Pretty Girl Travels: 10 Things You Must Experience In Paris & The Things You Can Skip



As a first time international tourist Paris can be an overwhelming city to try and concur. Its the city of love, the city of museums and the city of a million things to do....so where the heck do you start?

Well, on my recent trip to Paris I did the leg work (literally there was a shit ton of walking) and hand picked some must do's while visiting Paris. I also mapped out a few things you can skip to save some coins (cuz you know how I do) and most importantly save you some time so you can have more freedom to do what you want.

Ill also throw in a few pro tips that I learned while I was there that will make your trip run a little smoother. 

So....lets get it!


1) Timing Is Everything


Personally I feel like September is the best time to travel to Paris and other travelers i've spoken with agree. The temperature is perfect, lines at attractions and tourist spots are at a minimum and the best yet...the kids are in school lol!

I think a large part of being able to navigate the city had a lot to do with not having hoards of people everywhere. Now don't get me wrong...it was crowded however in comparison to what a few friends had experienced earlier months...lets just say it was lovely.


PRO TIP-
 If you're not big on crowds, or if you're picky about how pictures come out aka you hate when other people are in your pictures I would advise going super early to monuments because no matter the time of the year, tourist will be there.



2) Arc de Triomphe 

I loved getting to see the Arc!
When I think about Paris it's the number 2 iconic landmark that comes to mind. As I walked up the Champs-Elysées my anticipation built, the Arc was inching closer in the distance. When I finally standing in front of it I was in amazement. It was exactly how I expected grand, masculine and breath taking.


To actually get to the Arc you have to take an underground tunnel as its in the center of a ridiculously congested traffic circle. I could have spent the whole day at the arc and the shops lining the Champs-Elysées, you have everything from Zara to Chanel and the Disney store. Oh and if you're feeling a little hungry while you're there be sure to stop at Pomme De Pain and grab a Le Genereux...you can thank me later. I had at least 3 of these over the course of my stay. 


3) The Eiffel Tower




It was around 10:00pm at night and when I looked up at it it began to sparkle...I almost cried. It's the holy grail of Paris, THEE symbol of love, its everything that you could ever dream of and more.


Personal opinion, the tower it best at night the lights add it its magic and you feel like your in the middle of a movie. Its all so surreal.


I decided to skip the ride up to the top however if views are your thing I'm sure its not to be missed click HERE for tickets. There is also the option of eating dinner inside the tower tres romantique, find out more information about that HERE.

Bonus to visiting the tower, if you're looking to stock up on "fair" priced souvenirs look no further than the street hustl..errr vendors by the tower. One euro can buy you 3 Eiffel keychains.

PRO TIP-
Tickets for the Eiffel Tower sell out quicker than you think, if you're interested in venturing up its best to snag the tickets early...and I mean super early. To give you some perspective even now tickets are sold out until November.


4) Disneyland Paris

Just a short train ride outside of the city the real magic awaits you.  You can get to Disneyland Paris in under 45 minuets by leaving from one of the local subway stations and taking the RER A. It will literally drop you off right at Disney's gates.



Although, Disneyland Paris is much smaller than Walt Disney World only having two parks Disneyland park and Walt Disney Studio Park, that didn't stop the magic. I went earlier in the day and the grounds were pretty quiet, I got to roam free and enjoy the holloween decor, shops and rides pretty much to myself. I felt like a kid in a candy store and there was hardly more than a 5 minuet wait for any ride.

Blessings!


Speaking of rides Space Mountain in Disneyland Paris is nothing to be played with...and is nothing like the one at Disney World.  It has made it to my list of favorite rides but is NOT for the kiddies...I repeat...NOT for the kiddies. 

If I had anything negative to say about the park its construction. When I went a handful of classic rides were closed due to this and the visible work being done took away from some of "the magic" before you head to the kingdom be sure to check the website to see if any construction will be going on or if any rides will be shut down.


