“Top Ten” Things to Do in Paris

Oh La La!  Paris!  If you only have 3 days in Paris, here’s a list of our Top Ten Favorites.

Top Ten Things to Do in Paris, France!

Top Sites in Paris:

1.  Bateaux Mouches

A boat ride along the Seine River that cuts through the heart of Paris and gives you a tour of the top sites from the comfort of your seat on the boat!

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2.  The Louvre and Musee D’Orsay

Definitely the two BEST museums to visit on our Top Ten things to do in Paris list!! Get the Museum Pass before you go and save yourself time from waiting in lines.  Also, if you have time visit the Louis Vuitton Foundation – incredible architecture and museum exhibitions.

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3.  Eiffel Tower

A must to go to the top for amazing view of Paris!!

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4.  Notre Dame and Île Saint-Louis

Make sure to climb the stairs to the top of the Notre Dame for some great views!  And continue to Île Saint-Louis for a famous scoop of ice cream from Berthillon.  If you want something more romantic, take a stroll around the Île Saint-Louis (the little island connected by a small bridge behind the Notre Dame) and stop in for a bowl of french onion soup at Le Flore en l’Ile, 42 Quai Orleans.

5.  Sacré-Cœur and the Montmartre neighborhood.

This basilica is located at the highest point in Paris, the summit of the Montmartre neighborhood.  Stop at Place du Tertre where artists can sketch your portrait.

6. Marais area

This area is full of the best Paris historic buildings and amazing architecture.

7.  St. Sulpice and the St. Germain neighborhood

Make sure visit this French church square, the shops and area near St. Sulpice are charming.  Stroll along the left bank of the Seine and visit the “Bouquinistes” book stalls.

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8.  Napolean’s Tomb

One of France’s most well known tombs is of their 17th century leader, Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb at Les Invalides.

9.  Stroll along the Champs-Élysées

This is one of the most famous streets in the world! A definite must in our Top Ten things to do in Paris.  Start at the Place de la Concorde and continue to the Arch de Triomphe.

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10.  Grab a baguette, some brie cheese and take a walk in the Jardin of Tuileries

These gardens near Louvre and/or the Jardin of Luxembourg, gardens on the left bank of Paris.  You’ll see the locals enjoying some of life’s best moments –  the young and old sitting at a park café, children floating their miniature boats in the lake, or riding pony rides, watching marionette plays…).

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Good to Know!  If you are in Paris during Paris Fashion Week, contact Pass to Local Paris to book tickets to shows!  Pass to Local Paris also arranges for special access to local events, expeditions, festivals and more.

   

More than 3 Days?

If you stay for a 4th day, take a day trip to Versailles OR visit some of Paris other historical squares like Palais Royal and Place Vendome.

And if you stay a 5th day, go shopping along Boulevard St. Germain and Rue de Rennes – FULL of shops like the Bon Marché.  Spend a day window shopping and indulge yourself ….buy a French scarf or purse….just watch the French women, make similar purchases and you’ll have the “French Style” in no time.

Where to Stay? 

MONTMARTRE AREA:

HOTEL PARTICULIER MONTMARTRE – The Hôtel Particulier Montmartre is known as the smallest hotel in Paris with only 5 Suites. 

   

Each Suite is uniquely decorated by different artists.  Our Suite, Curtain of Hair, is on the top floor, accessible by a private interior stairwell with skylight windows that open out to a panoramic view of Paris.  Our suite had two rooms with an open bathroom, clawfoot tub and a shower tiled in copper ceramic, and gilded mirrors with Napoleon III light fixtures.

   
This 18th century mansion is nestled in a verdant garden, it’s one of the most romantic places in Paris, and many locals come here just for candle-lit dinners, cocktails or weekend brunches.  Our breakfast was lovely with a French omelette, and basket of Parisian breads, lattes and more.

   

This chic hotel is tucked away between the famous Avenue Junot and the Rue Lepic, yet within walking distance to the Sacre Coeur (only a 5-10 mins walk).  Its gardens were designed by Louis Benech, famous architect of Le Jardin des Tuileries.

   

General Manager Oscar Comtet has managed this family home dating back from the XIXth century, and created an ambiance that is light and romantic. The staff delivers excellent service.

Book your stay and email:  reception@hotel-particulier-montmartre.com

MARAIS AREA:

HOTEL CARON DE BEAUMARCHAISThis hotel is a typical Parisian French Hotel that’s affordable and cozy!  Located on rue Vieille du Temple in the 4th arrondisement, close to Place des Vsoges, Notre Dame, the Ile St. Louis.

 photo courtesy of Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

   

This unique boutique hotel has been decorated by owner Mr. Bigeard who gives meticulous attention to detail, drawing inspiration from Beaumarchais and his most famous theater piece of 1778 : « The Follies of a day, The Marriage of Figaro ».  There’s even a piano from 1792 and a harp, a reminder that Beaumarchais was the harp teacher of Louis XV’s daughters, a card table set up for a game, an impressive chandelier, an antique fireplace.  There are 19 rooms in this stylish hotel with rates starting as low as 130 euros.

