Trip of a Lifetime | Your Easy Paris Travel Guide | Chantilly

Trip of a Lifetime | Your Easy Paris Travel Guide

I had such a great time writing this guide to travel in Paris. Mainly because I had a such wonderful time in Paris- and who wouldn't! There are countless amazing things to do.



For me, going to Paris was the trip of a lifetime. It was the first leg of our epic trip to Europe, with stops including Bruges and Copenhagen. I've spent countless hours dreaming about the cafes I would visit, the pastries I would eat, and the days I would spend aimlessly walking around those beautiful streets. Not to mention visiting cool monuments and dozens of museums that you could spend a literal lifetime exploring.

This city has got it all, and I feel so lucky that I got to visit this past spring!

However, Paris can be a little overwhelming to navigate for the first time. I wanted to put together a super basic guide for anyone looking to take a trip here and is not sure where to start.



Before we go on, I just want to share one tip that might be the most important of all- Don't plan too much!! Half of the fun is the journey. On the way to your destination, you'll come across so many cute cafes, shops, and restaurants and you'll be tempted to stop. All I can say is.. do it!! If your heart says you need to stop, then you must! Enjoy every minute of it, then be on your way again. To either reach your destination or be blissfully sidetracked once more. Trust me, this is the best way 😊

woman at a cafe in Paris


NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL

(Note that in 2019, there was a devastating fire at the cathedral. It is expected to be fully rebuilt by 2024)

There's a reason why this is pretty much the most famous cathedral in the world. It is gothic magnificence at its finest.  Admission is free, but it will cost around €15 if you want to climb up the tower or visit the crypts. Whether you're wandering around on your own, or choose to go on a tour, coming here is worth the wait in the lines... just get here early!

Tip- If you find yourself with too little time in the day... no worries! Seeing the cathedral at night is just as gorgeous.

ISLE SAINT LOUIS

Looking for some signature French souvenir scarves? Well, look no further than Isle Saint Louis, which is known to have the best scarf shops! This is an especially great place to come if you've just visited Notre Dame. Simply cross the bridge to this little island and get ready to do some damage!

Tip- Be sure to stop at a little shop called Bakhtar, which was like stepping into another world, and had 100% silk scarves for €15 each.

MUSEE D'ORSAY

The Louvre might be more famous, but Musee d'Orsay is its cooler cousin. Why would I suggest coming here rather than the renowned Louvre? First of all, I do recommend seeing both. But this one is much more manageable, especially if you're short on time. The Louvre is simply HUGE and can be a bit overwhelming. Plus, it might be a personal preference, but the pieces at Musee d'Orsay really spoke to my soul. It's worth it for the Van Gough paintings alone, which literally took my breath away.

Tip- we came here an hour before closing and got in for free!



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Notre Dame at night
silk scarves
inside the Musee D'orsay


MONTMARTRE

We were lucky enough to stay in this neighborhood, and it really captured my heart. Noted as a stomping ground for artists, everywhere you go will make you feel like you're living in your own Parisian film. Climb all the way up the steps of the Sacre Cour to see a killer view of the city. Then right around the corner is Place du Tertre, where you can grab a crepe or afternoon coffee, and watch the artists paint their masterpieces.

Tip- Venture back down the steps again to visit Cafe des Deux Moulins! It's the actual cafe that Amelie worked at in the movie. I'm a total Amelie fangirl, so it was a dream to have a coffee here.

THE SEINE RIVER

The Seine River runs all throughout Paris, so it's kind of hard to avoid. However, don't just walk on by! Indulge in your time near the water in a super Parisian way by bringing your own picnic. Markets are EVERYWHERE in Paris, and it's so easy to pull together a tasty meal. Just buy a baguette, cheese, and a bottle of wine... and voila!

You can also stop by in the evening, as the Seine at night is just simply magic. Hopping on a river cruise is also a perfect way to see this city glitter in the dark.

Tip- Every cheese we tasted from the supermarket was excellent, so don't be afraid to branch out. Just don't go cheaper than €5 on the wine.


EIFFEL TOWER

I mean... you can't not, right?

Honestly, I was not that psyched about seeing this landmark. My idea of a vacation in Paris was to live like a local... just sit in cafes for hours and drink the finest wine and coffee. And trust me, we did plenty of that. However, I'm really happy that my husband insisted we see the Eiffel Tower.

It's a sight to behold like no other. The scale is just mind-boggling. The detail is amazing. The ride up the lift is hair-raising! I'd even say that the hour-long wait to get tickets was worth it since you can stay on the deck as long as you want, browse the gift shop, and have a bite at the cafe.



Woman in front of La Maison Rose Paris
Seine River at night
Eiffel Tower in spring

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