I took a weekend trip to Paris and absolutely fell in love with the city. After flying through Charles de Gaulle many times – usually going to and from Dubai – I finally was able to venture outside of the airport.
We landed Thursday night and stayed through late Sunday afternoon. It was perfect for maximizing our time. TIP: When heading from there airport check uber and see if it makes fiscally makes sense to do that opposed to taking the metro because the metro is 10 euro and an about an hour into the city. We stayed in the Les Marais area and it was nice. Definitely, recommend getting a 10-pass metro package for the weekend. It made navigating carefree.
To kick off the weekend, we went to a small wine bar called La Popina and it was very vibey, it had a more secluded lounge downstairs and the entire bar was full of French people. We ubered home and life was good. The next day we woke up and walked toward the Eiffel tour. We did a Batoboat hop-on, hop-off. We went to Saint Germain, the Luxembourg Gardens and Notre Dame. Saint Germain was my favorite church I saw throughout the entire weekend. I shouldn’t discriminate but it was stunning.
I went back to the Airbnb to meet my other friends and then we got coffee and pastries then headed to the Eiffel tour. We had planned to walk up the stairs but they were closed and the elevator line was three hours long so we didn’t make it to the top. Just another reason to go back. We did see the sunset though and that was a beautiful sight. We enjoyed it and then headed to L’Espaloge, a wonderful steak frites place that is a MUST. There are multiple locations, just google it. The restaurant opens at 7 pm yet the line forms around 6:30. You have to wait in line, but is more worth it than making a reservation somewhere else; we waited 15 minutes and were seated immediately upon the restaurant opening. They serve hordes of steak frites and we had two bottles of wine between the group of us. If you don’t eat steak, don’t go as the waitress gives you three options: rare, medium or well-done.
To go out we went to Rooftop Café Oz. It felt like a crossover between a bar and a club. So you know if you go, it’s a 15€ cover w drink included (so really a 7 euro cover) and you need your ID. There was a stripper pole so make your own decision. We were able to watch a girl hop up there, try to take her shirt off and then get carried down by three bodyguards. Definitely worth the cover. Some other bar/club recommendations I received are Duplex, Bridge (Saturdays only), Little Red Door and any bars along Grand Boulevard.
To start Saturday off right, we went to Claus Paris. It was a boujee brunch place that was 100% worth it. I had champagne (when in France, it’s obviously a must). Each meal includes a bread basket, a juice, a coffee and the entre. For my entre, I had the salmon and avocado option with potatoes and a poached egg. It felt like I died and went to heaven.
TIP: To both optimize time in Paris and to be fiscally responsible, I sat for a real meal a day and then had pastries or street food for the others. The crepes were insanely good and I loved both the raisin and chocolate pastries if you’re trying to make a decision in a bakery.
After this, we walked toward the Louvre and went to the Musee d’Orsay. The Musee d’Orsay was so so cool. It is notorious for the French Impressionism and it was built in an old train station. If you have ever seen the photo of the ginormous clock, it in this museum. After looking at all of the art, I think my favorite artist is Cézanne.
From the Musee d’Orsay, we headed toward the Rue du Bac to go to the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal. We went during a mass but were still able to see the beautiful mosaics and say some prayers. Because we couldn’t understand the language, we did not stay. I got a medal as a memory and then we headed back to the apartment.
We decided to stay in and get baguettes, cheese, olive oil and mini pizzas and more for dinner. After doing so much, it’s hard to muster up the energy to go out. My goal is always at least one (biggish) night out per city because I also want to do things during the day! One of my friends had an early flight so we saw her to the metro then went to bed. In the morning we walked toward the Louvre cause it was one of the last big things to do and had crepes for breakfast. I went for the savory egg and cheese flavor and it couldn’t have been better. We then went into the museum. Looking at the Mona Lisa made my mouth drop – for reasons you can only understand when seeing it. Having one of my friends who studies Art with me was a blessing because she knows so much and could point out the historic importance and important characteristics of each painting.
We went back to the crepe place so they could have one more before some of my friends returned to Rome. I went for a strawberry Nutella crepe and my mouth is currently watering writing this. I said bye to them and then headed on my own to the Sacre Coeur, the white basilica atop a hill. Since I did not have data and my phone was basically pointless I went solo. I used my maps.me app to find the nearest metro then used the metro map on the wall to figure out where I was going. I was able to figure it out then use my maps.me app to get to the basilica. 10/10 recommend having in and downloading maps before being in any unfamiliar place
The Sacre Coeur It was up a few flights of stairs and worth the climb. For me, every time I walk into a cathedral or a basilica it takes my break away. This was the same and is a must-see.
I returned to the area of the Airbnb, had a glass of champagne and waited for my other friends. Overall, it was an incredible weekend and I wish I had more time there. There isn’t a doubt in my mind I will return to both go up the Eiffel Tour and to go to Versailles. For being there for 3 days, I saw a ton and was thankful for the opportunity.