Paris is a feeling. The food, wine, shadows of the Eiffel Tower, jaw-dropping gardens, midday strolls… I get chills just thinking about it. The city has such a romantic aura! After only a few days of gallivanting through the streets in total admiration, I wanted to pack my bags and move aboard. It’s just so picturesque and timeless.
What I adored most about Paris was each neighborhood’s charm and eccentricity. No matter where you go, you’re bound to discover a local spot that will very likely become a go-to during your visit—for me, it was the quintessential French cafe around the corner from our Airbnb! I can go on and on; however, this post is a lengthy one so let’s jump right into it! Here are my tips for making the most of this classic European destination in just a few days…
Getting to Paris, france
Fly into Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and take the city train, which is the quickest and least expensive option. The RER B train line departs from CDG Terminal 2 and runs north-south through the centre of Paris.
Public transportation in Paris is comprised of the metro rail + bus system. These systems are very efficient and cheaper than hailing a taxi or using Uber. The metro has 16 train lines, and it’s really easy to maneuver once you get the hang of it, I promise. I highly recommend purchasing a pass—good for both metro + bus—for the number of days you’ll be in Paris. Walking is also an option for getting around the city; however, it’s just not as feasible if you want to see it all.
When To Visit
I honestly believe you can visit Paris anytime. However, I visited in the early part of summer, so the city was sort of crowded. Nevertheless, that didn’t hinder my experience as it was very lovely, and the blooming flowers were stunning.
Where to stay
What a dream! Really, that’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of my stay in Paris. I found a beautiful homestay in Neuilly-sur-Seine, which has a very authentic Parisian feel and happens to be one of the wealthiest suburbs in Paris. It is posh, quiet, residential, and the 17th, 16th and 8th Arrondissements border Neuilly-sur-Seine, which puts the Arc de Triomphe and a lot more within grasp. The neighborhood is equipped with delicious cafe’s and restaurants as well as boutiques with beautiful, chic designs.
When I travel, I use Airbnb almost exclusively as it offers the opportunity to fully indulge in the culture and local environment while somehow feeling at home. Thank God my experiences staying in the homes and rentals of my gracious hosts have been overwhelmingly positive. During my stay in Paris, I lodged in a private room inside of a beautiful, spacious home. I was extremely nervous as this was my first time using the private room option with Airbnb; however, it was honestly a great decision. My host Carolyn was absolutely amazing! She gave my partner and I tips on where to eat, intimate places to visit that were off the touristy radar and I built a lasting relationship with her. Now whenever I visit Paris I have a friend waiting to visit with me!
What to bring
Like me, you’ve probably been waiting for this moment all of your life, so go ahead sis…pack your favorite fashion-forward outfit! But make sure it’s something that can transition from day to night. Heads up—if you’re traveling during the spring or beginning of summer—you’ll definitely want to bring something comfortable to throw on if the temperature drops. I would recommend packing a leather jacket or a comfy sweater.
Paris is the perfect excuse to be practical and fashionable. You’ll be walking a lot, so pack both heels and sneakers/flats. Sis, you’re going to need more sneakers and/or flats than heels…….pack accordingly!
WHere to eat
Honestly, you really can’t go wrong in Paris. Since the country is known for its cuisine, all of the food and drinks are absolutely délicieux! Here are some of my top picks…
Cafés Richard || Known for its fresh, delicate breads, croissants + cappuccinos! This local café was the perfect spot to grab breakfast and chill before exploring the city. I enjoyed watching the locals stop in to grab their morning baguettes.
Angelina’s || If you’re not into coffee, grab a yummy hot chocolate from Angelina’s. A friend told me it’s made with three different chocolates from Africa! Heads up, there may be a long line. If so, just get your hot chocolate to go.
Fratelli || This cozy little restaurant was conveniently down the street from our Airbnb. The menu boasts a wide variety of homemade pizzas, meats, fish dishes as well as authentic Italian pasta. It also has an extensive selection of local, french wines. Sooooo good!
L’Elica || If you’re looking for something other than French cuisine, this casual and tasty Italian eatery serves up an amazing truffle risotto.
Frenchie Restaurant || Frenchie is high-end restaurant praised by locals and visitors alike. If you’re looking for the experience without the expensive price tag, grab a bite from their casual concept next door, Frenchie To Go.
What to do
Coup de Théâtre || A night at the theatre is very much a Parisian tradition, and you’ll see the locals lined up every night of the week to catch a show. From the quaint neighborhood theatre to the ornate grandiose playhouse, dinner and a show is a perfect way to discover this lesser-known side of Paris.
Have a picnic at the Eiffel Tower || I recommend stopping at a local bakery to pick up some savory, sweet treats and spend a late afternoon lounging on the grass—if you are fortunate to beat the rain that is. Since it was pouring when I visited, my partner and I opted to have lunch near the Eiffel Tower instead, so this recommendation has been added to my list of things to do next time.
Hire a photographer || Paris in the rain is so romantic. Except when it begins to pour just minutes before your photo session! Ultimately, when the drops started to fall, it only added to the charm of the experience. Even inclement weather couldn’t dampen the magic of having Florentine as our photographer.
Where to go
Arc De Triomphe || Located at the end of the Champs-Élysées, the Arc De Triomphe has one of the best city views overlooking Parisian rooftops and the Eiffel Tower.
Tuileries Garden || Housed right next to The Louvre, this garden is beautiful in spring and summer and the perfect place to spend an afternoon.
Shopping || Check out Le Marais, a historic district known for its boutiques and French clothing brands + the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann for designer brands.
Musée Jacquemart-André || If you have a strong appreciation for art, Musée Jacquemart-André is a must see! This private museum was created from the private home of Édouard André and Nélie Jacquemart to display the art they collected during their lives. Musée Jacquemart-André has combined elements from different eras such as Greek and Roman antiquities, Egyptian artifacts *sideeee eyeeeee*, period furnishings and portraits by Dutch masters including canvases by Rembrandt and Van Dyck.
I kept my cool and got out of there though!
Notre Dame de Paris || Well what do you know! Paris’ most famous cathedral is a beautiful demonstration of gothic architecture… Admission is free; however, I’d recommend arriving early to avoid the line if you want to go inside.
The Louvre || A former royal palace and originally a fortress built in the medieval period, The Louvre—now known as the Musée du Louvre—is home to one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous paintings, the Mona Lisa. The lines are super long, so unless you are Bey + Jay or have a Paris Pass, I would arrive early (even w/ the Paris Pass).
Père Lachaise Cemetery || Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, and Oscar Wilde are all buried here, among other famous names.
River Seine || This river walk is beautiful, gives next level meditation vibes + has great views of the city. With a partner, it’s ultra-romantic.
Palace of Versailles || The gardens are my favorite, but the palace is equally breathtaking—this could be good or bad depending upon your perspective of Louis XIV the French Revolution *major side eye*. Prepare to spend at least a few hours here exploring the grounds. P.S. it’s an hour train ride from the city, so leave early to avoid massive lines + crowds!
I know this post was lengthy, but there’s so much to do and see in Paris. I hope this guide helps you create the perfect itinerary to check off some yummy dishes + unimaginable sites on your list!
Have you been to Paris?
If so, share your must-see spots in the comments!
Remember, everyone benefits when you love yourself. K?