In case you didn’t know, I live in California; so 72 hours in Paris was quite ambitious.
But why tho?
Well my very best friend had planned and taken an extended leave from work to travel the world. I was painfully jealous the entire time btw. Her first stop was France; she spent almost two full months there and traveled all over the country with the majority of the time being in Paris. She had been to Paris two years prior and absolutely fell in love. I had never been, so it seemed like the perfect time to have a girls trip to the most magical city in the world.
But seriously, why only 72 hours?
Well… a lot had happened in my life that year that complicated things. For one, my husband had spent the last 6 months in Texas training for his job; we had planned a Hawaii vacation that got pushed out later than initially planned due to weather, at the same time my family dog passed away. For many reasons I was a mess! And also, couldn’t exactly take another week off work having just gotten back from a 10 day vacation less than a month prior. So, we called it and I booked myself a flight for essentially a long weekend.
Anyway, back to Paris.
I’ll start by saying everyone that says they don’t like Paris, or the locals are rude or it’s overrated; I don’t (didn’t) see what you saw. I had an amazing magical time! And here is how we spent it!
Arrived early in the morning on a Friday. The airport was soooo easy! Out and in my Uber within 15 minutes of landing. I took the Uber to the airbnb my friend was at where she greeted me with Paris’ finest: prosciutto, cheese, & champagne. After lounging, chatting and adjusting for about an hour, we got ready and headed out on foot!
views from our airbnb
Notre Dame Cathedral
Square Jean XXIII
This place was another level gorgeous! Everything so beautifully well kept. This was autumn, and the colors were so vibrant; everywhere you looked, gorgeous. We arrived about an hour before sunset- and the only bummer was the park closes at Sunset and we weren’t ready to leave. But it was amazing to see crowds of locals gather in this gorgeous, huge place to relax from their day and have a glass of wine for sunset.
We picked a cafe and had a cocktail while people watching and listening to street performers
Got a little bit of a late start this morning just enjoying the view from our flat but decided on Cafe Martin as it was on our way. They stopped serving breakfast but did have french rolls, some pastries and coffee; this is all we needed. Ended up spending over 2hrs here.
One of Paris’ many farmers markets. We stoped here to get some snacks and wine for our picnic at the Eiffel Tower. We found this great little wine shop that was having free tastings of wine and cheese and ended up buying a few bottles of wine to bring home.
I have to say, I wasn’t expecting much from the Eiffel Tower other than my insta pic, but being right there in front of it was really impressive. This iconic, massive structure I’ve always dreamed of going to. Truly Magical.
This was one of my top moments in Paris. We picnicked, drank wine, champagne, took lots of pictures, walked all around the area, haggled for some cheesy souvenirs. And the weather this day could not have been better; gorgeous sunny with a light breeze- just the perfect day.
Several hours into our picnic, we decided we should get some food or something; so we walked around the neighborhood and found another cute cafe where we had Madalines and wine and then decided to go back to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up at night. Highly recommend you see it both day and night!
Combat & Belleville
We headed back towards home for dinner where we enjoyed some great pho & had the most fun people watching. We were seated right next to a window and the restaurant is in a corner so there was quite a lot to see. But I learned, evidently prostitution just stopped being legal not long ago in Paris, so it still happens quite a lot and out in the open. I can tell you it wasn’t that late, maybe 9ish as we were having dinner and I got to see a full show. The prostitutes, the pimp, and madam! The pho was great, but the show was unreal.
Cafe des Anges– Brunch
Another farmers market to pick up some snacks and wine for another park visit
Les Grands Boulevards
Cute neighborhood and buildings everywhere you look
Place des Vosgues
A picnic, short nap, and relaxing time
This district was probably my favorite. It’s on a hill so you get a great view of the city and just everything about this neighborhood is so cute! Reminded me a bit of Italy. Everything seems “smaller” in a sense; there is a “town square” sort of area where everyone gathers in the evenings, surrounded by cafes and restaurants. A beautiful large cathedral at the top of the hill. It so happened this day there was a huge wine fest celebrating the seasons’ harvest for local wine makers. The crowd wasn’t what we were expecting, but had a great time. There was live music and endless wine, beer and cheese.
Moulin Rouge is here
We came to dinner here- found by a coworker on instagram, this place looked so cute! In researching we found, they do not take reservations and it is not uncommon for a line to form out the door and experience waits of over 3+ hours. Most nights, people are turned away after waiting hours because the restaurant will not be able to serve them before midnight. Luckily and somehow we made it in! There is also a speak easy bar downstairs- where we waited for our table. We thoroughly enjoyed dinner and cocktails were definitely unique and tasty!
We got up at 5am- took an Uber to the canals in St. Martin, strolled for a bit in the quietness of the city, then headed to Du Pain Et Des Idees- a bakery. We waited for about 40 minutes for them to open and line did form while we were there. We were the first in line so as soon as they opened, we picked up some sweets to bring back home and headed to the airport.
This isn’t how most would choose to see or visit Paris, especially their first time; but it was perfect for me. No, I didn’t make it to any of the museums, didn’t do any of the night life, and I know there are quite literally thousands of other spots I didn’t get to; but my visit was so amazing, I’m planning my next one and can’t wait to go back and see some of these spots again and explore new ones.
If you have a chance to go to Paris, don’t think about it, go!