Bonjour mes amis,
This past August I went on a spectacular trip to Paris followed by the most beautiful wedding in Provence (thanks to my cousin Shelby!). We had so many fun experiences and I wanted to share recommendations that you can check out on your next trip to ‘The City of Lights’.
In my element at Le Mabillion in St-Germain-des-Prés
A quick note about our accommodations… My husband and I stayed at a cute, comfy Airbnb in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. This ended up being a good choice as we had lots of space (hotel rooms in Paris can be tiny) and it was a great central location. I was hesitant at first to choose an Airbnb over a hotel but it ended up working out really well for us! The only downside was that it was a 5th floor walk-up with what felt like 500 stairs and was a pain to lug our suitcases up and down but at least we got our steps in!
My parents visited Paris a week after us and stayed at Hotel Pont Royal (also in Saint-Germain-des-Prés) which they loved! Nice touches like turn-down service and little chocolates in the room along with outstanding staff made for a memorable stay. Their room also had a balcony where they could spot the Eiffel Tower in the distance!
Fun Things To Do in Paris
1. Le Calife (Left Bank, La Seine)CHARMING DINNER CRUISE ALONG THE SEINE
Le Calife is a charming and romantic dinner cruise that sails for approximately 2 hours along the Seine River, passing some of Paris's most famous landmarks. This was a recommendation from a friend and it did not disappoint! We were lucky enough to snag a secluded corner table which felt like we had our own little private dining space. The service was friendly and the food was great- we went for the 'Menu Royal' which included drinks and were very happy!
Tim & I onboard Le Calife waiting to set sail down the Seine
If the weather permits, I'd recommend booking the 'Terrasse Ciel Ouvert' option which is on the upper deck with a retractable roof. The views were spectacular and the boat itself is beautiful! If you're thinking of going on a dinner cruise in Paris, this is a must.
View from our table on Le Calife
The Eiffel Tower sparkles every hour on the hour-so beautiful!
2. Crazy Horse (8th)
SEXY, UNEXPECTED, CREATIVE CABARET
Crazy Horse is probably one of the best shows I’ve been to! This was my first cabaret experience and it definitely didn’t match the idea that I had in my head of what I thought it would be like. It exceeded my expectations and the talent of the performers and the artistic nature of the show was mesmerizing. It was artsy, sexy, and really, really creative!
3. Jardin du Luxembourg (6th)
BEAUTIFUL GARDEN OASIS
This spectacular garden was located about ¼ of a mile from our Airbnb so I went jogging in here a few times. It's downright gorgeous with beautiful statues, fountains, fruit trees, and flowers scattered throughout. The statue of Diana, goddess of the hunt, is even front and center in the middle of the main lawn! I also was intrigued by the Medici fountain and the Palais du Luxembourg - so many beautiful sights at every turn!
Statue of Diana with the Palais du Luxembourg in the background
Medici Fountain, Jardin du Luxembourg
Vibrant crimson dahlias in the garden
4. Musée d'Orsay (7th)
LARGE IMPRESSIONIST COLLECTION
We opted for the Musée d'Orsay over the Lourve because it felt a little less overwhelming and I knew it housed a large collection of Impressionist Art. The building itself is stunning and was once a railroad station galled the 'Gare d'Orsay'. We opted for an audio tour which explained most of the prominent paintings so we could learn a thing or two. If you're a fan of the works of Monet, Manet, Gauguin, van Gogh, the list goes on...you have to go to this iconic museum!
5. Tootbus (Various locations)
DOUBLE DECKER TOUR AROUND THE CITY
Yes, we did the ultra-touristy thing and went on a double-decker tour bus, the 'Tootbus' to be specific. If you can get past the name of the bus and the sometimes cringeworthy commentary, the tour's actually interesting and we learned fun facts about famous landmarks that we otherwise wouldn't have known had we not been on a tour. The bus also prides itself on being 'world’s 1st and only low carbon tourist bus fleet.' You can hop off and hop on and the tickets are good for 24 hours from the time of purchase, so we spanned out our excursion over two days.
6. Sainte-Chapelle (1st)
MESMERIZING STAINED GLASS
There are 1113 scenes depicted throughout the remarkable stained glass windows of Sainte-Chapelle, located on the Île de la Cité in Paris's 1st arrondissement. This striking gothic-style chapel was built in the 13th century and was commissioned by King Louis IX. The upper level once housed precious relics that the king purchased such as the Crown of Thorns. Upon entering the church, you truly felt like you were stepping into a piece of history!
I hope you enjoyed this list of some of our favorite things to do in Paris!
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