I was able to get tickets for a steal of a deal, due to a special promotion for the summer I got admission to both parks for 53.00! Get into the magic, check current promotions and grab your tickets HERE

PRO TIP- 
Cant find characters? Check Mickeys cafe just outside the park, its Paris's version of downtown disney and i saw quite a few of our favorite characters hiding out there signing autographs and making kids smile.



5) The Louvre 

Before I dive into this one I want to say...my opinions are completely personal =)

Ok so, if you're not the artsy type the museum itself may not be for you. While I did adore seeing the sculptures and walking the halls, that were literally drenched in art. The soul reason I went to the Louvre was to see the Mona Lisa...because, well, Paris.


Seeing the Mona Lisa was nothing like I expected. She was much smaller than I envisioned and it was a fight even on what was considered a less crowded day to get a glimpse. I wasn't tall enough to see over shoulders and most people once in place to see her didn't move...it was like the second coming of Christ in that place.

Beyond that painting, there was not much for me inside the museum. What I did fall in love with an appreciate was the Pyramid. 


If you're anything like me and love architecture and the outdoors checking out the Louvre building itself, the Pyramid outdoors above the museum or the upside down one underground (yes there is another) just outside the entrance and the park just across the traffic circle may be more your speed. 

PRO TIP- 
The louvre is also housed with an underground upscale shopping center...just a little FYI so you're well prepared to empty your entire wallet onYSL and Furla as soon as you leave the museum.

6) Shopping Shopping and more Shopping 

Because what else would you really come to Paris for...lets be honest.

Top two places to shop?

Forums Des Halles- not too far from the Louvre this mall literally has it all, Zara, H&M and a host of amazing shops that I have never heard of but...FASHION LIVES. I loved it there, although navigating it was a little confusing, it really is the mall of halls...it seemed like it has thousands of them. I was very pleased although there was a lot of construction. Biggest plus, it has a subway station built into it. There are also a lot of nice one off hipster/urban shops in the surrounding area for you to discover as well.


The Champs-Elysées- if you're more of an outdoor mall shopper you'll love this strip of shops I mentioned earlier.

For my well off readers, just around the corner from the Champs-Elysées on Ave Montague you'll find loads of designer stores. Everything from Valentino to Versace and every other designer that would break your pockets are all housed there. Even if you just go to look, its amazing being that close to such amazing fashions.




7) The Palace of Versailles

Ill be very honest, for me the palace is a skip depending on the time of year you visit.

I went to the palace the day before leaving Paris, I was excited to see the garden and all the grand opulence the palace grounds had to offer. I was met with golden gates and my excitement grew, once I stepped inside the gates...things kind of fizzled out.

While the checkered floor of the entry way was beautiful, the area of the palace it leads into was not as exciting at all. Room after room of drab. I quickly switched gears and headed out to the gardens. While beautiful, there was still something lackluster. It took me a while to realize what was amiss but it was because the garden was mostly just shrubs.


Since seasons were switching there were a lot of workers changing out bushes, none of the numerous fountains were running and things overall were just hum drum. After a good amount of walking I started to get frustrated and tired and was ready to go home, not to mention it started to rain.

One pair of ruined shoes and a wet fro later....I realized after leaving I had not even came across the hall of mirrors.

All in all for a $25.00 ticket, ill say no.


8) Angelina Tea House Paris

Revered as the restaurant with the best hot chocolate in the world and pastries to match you can imagine how devastated I was when I learned I was pretty much allergic to everything on the menu.

*insert thug tears here*

This however is why you always bring someone with you that you can live vicariously through. So bae was up to the food testing plate. He had the Frasier, a strawberry cake with cream and a strawberry glaze along with the classic hot chocolate.


As I sat...jealously looking on and watched him devour the snack with a delighted smile I took in the ambiance. Classically decorated with an air of sophistication Angelina's will make you feel as though you're in an old french movie.

