Hi all! I’m Julia and Sarah has kindly asked me to guest post a bit while she is off traveling the world (what else is new?). Luckily I’ve had my fair share of global adventures too so I’m happy to be here ghost writing for you all. We’ll start big – the city of lights and love, Paris! I spent my Christmas in England and France, and because I love the history of Paris so much, recently had the chance to go back last week to spend a few more lovely days in Paris. Here are my recommendations for how to spend three perfect days in Paris:
Day One: Let’s Get Fancy
You just got off the plane (or in my case, EuroStar) and now you’re in Paris. Might as well do it up big on your first day, right? Do yourself a favor a book a ticket for a concert at Sainte Chapelle in advance. If you’re feeling extra fancy you can go for the dinner-concert combo. Now you’ve got yourself some classy plans for the evening. But Julia! you cry. I don’t have anything to wear! Okay one, I highly doubt that, and two, not to worry! You’re in Paris, after all.
First stop? 31 Rue Cambon in the 1st arrondissement. Sound familiar? Well it’s none other than the original flagship store of Miss Coco Chanel. Even if you don’t want to spend anything that you’ll have to tally up on your customs form, you can appreciate the beauty and elegance of this historic fashion haus (just don’t take any pictures inside!).Continue down Rue Cambon until you get to Rue Saint Honoré, where you’ll find more shopping: Tom Ford, Maison Michel, Zara, Coach, and Chloé. After you’ve oohed and ahed yourself out, walk down the street a bit, turn left, and keep going through the covered sidewalk until you get to Angelina. It supposedly serves the best hot chocolate in Paris – well not supposedly because I went there twice and can safely say it is heaven. The decor is lovely, the pastries are even more mouth-watering, and the food is delicious! We made a reservation the first time, which I’d recommend, but we also had no problem walking in the second time without one.You’ve done a lot of walking today and you’re probably still fighting off that jetlag so I’d say it’s time to head back to the hotel for a quick nap before dinner and the show. My favorite place to eat in Paris is conveniently across the street from Sainte Chapelle. You can choose to grab some dinner before the concert or, if you’re feeling European, wait until after when the skies are dark and the buildings are shining that golden glow. Either way, you’re going to want to eat at Les Deux Palais. It’s another restaurant that just screams French but it’s a bit more relaxed and cozier than Angelina – you could sit and munch here for a good long while! All the times we went there (yes, multiple times) we went classic and had the baguette avec jambon, AKA the world’s most perfect ham sandwich. Get it with the frites and finish off with a nutella-banana crepe for desert. Viola.
Day Two: Paris on Foot
Now it’s time to see some sights! Get on your comfiest yet most fabulous walking shoes – our first stop is the Tuileries Garden. Depending on how you enter, you’ll pass all the famous architecture of the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower in the distance, and of course the natural beauty of the gardens themselves. If you have time, absolutely you should go into the Louvre – just be prepared to wait in some lines, which is a small price to pay for getting access to one of the world’s largest collections of art.Spend as much time in the Tuileries as you want – after all, it’s free (!!) and gorgeous. Then keep following the path down until you see a ferris wheel in the distance – yup! That’s our next stop.There might be a bit of a queue, but trust me, it’s worth it. You get to see Paris from a unique angle, and with it some of the city’s most famous sights.Once you get off the ferris wheel, you’re pretty much positioned towards the Champs-Elysee. There’s always something going on down this famous avenue – tents selling trinkets and snacks, art displays, pony rides (!!), etc. Don’t be tempted to rush through just to get to a certain arch – take your time strolling!Once you get past the Arc de Triomphe, and still on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, you’ll find another of my favorite restaurants – Chez Clement. I ate there once when I was very little and I’ve dreamt about their chicken ever since. Hopefully that’s a solid recommendation.
If you’ve still got some pep in your step, take the metro or grab a cab to the Musee d’Orsay. The queues will undeniably be long but in my opinion it’s worth it. The Musee d’Orsay is not as overwhelming as the Louvre and the layout of the museum is just breathtaking.From the Musee d’Orsay it’s a short 15 minute walk to your dinner destination: Maxim’s Restaurant. You’re definitely going to want reservations for this spot as it’s one of the most popular restaurants in Paris. With live music, original decor from the 1890s, an utterly chic menu, and all the feel of the Art Nouveau.
That’s all for day two, bonne nuit!
Day Three: See the Seine
Finally it’s time to head over to the Eiffel Tower. Spend as much time as you’d like there (cautiously dodging all the buskers and street vendors!) and then head on over to the dock of the Seine – it’s time for a boat tour of the Seine! We booked ours using Batobus but there are plenty of other tour boat companies too. The nice thing about these boat tours – besides getting to see the city from a different perspective! – is that often you can get on and off as you’d like. We passed the Musee d’Orsay and Notre Dame on our tour, and we could have hopped off and explored if we so desired.Note: some stops might be closed because of the tragic events that happened in Paris last fall. You might also see soldiers and garda more often – it’s okay! The more protected and safer you feel, the better.
If you get off the boat tour at Saint-Germaine-des-Pres, you’ll be an 8 minute walk from another great Parisian eatery – La Cuisine de Philippe. Again, you’re going to want to make another reservation and also plan on staying in the restaurant for a while! But there’s no better way to end a trip to Paris with a nice, long, relaxed dinner. This cozy, Michelin-star spot is intimate, with a great staff and food that comes out hot and delicious. Start off with their poached eggs in a red wine sauce, which I can’t recommend enough for dipping bits of baguette in! Next, you can’t go wrong with a classic coq au vin. Finish off with one of their famous souffles or some creme brulee. By now your feet should be tired, your stomach warm and happy, and your heart full.
I hope this guide gives you some inspiration! I tried to pick out the not-so-obvious things to do in Paris so you’ll be able to take all those Insta shots and not be predictable 😉
Where to stay:
- Hotel Ampere, 102 Avenue de Villiers, 75017
- Hotel Luxembourg Parc, 42 Rue de Vaugirard, 75006 (right across from Philippe!)
What to see:
- Sainte Chapelle, 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001
- Chanel Flagship Store, 31 Rue Cambon, 75001
- Tuileries Garden, 113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001
- Grande Roue Ferris Wheel, near 113 Rue de Rivoli / Place de la Concorde
- Arc de Triomphe, Place de Charles de Gaulle, 75008
- Musee d’Orsay, 1 Rue de la Legion d’Honneur, 75007
- Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole, 75007
Where to eat:
- Angelina, 226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001
- Ferdi, 32 Rue du Mont Thabor, 75001 (a favorite of Kim and Kanye!)
- Flottes, 2 Rue Cambon, 75001
- Les Deux Palais, 3 Boulevard du Palais, 75001
- Chez Clement, 123 Avenue des Champs-Elysees, 75008
- Maxim’s, 3 Rue Royale, 75008
- La Cuisine de Philippe, 25 Rue Servandoni, 75006
If you’re interested in seeing more photos and reviews from my time in Paris, head on over to my style blog! Thanks for reading!