Oh, Paris! The city of mouth-watering pastries, streets paved with romance, and La Vie En Rose.
I must admit that the first time I visited Paris, I was quite disappointed. Perhaps it was because it was the last stop on my first European adventure and I was too exhausted to properly explore. Or maybe I had just overhyped it in my head to the point where it hindered my perception once I was there. But when my best friend told me flights to Paris were extremely cheap… I didn’t hesitate in booking so that I could see once and for all if Paris was as charming as every movie, song, and book had portrayed it to be.
& I can honestly say, this time around I fell head over heels for Paris!
I was so excited to share everything about this trip that I started and nearly finished writing this blog post on the flight home!
Where We Stayed
Staying at this hotel was an absolute dream. I had seen it on top bloggers’ pages and was captivated by the oval window with a view of the Eiffel tower (I mean, who isn’t?!). If you really want to stay here on your next Paris trip, here are some useful tips. First and foremost, yes it is expensive. But is it worth it? Absolutely! It’s a five-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower and Trocadero Gardens. It’s also located in a neighborhood that contains tons of restaurants and shops, that alone makes it reason enough to stay here. Another important tip, book in advance! There is only ONE room with the oval window so it gets picked up pretty quickly. We booked months in advance and could only manage to book one out of the four nights in the oval window room. Both the rooms we stayed in were very spacious. They had exquisite Parisian windows all around that overlooked the neighborhood and let in plenty of natural light. Last reason to stay here, the staff was so kind, charming, and accommodating. They were such a delight to work with and even sent up treats. Highly recommend this hotel!
Where We Explored
This is my favorite neighborhood in Paris. We loved it so much we visited it twice during our trip. Montmartre has been an artist’s heaven throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. It’s a quiet and an artistically vintage neighborhood which strongly contrasts the more centralized, busy Paris that is a few streets away. We walked around for hours strolling into shops and taking in its charm.
If you’re visiting Paris, the Louvre is a must. The sight of the exterior alone is incredible. Personally, I haven’t gone inside just because it’s extremely crowded and eats up a lot of the day. But if you’re a museum aficionado and want to visit, show up at the earliest time slot so that you can avoid the crowds.
I had to revise this section and add how truly devastated I am about the fire. It brought tears to my eyes watching this beauty be engulfed by flames. I feel so fortunate that I was able to visit it twice. But luckily, it will someday be rebuilt to its full splendor!
We strolled around this cute neighborhood one afternoon and came across this gem of a carousel!
All I’m going to say is that there is nothing quite like the first time you see it lit up at night!
It’s such a lovely area to walk around. In my opinion, this is where you get the most picturesque full image of the Eiffel Tower. There were so many flowers in bloom! It’s also a great area to sit down, relax, and people watch.
We passed by this majestic church on our way to lunch. It’s a touristic hub so if you want to enter make sure to go earlier in the day.
Da da dadadada da da!
Okay, why can’t all the malls be like this!? We spent hours here (mostly because I was freaking out about buying my first designer bag, haha). But honestly, if you want to shop in Paris this should be your number one spot. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! And don’t forget about the VAT tax refund.
Where We Ate
We headed here for our first meal right after checking into our hotel. The ambiance is very trendy and VERY “Instaworthy.” The staff was friendly and our food was brought to us right away (maybe they could tell we were ravenous post-flight?)
If you’re looking for a hip coffee shop with trendy Australian breakfast dishes this is your go-to place. The Avocado Toast and Banana Bread are a must.
Pink Momma is currently the “It” restaurant in Paris. Let me tell you, it completely lives up to the hype. The best ambiance, decorations, staff, and food of the entire trip! Be prepared to snap many photos because every inch of this establishment is vibrantly fantastic. Since they don’t take reservations we decided to show up 40 mins before they opened and the line was already around the corner. Luckily we made the cut and didn’t have to wait once they opened! The top floor is the best floor to dine in so if you can snag a seat there, you’re in luck. The truffle pasta and pizza were beyond delicious but the absolute best dish was the frozen yogurt parfait dessert.
Check out my La Maison Rose- Montmartre, Paris post for all the details!
This cafe is popularly known for its view that overlooks the Louvre courtyard. Personally, you pay for the view. The place was meh. The menu is overpriced and the staff was very snooty. By no means did it ruin my dining experience, but I would much rather choose other cafes before returning to this one.
I found out about this hidden gem a little late on the trip so when we tried to get a table for dinner, they were completely booked. We opted to just sit in the courtyard and enjoy some drinks and tea. It’s located within the Ralph Lauren Store in Saint Germain so it can be a little hard to spot. I would suggest coming here for brunch or afternoon tea in the courtyard.
Once we realized we couldn’t dine at Ralph’s I suggested this Parisian classic that was just down the street. Cafe de Flore truly embodied the ambiance of a classic French cafe. From the menu to the man with the accordion playing La Vie en Rose, it was the perfect dining experience for the end of our trip. Try the Hot Chocolate! It’s the most decadent sweet drink I have ever had (still dreaming about it!)
I’m so happy I was able to fall in love with all of Paris’ splendor this time around. It’s such a beautiful city to visit and I can’t wait until I’m able to return!