I got to mark the most magical city off of my bucket list last month. Paris, the city of love and lights, was more beautiful, historic, and delicious than we could have ever imagined. My husband, Nick, and I really love exploring new places, but we would go back to Paris tomorrow if we could.
I could drone on about how much I love Paris for days, but I’ll save that for anyone that wants to chat in person. I do, however, want to share with you my absolute favorite spots from our 4 days in this magical place.
This picturesque avenue is located in the 8th arrondissement and famous for the Arc de Triomphe. We stayed at the quaint Hotel Marignan Champs-Elysees. I cannot say enough about this hotel. The rooms were conservative but the service was on another level. The front desk and concierge were so helpful with making reservations and giving recommendations for seeing the real Paris outside of the usual tourist destinations. My favorite restaurant in this area was L’Avenue. The food was good but the atmosphere made the experience. They have a few different seating options (sidewalk, terrace, bar, and dining room). We opted for the terrace with a view of the street because it was raining. The perfect spot for a date night!
2. Rue Cler
This charming street is home to one of the most famous street markets in Paris. With the location so close to the Eiffel Tower, it is the perfect place to grab a baguette, cheese, and bottle of wine to picnic and watch the tower sparkle at night. The street is full of different specialty shops from fromageries to wine shops to flower marts. We went one rainy morning and had the sweetest brunch – eggs for Nick and cheese + croissant for me. This one hands down one of my favorite memories from our trip.
3. The Louvre
You can’t visit Paris without a trip to arguably the largest and most famous art museum in the world. Originally the Louvre Palace, main residence of the French kings, the museum now holds over 70,000 pieces of artwork. While the museum houses some of the most famous pieces of art in the world (think Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo), we were awestruck by the Napoleon III apartments. These lavishly adorned rooms were full of true to period artwork, furniture, and the most beautiful chandeliers. You could easily spend days wandering through the halls of The Louvre, but we only had a few hours. We bought tickets for the English tour to learn the history of the museum and spent another hour quickly walking through the remaining parts of the museum.
4. Les Ombres + River Seine Cruise
We ate at Les Ombres our first night and really started the trip off with a bang. This restaurant has the most amazing view of the Eiffel Tower and a pretty magnificent menu to match. There are limited main course options so we all got something different (salmon, sea bass, chicken, beef) and tasted them all. Seeing the city by night on the Seine was a great way to our bearings. It was also so beautiful to see all of the lights.
The Latin Quarter is a completely different feel from Champs Elysees. It is the academic hub of the city with the France’s first university opening here in 1257. There are two different atmospheres of the Latin Quarter, the less expensive academic spots and the more expensive see and be seen spots. We had a quiet breakfast at one of the local cafes and did some strolling along the old streets. A must see (that we didn’t, oops) is the Pantheon where the distinguished French are buried.