In celebration of the fact that this time 5 years ago, my husband and I took our first international trip together to Paris, France and even though I have said this before, I will say it again… this was my favorite country/city I have visited since I started to travel. I love history and art and of course, Paris is full of it. What with the Louvre, The Arch, and of course, the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral… It was truly a week that I will never forget! Even the food was the best I have had; for it was so fresh and seasoned well! Each meal was authentic and full of flavor.
I am truly excited to share with ya’ll with some of the activities I highly suggest you do when you visit Paris, France to experience the full culture. When in Rome, right?
- Air France is the airline that we took to Paris and we were lucky to get a straight shot flight right from JFK. I can’t remember the price, but the baggage price to claim was affordable and for airline food, it was certainly the best I’ve had.
- We stayed at a hotel that was right near a market and so luckily, we were next to a convenient store, metro station, and some delicious restaurants and cafes. Unfortunately, our hotel was hit during one of the bombings that accrued a few years back, and I am not sure if they are closed permanently or have rebuilt. But, I do suggest that you find a hotel located close to the metro and markets to make travel around the city easier.
- Le Mont-Saint-Michel is an island located in Normandy and a beautiful bus ride away from Paris City Center. On this trip, we stopped at the bath to check out the beautiful town and ate lunch at a cafe. While at Mont Saint Michel, we had time to explore ourselves and check out the markets and local abbey. This trip was an all-day thing from 5 am to about 8 pm but worth the investment and the travel time on a coach bus. Link to purchase this trip is located here!
- The Louvre, of course, is one that is an all-day event. I cannot stress enough that you need to buy your tickets online in advance or you will be waiting outside for a solid 3 hours before you can even get in! The crowds are wild during the busy season but Steven and I were still able to see everything we wanted and more! Here is the link to buy your tickets!
- La Tour Eiffel. Yes, you can climb it but did you know you can also eat at the restaurant on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower? It’s costly, and more so for date nights for adults, but with your three-course meal and water service, the dinner reservation was worth it. Some of the best food I’ve had! I will never forget that chocolate dessert! You can buy tickets for the climb and dinner reservations under one ticket here… or if you just want to climb the tower and skip the dinner, this is where you want to buy those tickets! Trust me, this is another thing you should purchase in advance
- Notre Dame Cathedral is the most beautiful cathedral I have seen. I loved seeing the art displays in the museum in the back. You even have the chance to climb the cathedral and go to the top. My heart was broken and tears ran down my face when I saw the fire on the news, and so, unfortunately, due to the fire, the cathedral is closed for quite some time. But, I really hope you still make your way to the cathedral to check out the outside front towers, for it’s still a beautiful site to see.
- Seine River Boat Tours are perfect for night time! Here, you can see the beautiful city of Paris lit up from an open concept boat where you will get headphones that talks about the history and architecture of the city! You even have the option to chose a tour with dinner buffet service! You can find those bookings here!
- The Arc De Triomphe is one that we did twice. Once, during the day where we could see the city under the overcast skies, and the second at night so we can get a view of the Eiffel Tower during the 10 pm Sparkle (that was our last night, and I cried). It’s a nice climb up or you can take the elevator if you have kids! Just keep an eye on them. Even though the top is fenced in, it’s not a very high guard and the steps are steep to walk up! You can buy those tickets in advance here!
- Along with the city, you will find several parks for kids to play in (ideal for photo taking of your family) and many street vendors. The gelato was delicious everywhere we went, and when you can, stop and get some crepes as well!
- Conciergerie is a historic prison that is now open for tours! We loved walking through and hearing the stories that were most iconic from hosting as a palace and then changing into a prison during the french revolution. This is safe and fun for kids, and also interesting for those here to learn about the history of those who went to prison and were hung. They even take you to that courtyard and define the situation so much, you can feel like you were actually there in that time frame. Pretty cool experience. Check out the tour info here!
- Lastly, for you Disney Fans out there… This would be a perfect time to explore Disney in another country! It’s a park that is not as big/over whelming as the other Disney parks in the US but… there is a castle, is child friendly, and still has all the good rides! It’s a simple train ride away from the city, easy to get there…and of course you can purchase those tickets in advance here! My husband and I had a lot of fun and was worth the day spent!
Best Transportation App to get around in any city: Rome2Rio
Looking to wait for the best time to purchase your flight when its the cheapest? Use this app: The Hopper
My heart will always be favorited for Paris and it’s culture. Everyone was so kind, warming, and welcoming. If I could, I would go back again… and maybe I will in the future! I hope these tips and links work well for you! Be sure to take all the photos you can and enjoy your time there! A week-long vacation would be ideal to complete the list above!