   

Each room follows the 18th century theme with antique beamed ceilings, baroque style fabrics, antiques, crystal chandeliers, period painting and other refined touches.  We loved our balcony and the fresh roses in our room!  With all the creature comforts too like french luxury hotel products by Annick Goutal, USB charger devices at the bedsides.  The breakfast is a delicious array of croissants, jams, juices, freshly cut fruit and a soft boiled egg.

   

The Marais neighborhood is one of the most fashionable areas in Paris and known for its 17th and 18th century mansions, many of which have been converted into luxury boutique hotels like this one, and some are famous museums: Musée Picasso, Musée Carnavalet, Musée Cognacq Jay. There are several boutiques, art galleries, countless bars and clubs, shops.

Book a reservation and e-mail : hotel@carondebeaumarchais.com

SAINT GERMAIN DES PRÈS AREA:

HOTEL DE BUCI – Located in one of the most popular neighborhoods in Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Près, this elegant boutique hotel is a great place to stay when exploring the Left Bank.  

   

This 4-star boutique hotel, adorned with 18th century decor, has 24 rooms and suites.  We stayed in the Madame de Pompadour suite on the top floor of the hotel, with a stunning view of the quintessential street Rue de Buci.

   

This suite is spacious with wooden beam ceilings, fabrics with shades of purple and gold, and luxury amenities including a large dressing room for luggage and belongings, a minibar, courtesy tray, Nespresso machine, flatscreen TV and bluetooth speakers.  There’s a sitting room adjacent to the bedroom that connects to the pierre de Bourgogne tiled bathroom, with its bathtub and waterfall shower with the “Rituals” products add to the beauty of this suite.

   

Breakfast is served downstairs with a bountiful spread…a medley of cheeses, selection of sliced meats, crepes, eggs, fruits and breads, cakes.

   

This intimate hotel is within walking distance to some of the top sites, best shopping and cafes.

   

Dine?

Food – Crepes!!!!!  Keep a lookout for crepe stands – they are a great snack if you don’t have time to sit down for a meal.

French Dining – there are many bistros, cafés, restaurants to experience.  We will be adding more restaurants to this list, but sharing a couple recommendations for special dining experiences, including:

Montmartre Area:  Polissons, Sunset or Ken Kawasaki

Marais:  Les Philosophes, Le Petit Fer à Cheval, La Rotisserie d’Argent, Le Bourguigon du Marais and for fine dining L’ambroisie

St. Germain:  La Rose de France (Place Dauphine), Les Bouquinistes.

Palais Royal (near the Louvre):  One of the best restaurants in Paris is Le Grand Vefour ($$$).

Near the Eiffel Tower:  Arpege ($$$), Les Ombres

How to Get Around?

There are several transportation options in Paris from taking the metro, bus, taxi, but when we only have a couple days and a lot to see, we prefer hiring a private chauffeur from  My Driver Paris.

Whether you’re arriving to CDG Airport and need a ride to your hotel, or need a chauffeured transfer to get around to shop in Paris, go to a meeting, or want to go on a daytrip…book a reservation with My Driver Paris.

Call  +33 6 62 46 50 78 or Email contact@mydriverparis.com to book your reservation.

Offering full ground transport service with a strong customer service focus.  Our chauffeur was professional, punctual, knowledgeable about the local sites, and very helpful.

How to Get to Paris?  VIA Iceland!

ICELANDAIR

We recommend Icelandair since we found a low airfare from the USA to Paris VIA Iceland with only a 1.5 hrs layover ($349 usd RT Seattle-Paris).  We learned that Icelandair  offers several flights to Europe VIA Iceland  from New York, Boston, Seattle, Denver & DC for low fares as well.  It’s a great way to save money and also experience Iceland if you have a day or two for a short stay.

   

From the moment we checked in, we felt welcome with friendly smiles and greetings.  The entire flight went smoothly and “flew by” before we arrived to Iceland for a quick stopover in Reykjavik.  The service was excellent and meals were delicious.

   

It was a blue sky day, so we were lucky to have incredible views over the Canadian Rockies, Greenland and Iceland as we flew to Paris.

   

We LOVED the lounge in Reykjavik and wished we could have stayed longer in our cozy alcoves and lounge chairs.

   

Our flights were on time and we arrived to Paris without feeling much jetlag.

   

Add an Icelandair Stopover at NO additional airfare on your next trip to Europe!

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:

Global Adventuress thanks Icelandair, MyDriver Paris, Hotel Particulier Montmartre, Hotel de Buci and Hôtel Caron de Beaumarchais for hosting us during our stay.  We also want to thank Pass to Local Paris for hosting Paris fashion show tickets.

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