When you travel to another city or country, chances are you have more suggestions of places to go than you have time to visit. I’ve collected some of the best places to visit in Paris after multiple trips there and think that this list will help you not freak the freak out. I think it’s best to experience a city instead of looking at it like a checklist; you agree? If you do, this list is for you. It’s filled with hip spots to check out, landmarks you don’t want to miss, and even touristy spots that are worth the euro. Check it out!
Eurostar & The Metro
We got to Paris via the Eurostar from London, and it was so easy! The only thing I wish I knew was that the customs lines in the morning are long. They had one person working after the security line, and we were in line for 45 minutes. Yeah. We almost missed our train; in fact, we didn’t even have time to get a coffee beforehand. The tickets tell you to be there 45 minutes early, and I am so glad we got there an hour before! Once we got to Paris, we bought a two-day metro pass for zone 1, and that’s all we needed!
Laduree – Macaron & Pastry Shop
When people say the word macaron incorrectly (those colorful little cookie sandwiches) and pronounce them as macaroooons, I definitely give them some attitude. A macaron specifically refers to a meringue-based cookie made with almond flour, egg whites, and granulated and powdered sugar, then filled with buttercream, ganache, or fruit curd. If you’re in Paris, at least once you have to check out Laduree, the original macaron manufacturer. I love the macarons, the boxes they come in, and the whole decor of the place.
Merci – Shopping, Coffee Shop
You know when you walk into a building and you never want to leave? This is one of those places for sure. I’m sorry in advance to the Merci staff because now you will have even more people who refuse to leave your space!
What is Merci? It is a space with a gourmet coffee shop, library, and a very high-end furniture shopping area. Think Houndstooth meets Anthropologie meets Restoration Hardware. It will seriously put all of you design-os into some sort of comatose state of bliss. When hubs and I visited, we walked every inch and then settled into a comfy table for two to order. After we refueled, we looked around our table. On one side was a tall wall of books, and on the other side was a wall filled with ceiling-height windows. These windows opened to a square courtyard. I can’t exactly explain that feeling of beauty and comfort mixed together. This was a warm, inclusive, yet grand space. Do not miss this stop!
The Louvre & Jardin de Tuileries – Architecture & Art
I don’t care who you are and whether or not you like art. All I know is that you absolutely need to go to the Louvre and spend some good time taking in all the history and art. It is incredible to see famous painters’ works all up close and personal. One of the funniest moments was seeing the Mona Lisa. I won’t say it was a letdown, but it is just hilarious how many people stand around this infamous painting. It’s so small in real life, and yet there’s something incredible about the woman with no eyelashes. This is one of those experiences you may not be so keen on in the beginning, but is well worth it. Once you leave the Louvre, walk through the Jardin de Tuileries. You’ll see fantastic gardens as well as a view of the Arc de Triomph. You can also stop into the Orangerie Museum, as these are all right next to each other.
Musee de l’Orangerie – Art Museum
When I go to an art museum, I try to understand why an artist painted the things he did and why she mixed those colours that certain way. It’s like figuring out a puzzle and putting a personality to the name under the painting. This museum is one I could visit over and over again. The room of Monet’s paintings alone are enough to take your breath away. I have a soft spot for Monet as my trip to Giverny (where he lived and had his lily pond garden) helped me understand why he painted water lilies so beautifully. Try to take a day trip to Giverny if you can. If you can’t manage that, then at least check out this museum. You will thoroughly enjoy this for his works and all the other works present.
Arc de Triomphe – Architecture
The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. You can see this landmark from far away, or you can walk up to it through the underground tunnel and actually take it all in from right underneath it. The artwork in the Arc is gorgeous and well worth the trek to get there. Many people walk from here to the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower – Architecture
Never gets old. In the daytime it looks regal; in the night it looks magnificent. Beware of all the hawkers around who seem to never leave you alone unless you yell at one aggressively, and then the rest of them get the message (Did I do this? Maybe). We enjoyed dinner in the Eiffel Tower as well, and it was delicious. We ate at 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant, and it was an absolute dream. If you make reservations and want a special night out, definitely try that out!
Notre Dame – Architecture
The architecture of Notre Dame is stunning, in the daytime and at night. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and is one of the largest and most well-known churches in the world. Some say that this is the heart of Paris, as you can see so much of Paris from here. The Seine flows right next to it as well. To book a tour of Notre Dame, check out one of these links to suit your budget!
Disneyland Paris – Family Fun
To be honest, I am probably a child stuck in the body of an adult..so Disneyland filled me with energy haha. There is something about this place that makes you want to run around and meet the princesses, eat burgers, and ride on the tallest rides. We went in the end of summer so the weather was pleasant and the lines were doable.
Jardin Des Plantes – Gardens & Greenhouses
The garden was in full effect during the summer. There were rows of beautiful flowers in so many shapes, sizes, and colors everywhere. The best part about the gardens is that there are museums that surround it so you can pop into these museums for a break from the gardens or, stop by the gardens for a break from the museums! There is something about greenhouses that always interests me. Probably the hundreds of species of plants and the super fresh air within these spaces.
National Museum of Natural History – History
I’ve never seen so many brains and bones in my life! This was such an educational and interesting stop. There are multiple levels to the museum and each level will catch your interest. Sure, there were plenty of kids around, but you can never be too old to learn right? They had many exhibits of animals we don’t have today such as mammoths, mastodons, and dinosaurs, and they compared them size wise to animals we have today. Truly one of the fascinating sights to see.
So tell me, what are some of your must-check-out-for-real places?! I will update this with each trip to Paris I take! I like to keep a mix of family friendly/introvert/extrovert/touristy/hipster sights 😀 Kind of eclectic? Definitely.