Paris was a dream. How lovely it was to get lost down the romantic streets and stroll along the Seine.
My main takeaway – you’ll enjoy the walk to each destination as much as the sight you’re walking to see. Don’t be afraid to let yourself explore an intriguing side street or detour down a charming alley. Obviously, be safe and don’t wander shady areas alone in the dark – use common sense! But, some of the best things we saw weren’t on our highlighted pre-planned routes.
–Montmartre. Home to Basilica Sacré Cœur and tons of adorable bistros, cobblestone alleys and colorful doorways.
–Îl Saint-Louis. The small island on the Seine just east of Îl de la Cité with beautiful views of the river and home to Berthillon glacier, arguably serving the best ice cream in Paris.
–Le Marais. Historic district with stunning architecture (seriously I photographed every building façade!) that has some seriously chic boutiques and art galleries. A hip and stylish paradise great for unique gifts and droolworthy window displays.
Museums – Musée D’Orsay or Musée de l’Orangerie are tied in the top spot for me. D’Orsay’s stunning train station-turned-museum setting is the perfect place to view famous Impressionist works (plus those clocktowers!) and l’Orangerie, with its curved walls built specifically to showcase Monet’s Water Lilies master work, is breathtaking.
Views – The Paris rooftops by night glow when viewed from the top of the hill by Basilica Sacré Cœur. Catch the Eiffel Tower when it is lit at night and glittering on the top of every hour. Also great to see it shimmering from Pont Alexandre III.
Food – My favorite thing to do was stop in at the many boulangeries dotted across the city to inhale a croissant or indulge in chouquettes (mini choux pastries – like cream puffs – sprinkled with sugar crystals or dipped in chocolate). Top choice: Du Pain et Des Idées in the 10th – pick up an escargot pistache/chocolat. Also stop for the lunch special at Poilâne – tartine, tea and dessert. Plus amazing bread!
Pastime – Buy a fresh baguette, a bottle of wine, and your cheese of choice (Franprix is a great place to find all of the aforementioned at a steal) and picnic at the Champ de Mars beneath the Eiffel Tower. Don’t forget a bottle opener (though, if you’re lucky a fellow picnicking Parisian will come to the rescue) and bring Nutella, you hedonist!