The hubby and I went to the City of Light in Spring 2018 and we’re already itching to go back. It was romantic, magical, and memorable. In all fairness, we only had about 36 hours in Paris during our 2-week-long Europe trip. So we did what any couple would do in that situation… only slept four hours over our two-night stay at Hotel Le Littre! We had to soak up all that we could while there. We accomplished a lot in a short period of time and have the following tips to provide to the next traveler.
But because Paris is one of the most popular destinations I didn’t want to leave some of the most important tips off the board, so I asked my fellow blogger and travel guru, Ash, to pitch in some of her tips from her trip in December 2017. And if you’re still on the fence whether or not you want to make the memorial trip to Paris after reading this, hop over to read through Ash’s Common Misconceptions of Traveling to Paris.
à votre santé!
- Length of Stay– Plan to stay in Paris with enough time. The 36 hours we spent were simply not enough. Think through what all you want to do, then add in buffer time so you’re not rushed.
- The Language– Do try to speak their native language. Brush up on some common phrases that you think you’ll need. It’s not considered rude if you try then butcher it. They actually appreciate that you try! You are in their county after all. This advice came straight from a bilingual English/French lady who grew up in Paris and travels to see family often in the States.
- Walk the City– You may not be able to walk everything, but take time to stroll around the city to enjoy what it has to offer. It’s beautiful and you may even run into a local who hands out beer to tourists! True story—this guy struck up a conversation with J.J. and pulled out a Heineken out of his backpack on the sidewalk. Obviously we’re meant to live here.
- Moulin Rouge– It’s worth the experience and isn’t as burlesque as you may think. It’s a fun experience because of its history, and it is the original by the way. They are tastefully topless but they don’t show much more than that. They do have a lot of unique acts. Think of this as a Cirque du Soleil.
- The Louv– The iconic art museum is as glorious as you may think but you can easily spend HOURS walking the halls of the once castle. Yes, you may get lost so don’t hesitate to ask for help or when trying to find your favorite artwork. Oh and the maps in the halls don’t help all that much unless if you’re fluent in French or perhaps another language that’s not English. Before you go, try to research which entrance to use if you’re going to see a specific piece of art.
- Eiffel Tower–
- Enjoy the views of the Eiffel Tower during the day to take in how it’s structured. And definitely enjoy the view at night. Set a reminder to look up and take in the breath-taking-view of the shimmery Tower in the evening hours.
- You can see the Eiffel Tower from all angles of the city, so pick a café a few blocks from it and you’ll still have a great view.
- The best place to enjoy the view (especially at night) is from Park Jardins du Trocadero. Panhandlers sell champagne/wine/cups and trinkets in the evening, so if you forget your bubbly you can still get some on the spot! Yes, you can drink in public in front of the Eiffel Tower and make all your dreams come true.
- The Catacombs– This tour is a fun history activity to do for any age (well, you may need to wear the baby rather than bringing a stroller). You will walk through the Catacombs so wear comfy shoes!
- Arc De Triomphe– A beautiful structure that is worth going to see in person. It is a busy tourist area as it sits at the top of Champs Eylsees.
- Champs Eylsees– This strip of famous shops and boutiques is a must-see even if only window shopping. I’m not a super fan of shopping and spending money, but it was so cool walking down the iconic Champs Eylsees. Plus, you get in a little bit of exercise.
- The Paris Eye– Can be seen from the top of Champs Elysees (see above!). We didn’t ride this, but would be good to enjoy the city from above if we had the time.
- Try the champagne!– You are only about 60 miles from Champagne, France! J.J. and I scheduled a private champagne tasting and history brief and it was well worth it. The champagne tasting amazing and we learned a lot about Champagne, France as well as Champagne itself and how they make it. Ask for Mary Kirk Bonnet upon emailing your reservation request to firstname.lastname@example.org. She spoke English as well as French so we could understand everything she said. Not to mention the cool experience of being in a wine cellar in France!
- Wine!– On a similar note, wine is very popular here, too!
- Ship the Goods– You can ship bottles of wine or champagne for a charge. Usually you ship either a half case (6 bottles) or a full case (12 bottles) for anywhere from $130-350. It’s pricey but worth the fee if you’re wanting to take home wine or champagne that’s only found in France <3
I’m looking forward to returning and adding more tips to this list. If you have a tip to share, please drop a note in the comments below!