Vacation in Paris
Yes, you read that right… three days.
So many of our friends have traveled to Europe, and a trend is that they want to travel to lots of different places in a week. I thought they were all a little crazy, but you honestly can do a lot in a short amount of time over there.
And obviously, you can’t see everything. Paris is such a historic city, you could probably spend a whole year there and not see all the sites.
But here you are, going to see Paris in three days. Here’s what we did to see all the main sites without rushing at all.
Notre Dame- it’s a classic. It’s beautiful, and yes, it’s still in use. There is mass every Sunday at 10am and 1pm, so plan accordingly! Don’t be fooled by the long line. It goes way faster than you think!
Sainte Chappelle: THIS IS A MUST. It’s small but absolutely beautiful. Included in a museum pass (can be bought for 2 days, and includes a couple other things in the list below and also a bunch of museums if you want to hit more museums) or 8€ for 18-26-year-olds.
Head to any of the great locations just off the Seine. As you go further from the river, meals get cheaper. Honestly, there are so many places, I wouldn’t worry about lunch, just pick someplace and go. I suggest the places that have the meal deals. You get an appetizer (entree), the main course (plat), and dessert (dessert) for a flat rate. It’s really fun and filling!
If it’s a nice, head to Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg). Wander around in the garden filled with women on pedestals. Also! You can find the Statue of Liberty!
Plenty of time (the French love to spend their time at their meals!) to sit down and find a yummy dinner.
Sacré-Cœur: Get up early (like 8am…) and head to the chapel. When we got there it was honestly dead, there was no one on the grass. It was perfect for pictures. ALSO, YOU HAVE TO GO UP INSIDE THE DOME. It’s only 6€ and 300 tiny spiral steps, and it’s totally worth it. Sacré-Cœur is the highest point in Paris so you can imagine the view. The pictures don’t do the panoramic view of justice. You can hang out as long as you want up there and truly take in how big the city is.
Le mur des Je t’aime: In case you don’t speak French, this translates to “The I Love You Wall”, and it’s just a 15-minute walk from Sacré-Cœur (that’s one thing about planning your vacation. Paris is such a big city, you want to make sure you’re not wasting it traveling back and forth on the Metro when you could have just seen two things that were right next to each other). But this wall is the perfect romantic spot. It’s in a little Jardin (garden) with every way to say I love you (Yes, even sign language!). We challenge everyone to find his or her native language.
Moulin Rouge: Yes, that movie is amazing, and it’s just 5 minutes away from the I Love You wall, plus right next to a metro stop, so it was the perfect last stop to our Montmartre adventure. There are shows in case you are interested in shows, there are shows regularly from 87€.
Arc De Triomphe: You can see this thing in pictures all you want, but it does not do it justice- this thing is HUGE. Walk underneath the round-a-bout (because God knows that you can’t cross one of the busiest streets in Paris). It’s free to stand beneath, but you must pay to go on top (See suggestions below). Marvel in the greatness. And s/o to GoPro for capturing all of the Arc.
Champs-Élysées: one of the most famous avenues in the world. It’s a street that branches from the Arc de Triomphe that has basically endless fashionable shopping. For a couple 20-somethings, the best places are ZARA (basically the H&M of Europe) and H&M. We know, shopping at H&M when there’s a bunch of high fashion shops like Louis Vuitton, but its the most reasonable way to shop and proclaim that you got something on the Champs-Élysées.
You know what else is on the Champs-Élysées? Yes, it’s McDonald’s, and yes, we did go just to say we did. We tried French McDonald’s, not many people can say that. Just do it once to experience it (no Quarter Pounders here for the Pulp Fiction fans out there).
Wine tour- Wine tours with O Chateau are perfect for the English speaking tourists that love wine. It’s only 55€ per person for 5 wines and 1 champagne.
*We did not do this due to the fact that we just wanted to chill out and do our own wine tour *
Instead: We conducted our own restaurant tour and tried different drinks and appetizers during happy hour. But be warned, during Happy Hour, most chefs are taking a break so dinner wasn’t being served. Our couple-of-wine-glasses- full selves were a little hungry, so we made our own little fresh dinner from items we got at the little markets down our street to feel a little less touristy.
Day three was our big day. It was the grand finale because who doesn’t want to make their last day in Paris a memorable one.
La Louvre: The most famous museum in the world. If you want to be a little prepared with the history, highly suggest this Stuff You Should Know podcast. La Louvre is like Paris. There is no way you could see all that stuff in one day or even a couple days… So just pay your 9€, grab a map and get lost in this beautiful museum that has history written into its walls. Definitely, head to the Mona Lisa and watch how crazy everyone is to get the perfect pictures of the small painting, or maybe even the Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory, but don’t forget to go to the corners of the museum and take in the peacefulness of the art that surrounds you. Seriously though. You think that every corner of this museum would be filled because 15,000 people go there every day, but honestly, some of the rooms, we felt like we were the only people in the world. And sometimes you can catch a glimpse of artists trying to mimic these great masterpieces.
Although we only spent a couple hours there, we felt like we saw a lot, so it was time for a nice lunch break near the Louvre.
Eiffel Tower: How can you not go here in Paris. It’s the staple building. And you don’t have to pay to go underneath, just to go up. And work for that view. Take the stairs. We dare you. Make you feel like you’ve earned your way to the top. It’s just 6€ to get to the second platform of the Eiffel Tower, which is plenty high enough. It’s only a little bit more to go all the way. We hit the Tower on a day where it was slightly sprinkling, so that means fewer people are willing to be out in the rain. We even got to kiss on the “Place to Kiss” spot, without anyone else to wait for.
Lastly, go grab your last meal in France. Have a crepe or a kebab. Take in the busy city noises because tomorrow you will be back home.
As much fun as the city of Paris was, it made us appreciate the gorgeous landscapes and natural beauty of Utah. We’ve never wanted In’N’Out or the mountains more. But nothing here in the United States quite matches the history in Paris. Like what would you call the most historical or significant thing the U.S. has contributed in all of history? The best we could think of is Hollywood and Washington D.C. memorials. Have other ideas? Comment below!
But go out of your comfort zone and just try something a little different. If you’re a city person, head to a National Park. If you are in love with small towns, check out Paris. It adds to your experience and truly makes you appreciate where you live.
Other suggestions in Paris if you have a little more time or want to do more things in a day:
The Eiffel Tower at night (it sparkles every hour for a couple minutes)
Arc de Triomphe at night (pay and climb the spiral stairs to the top and see the Eiffel Tower sparkle and watch the cars go around)
Did we miss anything? Comment your favorite spot in Paris!