 10 minuets after being served, bae was done and reported that the pastry was great and the hot chocolate was rich. So rich in fact that while delicious unless you're a die hard chocolate lover your going to need the sweet and creaminess of one of Angelina's pastries to balance out the taste.


9) Seine River

Lining the city and some of its most picturesque monuments and buildings the Seine River is the perfect place to take it all in. Grab a baguette, a bottle of wine, some cheese and have yourself a perisian picnic.

You really can't beat that.



10) Les Marquise De Laduree

LISTEN TO ME...RIGHT NOW....

Whatever you do, don't leave this place without getting a lifetime supply of chocolate medallions. Please, don't make the same mistake I did and only buying a couple...you need more.

Trust me. Just. Buy. Them.

Known for their Macaroons (which I can't eat #allergies) Laduree is one of the most iconic pastry shops in the world. Now with 5 brands under the name, Les Marquis de laduree in Paris is the ONLY Laduree chocolatier in the world.

AKA the only place with those delicious medallions *cries* infused with a creamy filling (think Ghirardelli's on crack). They are simply amazing, their vanilla bean and carmel are my favorite.

Their shop is decorated like a chocolatie heaven and....I just can't get enough, if anyone is in Paris...please send me the chocolate....please.

Extra Pro Tips For The Road

Take the train-  


Its quick, relatively clean and easier to navigate than it seems. Save your pockets the constant fees for international charges and the unnecessary extra dough spent on Ubers and hop on the train. Sidebar...I must admit Ubers are dope and fancy in Paris even the cheapest could be a BMW.

Eat your heart out- 

THIS PLACE IS BOMB!
No really...eat everything. Food is so fresh there, the bread, the pastries, the cheese, the wine...just eat and drink everything. If you don't, when you get back to the states and taste our food again you'll be disappointed.



Wear sensible shoes- 


These are cute...but not sensible
Oh and don't wear anything you don't want messed up. Most places you'll visit especially the tourist areas require a lot of walking and it is very rare that there will be paved streets. This means dust and little rocks so flats and heels are NOT your friend. When the streets are paved most are cobble stone...a literal nightmare.




Check before you go- 



Store hours and the days they are open are different there then in the states, you may expect a store or bakery to be open on a Wednesday afternoon when in all actuality they are CLOSED. Trust me...check before you go out your feet will thank me later. You literally have no idea how many times I walked just to get a pastry from a shop and they were CLOSED.

Things Worth Checking Out That I Missed

- Renting a vespa 

Travel the city like a true local on one of these zippy scooters. I honestly think there were more vespas in my neighborhood than their were cars. Its the preferred method of travel in Paris, one of the major perks...never fighting for a parking spot. These things can literally fit anywhere and often move quicker than the traffic.

-Jardin Du Luxembourg

Intricate fountains, beautiful flowers and large enough grounds to keep you busy for hours. After looking at pictures on google I'm almost mad we didn't go there instead of The Palace's garden. Luxembourg gardens dates back as far as 1612, I mean come on talk about a throwback! If you're traveling to Paris in the spring time, make sure to put this on your to do list.

-Catacombs of Paris

For those of you that like the creepy crawly of it all look no further than the Catacombs of Paris. With walls covered in....skulls I'm sure you'll feel as if you're in an episode of American horror story...in Paris. Creep factor aside underground tunnels, packed with more than 2,000 years of history...is kinda cool.


Thats is guys! I hope if you're currently in Paris or planning an upcoming trip that this guide helps you pick things to do that will not only make your stay there magical *cough* DISNEY *cough* but memorable too.

I know my trip was both of those things. If you have any questions feel free to reach out in the comments or slide in my DM's on the gram. Also don't forget to look out for a few more travel post that will be dropping soon to help all my fellow Wanderlusting folks!

Until Next Time,
XO Deanna 

1 comment

  1. One of the best write ups I've read in all my research for my trip next March! Love it! Thanks a mill!

    ReplyDelete

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