Paris, je t’aime! When Reid and I finally decided on Europe as our honeymoon destination, I knew Paris had to be the first city we visited. After all, they don’t call it the City of Love, for nothing! Both Reid and I had visited the city when we were teenagers but never together and certainly not as newlyweds, so we were excited to tour the city again with fresh eyes and a longer itinerary. In the end, we spent one week in Paris which was the perfect amount of time to explore new arrondisements, get lost in the alleyways, discover new cafes, and take in all that Paris had to offer.
Where To Stay:
We stayed at the K+K Hotel Cayre located in the 6th and in the heart of Saint Germain des Prés. I specifically picked this hotel because of the balcony Being centrally located in the Left Bank was the perfect springboard to all the places we wanted to visit: the Louvre, the Champs Elysées, the Luxembourg Gardens, and the Latin Quarter.
This area is filled with charming streets, classic Parisian architecture and plenty of delicious patisseries and cafes. I felt very unlike my typical planning self but seeing as this was such a laid back holiday, we didn’t have a set itinerary each day—we just wandered the streets and getting lost. Of course, there were a few places we knew we wanted to visit (see below) but ultimately, just wandered wherever our feet took us.
On the tail end of our trip, and having just returned from Brussels, we decided to switch it up a bit and chose to stay in the 1st. Our hotel, Hôtel Malte Astotel, was definitely a change from the K+K—it was smaller and boasted a more modern design—but it was, again, in a great centrally-located area. No balcony, however, so if you’re looking to take that pic for Instagram (you know the one!) I’d recommend the K+K. If we went back again, I’d definitely try staying in Le Marais or the 8th, just to switch it up! I’ve heard amazing things about Pavillon de la Reine and the Royal Monceau Paris.
How Long to Stay:
If you haven’t already guessed by the title of this blog post, seven days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Paris. I know many people try to cram everything in under 3 days or less, but in my opinion, you’re missing out on so much! Paris has 20 arrondissements (neighbourhoods) alone, each of which have their unique flair and charm to them. Granted, you’re never going to visit them all in a week, but it certainly gives you enough time to leisurely wander through many of them!
Paris is an easily walkable city but if your legs do get tired the subway is super easy to navigate. There’s also transportation like Lyft, Uber and Lime scooters readily available so it’s easy to wander through the neighbourhoods without worrying how you’ll get back home.
What To Do:
I’m a bit biased when it comes to the traditional “must see’s” in Paris. As I mentioned, both Reid and I had already visited the city before so we had already been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and toured the larger museums. That being said, the classical art museums like the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay are so massive you could literally spend days in there and barely scratch the surface! If you have the time for a day trip and/or love Monet, I’d also highly recommend visiting Giverny, Monet’s summer home.
The Avenue des Champs Élysées is a classical walk past all of the luxury shops like Louis Vuitton and Prada, and ends in a stunning sight of the arch. If shopping isn’t your thing then the Basilique du Sacre Coeur in Montmatre is not only a stunning cathedral to tour but also happens to be one of the highest points in the city, providing a spectacular view for those looking for an expansive cityscape. The top of the Eiffel Tower also offers this, but a cheaper and less popular alternative is the Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck—you have a way better chance getting that perfect shot for Instagram!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Notre Dame Cathedral on Île de la Cité—you can almost see Quasimodo swinging from the arches—and the surrounding area has some of the cutest and most picturesque bookshops, cafes and galleries.
What I love about Paris and everything I just mentioned is that with the exception of Giverny, everything is so centrally located and easily walkable. You can start by walking along the Seine followed by a segue to your next destination—although you may want to save your legs for Sacre Coeur as the steps leading up to the Cathedral are no joke!
What are your favourite places in Paris? Let me know in the Comments below!