A Few Days

A Week in Paris

It’s hard to say how long you need to explore Paris in its entirety, but during the planning stages of my trip… I decided that a week was just enough for me to visit the famous landmarks and get into a little bit of the Parisian lifestyle; drinking coffee by the sidewalks, shopping, people watching and basically lots and lots of walking. Plus, it was summer– I had to plan for some buffer time to get through the horrendous queues.

My plan was to hit the most popular places first, and then make my way to the rest of Paris and beyond… so if you only have a couple of days; the first three days in this itinerary covers most of the important sights. So how do you spend a week in summer in Paris? Here’s what my two travel buddies and I did… this was our itinerary.

Paris

Day 1: Hello Paris!

We arrived in Paris by plane in the afternoon, took a train to the Gare du Nord and then a cab to the rented apartment in the heart of Le Marais. The Metro would have probably been a cheaper choice, but we didn’t wanna lug our bags all over town! It was almost 4pm by the time we arrived, and that left very little time to do any exploring of the city. But we were in Paris, and a quick walk around to soak in the atmosphere was better than nothing. Thank God we were in the centre of the old town, and managed to hit several interesting places:-

Le Marais
This medieval old town is what the whole of Paris used to look like back in the day. There is a large Jewish community here; and with its artsy and hip vibe now, its popular with the gay crowd. I loved the historic stone mansions along the crooked cobblestone lanes and the interesting shops, boutiques and galleries that lined the alleys. We stopped for dinner, made lots of detours and got lost.

Centre Pompedou
Just west of Le Marais is the area of Beaubourg, where the Centre Pompedou stands. We took a short walk over to marvel at this unique building.
Find out more: Mynn’s Top 10 Things to Do in Paris

Paris Map 1

Day 2: The Symbol of Love

I don’t know when I will return to Paris again, so I wanted to spend as much time as I could at the Eiffel tower. We dedicated a whole day to it… going up, admiring it from afar and exploring the lanes and attractions around Paris’ 7th arrondissement. My day looked like this:-

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower
Our first stop early in the morning; I remember walking out from the Trocadero Metro across the river and laying my eyes on it for the very first time! It was breathtaking! We then took the lift up the tower to 2nd and 3rd floors and stayed on top for an hour or so… and had breakfast too.
Find out more: Mynn’s Top 10 Things to Do in Paris
Beat the crowds: Cheap and Fast in Paris

Champ de Mars
Just below the Eiffel Tower is this public greenspace, crowded with tourist and Parisians of all ages. It offers a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower, so we whiled away our morning on the grass; taking pictures, laughing at the antics of tourists trying to take pictures while ‘holding’ the tower, petting passing dogs on walks and just lazing under the summer sun.

Rue Cler
This pretty market street is just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower and the Champ de Mars. The street is small, and was pretty quiet while I was there… but the market displays are a sight to behold; fresh flowers, vegetables, colorful fruits… I just wanted to sink my teeth into them. It’s lined with many specialty food stores and cafes too, so we stopped here for lunch.

Rue Cler

Les Invalides and Rodin Museum
About a 15-20 minute walk east of Rue Cler is the impressive Les Invalides, and next to it, the Rodin Museum. We passed them but didn’t have time to explore, so if I ever head back to Paris, it’ll be on my list. The Les Invalides is about the military history of France, and is known for being the burial site of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Rodin Museum has a lovely garden, and is home to the bronze sculpture, ‘The Thinker’.

The Seine
Walking through the Esplanade des Invalides brought us to the Seine. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking along the river… all the way back towards the Eiffel Tower.
Find out more: Mynn’s Top 10 Things to Do in Paris

Cruising the Seine
I loved the cruise! During summer, most cruises leave every half an hour. While waiting for your cruise to depart at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, spend some time on the bridge or by river. There are many buskers around, and some shell game dealers too; I stood by and witnessed some of their sleight-of-hand tricks.

Jardins du Trocadero
This was my favourite part of the day. Chilling on the grass across the river from the Eiffel Tower, watching the bright sky turn dark, witnessing the tower being illuminated with lights; and when the first sparkles came on… it drew oohs! and aahs! from the crowd. I was in awe… mouth hanging open and all.

Paris Map 2

Day 3: Museums & Monuments

Time to explore the right bank of the Seine; its famous museums… and the avenue that leads up to Paris’ victory monument. These sights are not to be missed! Here’s how I made the most of my day:-

Champ Elysees

The Louvre
We were up early and lining up at the Louvre in the morning. We spent an entire morning wandering around the hundreds of rooms and halls– map and list in hand; before heading outside to admire the glass pyramids.
Find out more: Mynn’s Top 10 Things to Do in Paris
Beat the crowds: Cheap and Fast in Paris

Rue de Rivoli
Just down the road from the Louvre is the Rue de Rivoli, one of Paris’ most famous shopping streets. We had lunch and did some souvenir shopping here.

Musée d’Orsay
Over on the other side of the Seine is the Musée d’Orsay. It is one of Paris’ most celebrated museums, housed in a railway station built at the end of the 19th century. It’s got a huge collection of impressionist art– no cameras allowed; but head up to the highest floor to look out from the other side of the giant glass clock… and get on the balcony. It offers beautiful views of the Seine and its right bank.

