When I think of a romantic city, Paris always comes to mind. Maybe it was my first impression of the city being so magical (how it's portrayed in the movies). There's something about Paris that gives you a little nudge. Your dreams seem more attainable, your fashion game improves, you ditch the eye-makeup for red lipstick, and your imagination starts expanding. I studied at the University of Sorbonne Paris for one month, but I have narrowed it down to three days hoping that you'll develop a similar relationship as I did with Paris...
"I've always wanted to learn French and drink wine before noon."- SJP
You have just flown into Charles de Gaulle airport and are buzzing with excitement. You're fascinated with all of the signs, language, accents, faces. Grab a quick coffee before your ride to the hotel and brace yourself because this weekend will be one to go down in your history. Is it Winter, Summer, Spring or Fall? This will not affect the agenda but I highly recommend Paris in the Winter as the crowds have disappeared and you will have this pretty city all to yourself. If it's summer prepare for crowds but don't let that put you off as you will be seeing Paris the way you've always imagined, through your flower petal sunnies having a picnic under the Eiffel Tower. You should also take advantage of an early morning flight, so you have the entire day to explore!
After checking into the hotel, refresh, & get ready to fall in love.
Activity: Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is even more stunning and powerful in person and you'll want to see that as soon as you arrive. Grab a croissant or two on the way over so you can focus your mind on this architectural beauty. You can pay around 17 euros to go all the way up to the top and I recommend it. You are only there for the weekend so why not?
Activity: Arc De Triomphe
The Arc De Triomphe is the most monumental of all triumphal arches and was built between 1806 and 1836. It was built in honor of people who fought for the Napoleonic Wars. You can pay to go up top here but I recommend saving your euros. The arch is at the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle, also known as "Place de l'Étoile". Its on the western end of Champs-Élysees.
You are about to do some serious shopping after lunch, so make sure you fill your belly up with all of the French bread and cuisine you can. Download an app called TripAdvisor if you haven't got it already and turn your location on. It will recommend the best food and price within your budget that is nearby.
Activity: Champs Élysées
If your not up for spending a couple of grand at the first Louis Vuitton store or Cartier, don't worry it gets better. The worlds most famous shopping avenue has a place for everyone, whether its window shopping or not. Remember, this is one of the most recommended places to go in Paris so you will also get tourist prices. It may seem exciting at first but save that money for a vintage find or a Parisian scarf that you can't get anywhere other than Paris.
After the busy morning and afternoon, you probably want to start heading back to the hotel or Air B&B you have been so anxiously awaiting to meet these past few weeks. Head back to relax for a little while and maybe even get in a quick power nap. After showering and putting on your "French" ensemble for the night, head out before 8:30pm.
Dinner: Pur'-Jean-Francois Rouquette
You will need a restaurant that equally matches your mindset and outfit along with satisfying those well deserved taste buds. This gem in Paris is swanky, delicious, and elegant. The Michelin star restaurant comes with a price tag but the presentation is exceptional.Treat yourself on your first night out in Paris or.....opt for TripAdvisor for another recommendation.
Museum & Tour of Paris
Breakfast: Street Crepe
You'll find these on any corner you look. Nothing is better than a hot banana Nutella street crepe cooked fresh right before your eyes.
Activity: The Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum is the largest art museum in the world and most historic monument in all of Paris. Note that the Louvre is open every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Night opening until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. The Louvre is home to the Mona Lisa, St. John the Baptist, The Raft of the Medusa, The Wedding at Cana, The Apotheosis of Homer and thousands more. You will need at least 2.5-3 hours in the museum to get a decent look so wake up early and miss the crowds.
Tea & Pastry: Angelina Paris
Odds are you will have built up quite the appetite roaming the Louvre, so you'll want to check out Paris' number 2 out of 200 cafe's Angelina. The hot chocolate & cakes will taste better than you ever imagined. Take a half an hour or so to load up on good Parisian carbs so you have energy for the next few activities. You may even opt to take it to go and eat in the Tuileries Gardens.
Activity: The Tuileries Garden & Ferris Wheel
The stunning Tuileries gardens were created by Catherine de' Medici for the Tuileries Palace in 1564 but In the 19th century, the Tuileries Garden was the place where ordinary Parisians went to relax, meet, stroll, enjoy the fresh air and greenery, and be entertained. Enjoy the views of the Ferris Wheel and flowers.
Activity: Musée de l'Orangerie
Just steps past the garden is the Musée de l'Orangerie is an art gallery of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. Home to Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Rousseau, Alfred Sisley and more.
Exhaustion will kick in around now and you will feel museum-ed out. You may even want to check your steps on your iPhone under Health to see how much you conquered the day! Head to a nice cozy restaurant where you can enjoy a late and long lunch, appropriate for resting tired legs.
Activity: Notre-Dame de Paris
Hop in an uber for around 7 euros and head to Notre-Dame. Although you won't find the hunchback from Disney's Quasimodo, you will find a medieval Catholic Cathedral that is one of the most renown churches in the entire world. The cathedral was completed by 1345. It has a narrow spiral staircase of 387 steps and along the climb it is possible to view its most famous bell.
Activity: Walk along the Seine River
Enjoy the views of the peaceful Seine River and don't forget to look up while roaming the streets of Paris. The most exceptional architectural designs are closer to the sky and hidden from your average eye.
Saint-Michel is an alluring monumental stone fountain created in 1860, depicting sculpted figures of St Michel slaying a dragon. End your long day of being a tourist by taking in the views of Saint-Michel and all that is around you in Monnaie.
Dinner: Les Ombres
Great Cocktails, quiet & cosy Les Ombres is delicious and was voted one of the top ten rooftop bars in Paris. Enjoy.
Shopping & Enjoying
You have seen the monuments, the cafes, the flower shops, and the museums... you feel as this point, you are a actually a Parisian. You have now earned a day of leisurely activities including shopping, markets, and gazing in awe. This is your last day in Paris. Some people make the mistake of fitting everything they can on their last day, but that doesn't leave you time to take a step back to realize and appreciate where you are. Today is the day to really look around and take it all in.
Brunch: Marché Bastille
One of the biggest markets in Paris, this will surely leave you with endless amounts of variety and options for the most fulfilling breakfast yet. Perfect choice for a foodie!
The view you have been waiting for. Grab a map beforehand, in case you get lost in the cobblestone street. Yes, you can ditch the phone, it's not the same experience. My recommendation is to avoid eating in Montmartre as the prices are a bit outrageous and opt for a glass of wine instead on the steps of Basilica of Sacre-Coeur. It doesn't matter what time it is, do as the Parisians do! Also, try and avoid getting conned into getting a portrait of yourself. You'll throw it in a bag and never see it again! Simply sit back and enjoy the sights on the top of the hill.
Moulin Rouge is always a great place to wander off to, but they have ponies in the show and I am against entertainment with animals in captivity so I wouldn't recommend going inside. It's quite fun to just walk around the area and enjoy being in Paris.
Activity & Dinner: Printemps Paris Haussmann
Here is where you'll want to get in that last minute shopping and maybe grab a few souvenirs for family or friends at home. The department store is one of Paris' finest and the window displays are the most fabulous. The Roof Top Cafe will be a perfect last dinner with views that makes Paris glimmer.