—————————————– A Mini Guide to Paris —————————————–
After many trips to Paris and time spent there as a study abroad student, I feel as if I have a great pulse on the City of Lights. Here’s a little summary of the best spots to visit, eat and explore in the City of Lights. Hope this is helpful for anyone thinking of a potential trip to Paris!
BEFORE YOU GO: Save yourself a headache and pick up the Paris Pass before your trip. It gets you into 60 of the most famous Paris museums and attractions for free, including the Louvre and Notre Dame and you get to skip the lines (which can get wrap around crazy!) at the Musee d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou. It also gives you free unlimited travel on the metro, bus, trams etc. Also I always like picking up an ebook copy of Lonely Planet Paris so that I can have an offline map and never get lost. We did London + Paris together, which is a pretty popular option. The train was super crowded and there’s not much room for luggage. If you’re thinking of also adding London to a trip to Paris, do yourself a favor and buy your rail tickets in advance. They get more and more expensive closer to the date and sell out in peak season! You can check the train schedules here.
WHERE TO STAY? You can’t go wrong with a stay at the elegant and timeless Prince de Galles hotel, steps away from the Champs-Elysées and Arc de Triomphe monument. For photos of the hotel and my review, read more here.
WHAT TO EAT? Macarons from Pierre Hermé are some of the best in the world and available in the most unique flavor combinations including rose petal, passionfruit and earl grey! To try unique Parisien/Japanese fusion desserts, go to Sadaharu Aoki and for the thickest, richest hot chocolate of your life, settle down for a cup at Angelique.
WHERE TO EAT? One of the most amazing, authentic French meals I ever had was tucked away in the hilly cobblestone streets of Montmartre at Le Potager du Pere Thierry. Delicious french classics like foie gras and duck, potato and cheese gratin are served in a cozy and rustic restaurant, without the typical Parisian snobbery and best of all – it’s wallet friendly! When I was a student, I stayed in the Latin Quarter (kind of like the student district) and there is a wonderful maze of back alley streets with everything from affordable sit down restaurants to street stands selling gelato, pasta and halal.
MUST SEE? Hmm.. hard to pick one, so I’ll go with my three most favorite museums. The spooky crypt and upper level viewing deck from the Pantheon, the charming mansion of Musee Jacquemart-Andre (check out posts 1 and 2), and the sculpture filled gardens at Musee Rodin.
Interested in seeing more of Paris? Check out the stained glass windows at Eglise Sainte Chapelle | art at the Louvre, Orangerie and Orsay galleries | picnic at the Tuileries gardens| take a nighttime stroll by the Arc de Triomphe | charming mansion of Jacquemart Andre | the Thinker sculpture at the Rodin Museum | the Pantheon crypt, housing Voltaire, Marie Curie and Zola | gargoyles at Notre Dame | picnic at the Eiffel Tower
For a complete look into my Paris trip, click here.