Every year, we head to Europe for Jules’ annual business conference – we are fortunate enough to be able to piggyback a vacation on top of it. This year, I’ve planned to stay in Paris for a few days before we head to his parents’ place in the countryside, and I’m super excited to spend a little more time in a place that is quickly becoming my favorite city in the world.
Our last trip to France included a three day stint in Paris, which, by all accounts is far too short of a time to spend there. I had initially crammed a full schedule into our three days, including a trip to the Louvre and a final push to explore Rue Mouffetard, but once we got there, the itinerary went out the window and my type-A tendency to overplan quickly went with it. I was truly happy to wander the city and see where the day took us – perhaps it’s something in the air there, it makes you satisfied to sit at a cafe and watch people walk by or to lounge by the fountain at the Jardin des Tuileries for no reason at all other than to catch a bit of sun.
On this trip, I want to do a bit of both – be a bit of a flaneur, as well as experience specific restaurants and landmarks. I’m bringing an iPad with me so I can do a little bit of work while I’m gone, but I’m looking forward to being mostly laptop free and taking time to put pen to paper like an ex-pat writer living in Paris during the days of Cole Porter and Gertrude Stein, a la Midnight in Paris.
So, for future reference, this is my running list of Things To Do In Paris (items I’ve already done are crossed off):
Go to the top of the Tour Eiffel
- Visit the Louvre Museum
- Visit the Musée d’Orsay
- Visit the Musée Rodin
Walk through the Palais-Royal Gardens Stop for ice cream at Maison Berthillion on the Ile-St. Louis Stop by the Notre Dame Cathedral(or just walk by and check out all the cool architecture and gargoyles if you’re not determined to go inside)
- Walk Rue Saint-Honoré (we stayed on this street but didn’t actually walk the cool part)
- Visit the Marché Aux Puces de Saint Ouen
- Explore Le Marais (we walked through it very quickly, I need to do this again)
- Visit the Basilique de Sacré-Coeur
- Get to the top of Montmartre
- Walk the Avenue de Champs-Élysées
- Check out Deyrolle, world famous taxidermist (I’m on the fence about this one)
- Visit Sainte-Chapelle (so many churches, so little time)
- Kick it on the Paris Plages
- Seafood platter at Mobilis in Mobili
- Hang out with dead people at Père Lachaise
- Explore the Promenade Plantée
Have hot chocolate at Angelina
- Shop at Colette and Merci
- Walk the Marché des Enfants Rouges
- Lunch at Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots (because you just have to, they are Parisian landmarks)
- Descend to the underground of Paris to check out the catacombs
- Lose my mind at Le Bon Marché and Galeries Lafayette
- Have a savory crepe at Breizh Café
- Carbo-load at Du Pain et des Idées
- Dinner at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
- Walk around Canal St. Martin
What are your favorite Paris destinations? Let me know in the comments below – I want all the ideas I can get!