This was one of my favorite stops in Europe. I loved the culture, the food, and the entire vibe the city gives off. I even got to practice my very small French speaking skills. Foodwise, we did not have a disappointing meal in our entire week’s stay. The cafes were amazing and the food quality was unlike anything we’ve had before. I could have lived off of their bread, cheese plates, and wine alone.
Where to stay:
- Relais des Halles – This is a beautiful hotel in the Paris center with friendly concierges waiting to assist you in the lobby.
Where to eat:
- Passage 53 – If you’re looking for a fancy evening out (for a price) this is the place to do it! It has two Michelin Stars and is worth every penny. We had an amazing tasting dinner. I only eat seafood and veggies, and they were able to make accommodations for me without sacrificing taste. Here is where we were also introduced to Meursault, our new favorite wine!
A good Meursault is hard to find in the states, but if you happen to find yourself in France, try it out!
What to do:
- Climb the Eiffel Tower -Obviously a main tourist attraction, but one you should definitely see. You can purchase a pass to take the elevator up, or if you’re able, you can climb the stairs on your own (elevator from second part to the top) for a much cheaper price. The lines are long for both, so be prepared for the elements and to wait a while. It is best to come early morning or late afternoon. The views are stunning.
- Visit the Louvre Museum – In the world’s largest art museum, you will be able to see all kinds of stunning artwork. It is difficult to get an up close view of the Mona Lisa due to crowds, but be patient and try to work your way up. Also, be sure to walk along the paths of the nearby park across the way from the Louvre. Here, you will often find people enjoying coffee, reading a book, or going for a run. If you go during the early-middle of the week (Monday-Wednesday), we found the lines not to be terrible.
- See the Arc de Triomphe
- Visit the Palace of Versailles – You can now tour what used to be the royal residence of France. While the interior is stunning, a highlight of our tour was walking around the gorgeous gardens.
- Visit the Notre-Dame Cathedrale – Although temporarily closed, if you go, you can see the stunning Gothic architecture of this historic Catholic Church. We happened to schedule our visit during a Bishop ceremony and were unable to enter until a later time. However, there is always something to do in France — we joined in the festivities of both a Gay-Pride Parade and watching France win a World cup football match outside a packed pub. It is was an event-filled day.
- Wine Tasting in Paris – Unfortunately, we were unable to travel around France to explore their wine country. However, we discovered this gem in the heart of Paris! Check out their website and explore the various tasting options they offer, you will not be disappointed. We got a whole overview, history, and taste of each of the wine regions in France. I learned a great deal and this is a memory I will never forget.
Tip: Watch out for the horse droppings occasionally found around some side streets. Brian got a lesson on “why not to stare at your phone while walking.” I decided it was better for him to learn this lesson himself rather than simply inform him (learn by doing and all 🙂 ), and watched him step directly into a pile of horse poo.