We all know the City of Light is something everything should experience at least once in a lifetime. If you’re like me, then maybe you don’t usually like going back to places after venturing there once because well, there is more world to see. Not going to lie, that was my mindset until Ashley, our Managing Editor, and I embarked on our Euro-trip this holiday season. I actually hit Amsterdam, Paris, and Barcelona again for the second time and had a great time in each place. But I have to say, Paris without the pressure to see every monument, museum, or restaurant was amazing. We had both been there before and were really able to take our time and enjoy the city in a way that felt like finally getting coffee with the friend you always say you should get coffee with but never do.
Please don’t take the paragraph above to mean that you can’t or shouldn’t return to your favorite museums or monuments in Paris on a second or third trip. I’m mostly just encouraging you to engage them from a different vantage point or try some new ones!
Here’s your guide to Paris a second time around and if you’re a first timer, consider adding in some of these stops as well!
Museums and Monuments
Here was our list:
- Musée d’Orsay – Please don’t be a failure like us and book your tickets ahead of time. We thought we’d be able to pull up and walk right in. That was a lie. But we did get some nice pictures on the steps so all was not lost. Ashley had been here before and alas, I still didn’t get in so I’ll have to make sure it happens whenever I next find myself in Paris!
- Musée des Arts Décoratifs – It is what it sounds like, a museum of the decorative arts and design. All my fashion lovers will enjoy this one for sure.
- Louvre – We went purely for some updated pictures outside. But, if you’ve never been, you should of course go in to the museum. Everyone should see the Mona Lisa!
- Champs-Elysees – We walked it at night which provided a totally different experience.
- Arc d’Triomph – Take your pics at night with the Huji app. SO dope.
- Eiffel Tower – It’s just so beautiful it would be wrong not to stop and appreciate it’s beauty. But going up top? That was a dub. Head to the Trocadero metro stop for a different view and cool shot for the ‘gram.
- Le Palais Royal/Galerie Vivienne – Not going to lie, I was purely after a picture for Instagram here, but Google maps routed us to the wrong spot when we tried to go so, it’s too getting slated into things I’ll add to my list for next time I’m in Paris.
- Sacre Coeur – Again, go at night. The view of the city is beautiful. It’s nice during the day as well, but at night well, Paris truly becomes the City of Light.
Bars and Restaurants
Ashley is a foodie so whenever we travel together, she takes the lead with restaurants. Everywhere we ate was a straight up GEM so please, do your tastebuds and favor and don’t skip any of these spots. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
In no particular order:
- Le Fumoir
- The Experimental Cocktail Club
- Little Red Door
- Castor Club
- Le Syndicat
- Les Noces de Jeannette – This is where we ate on New Year’s Eve and let me tell you! They did the damn thing. There was some cheesy scallop with peas dish that was amazing. We also got a bottle of champagne, two bottles of red, and two bottles of white along with our seven course meal and party favors to start the year. An absolute highlight.
- Le Trois 8
- Charlie Birdy
- Le Lock Groove
- Le Poulbout – Order the Duck confit, Apple crumble, and Lavender Creme Brûlée. This spot is like a twenty person, cozy French restaurant that coupled with the food will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. But still make a reservation, it was packed the whole time we were there.
- Le Consulat – Stop in here for a coffee or hot chocolate. The outside of the building is a highlight of it’s neighborhood and this spot was in all of the articles I read before our trip.
- Cafe du Centre – This was just a little restaurant we dipped into, but their french onion soup was amazing. 10/10 would recommend.
Other things to do
- Hit a love lock bridge.
- The Abbey Bookshop – Didn’t make it here, but it looks absolutely beautiful so you can bet it’s still on my list.
- Spend a day in the countryside. We went to Reims which is in the Champagne region and did a tour and tasting at Taittinger. But more on that in another post!
Hopefully, this list helps you plan your first, second, third, whatever trip to Paris. I’m thankful I had my mind changed and now see the value in going somewhere again. Traveling deeper. Traveling different. Getting to the good stuff.
If you end up in Paris and try one of these places, let us know how you liked it in the comments!