Things to Do in Paris – Part 1

Things to do in Paris

I love Paris.  I love everything about Paris.  The buildings, the food, the language  and the whole feel of the place.  And despite popular belief I have not found the French people to be overly rude.  They don’t smile a lot but I only encountered one “rude” French man, a surly security guard, while we were there.

We spent four days in Paris and the surrounding area. Today’s post covers our first day.  We move quick and fast!

After our first day in  London we took the Eurostar over to Paris and arrived mid-morning.  We dropped off our bags at the hotel and headed straight for this beauty!

Eiffel TowerHe is big!!!  If you are going to visit the Eiffel Tower I highly recommend you read the book Eiffel’s Tower by Jill Jonnes before you go.  So interesting to know the history behind it. Be prepared to wait in line to go to the top.  It is possible to purchase advance tickets but since we didn’t know exactly when we were going to be there we didn’t do that but if you can plan ahead it will save you time.

Day Two - Paris Day One

Of course we went to the top for one of the best views in Paris!

View from the Eiffel Tower

It was a cold and windy day but of course we had to get the jumping photo!

Eiffel TowerFrom the Eiffel Tower we headed over to the Arc de Triomphe, an amazing monument.  It is located near the west end of the Champs-Elysees, right in the middle of a very busy road and you have to cross the street underneath in a tunnel!

Arc de Triomphe

The monument honors those who died and fought for France in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

We continued down the Champs-Elysees and walked by the Place de la Concorde, one of the major public squares in Paris.

Place de la Concorde

Continuing down farther you walk through the Tuileries Gardens where we stopped and gave our tired feet a rest. It is the former site of a French Palace.

Tuileries Gardens paris

If you continue down a bit farther you will come to the Louvre.  We didn’t visit the Louvre this time.  We saw the Mona Lisa on our last visit and I didn’t really have a desire to go back.  The Louvre is so huge and overwhelming I prefer the smaller museums.  A few days later we visited my favorite museum in Paris – the Musee d’Orsay.

From the gardens we headed over to Notre Dame.

Notre Dame

But before we went inside we had to make crepe stop first!  Yum!!!  Nutella is my favorite but I am a big fan of the sugar and lemon too.  Jim enjoyed a ham and cheese crepe.

French Crepe

Notre Dame is 850 years old this year and still as beautiful as ever.

Notre Dame


Notre Dame

Notre Dame

She is even more beautiful at night! On our last visit a few years ago we stood in line and climbed to the top of Notre Dame which I highly recommend.  You get to get out there with the gargoyles and get a lovely view of the city.  See my photos here.

Notre Dame at night

We stayed in the Latin Quarter of Paris so our hotel was not far from Notre Dame and we walked past it several times a day.

I could spend all day wandering around Paris just looking at the buildings.  They are all so pretty!

Paris Building

And where else except Paris would you find an orchestra performing in the metro!

Metro performers in Paris

Of course another one of my favorite things about Paris was the food – especially the pastries and the baked goods!  Jim said the thing he misses most from the trip is our morning stop at the local neighborhood boulangerie/patisserie for our daily quota of baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolat and macarons!  This was one of our favorites – just down the block from our htoel.

French bakery

They didn’t like you taking photos in the bakery but we snuck a few on our phone!  They really don’t do it justice.  We got there right after they opened so all the cases weren’t full yet.

French Bakery

2013 Europe Adventure 175

Our first night in Paris we ate at a little cafe just down the block from our hotel.  I enjoyed a bowl of onion soup.  You don’t have to call in French Onion Soup in France!

French Onion Soup

Tomorrow stay tuned for our visit to one of the places on my bucket list.  It was a dream come true for me and my favorite stop on our trip!!

For a detailed itinerary of where we went and stayed you can email me at

 Things to do in Paris – Part 2 check out this post

Things to Do in London check out this post.

Giverney}Monet’s Garden and Macarons

For some additional ideas on what to do and see in London check out my posts from a previous trips.


Paris}Arc de Triomphe and Sacre Coeur

Paris}Notre Dame

Paris}Champs Elysees and the Louvre

Paris}The Eiffel Tower

Paris}Pretty Things

London Day One

London Day Two

London Day Three

London Day Four

London Day Five

London Day Six


Leigh Anne


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Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

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  1. Joanna H. says

    Oh my word, those buildings are absolutely gorgeous….thanks for sharing these. Love your vacation photos!

  2. says

    I’m going to Paris in Sept 2014 and I’m SUPER excited!! :) It’s been my dream since I was young!! These photos are beautiful! :)

  3. Holly says

    Paris is one of my dream destinations! I was wondering, did you find London or Paris overly expensive? Obviously there are always better deals and more expensive places wherever you travel, but I wondered just in general about prices. And of course the exchange rate is always part of the equation. Time to start planning and saving, I think!

    Thanks for the lovey photos. I agree that Paris has beautiful buildings.

    • says

      Europe is expensive, unfortunately but so worth it! You can find good airline deals and somewhat reasonable hotels that are nice. Food can be expensive. Paris and London were about the same expense wise I think.

  4. Natalie G says

    Paris is one of my favorite cities! I was there exactly a year ago and seeing your photos makes me want to return ASAP. We also stayed in the Latin Quarter (we rented a flat for the week- I highly recommend this if you are staying longer than a few days) and we loved walking around there. Our family’s favorite museum is the d’Orsay, too! I would agree that the French are not rude. I think they are just more reserved. Thank you for posting the lovely photos and sharing your trip with us. (ps, I love London, too!)

  5. says

    I love the Musee d’Orsay too. I will never forget seeing Monet’s paintings and being just blown away by how amazing they were in real life.

  6. says

    Such amazing photos!!! I hope to make it to Paris someday. My daughter is studying in Belgium this year, and her host family took her to Paris for Christmas break. Thankfully you take pictures, she does not!

  7. says

    I also loved Paris when I visited and even got to take a secret tour of the gear system underneath the Eiffel Tower! So cool!

    I swear I had perpetual heartburn when I was there though with all the rich foods, strong coffees, and lots of wine with lunch and dinner!

  8. says

    I am so excited to have found this via pinterest and will go back and read all your london and paris recaps because we are doing the exact same trip in July!!

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