For a little background, I did not plan this trip. My boyfriend at the time surprised me and said we were leaving for Europe the next day and it was all going to be a surprise. The other surprise was that we were going to get engaged in Paris. So, although I didn't plan a ton of this, I wouldn't have done it any differently. Paris is an incredible city with rich history, rich food, and rich people. It is one of those cities that you could live in for years and not see everything. Do Paris at your own speed, and love every second of it!
Again, so much to see, so little time. There are museum passes you can get ahead of time as well as the Eiffel Tower tickets. I would suggest looking into these things as the lines can be crazy and if you have to wait in line for four hours, the place you're actually going to may not even seem worth it after all of that. Here are some of the things I did...
Where the famous Mona Lisa lives. Get there at 8:30 (unless you get the 'fast pass')- The museum opens at 9am so go see the Mona Lisa and move on to a completely different floor to explore at your own pace. I think my favorite part of the Lourve was the building itself. Everywhere you look is an intricate detail and the size of the building is enormouse. It's very impressive.
THE LOCK BRIDGE
When I was in Paris there was an amazing lock bridge that you could buy a lock with your loved one, write your names on it and find a spot for it to remain forever in time. I have heard more recently that this has been taken down, which is a huge disappointment. I can't confirm this, so go look for it! Near Notre Dame!
NEW YEARS EVE IN PARIS
What a fun time to be in Paris! The most popular area for NYE is the Arc De Triomphe where there is a light show directly on the Arc. The street, Champs de Elysees draws an insane crowd. I decided to find a spot on one of the side streets instead, which is still very crowded, but not as bad. When midnight strikes, there are fireworks that light up the sky. It's a great time to be in Paris!
Paris has amazing restaurants. I guarentee that I didn't find them all. But- I ate phemonially well and you will too. Here is where I went...
Dinner reservations are recommended. The location isn't next to any tourist attraction in particular but the food is delicious and there is an English menu which helps a tourist out :) I ordered the Pepper Steak with a yellow sauce on top, and the cheese plate for dessert. It was extremely filling but what a meal!
In the 11th Arrondissement,
18 Rue Paul Bert; tel: 01 43 72 24 01
Make a reservation for lunch, it is right near the Eiffel Tower! You can get to the Eiffel tower first thing in the morning and then go for lunch afterwards, it’s amazing! Go hungry. The menu, again, is in French but everyone speaks English and is happy to do so. I ordered the Chef’s 4 course menu for the day. They will ask you if there is anything specific you don’t eat but other than that, everything is a surprise. You MUST have the rice pudding for dessert, it was the most amazing thing, and I don’t normally like rice pudding. They also have an awesome/huge selection of cheese and meats if you want to get a charcuterie board.
In the Seventh Arrondissement
7 Rue Malar; 01 47 05 86 89
DU PAIN ET DES INDEES (BAKERY)
Very popular bakery in Paris. I went their on our way to Le Verre Vol so it was late and they barely had anything left. If you can’t make it to this location in the morning, be sure to find a good bakery near by to enjoy all the amazing patries and breads!
Address : 34 rue Yves Toudic, M° Jacques Bonsergent 01 45 08 03 59,
An awesome Wine Bar. The location was a little out there but loved it, it reminded me of hipster Brooklyn. I went to dinner here (need reservations) and ended up staying for 4 hours! Everything about it was delicious.
A few restaurants that I did not get to go to that I’ve heard amazing things about:
Frenchie-Make a reservation now
Les Papilles- They do a lot of wine pairing
My boyfriend/fiance/now husband picked the hotel and he did a great job. Because we were there for New Years Eve, he wanted to be near Champs de Elysees and the Arc De Triomphe for the midnight celebrations. This is where the light show and fireworks are. This hotel was not cheap, but the location was perfect for what we were looking for. You can walk to the Eiffle Tower from here which is also nice but, Paris is huge and we did have to take the convenient metro to the rest of the popular tourist attractions. I'm sure there are other areas that may be a little ore convenient for that. The hotel itself is beautiful, comfortable and the staff is great. You really can't go wrong.
Disclosure: Traveled Dec 2014-Jan 2015