Oh how I miss this city so much already! Paris in the early summertime is a dream, and I can’t stop obsessing over all of the memories from the trip. We spent 5 days in Paris, and managed to experience more of the city than I could have imagined. I’ve broken the trip into two parts, and am sharing my favorite highlights from the first few days below!
Where We Stayed: The Amastan Paris
Since this was only our second time to Paris and we didn’t know the city as well as London, we wanted to stay in a fairly central location. After some research, we found the the darling Amastan Paris located a few blocks off Champs-Élysées. This boutique hotel had everything we were looking for and more. The rooms were designed in a navy and white color palette with modern wood and gold accents. Our room also had doors that opened to a balcony overlooking the streets, from which you could even see the Eiffel Tower. One of my favorite memories from the five days we spent there was celebrating our anniversary on the balcony with fresh macarons and champagne, and watching the top of the tower sparkle.
While the room was definitely on the small side compared to any of the other places we stayed, the design, location and price made it completely worth it. Downstairs, the Amastan had an interior courtyard bar which was the perfect spot to grab a drink when we arrived. I was obsessed with the communal marble table and the garden patio tucked in the courtyard of the building. If you’re looking to stay in central Paris with easy access to all of main sights, I would really recommend staying at the Amastan!
How to Spend 5 Days in Paris: Days 1-3
Our first few days in Paris were spent walking around and getting our bearings for the city. We barely used the metro at the beginning of the trip since we wanted to see everything above ground! Because this was a return trip for us, we didn’t feel the need to do some of the main attractions again. So our time was spent wandering, sitting at cafés, and taking in all of Paris’ beauty. Based on my favorite parts of the trip, here are some suggestions for the first few days!
• Picnic beneath the Eiffel Tower: Picnicking in Paris during the summertime is a must. We wanted to find a local market to pick up some items, and we stumbled upon the perfect street near the Arc de Triomphe. Markets filled with fresh produce spilled onto the streets, and nearby shops sold bread, cheese, and yummy pre-made French dishes. After picking out some items –French potato salad and rosé were my favs — we headed straight for the tower and ate in the late evening sunshine (the sun doesn’t set till almost 10pm in the summer, so there’s plenty of daylight!)
• Stroll Rue Cler: We loved charming Rue Cler last time we were in Paris, and we loved it even more this time around. The street is full of cute cafés, markets, and flower shops, making it the perfect stop between our hotel and the Eiffel Tower. L’Eclair is one of our favorite spots on the street, where we ate a late night meal of salmon tartare and rosé on our first day there.
• Sip mojitos in the Latin Quarter: When Paris is over 90 degrees and equally as humid, frequent stops for something cold were necessary. We were so happy to find out that mojitos are really popular cocktails at cafés, since they are our favorite summertime sip! Maison Sauvage near Boulevard St. Germain was a perfect spot to grab one, where you can sit beneath fringed umbrellas and people watch in the Latin Quarter.
• Walk Champs-Élysées towards the Tuileries Gardens: Staying steps away from Champs-Élysées meant spending quite a bit of time on the boulevard. While the shops and cafés that line the street are a huge attraction (and the Arc de Triomphe is pretty gorgeous), I felt like the area was a bit too touristy for my taste. However, the grandness of the street is a sight to behold, especially when you walk away from the shops and head down towards Place de la Concorde. This huge public square filled with gorgeous fountains leads directly to the beautiful Tuileries Gardens. Here you’ll find plenty of outdoor seating, perfectly manicured paths, and even a charming carousel.
• Wander the streets of Montmartre: The winding alleyways through the hills of Montmartre are some of my favorite streets in Paris. The area seems to preserve the idyllic romantic history of Paris, which I adore. While we were there, we grabbed a sidewalk table at Le Saint Jean for lunch, where I had the best fresh chicken salad filled with hard boiled eggs, fresh tomatoes, and beets. We actually found ourselves back in Montmartre on our final day of the trip too, and stopped back at the same café for their live jazz night. There’s something special about sitting at a street side cafe listening to live French music! If you’re in Montmartre, don’t forget to head up to Sacre Cour to see the sweeping view of Paris. Once you’re there, you can find another one of my favorite spots nearby, Grenouilles Paris. This small shop specialized in Parisian beer and amazing sandwiches made on fresh baguettes, and is worth a stop if you’re looking for a quick lunch!
• Walk across Pont Alexander III: This is by far my favorite bridge in Paris. Not only is it featured in one of my all time fav movies Midnight in Paris (go watch it now if you haven’t seen it!), I think it perfectly captures everything that is beautiful and romantic about Paris. The black ornate street lamps, gilded details, and grand statues at each end make it so easy to photograph. Honestly, I almost preferred walking on the bridges on either side of Pont Alexander just so I could look at it!
Coming up in the second portion of the “5 days in Paris” series, I’m sharing where to find the best collection of local restaurants, how to get into one of the most popular Italian restaurants, and where to go for flamingos and rosé on the Seine!