Paris has always been on my bucket list and making it happen for my 29th birthday was a dream come true! We had four days in the city and I wanted to highlight some of the most memorable experiences I had while exploring the Parisian streets. From the pastries (which I can finally confirm now, are REALLY the best) to the fashion, people-watching and historical sites, the magic of the city is definitely something I'll be coming back to again. Hopefully, my future bae will be able to propose to me in this magical and romantic city, because I would definitely say yes. LOL. Without further ado, here's my recommendations for those looking to enjoy a European getaway to the most romantic city in the world:
HAVE A PICNIC AT THE EIFFEL TOWER
My favorite part of Paris is the people-watching. In the restaurants I would even notice that there would be more people on the patio rather than inside of the restaurant: Parisians really enjoy people-watching! In Paris, there's no rush, you truly experience the city and are present in the moment. During sunset, we enjoyed some crepes and wine with the views of the Eiffel Tower. There is a nearby crepe shop across from the fountains, Le Kiosque Des Fontaines, with sweet and savory crepes to enjoy while you're experiencing the sunset. Also, there are PLENTY of street vendors around selling champagne and beer. I would recommend haggling when buying from them, since a majority of them hike up the prices for tourists. I was able to get mine from 40 Euros to 8 Euros, because I'm cheap and a hustler. LOL.
TAKE A LUNCH OR DINNER CRUISE ALONG THE SEINE RIVER
I cannot even express how necessary it is is experience this river cruise while you're in Paris. I would say this was probably Top 5 most magical moments of my life because I had the whole boat singing happy birthday to me while we were cruising along the Eiffel Tower. We purchased the Marina de Paris Seine River Cruise with 3-course meal through Paris City Vision for 41€ ($48) and it was a major highlight for the trip. For lunch we had a variety of choices including smoked salmon or a tasting plate of four starters. The main plate offered choices of roast chicken leg with parmesan risotto or cod loin fillet with asparagus cream (I'm getting hungry just reminiscing about this perfection). The dessert was also included the lunch which was your choice of all-chocolate sweet, fresh raspberries or a tasting plate composed of three desserts. Of course I had to take some pictures of the perfect plating:
Exploring and Shopping at Champs-Élysées
For shopping in Paris, shopping at Champs-Elyees is a MUST. It's the Rodeo Drive of shopping in Paris and also has the flagship store of Louis Vuitton! Make sure you also stop by McDonald's for their macaroons. Wow, I never thought I'd say macaroons and McDonald's in the same sentence, but in Paris, it's LEGIT.
Enjoy the views from the top of Arc de Triomphe
I would recommend purchasing your tickets online for the Arc de Triomphe in order to skip the line. You can do that on their official website here. Tickets are 12€ ($14) and the views are worth it. From the top of the panoramic terrace your eyes sweep over the whole of Paris. Fun Fact: This historical monument was also the key place for major national events including being inaugurated in 1836 by French King, Louis-Philippe, who dedicated it to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire.
Experience sunset at the Lourve Museum
Lourve Museum during the sunset is magic. Formerly a royal palace, Louvre is the world's most visited museum and houses the iconic Mona Lisa. As with all the tours in Paris, make sure you book in advance! Summer is the busiest time in Paris, and I didn't get a chance to explore the museum, something to save for next time hopefully. Instead, I took this selfie in front of it while my parents were taking a pic:
Enjoy a rendezvous at Moulin Rouge
Not got lie, Moulin Rouge the movie, was how I learned my first French phrase and going to it was a special experience! The risqué world-famous cabaret has been around since 1900 and is the top visited cabaret performance in the world. You can enjoy the show or book a dinner and show for a special experience. Definitely one of the highlights of this trip.
Travel Tips and Recommendations
- In Paris, hotel bookings go fast during the summer. I would recommend booking 6 months in advance to secure your spot because prices go up during the summer. I stayed at this gorgeous private residence in Maisons-Alfort, France for $61/night (it was about 20 minutes out of the city, but close by to the local subways)
- UBER is available in Paris! Rejoice! It make it super simple to get around the city.
- The hop on-hop off bus in Paris made it easy to get to the main attractions including the Eiffel Tour, Notre Dame Cathedral, Lourve Museum and Champs-Elyees. It's a MUST for easy transportation to all the iconic spots to check out.
- Paris is the top city for pick pocketing! Please always make sure your bag is in front of you and do not carry a backpack. I would recommend a fanny pack to be safe.
- Paris people are bougie and many of them DO NOT speak English. Make sure to know common French phrases including thank you and where's the bathroom, which were the phrases that were super helpful. Here's a list of common phrases to know.
Hip-Hop In Paris
I spent a good amount of my time finding out how big the hip-hop scene is in Paris. I love seeing and experiencing music in other cities, and the variety of music in Paris is eye-opening. Here's my favorite songs I Shazamed:
Caballero & JeanJass - Toujours les mêmes ft. Krisy
Santana - Alonzo
Thanks for the beautiful memories, Paris! Did I miss anything on this list? If there are any of the beaten spots you'd recommend, let me know below.