We had 4 full days in Paris this time, it was my husband’s first time coming to the city of love!
I will share with you my favorite things to do and some personal travel tips in this post.
Let’s start with the hotel where we stayed, the Hotel Monte Cristo. This new, boutique hotel is located in the heart of the latin quarter. The rooms were beautiful and very unique, but the bathtub put the cherry on top. The stuff was incredibly helpful and they also ave us advice on how to avoid the protest areas on Saturday.
Watch the Moulin Rouge Show
This was my first time to watch this show and I can’t recommend it enough. It was spectacular, funny and entertaining. The costumes, the dancers and the acrobats were all amazing. This show is very popular, reserve your ticket in advance. There are two shows every evening, at 9 pm and 11pm.
My tip: do not reserve a dinner here. It takes 2 hours, the service was pretty slow and we had to share the table with strangers as they only have tables for 4 people.
SAY HI TO MONA LISA!
Please don’t miss it, just because it is very touristic! I know that waiting in line is a complete waste of time, so buying a ticket in advance is a must. Also, if you are at the entrance before opening, you might be able to get a few minutes alone with Mona Lisa just like we did. However, that painting was by far not the most impressive one in my opinion. The Museum itself is stunning, the pictures and sculptures are arranged tastefully and when you leave the most famous painting, it will not be that crowded. There is also a coffee place inside if you need a break 🙂 We spent here 4 hours, time flew by really fast.
My tip: buying a timed entry ticket allows you to enter even quicker with a limited time frame.
Clim up to the Eiffel Tower
The symbol of Paris. If this is your first time in the city of love, you cannot miss to enjoy the views from the top of the iron lady. Plan in advance and make sure to book a ticket with specific time. If you are feeling fit, you may also clim up to the second floor, it will be less time in line than waiting for the elevator. The climb will take you between 30 minutes to one hour and it is said to have 674 steps.
My tip: The 58 Restaurant has great lunch value deals and they also have a separate lift for their guests. You need to book this option well in advance, as it may sell out in a few months in advance.
See Paris from the Seine River Cruise
I believe it is hard to decide whether to cruise along the Seine River during the day time or not time, but one thing is for sure: you have to see it! We chose the company Ledettes de Paris Seine Cruise for a day time one hour cruise. You do not need to book it in advance, they depart every 30 minutes from Port de Suffren. The 1 hour English narrated cruise costs 15 euros for an adult.
Get lost in MontmartRe and Sacre Coeur
Unexpectedly, the 18th district was my absolute favorite in Paris. Located on a hill, Montmartre also offer a stunning panoramic view in addition to the bohemian artistic neighborhood. The cathedral Sacre Coeur is beautiful from inside and outside, but many people simply sit on the stairs and enjoy the view. This district has a feeling of being a village and movie lovers may recognize the locations of the famous Amelie film. Picasso, Modigliani, Manet and Van Gogh all called Montmartre their home. Beside the romantic little coffee places, the most lively part is the Place du Tertre. Here you can watch painters working on the paper with different techniques or you can ask them to draw a caricature or picture of you. The 18th district has completely stolen my heart, definitely a must visit in the city of love.
Be brave and visit the Catacombs
I must say, this place is not for everyone. This underground tunnel network was built from the 13th century but it became famous in the 18th century. The growing population of Paris was in desperate need to find a cemetery which will not be in close touch with the citizens as it caused serious illnesses. From April 1785 major cemeteries from Paris transported the human remains into the Catacombs. This work took up to 2 years and it is estimated to hold the retina of 6 million people. The Catacombs soon became a curiosity for the privileged Parisian citizens, in one occasion even a classical music concert with Death theme was held in here. If you visit here, behave in a respectful manner and don’t forget that it’s closed on Mondays.
Have breakfast in LuxembOurg Garden
There are many beautiful gardens in Paris, such as the Botanical Garden, Tuileries Garden next to the Louvre, Jarden des Plantes but my favorite is Luxembourg Garden. This garden has beautiful trees, plants and fountain. You may find local people reading a book with their cup of coffee in the morning.
My tip: for a relaxing morning bring your breakfast (Croissant or Baguette) to the garden and sit next to the fountain, enjoy the sun and listen to the birds, before exploring the city.
Scrool along Champs Elyses
A trip to the city of love won’t be complete without shopping! Whether you are looking for big brands or something more unique, you can find it all in Champs Elyses. The wide avenue is always busy and if you get tired of shopping there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to chose from.
Go inside to the Notre Dame
Another iconic spot in Paris. Visiting this gothic cathedral is for free and even if the line seems long, don’t be afraid it moves very quickly. The contraction began in 1163 and the cathedral was built during a few centuries.
Update: Sadly, on April 15th a fire broke out and caused a massive damage on Notre Dame. Read more about it here.
+1 My tip: Rent a an electric scooter
Walking in Paris is great, but why not to be faster? You can find a few electronic scooter companies in Paris such as Bird, Lime and Wind which can be rented easily. This is a quick and fun way of visiting the city! However, you better wear a helmet and drive safely.
My favorite places to eat
My love for Macaroons started as a child, before it was cool 🙂 There are many great places in Paris for Macaroons but the absolute best is L’auduree. They have up to 20 different tastes and it is never disappointing, I guarantee that you will taste a piece of heaven.
My tip: When you visit the store at Champs Elysee, you might see a big line. If you go upstairs and drink a coffee with your macaroons you don’t need to wait in line and the whole experience is much more pleasant. Their dining room is gorgeous!
This restaurant is located in Hotel Costes near the Louvre and they serve the most delicious food in their half open terrace. The atmosphere is luxury but still casual and they often have a live DJ from 9 pm. My favorite dish was the Truffle Risotto and my husband really enjoyed the Steak.
La Closerie des Lilas
As you arrive here you will notice the beautiful building and plenty of greenery. No wonder why all the greatest poets and artists enjoyed spending their time here during the last century. Picasso, Oscar Wild, Emile Zola and Ernest Hemingway often came here when they lived in Paris. The restaurant offers first class service and their lunch menu is very special accompanied with live piano music.
My tip: ask for the cheese place! Even tough their lunch menu won’t leave you hungry, if you love cheese you have to try it here. They serve it in a unique way by letting you chose from their daily selection presented by the waiter.
Also, when in Paris you have to eat a French crepe from a street vender and just go into any baker for a perfect croissant and baguette.
If this is your first time visiting Paris, the city of love and want to have a more authentic experience, I suggest to HihiGuide. This company has over 85 local guides form Paris who are ready to show you their favorite places.
I hope you like my Paris Guide and you found some useful information. I will write another post about my favorite Instagram photo locations.