So, you’re only spending a night in Paris and you’re left wondering what to do?
Don’t get me wrong, the more time spent in Paris, the better. But sometimes we only have a night to spare and believe me, there’s plenty to profiter from.
I’m going to show you some of my favorite spots and things to do in Paris and no– it doesn’t include the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe.
Of course, these sites can be seen over and over again and they never get old, and when it comes to most vacations, I stress out over itineraries trying to make sure I’ll be able to fit in as many famous sites as possible. But, when it comes to Paris (perhaps it’s my close proximity from Bordeaux), I don’t mind being easy going and wandering around the city.
Keep on reading.
Breakfast in Bed
Being a fan of Montmartre, of course, I had to stay there. JP and I were able to get a great deal with Hotels.com at the very quirky and endearing Hôtel Montmartre mon Amour*****. This hotel had such good service–we arrived directly after our flight from the US and they let us check in at 9 am! Plus, with our deal, we were able to get complimentary breakfast in bed.
The location cannot be beaten, but keep in mind, this hotel is very different and a little on the quirky side. Each room is inspired by famous couples and no decoration in any room is the same.
If you’re on a time crunch but still want to make a museum visit, check out Musée L’Orangerie.
This art gallery is on the smaller side and features Monet’s famous water lilies. Not to mention, if you’re a student or under the age of 26, you’ll get in for just €6.50. If you’re under 26 AND you’re a European resident or hold a visa/tître de séjour (pssst TAPIF assistants, I’m talking to you), you’ll get in for free!
Stroll through Montmartre
You probably know by now, I am #teamBordeaux but if I ever move to Paris, please, please let it be in Montmartre.
You can’t go wrong with Montmartre.
This area is so charming. I love walking through the artist’s quarter, peaking at all of their pieces of work and stopping off for a café. Plus, you’re sure to hear some musician playing “La Vie en Rose.”
Lunch at a Fancy Restaurant You Stumble Upon
When traveling through France (not just Paris), one must take advantage of the menu du midi (aka lunch menu). You can find amazing restaurants that charge €40 for a dinner menu charging only €13 for their lunch menu, like this little gem, Le Moulin de la Galette.
Take Advantage of Happy Hour
Paris is known for being expensive, but luckily there’s always happy hour! You can easily find cafés that have €5 mojitos or €4 pints from 5 o’clock until 8 o’clock pm.
Dinner at a Brasserie
One of my favorite things to order in France is duck confit, a bit of a greasy but oh so delicious dish. Any brasserie will have your typical French menu options (think boeuf tartare, salad options, etc.) and prices should be mid-range.
I think my icon, Anthony Bourdain (may he rest in peace) explained Paris best.
“Most of us are lucky to see Paris once in a lifetime. Please, make the most of it by doing as little as possible. Walk a little. Get lost a bit. Eat. Catch a breakfast buzz. Have a nap. Try and have sex if you can, just not with a mime. Eat again. Lounge around drinking coffee. Maybe read a book. Drink some wine. Eat. Repeat. See? It’s easy.”
I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment, and reading this over again makes me miss Anthony Bourdain so much. It’s weird feeling so connected to a person I’ve never actually met before, but Mr. Bourdain was a huge inspiration to my expat journey and I’m sure to many others.
Paris has beautiful sites and monuments all around, but you’re sure to pass by them while you’re just walking around, trying to find the next café you want to journal at.
Of course, I did leave out some of my favorite spots in Paris, but I’ll have to reveal those when I visit Paris next.
What about the rest of you? Have you visited Paris? What’s your favorite thing to do there?