Sunday, July 1, 2018

My Favorite Things To Do In Paris


Here's a fun fact for you: 6 years ago I moved to Paris for a month with my best friend. I had DREAMED of Paris for years (we're talking posters on my walls, Eiffel Tower iPhone background, the works) so I knew I wanted to spend a solid amount of time there in my 20s. We rented a cute apartment walking distance to the Eiffel Tower, fully expecting to live our best lives - and I hated it. Though the city was as beautiful as I'd imagined it to be, the frigid November weather coupled with horrible neighbors and generally rude Parisians had me thinking I'd never return. That being said, there were lots of bits I did love. I even had some incredible memorable times with some of my favorite people. Plus let's be real, there is NO denying the food in France is spectacular.

So, over the last 6 years, while living and Europe and watching all my friends visit and return with incredible photos, stories, & restaurant recommendations, my curiosity was peaked. Springtime is supposed to be Paris at it's finest, and apparently it's the most romantic city in the world (6 years ago I was newly single, now I am very much attached) so when the opportunity to visit presented itself, I said hey - everyone deserves a second chance, right? 


Well, I'm happy to report that this time round I had a MUCH more pleasant time. Spring in Paris is stunning, and the warm weather seemed to warm up the locals attitudes. Being with the love of my life also helped, as I was definitely able to pick up on the romance this time round. 

So, in honor of my rekindled flame for the city of lights, here is a list of my favorite things to do in Paris - some I discovered while I lived there, and some from this last trip! 


Eat, eat, eat & eat some more

When someone asks what your favorite food is, most people name a geographic cuisine - Italian, Mexican, Thai, etc. I rarely hear people say French, which is I N S A N E because French food is honestly the best. Croissants, baguettes, macarons, pastries galore. Not to mention croque madame (a personal favorite), duck confit, soup a l'oignon, even escargot (it's delicious, I swear!) So needless to say eating my way around Paris is always a top priority. My favorite cafe to pop into is Cafe de Flore in Saint Germain. Violently overpriced, but you can't beat the food, ambiance, and amazing history (the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and many other famous writers and philosophers frequented back in the 1920s, making it a popular haunt with incredible energy!)




Museums Galore

Paris is home to the broadest collection of art in the whole world, and holds THE most famous museum in the whole world (hello, Louvre) so going to Paris and not splashing out on visiting the museums is a serious travesty. Pictured above, myself checking out Monet at Musée de L'Orangerie, which was jaw dropping. I also recommend Versailles, which is definitely my favorite museum in Paris!




Listen to the choir in Notre Dame

I'm not a cathedral girl. I don't particularly seek them our or look forward to visiting them, but Notre Dame was a game changer for me. The first time I walked inside I was speechless. If you can go during a choral performance, it is seriously such an incredible, uplifting experience. 




Stroll on the Isle de Saint Louis

For some reason I find the Isle de Saint Louis to be the most magical area of Paris. Every corner is picturesque, from the beautiful buildings to the river views to the ice cream at Berthillon. It's a living portrait of what I imagined Paris would be when I was younger. 




Hunt for Treasure

I've never found better second hand shops then I have in Paris. They are EVERYWHERE, and the treasures you can find are truly unrivaled. I also enjoy walking through the Marche de Saint Ouen (the Paris flea) where I snapped the photo above. 


Gallerie Vivienne 

This is a new discovery, but somewhere I will be going back to. It's essentially a tiny shopping mall, but not in the traditional sense. It is STUNNING, filled with beautiful specialty shops and cafes and really gives you a *pinch me* Parisian moment when you're walking through. 




Disneyland

I fully realize this isn't everyones bag, but Disneyland is my favorite place EVER so whenever I'm in a city that holds one, it's a must visit. Truthfully, Disneyland Paris isn't the most impressive Disney, but it is beautiful and NEVER crowded - 45 minutes would be a SUPER long wait time there (as opposed to 2+ hours at Disneyland California!) Plus Space Mountain and Phantom Manor are MUST rides for Disney fans - they are far superior to their American counterparts! 




Montmartre

Montmartre stole my heart from the minute I stepped foot into it 6 years ago. It's a bit rough around the edges, which is refreshing in a city known for its pretension. It's also chock full of incredible history and has the best views in Paris (and some of the best second hand shops, too!) 




Visit Cafe Kitsune and sit in the Palais Royale

This place is a blogger favorite, and now that I've been it's easy to see why. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but the coffee is great (one of the only places we went that served more than just espresso) and it is RIGHT on the Palais Royale, so it's wonderful to have your coffee, sit amongst the gardens and people watch. 



Picnic @ the Eiffel Tower 


Going to the top of the Eiffel Tower is fun, and definitely something to put on the bucket list, but once you've done it once (or twice in my case, once at night and once during the day!) the beautiful stretch of green in front of it becomes more appealing. I love picnics, I love French food, and I love nice views, so a picnic on the Champ du Mars marries all 3 of those things perfectly. Picnic recommendations: baguette, brie, hummus, carrots, salmon pate, madeleines, macarons & lemonade. The dream. 



Just writing these things out is making me want to go hop on the next plane. I think my Parisian hatred may be cured for good. I'll definitely be back! 


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