Tag: France

Europe Travel, Featured

2 Days in Paris Itinerary

Ready to explore Paris in 2 days? If you’re planning a quick trip, two days is absolutely enough time to see all of the top sights in Paris! When we visited at the beginning of November, we stayed for two full days (with the other two being travel days) and felt like this was the perfect amount of time.

Any longer than two days and you’re going to want to start planning a day trip or two to experience the countryside and vineyards or a nearby country. Check out our post on the 15 best day trips from Paris, including some hidden gems you may not have heard of!

So if you’re planning your two days in Paris and aren’t sure where to start, read on to see our jam-packed itinerary for your Paris visit!

2 Days in Paris Itinerary

Day 1:

For the first day of your two day Paris visit, you’ll want a taste of quintessential Paris. That means seeing the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, before exploring hip Montmartre.

Eiffel Tower

Start your day at the Eiffel Tower. It’s only going to get busier, so getting there first thing will make for the most pleasant experience and best pictures. Admire this iconic landmark from the grassy area below, then take the elevator to the top for an incredible view of Paris!

Les Invalides

Another wonderful stop on this side of Paris is Les Invalides, situated on the left bank of the Seine. First built by King Louis XIV as a hospital for wounded war veterans, it eventually became the Army Museum it is today. It’s also, famously, home to the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was the leader of the French Republic and French Empire before being exiled. 

Get tickets or join a guided tour for entry into Napoleon’s Tomb and the Army Museum here.

Arc de Triomphe

Built by Napoleon (yes, the one from our last stop) as a symbol of French power, the Arc was once the largest building of its kind in the entire world. It’s still one of the most iconic sights in Paris to this day and honestly, the most entertaining roundabout you’ve ever seen. There seem to be no rules whatsoever and we stood there for 20 minutes just watching all of the insane driving!

Grab a ticket and climb your way to the top for a fantastic view of Paris, or walk beneath it to find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Walk Down the Champs Elysees

If you’re in Paris to shop, then the Champs Elysees is going to be your favorite spot in the city! This is arguably the most famous shopping street in Europe and it’s filled with everything from designer brands to chic boutiques selling Parisian clothes and accessories you won’t find anywhere else. Bonus: if you’re visiting on a Sunday, the busy Champs Elysees is closed to motorized traffic, so you can wander down the middle of the road and capture the perfect shot of the Arc de Triomphe without being run over on this typically chaotic street.

Sacre Coeur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart)

This Parisian landmark is the perfect place to watch the sun set and end your sightseeing for the day. Both locals and tourists gather on the church’s steps to watch the sun set over Paris before continuing on with their evening.

Dinner in Montmartre

Montmartre has become extremely popular in Paris, and it’s no wonder why: it’s just so charming. Home to Sacre Coeur, this neighborhood (or arrondissement as they call it there), has fabulous restaurants and transforms from day to night. In the daylight, it’s a little more peaceful than the hustle and bustle of central Paris, but at night time, it’s eccentric and buzzing and the perfect place to grab dinner and drinks at one of the local cocktail bars.

Day 2: 

Explore trendy neighborhoods and see iconic places in Paris, with an ending to your day that really makes for an unforgettable visit!

Pont Neuf

Crossing the Seine river, this is the oldest and most iconic bridge in Paris. This intricate bridge is super cool to look at, and take fabulous photos from!

Notre Dame

While you can’t tour the Notre Dame because of the fire and subsequent reconstruction that is still going on, you can still admire this 12th century Gothic Cathedral from outside! 

Saint Germain Neighborhood

This trendy neighborhood near the Notre Dame has become increasingly popular with tourists and chic Parisians alike. Dotted with cute cafes and eateries, this is the perfect place to grab lunch before you continue your journey through the French capital.

Jardin du Luxembourg

This beautiful garden is a must-see when in this neck of the woods in Paris. Commissioned by royal widow Marie de Medici, who dreamed of bringing a little bit of her hometown of Florence to her new home in Paris, this garden is stunningly beautiful and a great spot to see some greenery in an otherwise concrete-filled city.

Panthéon

Located in the Latin Quarter, this unmissable building looks like it should be in Rome rather than Paris. Modeled after its Roman counterpart, this facade features a gigantic spired dome, thanks to its French architects. It was initially a church before becoming a place to honor those that passed away fighting in the French Revolution. Take tour of this fascinating building to view its amazing gothic architecture and impressive paintings and mosaics throughout.

