The third stop on our European tour took us to one of our favorite cities in the world: PARIS! Honestly, is there a city more charming, romantic, and inspiring than Paris? There's so much to love about the City of Lights, and we couldn't wait to explore the sights and streets of Paris with our new Weekender Bag in tow! Below, check out our Paris Travel Guide, including what to pack, where to stay, what to see and do, and where to eat. Fawn voyage!
WHAT TO PACK FOR A TRIP TO PARIS
When packing your Weekender Bag for a trip to Paris, there are a few key items you'll want to be sure to include: cool but comfy sneakers, a striped top, and a scarf to name a few. For a full list, check out our blog post all about What to Pack For a Trip to Paris. Depending on the weather and the time of year you'll be traveling, you may want to add a trench coat, sweater, or umbrella too. And don't forget to pack your favorite travel toiletries in your Cosmetic Bags, like a good post-flight face mask, sunscreen, and red lipstick for a dose of French beauty!
WHERE TO STAY IN PARIS
When it comes to lodging, we're big fans of Airbnb in Paris. There are so many stylish and affordable options in the best arrondissements in the city. We'd suggest staying in Le Marais, the 4th arrondissement (a hip neighborhood with lots of shops and cafes), or in the Latin Quarter, the 5th arrondissement (classic Paris!). Here are a few Paris Airbnbs that we love:
- Charming Flat in the Heart of the Latin Quarter
- Romantic Le Marais Flat
- Paris Artist Loft
There are plenty of hotel options throughout Paris too. Consider booking a room at the Hoxton Hotel or Hotel Henriette—both offer chic accommodations in some of the coolest neighborhoods in Paris. For something more affordable but nonetheless charming, check out Hotels Des Grandes Ecoles. This low-key hotel has a great courtyard and is in a good location off a quiet street.
WHAT TO DO + SEE IN PARIS
There’s no shortage of things to see and do in Paris! It's hard to beat just wandering the streets of Paris and getting lost in a sea of sidewalk cafes and shops—we also recommend taking a boat ride on the Seine to experience the beauty of Paris from the river—but here are a few of our favorite sights to visit during your trip:
You can’t go to Paris and not see the iconic Eiffel Tower! Buy a ticket and ride an elevator all the way to the top for a bird's eye view of the city, or have a picnic in the park beneath the Eiffel Tower. Grab a baguette, some cheese, and a bottle of wine, and you’ll never want to leave! Or plan an evening outing to the Eiffel Tower to see its dazzling lights when the sun goes down.
The Notre Dame is one of our favorite sites in Paris—there's something so powerful and yet peaceful about the cathedral. We were heartbroken by the recent devastating fire at Notre Dame, and although the cathedral is currently closed, we still recommend visiting the area to take in all of its glory. While you're there, be sure to visit the nearby Saint-Chappelle—the 360-degree stained glass windows are breathtaking.
The Louvre is incredible and another must-see during your trip to Paris. The Louvre is the largest art museum in the world—it's filled to the brim with paintings, sculptures, and historic artifacts, most famously Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece "The Mona Lisa." Due to it’s massive size, the Louvre can be a little overwhelming so plan accordingly. You may want to set aside a full day at the museum, with plenty of breaks in between, or even plan your visit between two different days if you want to see as much as possible. Get your tickets ahead of time online to avoid waiting in long lines.
If big crowds aren't your thing, you may prefer a more low-key museum. Consider visiting something smaller—but no less spectacular—like the Rodin Museum, Musee d’Orsay, Musee de l'Orangerie, Centre Pompidou, or the Picasso Museum.
Perched high on a hill above the city in Montmartre, we love visiting the Sacre-Coeur at sunset to enjoy one of the most beautiful—and romantic—views of Paris. Also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, this Roman Catholic Church is both a cultural and historic landmark in Paris. Be prepared to trek up some very steep streets and countless steps to make it to the Sacre-Coeur, but once you do you'll be rewarded with the panoramic views.
ARC DE TRIOMPHE
One of the most famous landmarks in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe stands strong and tall at the western end of the bustling Champs-Élysées. Make a stop at the monument—which honors all of those who fought and died for France—during a day of sight-seeing. The Arc is located relatively near the Eiffel Tower, so you could plan to visit both sights in the same afternoon.
Get out of the city for a day and take a quick train ride from Paris to the Palace of Versailles. The former royal palace and surrounding gardens are truly spectacular! Be sure to visit the Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Chapel, the Grand Trianon, and the Petit Trianon.
WHERE TO EAT IN PARIS
There are so many good things to eat in Paris! Whatever you do, eat all the bread and all the croissants. Here are a few of our favorite places to dine:
- Angelina - You'll never have a better cup of hot chocolate in your life! Be sure to stop by this famous tea house on Rue de Rivoli for a cup of hot chocolate or a pot of tea and something sweet. It's the perfect mid-day pick-me-up between museums, shopping, and sight-seeing.
Buvette - Super charming spot for breakfast or brunch. Try the waffles, avocado toast, or Croque Madame.
Holybelly - Hip spot for breakfast or brunch. Be prepared to wait in line. Try the Sweet Stack or Savory Stack and the Holy baked beans.
Ober Mama - A taste of Italy in Paris. Delicious pizza and the most amazing truffle pasta—order one of each and share. The restaurant has a super cool atmosphere, nice waiters, and a great bar area.
Cafe de Flore - Classic Paris and full of history! Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald used to frequent this cafe and the neighboring Les Deux Magots. Both are great spots to enjoy a coffee or a glass of Champagne and watch the world go by.
L’As du Fallafel - Best falafels and shawarmas in Paris! Very low-key in the Marais neighborhood with a walk-up window. Look for a line of people and you’ll know you’re in the right spot.
- Pierre Hermes - For something sweet, forgo Laduree and in favor of the macarons and pastries at Pierre Hermes. Each item is a true work of art. Try the popular pastry Ispahan, made with rose macarons, fresh raspberries, and a lychee filling.
Photos: Becky Kimball Photography