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What To Do in Paris

I miss Paris. This entire summer I've had extreme wanderlust, particularly for Paris and Martha's Vineyard, and I can not make the desire to travel go away! I think this is in part because it's the first summer of my life I'm not heading out to the East Coast, and I miss it more than I can describe! There really isn't any reason why I'm not going, I just never got around to planning anything earlier and now it's a little too late. I am going to Palm Beach at the end of August for my golden birthday (20!) with my dad, but until then... a girl can dream, and plan her next trip to Paris ;)

 I have visited Paris twice, once in the spring of my junior year of high school (2015) for an exchange program, and again a few months later in summer 2015 with my cousin and grandparents. It's crazy I went twice in one year, but now I haven't been back in almost three!

When I visited Paris for the first time I remember my favorite places included the Musee Rodin, Luxembourg Gardens, and the surrounding area of Notre Dame. Typical tourist favorites include the 
Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe, as well as Montmartre and Sacre Coeur, of course. A trip to Paris isn't a question of what to do, but rather how to decide!

EIFFEL TOWER // No trip to Paris could be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower! My first trip to Paris with my French class we did a riverboat cruise along the Seine and took in the views that way. The second time, we got ice cream cones underneath the tower and ate them on a bench nearby. I would also love to have a picnic on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower.

MARKETS // Speaking of picnics, there is really nothing I can imagine that sounds more like an ideal day to me than waking up in Paris, picking up fresh croissants and pastries, and going for a stroll down the Seine. Paris is full of quaint little markets perfect for doing just that!

The Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest food market in Paris.

There is also the Rungis Market, which is just under five miles outside of Paris and is literally the largest flower market in the world, where Parisian (and worldly) florists arrive between 3 and 6am to choose flowers and pick the best blooms of the best. Oh, but you can go there too! Yes, please!

MUSEUMS // The Louvre is one of the most famous in the world, and for good reason. The Louvre is home to the Mona Lisa (which is tiny in real life-- like the size of a piece of computer paper) and was once home to Louis XIV before Versailles.

The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world, so crowded is an understatement. It's also nearly impossible to see everything at the Louvre even if you spend a whole day there! I'd say go, check it out, see the big things, but if you have a more general interest in art, you should also visit the Musee d'Orsay. The d'Orsay is smaller, just as beautiful, and features, of course, it's own beautiful and famous collection (including one of Degas' most famous of the ballet! That is one of my favorites)

My personal favorite museum that I've visited in Paris is the Musee Rodin. I have to admit, I love this museum for the gorgeous gardens in the back. Rodin isn't one of my favorite artists, but the landscaping and ambiance at the Musee Rodin is gorgeous. 

VERSAILLES // If I remember correctly, I visited the Palace of Versailles on both of my trips. Heading out to Versailles from the center of Paris is easy enough on the metro, and takes under an hour. The palace is unbelievable: it's massive, the "backyard" full of gardens is breathtaking, as well are the rooms in the house with details on details of gold and 17th century royalty.

GARDENS // There is a large handful of famous gardens in Paris, but the most commonly known are the Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens. The Luxembourg Gardens are my personal favorite. The gorgeous span of green and mix of Italian, French, and English landscaping makes for the perfect place to sit, relax, and picnic or people-watch.

PALAIS ROYAL // The Palais Royal is home to those Insta-famous striped art installations! The Palais is basically a huge complex with shops, cafés, art, history, architecture, gardens, and people watching. It's just across the street from the Louvre, so it's an easy place to hit.

ARC DE TRIOMPHE + CHAMPS ELYSEES // Obviously the Arc de Triomphe is a Paris icon! The Champs Eylsees is the largest boulevard of shopping and leads right up to the Arc at the far end. Stop at Laduree along the Champs Elysees for the macarons!

MONTMARTRE + SACRE COEUR // Sacre Coeur is the basilica that sits on the tallest hill in Paris, and Montmartre is the surrounding neighborhood of cobblestone streets filled with cafes, shops, and more)

LE BON MARCHÉ // The original, and I think the largest, Parisian department store! It's like the Harrods of Paris.

MORE... Foundation Louis Vuitton, Notre Dame, Picasso Museum, Centre Pompidou (the contemporary art museum with a striking and controversial exterior), the original Chanel boutique (31 Cambon)

Have you been to Paris before? What is your favorite thing?! Of course there are so many more places to go and things to do in Paris, but I had to stop somewhere. I am dying to go back!

I would love to hear if you liked this kind of post or your thoughts in general! As always, thank you for reading!


  1. I LOVE Paris... I went for a DAY when I went to Switzerland in 2012. We hit the major points such as the Eiffel Tower, but I would love to go back for a trip solely for Paris.

    I agree with you about not traveling that much this summer. I have a trip planned for Charleston at the end of July for my birthday as well!

    Happy Monday!

    1. Hi Bailey!

      Charleston is GORGEOUS! Have fun and happy early birthday!

      xo, Fran

  2. Paris was definitely one of my all-time favourite trips, the scenery was stunning- I can't wait to go back for my birthday this September! Thank you for this post- very helpful, and I'll definitely be looking into some of the areas you've mentioned here!

    Gabija x

    1. Hi Gabija! Isn't Paris just the best?! Have the best birthday trip!

      xo, Fran

  3. As a huge history buff, I've longed to explore Europe but especially Paris because I want to see Versailles so badly-I've heard it's even more beautiful than photographs depict!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

    1. It so is! You cannot possibly capture all of Versailles in photos. Every detail is gorgeous, and it's HUGE!


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