our way. I love Pont Alexandre III but there are so many to choose from.
We are lucky enough to have family in Paris which means we always have a great place to stay. I know a lot of people that love using Airbnb, or other vacation by owner type sites. It’s so wonderful to stay in an apartment because they are usually less expensive, and a little bigger than hotels. It’s also a wonderful way to make yourself “at home” while you’re traveling. It’s a lot easier to pretend you’re French when you’re coming home to a cozy apartment.
It’s so much fun to get caught in the rain in a city as lovely as Paris. But the effect would be ruined if you had an umbrella. It’s much more fun to take shelter in a nearby museum or café. As Audrey Hepburn said in Sabrina, “Never a briefcase in Paris, and never an umbrella”.
Last time we were in Paris I read, My Life in France by Julia Child. It made the trip (and the book) so much more rich because I was reading about the streets we were wandering down, the parks we were staying in, and the restaurants we were eating in.
I love the Parisian sky, and skyline. You really get a sense of the incredible architecture when you look up.
Eat your heart out. We at so much when we were there. We’d have five course lunches, three hour long dinners, croissants every morning, and wine every night. We ate so much incredible food. Make sure not to get on any scales while you’re there… ignore the ones at the Jardin du Luxembourg. For that matter only bring dresses and pants that won’t make you feel guilty by getting tight.
Paris is a wonderful city, enjoy everything about it (even the ridiculous things)!