Wahoo! So it's a day after I got back from Paris and I thiiiiiink the jetlag has gone away. BUT, if there are typos, errors, mistakes, whatever – don't blame me.
For those who have been, you'll understand the magic of Paris. If not, I hope this guide helps even if it's a little bit. For me, it was the first time I went to Paris and well, even France. It's somewhere I've always wanted to go and after January, I stopped making excuses on why I shouldn't go and booked a GD flight.
I received a TON of recommendations from friends (THANK YOU!!) and a lot of them I took. But if we're being honest, it was all a little overwhelming! There are SO MANY THINGS TO DO that I simply can't name them all. So, with that being said...I'm providing a list of things I liked, loved, and explored. Hope you enjoy!
It's always a must-go on Paris lists and there's a reason why. IT'S SO DARN TASTY. Luckily, it was a short walk from our Airbnb and we went on a Wednesday morning when it was a bit rainy, so there was no line and room for us to cozy up outside. Besides getting everything, I recommend their Pistachio Chocolate Escargot. It's flakey, buttery, and melts in your mouth. We also snatched up a chocolate croissant and apple tart of some sort. The staff is kind and patient with those who speak terrible, nonexistant French (me! me!) and the pastries are out of this world. A must-go!
Located in Les Marais, Jaja was recommended to me by Andi who said it was delicious and romantic! She was absolutely right. The thing about dining in Paris is that a) people eat on the later side and b) meals take a bit (give 2 hours minimum). It took a bit of getting used to, but it pays to be flexible! We went to Jaja right when they opened (7:30 p.m.) to see if we could walk-in and the staff was INCREDIBLY nice. They let us sit down right away and we snacked on red prawns and rice chips, artichokes with Parma ham, pecorino and black garlic and finished off with a delicious bottle of red wine.
Looking for a place to eat on the later side, we came across Buvette and stumbled in. We're so glad we did because honestly, this was one of our favorite meals in Paris! Located in the 9th arrondissement, this spot is cozy, casual and a perfect spot to share dishes and a late night aperitif. Separated into fish, vegetables, poultry, etc. we opted for a few of each! Favorites included a summer sweet peppers, onions & chorizo toast, bone marrow (yum!!), octopus, and a few bottles of red wine. :)
Okay, Okay. So it's a Paris cocktail staple. But hell, it's AWESOME. What we found out in Paris is that while the cocktails may be subtle, the presentation is anything but. I couldn't really even tell you what I had, but it was earthy, delicious, and definitely an experience. The entire menu tells a story, so if you like (or love) cocktails, this place is a must!
Don't let the name deter you from coming in – unless you're into that sort of thing. Dirty Dick is fun, throwback spot that nails tiki drinks. Upon walking in, the spot is dimly lit and full of quirky Polynesian decor. Cozy up to the bar or ask for a table near the fish tank (in the back!) and order a drink with rum! If that's not your thing, they have over 50 other drinks to choose from!
Probably our favorite spot in Paris for a drink hands down! The bartender was incredible and even let us taste a few liquors on the house. While the inside was unassuming, the drinks were off the charts. Their menu changes frequently, but there's a drink that was served with a balloon. Here's to a bar that doesn't take themselves so seriously! So, if you only have one bar to go to in Paris, come to Le Syndicat.
Initially, I was kind of skeptical about going. It was an hour away on the train, looked expensive, and filled with tourists. After a little bit of thinking about it and getting over it, we booked tickets and away we went. Honestly, I'm so glad we did because it was truly a highlight. The history is insane and the grounds of Versailles are incredible. Pro-tip: Get to Versailles early (9 a.m.) grab a coffee, and tour through the house(s). The grounds are MASSIVE so wear comfy shoes and pack a lunch so you can picnic around the pond/lake. It's beautiful and I honestly want to go back because you could spend days exploring just the grounds!
While Paris has so many beautiful parks, the Promenade Plantée is a magical spot that's reminiscent of New York's High Line - but even more quiet. The walk begins at the Bastille and travels through the 12th arrondissement for around 3 miles. Grab some sandwiches, a baguette and cheese (naturally) and settle up to a bench for a relaxing lunch.
Looking for a good Insta? Of course you are, damnit. A hop, skip and a jump away from the Promenade Plantée, is a street full of colorful houses perfect for a quick shot. Don't spend too much time here as it's nothing more than a street with badass houses, but it's definitely a nice spot worth snapping a few selfies.
If you get an opportunity to go to Paris, stay in Le Marais. It's charming, quirky, modern and old-world all at the same time. There are hundreds of places to explore in the Marais, but Place des Vosges is a beautiful spot to picnic or take a breather after walking all day. I also highly suggest stopping by L'As du Fallafel! Pro tip: Bring cash and it'll make the line go faster!