I was in Paris last week…in PARIS you guys!! It still feels completely unreal to say that out loud!, and whoever said transitioning back to “real life” would be hard, you were so right! I had the privilege of visiting Paris on a work trip, but we coincidentally flew out on my 30th birthday. It was my first time out of the country, so it was kind of a magical first-time experience, and nothing short of a big deal to me! I am already missing everything about Paris. The food, the shopping, and even the fast-paced traffic. I wish everywhere from this day forward had just a dash, of Paris.
Paris is a large city, located in France! For instance, France is the size of Texas (Texas actually being just a hair larger) while Paris is about the size of San Francisco. So, my tips and recommendations are in no way a reflection of all that there is to see. I am just here to share my personal favorites from my January visit. Giving you a dash, of Paris. Jouir!
Tip: Spend an ENTIRE day in Montmartre. This picturesque village is exactly what I imagined Paris to look like. Our home away was located in Montmarte so I spent much of my time roaming these streets, as did Picasso and Van Gogh, many many years ago. Some of my favorite shopping areas were over this way, as well as THE BEST French Onion Soup from Le Ceni’s – Located @ 7 Rue du Mont-Cenis. I could not get enough of this soup! It was so yummy, I went back three times during my trip just to order it…French Onion Soup…iiiiinn France? C’mon! & yes, I tried them other places too, but nothing could compare to Le Ceni’s.
Cafe Francour, another one of my listed favorites is located in Montmartre as well. Just a few steps down from Sacre -Coeur. Tell Ugo, I said “hello” and be sure to order the deviled eggs, steak, and an Aperol Spritz. You won’t regret it!
Tip: On your way out, buy all the french magazines at the airport for souvenirs! Not only will it look super cool on your coffee table, it will be a perfect reason to spark up a conversation about your recent travels to Paris, France.
Tip: Purchase a French perfume while you’re visiting. It’s a great way to take the smell of Paris, home with you. I would recommend stopping into L’Artisan Parfumeur, their co-ed scents are something I have never smelled before. I had to bring some home for my husband and I. If we run out, no worries!, I can order online! Yessss, perfume gods!!
Tip: For the American that doesn’t speak French… Always start the conversation with a friendly “Bonjour”, followed by, “do you speak English?”. Most speak just enough English to make navigating the city super easy. There were a few occasions when the person did not speak any English, but luckily someone nearby did and was able to help me communicate. To be honest, those were humbling experiences to be considered the “minority”. Though it could be frustrating at times, it made me realize just a little bit of what I imagine a lot of foreigners go through when visiting the U.S. A simple “Bonjour” will do just fine. Starting off with “DO YOU speak English”, is never really that polite anyways.
Simple phrases for the first timer…
- Bounjour – Hello
- Je ne comprends pas French – I don’t understand French
- Oui/Non – Yes/No
- C’est combein – How much
- S’il vous plait – Please
- Merci – Thank you
- Merci Beacoup – thanks a lot
- Excusez-moi – Excuse Me
- Pardon – Sorry
I will reiterate that this list is in no way the top five places in ALL of Paris, but they are a compiled list of my top five places that helped make my trip so magical...
Top Five Eateries
- Le Progres – 7 Rue des Trois Frères
- Cafe Francoeur – 129 Rue Caulaincourt
- Le Ceni’s – 7 Rue du Mont-Cenis
- Le Sancerre – 35 Rue des Abbesses
- Laperouse Paris – 51 Quai des Grands Augustins
Top Five Shopping Experiences
- Paris Flea Market – Marche aux puces de Clignancourt
- Rue de Rivoli-Le Marais
- Rue de Rennes
- Montmartre Village
- Saint Germain Blvd
Top Five Sights to See
- Sacre -Coeur Best view of Paris from this monument. Show up early to avoid the crowd.
- Deyrolle – No pictures allowed in this exotic animal kingdom.
- Artist Square – Montmartre Famous artists have painted here for hundreds of years. It is amazing to watch it all come to life.
- Cemetery of Montmartre – the movie cats is based on the cats that roam these above-ground tombs. (spooky, but neat. A few famous poets and past artists can be found here)
- Eiffel & all the other typical tourist swamped monuments. We opted out of these because there was a protest going on, making the tourist spots even more packed. Trust me, they are all just as gorgeous from afar. Is it odd that I didn’t get close and personal with the Eiffel tower my first visit to Paris? Yes..a little, but I knew it wouldn’t be my last time visiting, and maybe the next time there won’t be a large protest happening.
These Are A Must
Laperouse – You know on vacation when you plan to have that one meal that is a bit pricey? “the fancy dinner” on vacation, where you get a little dressed up. Well save that night for Laperouse. You will be wined and dined like royalty. There is a reason this spot is well sought after by celebrities, from their private rooms to the lush decor, THIS place will blow you away! We were lucky enough to get in without reservation, but I would recommend making one, just in case.
Deyrolle – Mentioned above, but an absolute must see place. Where all the animals died naturally. Deyrolle is a taxidermist sanctuary housing almost every insect, reptile, and animal on the planet. My heart was pounding so fast while wondering this building. You have to see it for yourself. Pictures are not allowed inside, so I purchased some sweet postcards so I can show people just how lovely it really is.
The Paris Flea Market – This is where you get a taste of real antiques. It’s a large sector filled with vendors of all kinds. You could spend days here, and only see half. There is a reason why Kim & Kanye stop here when they visit Paris. Say hello to Heidi, who owns a sweet vintage jewelry shop, that stars like Rihanna frequent when visiting the city. Keep your things close though, it is largely known for pickpocketing.
An Absolute Must
Paris’ Riverside Bouquinistes – A perfect place to view the river and find unframed art, at low cost. Browsing the green bookstalls that line the Seine near Notre-Dame is a quintessentially Parisian pastime.
Sacre -Coeur – Show up for a sunrise to get the best view. It really is the best view of Paris!
Le Comptoir General – Located @ 80 quai de Jemmapes – Even if you are not a night club person. Maybe you’re just a good cocktail person. Or someone that loves a badass interior. Le Comptoir General was recommended to my boss by Designer Faith Blakeney. It’s at an unmarked location. It’s not that hard to find though, just look for the large bouncer standing outside of a very large door.
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