We won’t cover the basics: the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe, Jardin des Tuileries, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, you know the drill. There’s as if an unspoken rule that travel itineraries hit these iconic Parisian spots first and foremost. While we love all these locations and they are a definite must-see for travelers and honeymooners visiting Paris, we’ve come up with a list that would come after your already made checklist. Makes sense? Okay, let’s start!
1. Spend a day at The Palace of Versailles. First on our list of things to do in Paris is actually to leave from Paris for a short while. The royal château of King Louis XIV is nothing short of impressive and elegant.
2. Visit Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison at Père Lachaise. Okay, you caught me, I’m a cemetery person and gladly, Dexter supports this dark side of myself. The largest cemetery in the city of Paris, Père Lachaise (pronounced as Perr-lah-sheh-zah, believe me, I asked a hundred times!) is 110 acres of over one million interments. Maps are available at the gate so you can find your way around this labyrinth.
3. Start early afternoon at The Louvre. People spend long hours at The Louvre simply because it’s massive and genuinely houses thousands and thousands of artwork. It’s best to visit in the afternoon because early mornings are packed with tour groups and school trips. Skip the queue and book tickets online, but make sure you arrive on time. Audio guides are available for €5.
4. ...then come back to see The Louvre at night. At night is when the Louvre Pyramids are lit, yet interestingly empty and quiet - the perfect time to take those marvelous pictures!
5. Visit Le Grand Salon at Hilton Paris Opera. Cocktails and lounging in this historical monument? Why not! You'll get an immediate influx of Instagram likes too! Read more about it here.
6. On your foodie list: duck, escargot, cheese gratin, and (French) onion soup! I’ll be honest but this was nearly our daily cravings both times we have been in Paris. Here are a few restaurants we liked.
La Coincidence. A traditional French European restaurant. We ordered roasted camembert, duck breast, duck burger, and cocktails.
Le Bistro des Augustins. Located along the River Seine, we had cheese gratin for lunch, seafood and meaty. Such a lovely and comforting meal.
L'Avant Comptoir. Okay, not a French restaurant, but we simply love tapas and we've read so much good reviews about this place. Step behind the plastic curtain and enjoy wine alongside a platter of tapas (or perhaps hors d’oeuvres) and deep fried foie gras in a standing room. Next door is a seafood version of the restaurant called L'Avant Comptoir de la Mer, also highly recommended.
7. Hit the local boulangerie. Croissants, fresh baguettes, Paris-Brest, pain au chocolat, your breakfast list just turned fashionable. Oh and don't forget the espresso!
8. Art gallery hopping at Saint-Germain-des-Prés. I remember Dexter simply asked from our hotel concierge ‘where’s a nice place to walk around’ and we were suggested to go to Saint-Germain. Here you'll find winding streets of museums, bookstores, cafés, and a good amount of reputable art and design galleries. Meet the artist and get free drinks on Thursday nights! No entrance fees.
9. A walk along the Seine. So many songs have been written with Paris and River Seine in its lyrics and once you've walked along the riverbank, you'll understand why. It can be relaxing, comforting, even romantic all at the same time.
10. Grab a big mug of hot chocolate in Angelina. Because who wouldn't want a big mug of velvety thick hot chocolate?