Jardin des Tuileries and the Place de la Concorde
The Tuileries Garden is located between the Louvre Museum and one of the major public squares in Paris, the Place de la Concorde. The summer afternoon sun was scorching hot, so we took shade under the trees; rest, relaxed and relieved our tired feet.
Find out more: Mynn’s Top 10 Things to Do in Paris

Avenue des Champs-Elysees
The avenue starts from the Place de la Concorde; so we walked the entire 2 kilometre long stretch. It was a fascinating stroll and totally worth it… especially to soak in the Parisian way of life.
Find out more: Mynn’s Top 10 Things to Do in Paris

Arc de Triomphe
Visible from the start of the Avenue des Champs-Elysees; I felt like the arc was pulling me towards it. It is so imposing; and the highlight of my day was standing on top of it, watching the sun set over Paris.
Find out more: Mynn’s Top 10 Things to Do in Paris

Paris Map 3

Day 4: Above and Below Paris

I wanted to make today’s tour a little special; by seeing Paris in a different way… exploring it at the lowest and highest point of the city. This is what we did:-

Catacombs

Navigating the catacombs. #ootd: Layered dark blue playsuit, white boat shoes & light grey crossbody bag from EZRA by Zalora; sleeveless denim jacket from MNG and scarf from a bazaar in KL.

The Catacombs
Rise and shine, and out the door early in the morning– need to get here before the crowds. The catacombs, dubbed the “World’s Largest Grave” is located near Montparnasse, towards the south of Paris. Walking underground along rows of human remains for an hour was scary, eerie, cold… and interesting.
Find out more: Mynn’s Top 10 Things to Do in Paris
Beat the crowds: Cheap and Fast in Paris

Jardin du Luxembourg
North of the Catacombs is the Luxembourg Gardens. After the experience underground; the sun, the soft breeze and the greenery in the garden was much appreciated.
Find out more: Mynn’s Top 10 Things to Do in Paris

The Pantheon
The Pantheon is just a short walk from the Luxembourg Gardens so we decided to head over to this mausoleum for some pictures. On the way, we stopped at one of the cafes in Montparnasse for lunch.

Basilique Sacre Couer
The Metro from the south to the north of Paris took us a little more than half an hour. The Sacre Couer sits at the summit of Montmarte Hill, the highest point of the city. Beautiful views, of course.
Find out more: Mynn’s Top 10 Things to Do in Paris

Paris Map 4

Day 5/6: Day Trips

Two places outside of Paris that we just couldn’t miss, and you shouldn’t too!

Palace of Versailles

Versailles
An hour outside of Paris, this UNESCO World heritage site is filled with chateaus and gardens. It is a great place to marvel at the beauty of French architecture and art… and if you want some time to yourself; the grounds are vast and extensive, you can definitely find a quiet place of your own.
Find out more: Falling in Love with Versailles

Paris Disneyland

Disneyland
This world famous entertainment resort and theme park is located in Marne-la-Vallee, an hour east of Paris. Disneyland Paris is divided into two parks; Disneyland Park and the Walt Disney Studio Parc. It was hard to choose between the two, so we went to both in a day!
Find out more: My Fun Day in Disneyland Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral

Day 7: More of Paris

We used the last day to cover the rest of Paris we missed. One of the reasons we left the Notre Dame cathedral for the final day was because we had to go really early in the morning to get in line to see the gargoyles. So here’s what we did on our last day:-

Notre Dame Cathedral
The Notre Dame cathedral is located on a small isle on the Seine. The cathedral is just as beautiful inside as it is outside, and the gargoyles are so monstrous and ugly. I was so fascinated.
Find out more: Mynn’s Top 10 Things to Do in Paris
Beat the crowds: Cheap and Fast in Paris

Saint Chapelle
Saint Chapelle stands on the same isle next to the Notre Dame Cathedral. The medieval gothic chapel has one of the most extensive stained glass windows. They are so beautiful that when the sun shines in, its magical.

We spent the rest of the day doing last minute shopping at Le Marais until our flight to leave. If you still have time, you could head up slightly north to see the Bastille– the old fortress/prison and chill at Canal Saint Martin; or head south to Montparnasse to get more views of the city from the Montparnasse Tower.

Paris Map 5

Mynn’s Paris Favourites

Sharing some of my favourite cafes and restaurants in Paris with you:-

Angelina
A friend suggested I drop by Angelina for some hot chocolate, and I am glad I listened to her. That cup of sinful goodness is to-die-for; it is rich and chocolaty… and so thick I could almost eat it. The pastries are delicious too; all lined up so beautifully I wanted to eat them all. Try the Mont Blanc.
Where: 226 rue de Rivoli, 75001.

Laduree
If it’s macaroons you want, this is the place to get them. It is not only famous in Paris, but the entire world… with shops popping up everywhere. My only problem with macaroons are that they are so sweet and colorful, with so many flavours; I don’t know what to choose.
Where: 75, avenue des Champs Elysées 75008, with branches all over Paris.

Chez Meme
We wanted to have an affordable three-course authentic French dinner in Paris… and the owner of our rented apartment suggested this restaurant. We had a great meal; huge escargots, a juicy slab of steak and the homemade desserts were divine. The cheery colorful decor added to the homey feel of the restaurant.
Where: 124 rue Saint Denis, 75002

Chez Meme

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