Wander Around Le Merais

Another trendy neighborhood in Paris, this is the perfect place to take a stroll and admire the architecture and charm of this area. Or the perfect place to grab an afternoon glass of wine and bite to eat before dinner. You’ll also want to visit the Place des Vosges in this area, it’s the oldest planned square in Paris and lined with stunning aristocratic residences that date back to the 17th century.

Visit the Louvre

Whether you’re looking to admire the Louvre from outside, or take a tour of the amazing art collection within, the Louvre is a must-see spot on your Paris list. Beginning as a fortress back in 1190, the Louvre later became a royal residence and was modified over the centuries according to changing styles and preferences of the royals who lived there. It is now a public museum that houses one of the richest artwork and artifact collections in the entire world, including the famed Mona Lisa. 

Delicious Dinner

When it’s time for dinner, you can’t go wrong with most restaurants in Paris! We enjoyed Poni in the 9th Arrondissement and La Maison de l’Aubrac in the Champs-Élysées area.

See the Eiffel Tower Sparkle

For the last night of your 2-day visit in Paris, you have to see the Eiffel Tower lit up and glittering! While you already saw this beautiful landmark during the day, seeing it at night is a completely different experience.

Take a moonlit dinner cruise to sip champagne and admire the view, or walk to the Eiffel Tower like we did and see it from across the river! It sparkles on the hour for about 5 minutes, every hour after dusk until 11:45 PM. After two busy days in Paris, we did not feel like going all the way back to the Eiffel Tower from where we were staying, but I am SO glad that we did. It was my absolute favorite moment of our Paris trip.

Europe Travel, Featured

10 Things to Know Before Visiting Paris in the Fall

Paris is a hot destination year round, but Paris in the fall is particularly stunning! With all of the colors of the changing leaves, more temperate weather, and slightly smaller crowds, it’s easy to fall head over heels for the City of Love!

So whether you’re visiting Paris for the first time, or just visiting for the first time in the autumn season, there are 10 things you’re going to want to know before you go. 

You May Also Like: 12 Best Things to Do in Paris For First-Time Visitors

Bring an Umbrella (Or a Raincoat)

No matter which month you’re going in the fall, be prepared with an umbrella! It’s not uncommon to see everyone walking around with an umbrella in hand in October and November, as rain showers tend to rush in without much warning and then quickly move back out. 

When we visited Paris at the very beginning of November, we weren’t shocked at the chilly weather but rather the speed and intensity of the rain showers! It would be completely temperate one minute, then the next a complete down pour, just to be gone again 10 minutes later. 

Be prepared and have an umbrella or a trusty raincoat with a hood, as I tend to opt for – though it’s a little less chic than the rest of the women wearing cute coats in Paris! They dress so gosh darn classy!

Bring a Warm Jacket

News flash: Paris is chilly in the fall. Bring a warm jacket, and even better, layers to wear with your jacket. Between the wind that whips through this city’s winding roads, or the cold rain showers you’ll find frequently happening in the fall, it’s best to err on the side of warmth. Paris was beautiful in the fall, but I have to say that if I didn’t have my down jacket and was nice and toasty warm, I would’ve been an unhappy camper!

Bring a Scarf

Just like with a warm jacket, you can’t go wrong packing a scarf. Not only does it add a little visual intrigue to your outfit, it can also help keep you warm. There was one day in Paris on our November trip that was so windy and chilly that my warm coat was barely cutting it. I threw on my flannel scarf, felt very trendy for fall, and actually managed to feel warm that day. Thank you scarf!

I wore this one from Amazon. Nothing fancy but it was super cute and the perfect warm, cozy outfit addition I needed.

Guided Tours Are Your Friend

While there may be a few less tourists in the fall, there’s still going to be quite a lot of people visiting and exploring the city. You should still expect lines (albeit probably not as long as you’d find in the summer).

That’s where guided tours come in! Most guided tours have skip-the-line access or enter through another door entirely, saving you tons of time and giving you a great experience. We made the mistake of not doing guided tours on some of our stops in Europe and while it was cool to go at our own pace, it was hard to really understand what we were seeing and I don’t feel like we got the most of our sightseeing activities.

Tour iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles, or do a full guided tour of the city via boat and bus to soak up all of your time in Paris!

Be Prepared to Walk A Lot

Paris is a big city with a lot of walking in between each landmark. If you’re not doing a guided bus tour, and don’t want to shell out for expensive Ubers, be prepared to walk quite a bit here. It wasn’t a big deal, and it was much easier walking than places like Rome where there are a lot of cobblestones, but definitely wear a good pair of shoes! There’s a reason why you’ll see everyone here dressed nicely but wearing sneakers.

