We landed in Paris around 11 am on Saturday morning and took an Uber right to our hotel. It was so exciting to finally be there, even the 40 minute drive from the airport to the city is lined with high fashion billboards. I was able to get a hotel through work and it was pretty incredible.
We stayed at the K+K Cayre which is right in between the 6th & 7th quarters. I highly recommend this hotel if you’re ever in Paris, it was beautiful and the service was amazing. We had a Junior Suite since there were 3 of us, and it had a balcony overlooking the street below.
When we arrived we all needed to shower & get ready since we had just gotten off a plane. Naturally we ordered a bottle of champagne to sip while we got ready and as we curled our hair, contoured our faces, and tried on outfits a man on the street below our balcony started playing music. It was such an appropriate way to kick off our first Paris experience!
The hotel was in a great location so we were able to walk pretty much everywhere, and once we were ready we set off to find a place to eat a late lunch. We found an adorable little restaurant right on a street corner near our hotel that looked like it was straight out of a story book.
It was called Le Saint Germain, and I highly suggest it if you’re in the area.
It was a little pricey, but the food was delicious and the atmosphere was perfection. We sat upstairs with a view overlooking the city, ordered more champagne (duh), and some lunch. Chels and I both had the chicken, which was soooo yummy and Juliann had a club sandwich. The meal took quite a while, service is so different over there. They never try to rush you, they just assume if you’re sitting down for a meal that you’re planning to spend a significant amount of time there. But we had just arrived and I was getting so antsy to get out and see the city. Our waiter finally brought our check and we made our way toward the Seine River.
It was a little drizzly in the morning but turned into such a beautiful day as we got to the river. This scene was truly something off a postcard, between the cobblestone streets, the blue skies, and the beautiful buildings it was breathtaking.
We walked over the love lock bridge, which i’m sure everyone has heard of. It was really cool to see it in person since I’ve heard so much about it in movies & TV shows. I will say it probably would have had more of an impact on me if I was there with the love of my life, but what can you do? Lol.
We were taking a river cruise that night so we walked up and down the river until it was time to board. We passed street vendors selling yummy crepes, and roasting chestnuts on the street corners that smelt sooo good. It was just starting to get dark and we boarded the cruise. They offered a dinner + drinks option or just a drinks option. We opted for just the drinks and we were going to go out to dinner after. We had become accustomed to eating very late by this point in the trip. We sipped champagne and listed to the tour guide explain the importance of each building and monument we passed. Obviously the most incredible was the eiffel tower, we had seen it earlier from a distance but now we were practically right underneath it and it was all light up and sparking, soooo gorgeous. When the cruise ended we walked to find a spot for dinner, while we were walking we inadvertently passed the Cathedral of Notre Dame, which was not actually on our list of spots to visit while there. In hindsight since the fire they experienced in April, it probably should have been on the list. We at least got to see the outside in person and snap some pretty night time pics.
We found a dinner spot in the ____ district which is known for its fun nightlife. We tried escargot for the first time at dinner, which was actually not bad, it really just tasted like pesto since that’s the sauce it was covered in. We had the most amazing charcuterie board to share, and I ordered duck for my main dish which is out of the box for me, but it was actually so so delicious.
The restaurant was centrally located and pretty nice inside, but it wouldn’t be on the top of my list for recommendations, the food was great but the atmosphere was loud and it was a little smokey which always bothers me. It was really hard to find any restaurants in Paris where people were not smoking, it’s just the way life is there.
After dinner we stopped for gelato and I am not exaggerating when I say it was the BEST dessert I’ve ever had in my life. I got chocolate hazelnut and I am still dreaming about it today. I think I talked about gelato at least twice everyday for the rest of the trip.
Post gelato we headed back to the hotel and went to bed because we had a 9:30 AM reservation to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower the next morning, which meant that we needed to be up at 7 AM in order to all shower and get ready.
The next day we ate breakfast at the hotel since it was included in our room rate (I am not kidding when I say I ate nutella and croissants for breakfast EVERY day I was in Europe), and it only made it worse when there was an unlimited supply at our hotel’s buffet. Luckily alllll the walking counteracted the croissants. After breakfast we started walking to the Eiffel tower. It was a cloudy Sunday and there were very few people out on the streets yet. We waited just 10 – 15 minutes in line at the tower since we purchased tickets ahead of time. It was a super windy day so the already slightly terrifying height of the tower was made worse by the crazy wind that made the entire thing sway slightly. We made the best of it and obviously found some less windy spots to take some pictures. The view was unbelievable and I’m sure it’s even more amazing on a sunny day.
