Best of Paris – Sample Itinerary
This summer I went to Paris and it was amazing! We waited a long time to make the trip because we really wanted to do it right. We wanted everyday in Paris to be special. We went to all the major sites and tried many of the well known and best kept secret restaurants as well-we did a lot in 9 days!!
Tip: VisitACity.com; this site is travelers best kept secret. You sign up, indicate your travel plans and you can either pick a pre-selected plan or create your own by dropping in places you which to see and picking which day/time you will do so. The itinerary builder is so intuitive it weill actually show you travel methods and travel time from each location to the next. You can add your hotel and it will also factor in starting and end points. The best part is you can download it, print it, or just pull up the app on your smartphone to view it as your day progresses.
Tip: Purchase a pass. If you plan to visit multiple museums or sites that require paid entrances, the pass will save you money in addition to helping you avoid lines at certain museums. We got the Paris Museum Pass because we knew we would not use the metro as much and it made more financial sense to us.
Tip: Use LaFourchette.com to make reservations before you arrive. La Fourchette is to Paris what OpenTable is to the US.
Below is our travel itinerary and reviews of each stop:
- Lunch – Le Petit Cler – This place was walking distance from our Hotel and they had the best Croque Madame I have ever had. If you do not know what Croque Madame is, its basically half a hero bread with ham, cheese and a sunny side up egg on top – it is truly rich and delicious as well as inexpensive!
- Champ de Mars – a huge park directly in front of Eiffel tower with green space and trees.
- Eiffel Tour – This was only a walk through to take in the view for our first day there.
- Place de la Concorde – great place for pictures.
- Alexander Bridge – definitely one of the most decorated bridges in Paris, well worth the walk.
- Dinner – Le Grand Vefour – I will warn you this place is expensive!! It one of the crème de la crème restaurants in Paris with multiple Michelin stars, if you want to splurge for one meal, this would be the one to do so at. I do not even want to say how much we spent in this place! We were there for hours and everything we had was so well put together and detailed, pure food artistry.
- Louvre – Arrive early and get the map!! TIP: If you arrive early, right around the time they open, you will be able to get ahead of the tourist groups and avoid long lines. We got in first thing and were able to get around the museum as well as get to view the Mona Lisa up close without a huge crowd.
- Café Richelieu/Angelina – this is where we got a quick bite at the museum, and it was a place we frequented. The have the richest, best hot chocolate I have ever had. They have multiple locations throughout the city, we may have gone to almost all.
- Lunch: Table – a little out of the way, but we read great reviews and decided to make a reservation and give it a try. We were seated in front of the chef and got to see them make all the meals. We did their prix fixe lunch meal and were glad we did. Everything was great and the price was reasonable at 25 Euros for lunch for 3 courses.
- Rodin Museum – famous for the thinking man sculpture, this quaint museum has beautiful grounds providing an outdoor as well as the indoor museum.
- Dinner: La Perouse – Another truly amazing experience. Established in 1766, this place is a historic landmark and is extremely well kept.
- Notre Dame – we did not get to go to the top, because the line was immensely long. But here is my tip to you. When I went into the church the line for the dome was not so long, I would recommend you do the Dome first and then enter the church afterwards.
- Holy Chapel
- Lunch : Restaurant David Toutain
- Dessert: Berthillon Glacier – very well known for their ice cream, the best salted caramel I’ve ever had.
- Pompidou Center Museum – Modern art museum, we really could have done without it. But, if modern art is your thing you will enjoy this one.
- Snack: Storer Macarons – these were okay but I preferred Laduree.
- Dinner: Restaurant de la Cordonnerie – This place was interesting. I felt like I walked into someone’s living room which they turned into a restaurant. The dad is the chef and what I presume are his 2 sons, work as the waitstaff or whatever else he needs them to do. But I will tell you this, the food was delicious, the prices were reasonable and you need a reservation. This place had around 10 tables and they were all spoken for by the time they opened.
- Versaille – If you go to Paris for more than 2 days, go to Versaille!! You will not regret it. We did not want to deal with tour guides, etc–so we just Ubered there and back. This place is amazing!! Lines form early, so plan to arrive before it opens. By the way, there is an Angelina Café here too!!
- Lunch – Les Antiquaires – known for their steak tartare which was very good.
- Royal Palace – just a drive by
- Champs Elysees
- Love Bridge – the bridge with the locks of love, or what was left of it.
- Dinner: Le Bosquet – quant little restaurant with reasonable prices.
- Breakfast: La Boulangerie des Invalides
- Hotel des Invalides – Army Museum
- Montmartre District
- Lunch: Le Coq Rico – the best chicken I have ever had. We ordered the lunch portion and it was divine.
- Sacre Coeur
- Street Markets in Montmartre
- Dinner: Le Coq Rico – It was so good we went back for dinner and ordered the full chicken. They actually bring you the cooked chicken before they cut it so you can approve.
Day 6: Bruges, Brussels – Belgium
- We did a tour for this one, it was a ride in a van over and it included a ride through the city’s river.
- We ate at a small restaurant with great drinks.
- The Chocolate House: Great for gifts, we had the biggest mug of chocolate here I have ever seen, but it was not as good as Angelina’s or Laduree.
- Dinner back in Paris: Café des officers: this is a small place walking distance from the hotel where you can sit outside with great people watching. The best escargot, yes snails, we had in Paris.
- Lunch: Le Jules Verne – this place is in the Eiffel Tour. You get to take an elevator straight to the 2nd floor of the Tour where you eat and can then walk right out to enjoy the view. It is expensive, but we did it to avoid the very long lines to go up.
- Top of the Eiffel Tour: after our lunch we purchased a ticket and rode to the top of the Tour. I advise you: do not do this if you are afraid of heights, it is a long ride up and it is very high.
- Tuileries Garden
- Snack: Debauve & Gallais – chocolatier
- Walk along the Seine River
- Dinner:La Maison du Truffe – if you love truffles, everything here is made with truffles. We found this place just walking by and it was amazing!
- Arc de Triomphe – the walk up is long and narrow, but once on top the views are panoramic.
- We decided to take it easy and go shopping!
- Lunch: Laduree–this place has the best macarons and wonderful gift options to bring back to the states. The food here was also surprisingly good.
- Dinner: Café des officiers – we just had to go back before we left and have the escargot again.
We cannot wait to go back, this was the trip of a lifetime and we had an amazing time! Hope this itinerary is helpful and you get to enjoy some of the places we loved while abroad!