The second stop on our European adventure was beautiful Paris! To be completely honest, I didn’t have very high expectations for Paris. I had heard how rude the French can be, how dirty the city is, and how the food can be lackluster. Oh, how wrong I was. Dustin and I both fell in love with Paris and had the best time wandering the streets and eating all the French food.
Where to Stay
We stayed at a Marriott property (Marriott points foreva) in the 11th Arrondissement. We were in walking distance to Notre Dame and the Latin District and right next to the Gare de Lyon metro station, making it very easy to get around.
Where to Eat
As I previously mentioned, I was so impressed with all the delicious food in Paris. There wasn’t a single meal that I wasn’t happy with. There are so many cafe and restaurants along the Seine that all looked amazing. We had dinner at Le Petit Chatlet our first night and it was amazing! The atmosphere is romantic and quaint and the food and service were both excellent. Anywhere with a handwritten menu is A-ok in my book.
We had dinner the second night along the river at a cafe called Le Bistro de Augustins. They specialize in gratins so we had to try that and we also got the most amazing charcuterie board.
You can’t go to Paris and not get crepes! We stopped after dinner one night at a street vendor and I had the most delicious crepe I have ever had.
We also had them for breakfast one morning near the Champ Elysees at a place called Creperie Framboise. I highly recommend the Nutella crepe!
For a snack there is no better place than Laduree. The desserts are beautiful and the flagship store is so beautiful inside!
What to Do
The Louvre: I was thiiiiiis close to not putting this on the list, but I feel like the Louvre is just one of those things you have to see. It is so, so large that it is entirely overwhelming. My advice would be pick a few sections you want to see and go straight to them. We wandered for hours got blisters on our feet and grumpy attitudes. The exhibit displaying Napoleon’s furniture and china was absolutely incredible. Oh, and of course we saw Mona.
St. Chapelle: This chapel is one of my favorite things we saw the entire trip. The stain glass is absolutely breathtaking. It is HUNDREDS of years old and still looks perfect. Each panel tells a different bible story and I was just amazed by it.
Wander the riverwalk: One afternoon we grabbed some gelato and just walked along the Seine. I loved looking at all the street vendors and watching the boats go by.
Shop Champ Elysees: I loved walking up and down the street just looking at all the stores. The flagship Louis Vuitton is here and was truly a sight to be seen.
Arc de Triomphe: Dustin and I chose to go to the top of the Arc as opposed to the Eiffel Tower and we are so glad we did! We went in the morning so it was not crowded at all. They were also doing a ceremony around the Tomb of the Unknown Solider while we were there and it was extremely touching.
Currency: Euro. We paid with our cards almost everywhere, but the street vendors all require cash.
Transportation: I was told by multiple people how simple the public transport was in Paris, but this was the one thing I was disappointed by. Dustin and I both had the hardest time figuring out the metro. Maybe it’s just us, but we tried to walk as much as we could. We did use Uber to the train station and that was great!
Language Barrier: Neither of us speak any French at all, but were told by several friends that if you at least try, locals will be nicer to you. Dustin made fun of me because I pretty just walked around saying “merci!” I do think this helped though, and we did not encounter anyone rude at all.
I hope you found this helpful! Next stop: Bruges!