BlankNYC Faux Leather jacket in XS (runs small but easily one of my favorite jackets for the small fit)
Zara yellow scarf (instantly brightens up any outfit)
Tory Burch mini Kira cross body bag
Forever 21 gray sweater dress (old, another affordable alternative here)
It has now been around a month or so since M and I returned from Paris and I am still in love with the most romantic city I’ve ever visited! I had gone to Paris for a weekend before back when I was interning in Geneva, but I didn’t have the leisurely time to just stroll down the banks of the Seine and stop by little cafes as I pleased at that time. Our goal for this trip was to relax and not stress ourselves out trying to do every touristy thing, and I think we accomplished that.
To be honest, it was not exactly an easy trip. The weather was horribly cold and I had only brought spring clothing (my bad! I always tend to underdress when I go on vacation). M and I were both pretty jetlagged the whole week we were there, and to top it off, I got food poisoning near the end of our trip so I was out of commission for a whole 24 hours. Despite all the setbacks, I STILL had a wonderful time, which says a lot!
I’ll be doing a few posts on my travel guide to Paris, and today I’ll cover some of the basics, including logistics and sightseeing. Food recommendations (what I’m maybe even more excited about…) to come in part 2.
Where to Stay:
At the recommendation of one of my coresidents, we stayed in St. Germain, which is on the left bank. We chose a modern looking Airbnb in an enclosed private building complex and it was the best decision of our trip to stay in this area. We were walking distance to EVERYTHING! Our building was just one block away from Musee d’Orsay and two blocks away from the Seine. We were directly across the river from the Louvre, the Jardin des Tuileries, and walking distance to Notre Dame. Our neighborhood was extremely charming, clean, and safe, and there was no shortage of cute restaurants, art shops, and cafes. Rue St. Germain was a major road filled with tons of high end fashion stores too. Staying in that area made everything so convenient, whether we wanted to sightsee or stop and enjoy a café au lait.
The only drawback was that we were not extremely close to any subway lines; the closest station (the Musee d’Orsay one) was a 10-15 minute walk away, and it usually took us that long to walk to our destination anyways so we just walked everywhere. We ended up walking over 10 miles a day (!!! I know!), which was great since I was eating really fattening high calorie foods at every opportunity.
How to stay connected:
The good thing about Paris is that most cafes and restaurants have free wifi, so even if you’re out and about you won’t be completely lost. We definitely had a few crepe breaks while we were sightseeing just to use the shop’s wifi. Another great option that I wish I had arranged in advance is renting a mobile hotspot that up to 10 devices can be connected to simultaneously. I saw one for rent at the airport at CDG which cost around 7 Euro per day, plus an extra 3 Euro to ship back to the factory. Other options include hippocket wifi (4.90 Euro per day with FREE delivery) or My-Webspot (starting at 5.40 Euro per day).
What we found was that though we couldn’t enter in addresses on Google Maps for directions, our blue dot signifying our current location actually still moved with us wherever we went even if we didn’t have Wifi. That was a good tool if we knew the general vicinity where we wanted to go.
Eiffel Tower: we walked up all 680 steps to the second viewing platform and the view from there is really worth the 7 Euro entrance fee. We had so much fun poking around the viewing platforms and enjoying the 360 degree scenery. Buy tickets ahead of time to skip the line!
Louvre: Kind of large and overwhelming but you have to at least attempt to see the Mona Lisa, even though it will be a long wait and man, that painting is much smaller than I thought! You could easily get lost in the Louvre for days, but I love that you can pick and choose what you want to see and just take it in small digestible bites.
Musee d’Orsay: despite staying right next to this museum, we weren’t able to visit because we left all our museum itinerary until the last two days…and then I got food poisoning. But I love Impressionist painting and I am told this has a great collection. All museums are FREE on the first Sunday of the month as well!
Musee l’Orangerie: Another museum on my to-do list for next time. This one includes Monet’s water lilies exhibit and is located in the Jardin des Tuilieries. I’ve heard from multiple friends that this was their favorite so I’m looking forward to visiting!
Monet Museum: needs no explanation. if you love Impressionist paintings and Monet artwork this is a must see.
Jardin du Luxembourg:
Notre Dame: the level of detail in the architecture and the sculptures adorning the walls and doors are mindblowing, and what’s even more hard to believe is that this church was built from the 1100s to the 1800s. It took over 700 years to complete! Walk all around the inside and outside of the cathedral because there are beautiful sights and photo opportunities all the way around. We found gorgeous cherry blossom trees in full bloom on the left side of the church and had a little photo sesh there.
Arc de Triomphe
Strolling along the Seine River (not really a “sightseeing” per se but gorgeous!)
Shopping in Le Marais
(Window) shopping in Place de la Concorde: some Chanel, some Dior, what more could you want?
Shopping along Rue di Rivoli (you can stop by and visit the original Chanel store on 31 Rue Cambon)
OK this is quickly devolving into a shopping heavy “sightseeing” post so I’ll stop here for now, and resume in part 2 with my favorite eats! Goodnight!