To celebrate a milestone birthday my husband planned a trip for us to Paris followed up a few days relaxing on the French Riviera. While I've always wanted to visit France, it was not top of my list. Mainly because I've heard such mixed reviews from family & friends. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how beautiful everything was!
For this first part of my post, I will focus on our time in Paris.
We spent a total of 4 days in Paris but managed to fit A L O T in. We were so lucky with the weather, it was consistently warm and it only started raining on our last day as we were going to the airport. Summer weather in Paris is pretty inconsistent. The forecast was changing until the very last day we arrived. Since this was my first trip, we did want to do a lot of the tourist-y sightseeing but I also wanted to spend time shopping! Coincidently (I promise I did not plan this), we were in Paris around one of the cities sales. Fun Fact: Sales are controlled by the government so they only have sales about 2x a year. Full itinerary below on how we spent our 4 days in Paris.
Day 1 (Arrival & Le Marais)
We arrived to Paris in the late morning. For the afternoon, we explored the Le Marais neighborhood. It is filled with tons of cute shops and restaurants. First shop we visited was Pierre Herme for some macaroons. A friend recommended trying this as it is her favorite macaroon shop in Paris. It did not disappoint! In the evening, we walked on the Champs Elysees to catch some sweet views of Eiffel Tour. On the hour in the evenings you can see the Eiffel Tour twinkle.
Day 2 (Louvre to Arc De Triomphe)
The second day we started out at the Lourve, which I highly recommend buying tickets in advance online. We did at it saved us a long line at the museum. The museum is huge, we prioritized a few exhibits including Mona Lisa, Napoleon room, and the Egyptian section. After the museum we continued straight past the Lourve to the Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries). We spent some sitting by the fountain. From there we walked down the Champs Elysees and finally on to the Arc De Triomphe. Champs Elysees is packed with shopping and restaurants, we stood in line for the famous Laudree.
Day 3 (Madeline District, Museum de Orsay, Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Cœur)
The third day was jam packed with shopping at the Madeline District, lots of high end shopping. My husband spoiled me with three pairs of Christian Louboutin from his flagship store (pair 1, pair 2, and a pair of sandals I can't find online). We continued the day at Museum De Orsay, which was way more contained than we saw Van Gogh's paintings. We walked to the Eiffel Tower afterwards, walking along the Siene. Finally we wrapped up the day watching the sunset with stunning views from the Sacre Coeur. There is a beautiful street art and cafe's that you can see next to the Sacre Coeur. Great place to take a break from all the stairs to the top :)
Day 4 (Palace & Gardens of Versailles, Notre Dame)
On our last day, we spent the majority of the day outside of Paris in Versailles. We took a 45 min train ride to get to the palace, not much to see on the way there. We started the day with a garden tour followed up a visit inside the Palace. I am not a history buff, but I am a sucker for royal historical stories. The gardens were stunning, everything in the garden was perfectly manicured!
What to pack for Paris in the Summer
I had a rough time packing for Paris because the weather can be unpredictable. Here's what I packed and found useful for Paris.
1. Dresses & Cardigans: Most days I wore lightweight summer dresses. It was perfect for sightseeing and allowed me to still feel presentable if we stopped by any restaurants. I brought a cardigan to wear over my dresses for chilly evenings.
2. Comfortable Sandals: I heard rumors that no one wears sneakers in Paris so I brought lots of comfortable sandals. I did see lots of locals in adidas during the day, so if you really want to wear sneakers with your outfit, go right ahead!
3. Bigger Crossbody/Tote with Zipper: I wore a crossbody to keep important items close to me. As with many European tourist areas, theft is prevalent. Bring a bag that allows you to keep items zipped up and close to you.
4. Umbrella/Rain Jacket: It was drizzling when we landed but then cleared up for the entire 4 days we were there. It did rain on our way out of Paris, so I still suggest bringing an umbrella or rain jacket to stay dry.
5. Don't over pack: Save some room in your bag for shopping! I am glad we did :)
Stay tuned for part 2 where I recap our time on the French Riviera!