Travel Guide to the BEST of Paris
Welcome back everyone! It's been a minute since I've posted anything on here, but I'm back with a quick guide to the best of Paris. This was my first international trip so it was certainly very exciting preparing for it and I really wanted to make sure to absorb as much of the culture and sights I could in the week I was there. As I'm sure with so many, Paris had been on the top of my travel bucket list for years now, and while I still have a lot of places I'd like to visit, I can tell you right now that Paris is by far my favorite city. Like I said, we (my boyfriend, sister, and I) were in Paris for a week, but I will be narrowing down all our travels into a 3-day itinerary, so sit back and enjoy! :)
To see: Disneyland Paris
Our first full day in Paris, was Paul's birthday so we spent it at Disneyland Paris. If you're not a Disney fan, then just skip through this section haha. Disney Paris is two parks, the Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, which is super duper tiny, we were able to see it all in like an hour. Being pretty jet-lagged, we were able to wake up pretty early and headed down to the park to get there right when it opened for the early magic hours. The park never really got super packed like Disneyland or Magic Kingdom do during peak seasons, which was nice! Some attractions that are must do when you visit are Phantom Manor, Alice's Curious Labyrinth, Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough, & Ratatouille: The Adventure at Walt Disney Studios Park.
One thing that I was absolutely obsessed with (aside from the gorgeous castle) were the cute balloons of Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. So perfect for photo ops! They also had the cutest wintery accessories and merchandise! Like can we just talk about how cute this Minnie gingerbread beanie and Chip & Dale mittens are?!?
We ended our magical day at Disneyland Park with the very beautiful fireworks show and admiring the sparkly, wintry castle.
We were told that The Louvre would be an all day thing and to get there early, so that's just what we did, but it did not take us all day. We made sure to get our tickets online ahead of time, which saved us from having to stand in the huge line outside beforehand. The Louvre can be pretty overwhelming because there is just so much to see, but definitely take your time and just enjoy it all! We were able to see it all (Mona Lisa included) in about 3 hours.
After seeing the Louvre be sure to stop at Angelina, they serve the best hot chocolate I have ever had! You can either sit down in their restaurant or take some treats to-go which is what we did. Writing this I am thinking about booking a plane ticket back to Paris just to get some more of that hot chocolate.
From Angelina, it is only a one mile walk to the Notre-Dame Cathedral, so I recommend walking there because then you can stop along the way to take pictures and shop. To tour the inside of the Cathedral is free, but if you want to go to the top, it is an additional fee but is so worth it because the view cannot be beat! Be sure to wear your walking shoes though because to get to the top you have to climb 387 steps.
Across the street from Notre Dame is the cutest café and bookstore called Shakespeare and Company. The café's menu is vegan and gluten free friendly and they offered some of my favorite warm drinks like turmeric lattes. After munching and sipping head next door to their bookstore, which is pretty tiny but packed with some of the best books! If you've ever been to the Last Bookstore in DTLA, this place reminded me of a much smaller version of that. No pictures were allowed inside we were told, but it truly is a must see when in Paris!
For a quick sweet bite & a cappuccino, you can walk a half mile to the cutest café called Maison Sauvage. The interior had a very bohemian vibe to it from the dishes to the Christmas decorations they had inside. The chocolate croissants we ordered came out in the cutest woven basket and were warm and delicious!
A trip to Paris isn't complete without seeing the Eiffel Tower! When we went, it was expected to rain all day, but luckily we got there pretty early and the rain didn't start until we were leaving. We didn't pay to go to the very top of it, but instead opted to just climb to the second story which honestly was for the better because I don't think I would've made it to the very top. Once again, be sure to bring those walking shoes because to get to the second floor there are 600+ steps! Not going to lie there were a couple of times where I felt like turning around and giving up because it was just really cold, but Paul kept pushing me to keep going and I am glad I did! The view is unlike anything else.
After the 1200+ step workout, we were feeling pretty hungry and took the train to Café Charlot. Café Charlot truly has all the Parisian vibes going on, all the details made the place such a dream! I got myself the poached eggs a la Norvégienne and Paul got himself the classic cheeseburger, because he's just a classic American boy and doesn't like to stray away from his old favorites. After we ate, there were a couple coffee shops that were right around the corner from Café Charlot that I wanted to check out so we headed over there. The first one we went to was Ob-La-Di Café, a pretty tiny place and can easily be missed if you're not paying close attention. But, it is super cute and such an Instagrammable spot from the geometric tile to the marble counters to the trendy ob-la-di neon sign. After sipping on my latte we walked over to Boot Café, an even tinier place than the first but a must-see in my opinion! Here I just got myself and espresso and Paul and I shared one of their chocolate chunk cookies.
The Arc de Triomphe is a mere 20 minute train ride from Boot Café. After snapping some pictures, you can shop around at the plenty of shops and restaurants that surround the landmark. For my fellow macaron lovers, Laudreé is a must visit! You can either wait in line to eat at the restaurant or you can wait in line to get your macarons and pastries from the counter - we opted for the latter and got a box of six different macarons. Pro tip: the raspberry and pistachio are the best ones!
Additional Travel Details
Where we stayed: We had stayed at the Newport Bay Hotel in the Disneyland Park because we were able to get a really good deal that we couldn't pass up. I think next time we visit Paris we will definitely be taking advantage of AirBnB to get the chance to see more of the not-so-touristy spots.
How we got around: Since we stayed at a Disneyland Hotel, we were pretty far from the actual city of Paris and relied on the metro to get to the city everyday! The metro system was a little intimidating at first, but by the end of week we felt like pros.
What to pack: If you plan on visiting Paris in the wintertime, pack lots and lots of layers! The high when we were there was like 45° and then would reach the mid-low 30s by nighttime. And it rained most days we were there so pack an umbrella just in case!
I hope you enjoyed reading this little travel guide to Paris! Traveling brings me so much happiness and I love being able to share my adventures. Let me know in the comments down below your number one travel destination!