To give you a frame of reference, we walked everywhere from where we stayed near the Opera and we were consistently doing 20,000-25,000 steps per day. Though it probably wasn’t the most efficient routes we were taking as ew got off track here and there!

Enjoy All the Food (Including Dessert!)

Of all the places we visited in Europe, I’d have to say Paris had the best food by far. I’m not a foodie by any means, but I know good food when I taste it! And while I think most meals we’ve had and Europe are a little bland compared to what I’m used to at home in the US (Ok, maybe I just over-season everything), Paris had some excellent dishes. 

After spending 8 days in Italy, we were so sick of carbs and anything pasta or pizza related – we pretty much had steak and burgers for every meal! And it. Was. Amazing. 

So enjoy the culinary experience, and definitely get the creme brûlée after dinner, at least one of the nights. You won’t regret it!

Don’t Skip On Enjoying the Fall Colors!

While you’ll see beautiful leaves throughout the city, it’s particularly fun to take a walk through Jardin du Luxembourg and Jardin des Tuileries to really enjoy all of the fall colors. 

Do a Day Trip

While we enjoyed Paris, after we saw the big sights, we were ready to experience something different. Not to hate on Paris, but it felt like it was getting a little monotonous! If you’re staying for more than a couple of days, definitely plan on doing a day trip that helps you to experience something totally different close by. Check out our post on the 15 most amazing day trips from Paris to find the perfect destination for you!

Give Yourself Extra Time At the Airport

I wouldn’t say we’re the best at getting to the airport with loads of time to spare… I loathe having to hang around airports when I could’ve been sleeping longer or seeing more of the city! And while flying in November, we got to the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport 2 hours before our flight back to the states, right when their baggage check opened.

We walked all over the terminal trying to find the right place to drop our luggage. The “helpful” workers told us this desk, then that one way over there, and then finally, the right one… right in the middle. And while I’m not complaining, it didn’t take a ton of time. It’s important that you plan for little things like this that can eat up your time.

Once we got the bags dropped, we headed towards the security checkpoint. The line to security looked short enough… until we realized that wasn’t actually the line to security. We waited in line for almost half an hour to have our passports checked by machines, that then didn’t work. And we had to wait in another line to have them checked by people. Before getting on a train to go through actual security.

I’ll just say, we were thankful for the extra time! So plan ahead for instances like this, especially during busier travel months as it would’ve taken much longer to get through all of that had it not been November!

Double Check Your Baggage Weight & Dimensions

If you’re hopping around, country to country in Europe, make sure you’re careful about your baggage weight and dimensions! Different carriers have different requirements. When we went from Manchester to Venice, we flew Ryan Air which differed in their baggage rules from EasyJet which we took from Rome to Paris. 

It’s a lot to keep track of, write it down if you need to. But if you’re going to be doing any shopping (or just cutting it close on that baggage weight), it’s important you bring a baggage scale to check the weight so you’re not frantically moving stuff from bag to bag or into your carry-on at the airport!

Europe Travel, Featured, Home Page, Uncategorized

12 Things to Do in Paris For First-Time Visitors

If you’re visiting Paris for the first time, there are a few sights you absolutely must see. From the Eiffel Tower to the trendiest Parisian neighborhoods, we’ve compiled the 12 things to do in Paris for first time visitors to help you plan the best trip possible to the City of Light!

Paris is such a dreamy city. The Eiffel Tower in the distance, charming cobblestone streets and picturesque shops and eateries lining the streets, Paris has so much to offer.

With iconic landmarks sprinkled throughout this bustling city, to fabulous day-trip options that allow you to explore so much of this region in so little time, to some of the best cuisine in Europe, there’s something for everyone in Paris.

While many say you’ll have to go back and visit the city again, these are the top 12 things to do in Paris the first go around!

You May Also Like: Travel Guide to Paris in November

1. Eiffel Tower

As the most popular tourist attraction in Paris, it’s no wonder the Eiffel Tower is number one on our list of the top things to do you first time in Paris! The Eiffel Tower is Paris. Admire the enormous tower from the Champs de Mars, then get a ticket to go up to the very top of the tower. Up here, you’ll see panoramic views of the city!

2. Visit the Arc de Triomphe

Another iconic sight in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe is a must-see monument on your list. Built in 1806, the Arc was built by Napoleon as a symbol of French strength. View it from Champs Elysees (the famous street leading up to it), or you climb up to the very top (all 284 steps of it) to see spectacular views of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the distance. 

