December 10, 2018

CAOL Travel Guide: Paris in a Week(ish)

Hi dolls! Back from Paris and finally feeling caught up, both on sleep and life. Thought it might be appropriate to finally share my personal guide to this breathtaking city after having just visited it for the third time, and truly experienced it for more than 48hrs. I'll be sharing snippets of what to do, eat, see, (where to) stay on stories, but wanted to have a "central place" to lead you guys to if you have any questions.

So without further a ado, here's my guide to Paris in a week!

Ok so admittedly, every time I had visited Paris before this trip I did not have good food experiences. I felt like I kept falling into the same tourist trap cafes with mediocre food and jacked up prices. This time, I did my homework! (Bless you @danichain for your amazing recos, as well) Needless to say the experience was a way better one this time. Below the places I recommend/places I didn't make but want to go back to.
  • Cafe de la Butte – local café with amazing food. My brother in law had a veal dish that I’ll be dreaming about until the day I die. I had an onion + cheese soup (basic but good) and Jay had a different veal meal that was also bomb! Not to mention the owner, Frederick, was super sweet and gave us recommendations for our stay!
  • Il Padrino – hands down, best pasta I’ve ever had. Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, I’ve been to Italy. This was one of those spur of the moment decisions. Our dinner plans fell through and we wanted to have something familiar…and easy to comprehend, hehe! I had a carbonara linguini and Jay had the veal penne. LAWD did I not want that meal to end
  • Le Cafe Qui Parle – this was one of Frederick’s recommendations and it did not disappoint.  We went here for a French brunch, which unlike an American brunch, is more buffet style. I was a bit hesitant when I walked in, but I promise you, each dish is tastier than the next. We ordered charcuterie here as well, which complimented the rest of the dishes well. Also, the best Croissant I had in all of Paris!
  • Severo Bar – admittedly not the best red meat I’ve ever had, but it’s considered one of the best in Paris. So if you’re really in the mood, go here! We asked the waiter for an app recommendation and he wanted to surprise us. Ended up eating blood sausage and not hating it.
  • Angelina - go here for the jam and a nice cup of Hot Chocolate!
  • Pierre Herme - best macaroons!
So I don’t have to tell you the “cannot miss” sights in Paris – they’re all over social media and in just about every travel guide out there. But I will tell you my favorites and the best way to experience them. Also, don’t plan to heavily on the weather because it changes by the minute! We tried our best to schedule all of the indoor activities when it was rainy, but then we’d wake up to a complete surprise and have to shift everything around. Just go with the flow and do your best! Five days is definitely not long enough to do/see it all, but it’s a decent amount of time to scratch the surface.

  • Tour Eiffel – the most obvious, but also the most astonishing. Regardless of how many times I see this beauty of a monument, that moment of awe is never lost on my. My favorite places to enjoy this sight are 1 – Trocadero, 2 – just underneath it walking along the Seine River and 3 – walking along Champs de Mars/the inner roads. Bonus pointer: The Eiffel Tower lights up at the hour every hour past dawn, so make sure you’re around to watch it. It’s an impressive sight.
  • Palais Royal – not much to do but great for photos and down time chilling. This was the monarch’s “city castle” so it’s definitely a sight to see.
  • Le Louvre – right across Palais Garnier is Le Louvre museum, house to La Mona Lisa. Get there nice and early to make sure you see it all – it’s a huge establishment.
  • Jardin de Luxembourg – a pretty walk during the fall and great way to get to the Louvre!
  • Café Flore – I dropped this one in this category because, while it’s technically a café, it’s become quite the tourist attraction/IG destination lately. Food wasn’t terrible, either. ;)
  • Arc de Triumph – third time in Paris and I still haven’t made it up to the top! It’s great just to be around it, however. Not to mention all the shopping you can do around Champs Elysee!
  • Sacre Couer – I mentioned this one earlier, but this pretty church is definitely worth the hike up Montmartre. We went during the day, which was of course, super crowded, but also at night. I will say the vibe was super sketch at night – if you go remember to use the buddy system!
  • Moulin Rouge – I went to the show the last time I was in Paris, and in all honesty, I didn’t hate it! It was nice to see people dress up for a night out in the town, and the fact that you can’t use your phone is a refreshing break for a city where you can’t help but photograph/document everything. I would recommend experiencing this show at least once. Oh and go for the champagne bottle – it’s worth it!
Additional sights
  • Palais Garnier – lack of planning kept me from going out to the opera, but next time will 100% go! Not the mention, the interiors in this place are just TDF.
  • Versailles – if you have the extra time I say do it. So much history and beauty in one place. Expect swarming amounts of tourists, of course!
Like I mentioned, this was the first time I had visited Paris for more than two days. In the past I had stopped by" on my way to another city, and as part of some sort of tour. Generally, with these deals, the hotels you're put up in are out of town. This was the first time I stayed in the inner Parisian neighborhoods and I have to stay it makes a world of a difference. The first few days we stayed at Jay's cousin's cozy apartment in Montmartre and I just loved it. Montmartre is in the 17th & 18th Arr of Paris, so it is not walking distance from all of the "tourist attractions" (Eiffel Tower, Louvre, etc.) but rather a short train ride away. I 100% recommend checking the neighborhood out, if not staying here a few places. There are so many amazing little restaurants/cafes and you feel more of that true Parisian neighborhood life - well to an outsider, anyway. There are still some sights to see in Montmartre, such as the Saucre Couer and Moilin Rouge, so you're not completely free of tourists, but it's definitely more manageable than the lower Arrs.

Our last few days in Paris we stayed in the Hotel Monge which was just the loveliest experience I've ever had in a hotel. It's a small boutique hotel - 30 rooms altogether - but feels elegant and personalized. The staff greeted us with with such grace and walked us through our stay and amenities. Our room - the butterfly room on the 5th floor - was the perfect size - especially for Paris! We had our bed, a closet, a decent sized bathroom, a round table/tv area and a balcony with a view of the classic Parisian windows lined across the road. Just pure bliss!

Our stay included complimentary breakfast. I expected the usual "continental breakfast" but was pleasantly surprise to learn otherwise. Of course you have your croissants and fruits, but the spread also included a charcuterie selection, cereals, ready-made crepes and scrambled eggs. This selection kept us pretty satisfied during our mornings of adventure.

The room also included a complimentary soft beverage mini bar - water, juice, the ushe - but there was always a selection of wines + spirits in the lobby at a reasonable price. They also had an machine of sorts that served individual glasses of wine, which I thought was genius and might or might not include in my Christmas wishlist. :)

The Hotel Monge is located in the 5th Arr. so you're walking distance from La Cathedral Notre Dam, plenty of cafes, restaurants, etc, and the 10 metro line. We took this to Trocadero our first morning and were at the Tour Eifel in less than 20 minutes. You can't beat it, really. 10/10 would recommend.

When chatting with the staff they shared that during high season, a stay at Hotel Monge would typically run you about 250 Euros a night for a two person room. Low season is generally 100-150 Euros a night. Maybe it's because I'm from New York and used to the highest of prices, but I thought this was super doable, especially for the location! On top of this, the HM fam hooked us up with a discount - so if you guys want to stay here (and you should!) use the code BLOGOFFER for a 20% off, flexible rate and complimentary breakfast!
Hope you guys enjoy - and don't be afraid to reach out with any questions!


1 comment

  1. You're so lucky! I so wish I could have seen Paris when I went to France!



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