Next stop was Versailles which was a major highlight for me personally. We took the train out to the town just outside of Paris where Versailles is located, it’s the cutest little area and it was nice to be able to take the train there to really feel like we were getting immersed into the Parisian life. It was only about a 30 minute train ride from the Eiffel Tower stop to Versailles. We followed the crowd assuming they knew where they were going, turned a corner and saw the amazing castle. It was massive and breathtaking from the moment we saw it, even from far away. We happened to be there on the last free Sunday of the year (in the off season all museums in Paris are free admission on Sundays), so the line was LONG. It looped up and back down along the cobblestone courtyard like 8 times, and we waited just over 2 hours. I honestly would have rather just paid, but this is the way our itinerary worked out, and i’m so glad we chose to wait. We finally got in, we were tired, hungry and our feet & backs hurt from standing on rock for 2 hours but it was so worth it. The entire property was just incredible, I literally felt like royalty just setting foot inside the gilded courtyard. We didn’t do the audio or guided tour but it was worth just getting to see it at all. The Hall of Mirrors was by far my favorite room, it was just filled with chandeliers and gorgeous art. The grounds outside were just as incredible as the interior, but unfortunately since it was early March the gardens were not in bloom yet. I truly cannot express enough how impactful Versailles was, I highly recommend going if you have the opportunity.
Once we found our way off of the castle grounds, which was actually fairly challenging, we headed into town for a MUCH needed meal. We stopped at an adorable little mom & pop restaurant, the food wasn’t spectacular (we just got burgers so idk what we were expecting) but we were so hungry it did not matter to us in the least.
We took the train back into Paris and decided since we were already on the train we might as well try to see the Arc de Triomphe while we were already out, although we were totally exhausted by this point. We went to the top and it was a beautiful view. We also got to witness a French Political ceremony under the Arc, I’m still not entirely sure what the significance of it was, I asked the front desk agent at the hotel and he said that it’s something they do every single day there, but it seemed pretty involved for a daily ceremony.
We were all exhausted but we wanted to be by the water for dinner so we found a cute little restaurant called Cafe des Beaux Arts right on the river and sat under the awning out front for our meal. It started to rain part way through our meal but we were under the awning so it didn’t matter. I had French Onion Soup and french bread with ham & cheese on it, and we all had carafes of wine, which I think each equaled about 3 glasses. The french onion soup was to die for. It was definitely a local hidden gem, there were people hanging out in big groups like they spend every night there just eating, drinking and chatting.
The next day was a shopping and walking day. We didn’t have a specific plan besides hitting some of the fancy French shops and strolling the city to see as much as we could. We first went to the Louvre just to take pictures outside, the line was so long and none of us were committed enough to wait in line for that amount of time for a museum. We of course had to do the obligatory “look I can touch the top of the Louvre” pic, with about a million outtakes before getting the right angle.
Just as we were finishing up our basic photo shoot it started downpouring. Like crazy torrential sheets of rain. We ran for cover and hid until the storm passed.
Then we walked up to the Le Macaron Ladurée Paris and got macaroons, and then onto the Boulevard des Capucines where there’s lots of fancy shops. We had all talked about purchasing a Louis Vuitton bag while in Paris (because really what better place to do it?!) so when we stumbled upon one we obviously had to go in! I was just about sold on the Large Neverfull Tote in the classic brown/tan LV pattern, but after staring at myself in the mirror with it for about 25 minutes, I decided it was just so not me. I take the train to work everyday and just felt like I had no business owning or carrying a LV bag with my current lifestyle. It’s weird, but I almost felt too young for the bag. Maybe when I’m in my 30’s and drive to work and my bag has it very own heated passenger seat to itself I’ll change my mind.
We continued strolling and wanted to stop for a cappuccino. We stopped at the CUTEST little cafe called Le Gramont which is right on the Boulevard des Italians. This place is so instagramable and the cappuccino was on point, highly recommended.
Then we walked & shopped and walked & shopped until we were hungry again. We stopped for lunch at _______ and it was perfect timing because as soon as we sat down it started to pour rain. The restaurant was fancy, we were sitting in a booth, and there were huge windows so we could see the rain coming down from the bright sky while the sun tried to peak out. It was lovely.
Juliann had to leave after lunch to catch a flight back to Barcelona so we all headed back to the hotel to help her pack up and say goodbye.
That night chels and I went out to a low key late night dinner near our hotel. I actually totally forget what we ordered except for the crepes for dessert.
The next day we were off to Porto on a 7 AM flight so the crepes were the last hurrah in Pari! I LOVED Paris, but I don’t feel like we had enough time to see it all, I’d love to go back in the spring or summer to see the rest, especially the Versailles gardens in bloom!