Over 85 miles walked, in about 180,000 steps, in 7.5 days (plus about 20 miles biked). The Parisians do lots of things well, but our favorites are their doors, their gardens, and any and all flour-based treats. It was truly a perfect week.
We landed in the mid-afternoon of a Friday, exhausted and starving and bursting with excitement. After dropping our bags at our postage stamp-sized Airbnb in the Marais, we set out on foot for a walk along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower and Trocadero, stopping only for photos and a sizable croque monsieur (OMG the croques).
Working on our weak selfie game.
saturday: montmartre + a sunset cruise on the river.
On our first jet-lagged morning, we visited Montmartre, my favorite neighborhood in Paris, to climb to the top of the Sacre Coeur and have lunch.
Amazing coincidence: after I posted this photo to Instagram, my father emailed me a scanned copy of a photograph of the very same restaurant (below), which he took in 1977 when he was living in Paris as a young man. It may have gotten a new paint job in the years since but the charms remain.
sunday: walks on walks + the view from montparnasse tower.
We started at Notre Dame before doubling back through the Marais for breakfast. After accidentally stumbling upon Marché de la Bastille, we strolled through Luxembourg Gardens on our way to Montparnasse Tower. They say it is the ugliest building in Paris with the most beautiful view, and they weren’t kidding. Matt also experienced his first authentic French crepe, which turned out to be a more formative experience than expected.
In 1977, my dad lived at 14 rue Le Regrattier on Île Saint-Louis. That’s his door on the right (above).
monday: parc de sceaux + the tuileries.
After seeing Parc de Sceaux on Instagram, we decided to rent bikes and head 45 minutes south of Paris to check it out, and it did not disappoint. We caught golden hour at the Tuileries before heading back to the Marais for falafels and showers.
tuesday: versailles + monet’s giverny.
Our alarms rang early on Tuesday for our two-part tour of the Palace of Versailles and the last tourist day of the season at Monet’s home in Giverny. It was misty and moody at Marie Antoinette’s famous home, but the sun broke free in the afternoon for some gorgeous time in the gardens.
wednesday: l’orangerie, musee d’orsay, + the arc de triomphe.
After seeing Giverny, we were desperate to see the works it inspired in person, as well as the iconic Musee d’Orsay. We closed out the day with some cherished cafe time and a climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe for another unbeatable view.
The Avenue des Champs–Élysées.
thursday: marais magic + the city of rouen.
The Marais was just busting with the dearest cafes and parks and shops and we.wanted.it.all. After circling our favorite streets a few more times, we hopped on a commuter train to Rouen, the teensy Norman town where Joan of Arc held her ground.
In need of snacks for the train, we stopped at Du Pain et Des Idees, named the best bakery in Paris several times in the last decade. Whoa.
That Norman architecture.
The square where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.
friday: a rainy day at the louvre.
Despite packing and preparing for rain, we didn’t see a drop until our last morning in Paris, which was perfect, since we’d been saving our trip to the Louvre for that very day. Rick Steves’ guided us through the gotta-sees, and after some shopping at Le Coq Sportif (on Matt’s radar because of Le Tour de France) and quick power nap at home, we took one last night walk to the Eiffel Tower (lit up in green to celebrate the Paris Accord) and a delicious bite.
In no particular order, a sampling of the many, many French breakfasts we enjoyed.
Would be thrilled to provide recommendations for any and all things Paris – please ask!
Always a good idea.