3. Louvre Museum

Boasting a rich history that dates back to the 12th century, the Louvre’s majestic palace itself is a masterpiece, and within its walls lies an extensive collection that spans millennia. Home to iconic works such as the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Louvre houses an extraordinary array of art. It also serves as a living testament to the architectural and cultural tapestry of France.

4. Tuileries Garden

Tucked in between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde, these meticulously manicured gardens offer an oasis of tranquility in the middle of a bustling city. Originally designed in the 17th century, the Tuileries Garden boasts a timeless elegance with its perfectly aligned pathways, symmetrical flowerbeds, and iconic statues. 

5. Musée d’Orsay

Located in a former railway station, the Musée d’Orsay features an impressive collection of art and cultural artifacts from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Here, you’ll find works by renowned artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, and Renoir, as well as sculptures, decorative arts, and photography. The museum’s atmosphere is enriched by the natural light streaming through its iconic clock windows, creating the perfect ambience for viewing all of the art and history housed here.

6. Palais Garnier

Visit this 19th century opera house, known for its gilded interiors and magnificent Baroque architecture. Legend has it, the Phantom of the Opera novel (and later, Broadway musical) was inspired by events that took place at this opera house. The novel tells the story of a physically deformed genius who terrorizes the Opera Garnier in Paris and finds the love of his life, while living beneath the Opera. 

Take a tour of this beautiful opera house, we recommend this one!

7. Cathédrale Notre-Dame

When you think of Paris, you probably think of the Eiffel Tower and the Notre-Dame. This iconic cathedral is a French Gothic architectural masterpiece, built all the way back in the 12th century. It’s served as the backdrop for many events in Paris and has been seen by millions of its visitors before suffering damage from a catastrophic fire back in 2019. It is not being rebuilt and revived, and you will not be able to tour the inside of it any time soon. However, you can still admire this landmark from outside.

8. Palace of Versailles

A visit to the Palace of Versailles is like a step back in time. This estate is the epitome of opulence and grandeur, and touring it is truly a one of a kind experience. Located just outside Paris, this historic palace served as the principal residence of Louis XIV. Its Hall of Mirrors witnessed the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, marking the end of World War I. 

The sheer scale and magnificence of the palace, adorned with intricate details, gilded ceilings, and stunning Baroque architecture, makes it a must-see when visiting Paris! Explore the palace and its perfectly landscaped gardens on your own, or even better, on a guided tour.

9. Montmartre

Nestled on the city’s highest hill, Montmartre is full of charming, winding streets and artistic ambiance. This bohemian neighborhood in Paris carries a rich history as a hub for artists, writers, and intellectuals, and that legacy is palpable in every cobblestone and every corner cafe. Visit Montmartre’s Place du Tertre, a lively square filled with artists and performers, then indulge in French cuisine at local bistros.

You May Also Like: 15 Amazing Day Trips From Paris

10. Basilique du Sacre Coeur

This 19th-century basilica in the Montmartre area of Paris was built by the French government and features a large medieval dome that provides beautiful views of the city. This popular landmark is also a great place to watch the sunset, and you’ll find many tourists and locals doing just that on any given evening.

11. Luxembourg Gardens

An oasis of greenery in the heart of busy Paris, the Luxembourg Gardens feature 55 acres of beautiful, manicured gardens. Take a break from your site seeing and unwind in the peaceful atmosphere of this park.

12. Seine River

Stroll alongside this famous river (it has amazing Eiffel Tower views from across the way) or hop on a river cruise to explore Paris from a whole new vantage point. Flowing right through Paris, separating its left and right banks, it’s a beautiful spot to relax and admire the views in an otherwise bustling city.

Europe Travel, Featured

Travel Guide to Paris in November | What to Do in Paris in November

Thinking about visiting Paris in November? You’re in for a treat! Get ready for a trip that’s equal parts cozy and chic, with a sprinkle of that unmistakable Parisian je ne sais quoi that makes a visit to this beautiful city so unique. 

Forget what you’ve heard about gloomy weather because November in the City of Love is a whole vibe. There might be a little rain, but it will be more than made up for with fewer tourists crowding all of the iconic sights!

You May Also Like: Epic 2 Days in Paris Itinerary

In this blog post, we’re sharing why fall is the unsung hero of Parisian travel. From strolls along the Seine to finding cute cafés tucked away in Montmartre, get ready to fall head over heels for Paris in November – where the only thing colder than the weather is your glass of champagne. 

