Had a lovely time exploring the Loire Valley and Paris. The mustard fields along the French countryside was a much needed respite from busy city and work life. Check out the Loire Valley post here.
Things to Do
Le Marais – Definitely take a stroll through here in the afternoons or weekends. It’s a lively scene with a lot of street art and street performers, as well as a lot to shop. I particularly enjoyed The Miel Factory , where they had a large variety of specialty honeys made from different pollen and plants. I bought the Lavender Miel to take home as a souvenir, but I wish I bought more. I also recommend Edwart Chocolatier, they make specialty chocolates with unique tastes (like pepper and cilantro! I really liked the green tea).
Sainte Chapelle – Gorgeous chapel with beautiful stained glass.
Sacre Coeur Basilica – Beautiful church in the Montmartre with free entrance. The area is a bit touristy, with lots of souvenir shops all around.
Notre Dame Cathedral – Classic landmark. So many wedding shoots going on.
Seine River Cruise – Check out a few of the tourist centers and compare prices. There are some affordable cruises for around $25 a head. We picked up a bottle of wine and had a great time hearing a bit about the city while cruising down the Seine.
Versailles – A bit out of the way to be really considered “Paris”, but do-able from the city.Definitely visit for the expansive castle and garden grounds.
Musée D’Orsay – Great exhibits for some art and history.
Eats & Dranks
Du Pain et des Idées – Bakery with fantastic almond croissants. 😍
Lavomatic – Cutest laundromat themed speakeasy!! The doorway is a laundromat, with one working washer and dryer. The door is behind a fake washer-dryer combo and leads you up a stairway to the bar. The drinks were creative and tasty and would definitely come back. It does get a bit cramped in there with so many people in a small space.
Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie – Cute restaurant with chic eats. There’s a market section where you can buy French goodies like wine, paté, and foie gras. We had some foie gras and escargot here and it was pretty tasty.
Pierre Hermé – Personally, I liked these macarons better than Ladurée. (Possibly because I know I can get Ladurée in the states.)
Benoit – One Michelin star restaurant that’s been around for 100 years. Food was tasty but not quite worth the price tag. My boyfriend and I ate some very rich, very heavy French food here. We didn’t feel quite welcome here for some reason though.