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Ah, Paris. One of the most talked about destinations in Europe, and for good reason too! All that history, art, and food, what’s not to love? We’ve found that in traveling it’s a good idea to balance out the well-known hotspots with the areas that the locals love too (plus escaping the crowds for a minute is never a bad idea!).
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In true tourist fashion, your first stop should be to sign up for a Seine river cruise. This river is a one-stop-shop for many of the well-loved destinations in Paris. You’ll cruise around stopping at the Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Musee d’Orsay, and Notre Dame Cathedral (just to name a few). And when you’re done seeing the sights, plan to have your own little picnic on the river’s shore. You’ll want to grab some typical Parisian supplies–we’re talking baguettes, French cheese, wine, and of course some delightful pastries.
Catch up on some Zzz’s
After such an eventful day, it’s important to rest up! Why not stay where the locals stay? That’s right, in an actual Parisian home! We love using Vrbo (pronounced Ver-boh) to find the coziest homes to relax and regroup. Vrbo homes provide a way for people to travel together, pairing homeowners with families and friends looking for places to stay. We’ve found the top 50 Paris vacation rentals, go ahead and check them out here.
Catch an early morning sunrise
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After getting some much needed Zzz’s, get up early the next morning and watch the sunrise over the Eiffel Tower at the Trocadero Metro Station (specifically on lines 6 and 9, just follow the signs). It’s a lesser known gem that few take advantage of. Take some dreamy pics while enjoying a crowd-less morning!
Lazy afternoon reading sesh
After your photo sesh, you deserve a coffee and perhaps a new book! Check out the Shakespeare and Co bookstore. They offer vintage and modern bookstores complete with an upstairs reading nook and attached coffee shop.
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Get off the beaten path
Ready to escape the city for a little while? Check out the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Located in northeastern Paris, it occupies 61 acres and offers gorgeous walking paths, stunning grottos, magnificent waterfalls, and a stoic temple. Its lush grounds are perfect for enjoying a crepe and ice cream from a local cart. Plus it offers some of the most stunning views of Paris from up in its hills.
After trekking up hills, it’s time to get low! And by that, we mean underground. The Paris catacombs hold the remains of almost 2 million people. It consists of a tunnel network and was built to eliminate the city’s overflowing cemeteries. In the 19th century, it became a place for concerts and other private events. Today, you can tour a little over a mile of the labyrinth of tunnels and get close to eerie walls covered in human bones of the eighteenth century. A truly chilling place to see, both temperature wise (constant 57 degrees Fahrenheit) and content wise.
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Let the music surround you
Before you head home your final spot to see is the oldest district in Paris, the Latin Quarter. Named after the Latin language many of the university students spoke to their professors until the French Revolution. It’s perfect for finding cheap eats, diverse shopping, and some of the best jazz bars. Speaking of Jazz bars, be sure to stop in at the Jazz Club Etoile. It’s seen the likes of BB King, Cab Calloway, and Lionel Hampton. It’s the best place to catch some of the best of French and international jazz. The Latin Quarter with its unique buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, and historical architecture are a travelers dream.
Museums, markets, and cheese - oh my!
There are so many things to see and do you’re sure to spend the whole day in the Latin Quarter! You can walk to the Pantheon where Victor Hugo and Marie Curie are buried. Plus explore its famous exterior, modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. Walk and peruse the same shelves where Julia Child shopped for her ingredients at Rue Mouffetard. Sample decadent cheeses from one of the best fromageries in Paris at Androuet Fromagerie. They have over 200 cheeses to sample and purchase! Plus there are museums, a zoo, and a botanical garden. The Latin Quarter is a cornucopia of offerings.
So who’s ready to fly to Paris with us tomorrow? All these top spots have us saving up for our next jet setting vacation!