I'm so, so, so behind on this post, but better late than never, right? Tristan and I went to Paris mid-March, and I absolutely loved it. For a TL;DR list of things to do, here's a few things worth seeing in Paris:
(Just a note that the only place we actually bought tickets in advance was for the Catacombes, everything else we either experienced from a distance or bought tickets the day of)
Thanks to AirBnb, we stayed in a trendy loft near the Latin-Quarter - it was within walking distance to everything. The place was so well decorated and our host was the best. You walk through giant double doors into a beautiful outdoor courtyard and go up a cozy elevator to your unit. Our view was just as beautiful. We could see Parisian rooftops and juliet balconies. Way off in the distance, we could see the tip of the Eiffel Tower. I highly recommend this place! If you're interested in staying here, click here.
Day one was our longest day - we wanted to see everything. We went for brunch at a place called Shakespeare and Co. Cafe, which is connected to their bookstore. This was probably one of my favourite places to go. The space was lined with books from floor to ceiling with books from all genres. My favourite space to go was upstairs, one of the windows overlooked the Notre Dame, and if you were lucky, the store's cat would come and read a book with you.
After the bookstore, we headed over to Notre Dame. After a few photos, we started walking towards the Louvre. We walked down/got lost on random streets and bought a croissant and coffees along the way.
We eventually got to the Louvre and I was speechless. The place was BEAUTIFUL. Walking through the courtyard was an experience in itself. It was spacious, majestic, open, intricate, and so much more. The back of the Louvre was lined with statues and greenery with a ferris wheel at the end.
After the Louvre, we decided to hit up Montmartre via metro (we wanted to see everything). Montmartre is a popular place to go for locals and tourists - it's incredibly romantic with many small cafes and cobblestone streets. We went to the Wall Of Love. It's a wall with "I love you" written in multiple languages. I found it in the three languages I (can kind of) speak! English, French and Korean. Would love to know what other languages are on that wall, and how it's translated. As the sun was setting, we decided to walk up to the Basilica du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre. It's a great lookout point to see most of Paris! There's a funicular to take you to the top for a fee, or you can take the stairs (for free!), which is what we opted for. The view was awesome, seeing French architecture in the foreground while seeing the Eiffel Tower in the background was so cool. It was exactly what I pictured when I thought of Paris. After reaching the top, we hit up a restaurant for a glass of wine and then head back home to finally relax. Crazy day one, amirite.
Day two was way less busy. We slept in until the late morning, enjoying the view and our espressos. Once we woke up, we made some breakfast and headed out. We walked along the river towards the Louvre with a goal to walk to the Eiffel Tower. The walk towards the Eiffel Tower was awesome - the more we got lost in the city, the better. I loved seeing everything Paris had to offer. Once we got to the Tower, we only stayed for a few minutes. We walked along the fields in front saying no thanks when someone wanted to sell us something - there were so many merchants. We were headed back to the Latin-Quarter to grab dinner at Semilla. The food was so good here. We ordered the steak, which probably could've fed four people, but we cleared it. After dinner, we headed for gelato and explored the Latin-Quarter a little more before heading home.
Day three started with another solid sleep in. Once we decided to get out of bed, we went to Cafe de Flore. It's a tiny cafe, full of hustling servers. It's a popular spot to go to for locals and tourists alike. In all honesty, it was a bit much for me and I was getting a little overwhelmed by the amount of humans in a small space, BUT I'm still happy I went. We ordered some coffees and toast, once we were finished, we were on our way out.
After breakfast, we started to walk towards the Jardin du Luxembourg. By the time we got there it was lunch. We ordered some baguettes from the stand in the park and they were so delicious. Baguettes in hand, we walked across the park and sat in front of the fountain, taking in the breathtaking view of the garden and the building on the grounds.
As it was getting closer to sunset, we headed over to the Montparnesse Tower. The outdoor observatory deck had 360 degree views of the entire city. There was a cute roller skating rink on the deck as well with a hut with drinks and snacks. By nightfall, the lights came out and it was a par-tay (for tweens). We spent a few hours here, waiting for the twinkling lights from the Eiffel Tower. As nightfall came, we decided to head back home.
Another day of sleeping in! After getting ready and making a quick bite to eat, we headed out. We decided to walk to the Arc de Triomphe. Being the naive tourists that we were, we thought it'd be free to go underneath it. Once we realized you had to pay, we opted out and just viewed the magnificent structure from afar. We were in Champs-Élysées so we decided to walk around and check out the luxurious stores.
After that, we headed to our only scheduled/preplanned outing - the Catacombes of Paris. Going to the Catacombes is a definite must. It's such a unique and haunting experience. If you do decide to go, make sure you buy your ticket ahead of time. If you don't, you'll be waiting in a super long line. When we did our research, we found so many sites selling tickets for hundreds of euros, but there's definitely no need to splurge that much. We bought our tickets here for 29€.
What's missing on my list of things to do was all the little cafes we visited. We would normally just hangout in a cafe, drinking a coffee between doing touristy things. There were plenty of cafes to choose from, many with outdoor seating with heaters for smokers (or for people who enjoy the outdoors, like us!).
If I could go back to Paris, I would in a heart beat. It's truly as romantic as portrayed in movies. Have you been? Let me know what I'm missing from my list!