3 Days in Paris: Where to Go
I've always dreamt of coming to Paris. So naturally for our European honeymoon, it was at the top of our list of stops.
The city is filled with such energy during the summer! Walk along the warmly-lit streets or sit at a cafe with an espresso and you'll be inspired to write a novel (or at least a postcard). On any given day, you'll see artists painting along La Seine, business men riding by on their vespas, and Parisian women dressed effortlessly-cool as they stop for a quick coffee with friends. Paris moves at a pace that's both steady and yet seems to stand still at the same time. It's an ideal place to visit for a honeymoon if you're looking for equal amounts of relaxing downtime and the excitement of city life.
Here's a list of places to go, with suggestions of what day to schedule if you only have a few days in the city:
Lovers Lock Bridge - Day 1
Lovers who visit Paris must stop and add a lock to the Lovers Lock Bridge. It's a tradition in Paris wherein you write your names and date on a lock, latch it onto the bridge and throw the key into La Seine, knowing that your lock and your love will forever exist in this romantic place. Locks are sold by vendors on the river or you can bring your own. Fun fact: the bridge was so popular, it had to be separated into several bridges along the river.
Eiffel Tower - Day 1
A Parisian staple, we opted to visit the Tour Eiffel our first night in Paris. In the evenings, the tower lights up with tons of quick twinkling lights on the hour, and locals picnic nearby on a large grassy area adjacent to the tower. It's a spectacular sighting not to be missed!
St. Germain - Day 1
This hip little area located on the Left Bank, just a few minutes from Notre-Dame, the Luxembourg Gardens and the Louvre, reminds me of every postcard I've ever seen from Paris. It's an ideal place to stop for lunch or dinner with blocks of cute little cafes, patisseries, flower shops, and book stores.
Louvre - Day 2
One could spend an entire weekend in the Louvre, but we opted to go for a few hours in the morning. The stand-by line to buy tickets was 2 hours long, but you can purchase a Museum pass at the airport that's much faster. The museum collections are grouped into 8 curations: Egyptian Antiquities, Islamic Art, Paintings, Sculptures, etc. We mostly stayed in the Painting and Sculpture areas with works from French Revolutionary artists like Gericault and Delacroix. 'Liberty Leading the People' and 'The Raft of the Medusa' are favorites of mine. Be sure to stop by the Mona Lisa while you are there. Though usually surrounded by cell phones and a glass plate, it's still a piece of history.
Notre Dame - Day 2
Notre Dame's stunning gothic architecture and stained glass windows will keep you bemused for at least an hour or so. There's no dress code for the cathedral, but they will ask you to remove your hats and turn your flash off on your camera.
Champs-Élysées - Day 2
The boulevard of luxury shops and cafes along the Champs-Élysées make for a romantic stroll in the evening. Here you can see the Arc de Triomphe lit up at night and the largest Louis Vuitton shop I've ever seen.
Versailles - Day 3
Versailles was an experience all it's own and completely worth navigating your way through the 45 minute train ride and somewhat lengthy line to get in. While the inside of the palace has some lovely antique sculptures and paintings worth seeing, the gardens are the best part by far (away from the flocks of people). Enjoy the laissez faire days of summer a la Marie Antoinette as you drift along in a row boat on the lake. Plan to spend the day here, there's so many beautiful fountains, sculptures and scenery to enjoy. It was one of the most relaxing days of our entire trip.
Where to stay: The Hotel de Varenne
We were really pleased with this quaint boutique hotel situated in a 19th-century building in the 7th arrondissement. It was reasonably priced ($150/night) and close proximity to La Seine, the Louvre and the Jardin des Tuileries. There's also a sweet little boulangerie on the same street (Rue de Bourgogne).
Have you been to Paris recently? What must-see places would you recommend?