It should be no surprise that Paris is one of my favorite cities, but when my Mom planned Spring Break trips for us to the city of lights during elementary and middle school, I have to admit, I was less than amused. My friends were all going to Florida, or Myrtle Beach, and Europe just sounded boring. As a 6 and 11 year old, I may have not fully understood the beauty of the city, but between pleas for McDonalds hamburgers, and posing for pictures with disposable kodak cameras, something clearly stuck with me during those vacations abroad.
Olivia has been to Paris twice, whether she remembers or not. During my pregancy we traveled the short 3-hours by train to explore the city, brush up on our french speaking skills, and enjoy our favorite international cusine. With most cities I feel that 3-days is plenty of time to sightsee and experience a new city, but so far Paris is my one major exception — I don’t think you can ever experience all this city has to offer! With that being said, taking you off the beaten path of main attractions, and of course some of our favorite tourist must-sees, we’ve compiled a guide of our top spots in the city of lights.
To See // Ok, so this one is pretty obvious, but not only can you not miss this iconic monument, you literally cannot miss it. This beautiful babe of a landmark is visible from all over Paris!
The Flame of Liberty, and Diana’s Last Drive
To Do // Walk the path from the back of Ritz Hotel to the tunnel under Pont de l’Alma, where Princess Diana’s car crashed on 31 August 1997. This is an absolute highlight of all the things we’ve done since we’ve lived in Europe. Something I recommend to anyone visiting the city.
To Stay // A short 1.4 km walk from Le Louvre, Hotel Castille is my top pick to stay in all of Paris. From the fabulous location (directly next to Chanel on Rue Cambon!), the adorable hotel cat, Heliot, the amazing breakfast and wonderfully hospitable staff, Hotel Castille is a true 5 star property.
To See // Mona Lisa, A world renowed treasure, and must-see while you’re in Paris.
To Eat // Chocolat Chaud from Angelina, this drinking chocolate is decadent, and rich, so sharing is definitely suggested. It’s almost like drinking a melted hershey bar 😊
To Eat // A short walk from Notre Dame on Île Saint-Louis, is one of my favorite restaurants in all of Paris, and a top stop for a delicious brunch! Les Fous de l’Ile was a gem we stumbled upon while walking in the rain, and was a welcomed surprise away from the tourist traps across the Seine.
Pont des Arts
To Eat // Marché Grenelle, Sunday beginning at 7AM. There is a Starbucks next to the market, so grab a coffee and shop for a picnic lunch!
To Eat // Cidrerie du Marais for savory and sweet crepes and wonderful service, outdoor seating
To Eat // Pierre Herme for Macaroons…yum! Delicious, and with no waiting in line 😊
To Stay // Les Tournelles, an Instagrammers heaven! Ideal location in charming Le Marais, near boutiques, cafes, and everything that is true Paris! Perfect for travelers sans les enfants, yet also a booking.com top pick for families!
To Eat // Chez Josephine, located on Place Saint Catherine, is a lovely spot for lunch or drinks in an adorably Parisienne courtyard. *Bonus, delicious non-alcoholic beverages for those of us who visit while pregnant 🙂
To Eat // La Jacobine is my top dinner spot in Paris! The charming avenue location, the escargots, the duck, and the delicious housemade desserts, all make this a must-do for your Paris plans!
To See // The Luxembourg Gardens provide the perfect relaxing oasis for a busy trip to the city. The perfect place to pack a picnic lunch, and spend a warm spring day.
Traveling with Baby
Make dinner reservations early (6:30-7:30) before the rush. Parisennes dine later in the evening, so making reservations for an earlier seating will allow for more space for a stroller or high chair, and less judging eyes.
Bring your baby carrier if possible! There are certainly ways to use a stroller throughout the city, but if you’re planning to go into museaums, cafes, and shops, the smaller your footprint, the better.
Use the Metro! Purchasing a daily ticket was wonderful for us, as everything is accessible on foot, or by metro. If you’re planning for more than 3-4 rides per day, the daily ticket is the best option. With all of the stairs in the metro, best practice here is to baby carry!
For the most part, hotel rooms in Paris tend to be on the small side. When travelling with a little one, always check out AirBnb for larger spaces, and apartments that advertise that they are family friendly! Some apartments will provide things like a pack and play, toys, and even a stroller!
Check out my post on packing your diaper bag for a day trip!
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