Paris is known for being one of the most romantic cities in the world. When you think of Paris, you naturally think of bread and cheese and red wine. It is all that and so much more. The culture, the arts, the scenery, the culinary, the shopping…Paris has it all! The city is divided into 20 arrondissements (neighborhoods) that are in a spiral shape, starting in the city center and heading out. Luckily, Paris is easily accessible so you can get around with walking or public transit. Having been three or four times, I have a good feel for the city but am eager to go back and update this list for new favorite spots!
What To Do
+ Bike Tour: We booked through Fat Tire Bike Tours and loved it. We chose to do the night bike tour our first day in town. What a wonderful decision! First, having a scheduled event night 1 helped us stay up and get on local time (tip: don’t nap day 1!). Second, the bike tour allowed us to get our bearings on the different neighborhoods. We left knowing which areas we wanted to explore further. Third, we learned a ton. Our guide was fantastic – his father was Parisian & his mother was American, so he communicated perfectly with us while giving us a detailed, interesting history of each landmark we visited. The best part is the 4 hour tour ends with complimentary wine aboard a boat cruise down the Seine.
+ Visit Museums: This is a hard category to tackle, as there are over 130 museums within Paris. Obviously it’s impossible to visit them all within one week, but that’s a good problem to have. A few notable museums to consider are The Louvre , the Musee d’Orsay, the Centre Pompidou and the Galeries Nationales.
Travel Tip: if you’re wanting to visit two or more museums, you may want to buy a Paris Museum Pass for discounts.
+ Explore Neighborhoods: Hands down the best part about Paris is the ability to walk and wander. Paris is THE best city to wander in & get lost. There are endless amounts of adorable cobblestone streets lined with coffee shops, unique boutiques, charming homes and restaurants. A few of my favorites include:
Vendome & Madeline (1st/8th): These were our favorite areas to walk around & window shop. The streets are clean, beautiful & architecturally stunning. They’re exactly what you think of when you picture Paris in your head.
Le Marais (3rd/4th): Arguably the best area to stay, Le Marais is chalk full of galleries, gardens & gorgeous architecture. It’s hip, chic & the place to be.
Latin Quarter (5th): A favorite evening spot to explore, we did a happy hour bar crawl here that was so much fun! Be sure to grab dinner & drinks here one night.
St Germain (6th): Another great neighborhood for grabbing lunch (it’s nearby quite a few main tourist spots), this area is full of cute streets filled with shops, stores & people.
Where To Stay
+ Park Hyatt Vendome: This was all booked the week we were there but I would stay there in a heartbeat. If you have any Hyatt/Chase points, book it! It’s a great value of points redemption, prime location and tres chic!
+ AirBNB: There are so many affordable, wonderful rental options in Paris – it all just depends on which neighborhood you prefer to stay in. You can see my top 5 suggestions here.
Where To Eat + Drink
+ L’As du Fallafel: Located in Le Marais , this inexpensive falafel spot is incredible. Make sure you get a few pitas to split and try the green sauce…you can thank me later!
+ Cafe De Flore: Known for all of the famous poets and writers that have dined here, this is a popular brasserie to visit.
+ Laudree: This bakery is famous for their macaroons and there is a reason. These colorful, tasty sweet treats make the perfect dessert or gift for anyone back home.
+ Brasserie de ____: Honestly, most of our dining choices were made spur of the moment – we would walk by a cute restaurant and depending on the crowd, pop in. Paris is one of the few places that I don’t typically plan out our meals.
+ The Eiffel Tower: Our favorite way to experience true Parisian bliss is to grab some bread, meat & cheese from a local market and head over to the Eiffel Tower with a bottle of wine. The perfect way to spend an afternoon.