I travel to eat. No, seriously. When my best friend Kristin and I were planning this Europe trip, we both put things we wanted to do on a list, and mine were all restaurants. But, obviously, you can't eat allllll day long... well, you can try, but I suggest breaking up the meals with a few cultural activities. ;)
Here are the activities I really enjoyed in Paris:
- Monet's Garden – About an hour train ride from Paris, in Giverny, is the old home and garden of famous painter Claude Monet. We wandered for hours in his exquisite garden, filled with rows and rows of flowers I’d never seen before. They are absolutely breathtaking, and it’s without a doubt, the biggest and most beautiful garden I’ve ever seen. The ponds of water lilies were equally stunning – it is easy to see how such beauty inspired Monet’s paintings. We also had a lot of fun touring his old home. Shockingly enough, my favorite room was his kitchen.
- Eiffel Tower – Duh! This iconic landmark is a must-see when in Paris. I recommend bringing a bottle (or two) of wine and having a sunset picnic on the lawn by the tower. When it gets dark, the Eiffel Tower has a sparkling light show every hour, on the hour, that is so Parisian and romantic you just want to cry. Don’t miss it!
- Jardin des Tuileries – Great garden to walk around on a beautiful day! Connects the Louvre and L’Orangerie museums, so you probably will stumble upon it naturally, but you definitely shouldn’t miss it!
- Musée de l'Orangerie – A small museum that’s home to some beautiful impressionist pieces including (my favorite!) many of Monet’s water lily paintings. It was especially cool to see these Monet pieces after having just seen his gardens in person.
- Merci – This coffee shop/used bookstore/ purveyor of hip goods and furniture is a marvelous place to spend an afternoon in Paris (and a great place to find trendy souvenirs).
- Sacré-Cœur - This gorgeous old church is an iconic Parisian landmark. It's a beautiful sight to behold any time of day, but we especially loved visiting it at night, seeing it all lit up, and sitting on the steps overlooking the twinkling lights of Paris.
- Terrass Hotel Montmartre - Not an activity, but I did want to recommend the gorgeous hotel we stayed at in Paris. Super chic design, modern, in the lovely neighborhood of Montmartre, between Sacré-Cœur and the Moulin Rouge, with tons of cool bars and restaurants nearby, a fitness center, and (my favorite part!) a gorgeous rooftop terrace restaurant and bar overlooking the city.