Jump To:
What to Know About Visiting Paris in November
Is November a Good Time to Visit Paris?
What to Pack for a Paris Trip in November
Paris Weather in November
What to Do in Paris in November
Why You Should Visit Paris in November


What to Know About Visiting Paris in November

READ: 10 Things to Know Before Visiting Paris in the Fall

Ready to embrace off-peak season in Paris? While we think it’s an amazing time of year to visit the City of Light, there are a few things you should know before booking your trip and packing your bags! Read the 10 things to know before Visiting Paris in the Fall so you can be prepared and enjoy all the beautiful city has to offer.

Is November a Good Time to Visit Paris?

November is an amazing time to visit Paris! With way fewer crowds and shorter lines, decent weather, and less expensive hotel nightly rates, late Fall in Paris is excellent. Not only can you get into practically any restaurant in the city without reservations, but queues are shorter at the sights and you’ll actually be able to take a few good pictures without being crushed by the crowds or feeling rushed in prime photo spots. 

Visiting in early November, we had to wear warm coats and duck under awnings a few times for the sporadic rain showers, but otherwise had a fabulous time in the city! While there were still quite a few people, it was nowhere near the hordes of tourists you’ll find in the summer months. We were able to get great pictures at every tourist attraction and were able to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle from a bench right next to it without many people around at all – we loved our front row seats! At times, it felt like we had the city to ourselves.

Les Halles, Paris

What to Pack for a Paris Trip in November

When it comes to what to wear in Paris in November, late fall is all about striking a balance between style and warmth. The chilly air calls for layers, so don’t forget to pack your favorite cozy sweater, medium-weight coat, gloves, and a scarf to combat the occasional nip in the breeze. 

Comfortable yet fashionable footwear is a must for those long walks along the Seine or through the historic neighborhoods. It’s super common to see women dressed nicely and wearing a stylish coat, and pairing it with athletic shoes for easy walking in the city. When we visited, we walked everywhere and hit between 20,000 – 25,000 steps a day. Even if you plan on taking public transportation or Ubers, comfortable shoes are a must!

Parisians adore neutrals, and I rarely saw anyone wearing much color. So if visiting the City of Light means dressing like a local to you, consider bringing along a versatile wardrobe in shades of black, gray, and beige/camel, allowing you to effortlessly blend in with the chic locals. And of course, a stylish pair of sunglasses is a year-round necessity for that added touch of Parisian flair. 

I’ll admit I didn’t pack the best for Paris, I should have done a little shopping! Not wanting to stuff one of my stylish, thick wool coats into my suitcase (it would’ve taken up half the bag!) and unable to find a lighter one I liked, I ended up bringing my packable down coat that while totally normal in the states, looked so casual in Paris. I’m pretty sure I was the only one wearing one! While I usually tend to value comfort especially with all of that walking, I will admit Paris is the one place I wished I would’ve had a nicer-looking coat and was able to blend in a little bit more. I’m not exaggerating when I say I got a lot of disapproving looks from the locals – ha!

You’ll also want to pack an umbrella (or a raincoat with a hood, if that’s more your speed) because Paris has quite a bit of rain in November and the showers can move in really quickly. When we visited, it would be perfectly nice out and then a rain shower would come out of nowhere, last for 10 minutes, and be gone again. This happened several times each day we were there and we were glad to have rain coats.

Paris Weather in November

While Paris can be a little chilly (ok, a lot chilly) in November and have rain showers that seem to come out of nowhere, it’s nothing a warm coat and umbrella can’t fix! Visiting at the beginning of November, we were met with chilly windy and sporadic rain, but it was still decently pleasant and we were able to enjoy most of our meals outside at cafes, and sit and watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night without freezing.

Paris in November ranges from a low of 45 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) to a high of 52 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) and offers the perfect opportunity to avoid most of the crowds and wear cute layered outfits!

Palais Garnier (Opera House)

What to Do in Paris in November

READ: 12 Things to Do in Paris For First-Time Visitors

Even with the cooler temperatures, it’s still pretty pleasant to be outside in Paris and you can do everything you would have normally – you just might want to bring an umbrella some days, depending on the forecast! From climbing to the very top of the Eiffel Tower to exploring the artwork of the Louvre Museum, check out these 12 Things to Do in Paris For First-Time Visitors to maximize your time in the City of Light.

Why You Should Visit Paris in November

READ: 9 Reasons to Visit Paris in November

November in Paris is an absolute gem, and if you’re contemplating a trip to this beautiful city, there are plenty of compelling reasons to pack your bags. Between smaller crowds and stunning fall foliage throughout the city, Paris in November is downright dreamy! Read our 10 reasons to visit Paris this time of year to see all the reasons why you should be booking your fall trip.