My soon to be husband and I are honeymooning in Paris and Lyon in July. We are staying at a hostel in Lyon but haven’t booked a place in Paris yet. We definitely want to do some of the beaten path things like the Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, and Versailles. Any travel advice, tips, places to eat or stay or things to do/not do?
Congratulations on the “soon to be”
I have no advice as my knowledge of France and Belgium is based solely on having just watched the Paris-Roubaix bicycle race
Damn, I used to go to Paris pretty frequently when I lived in Berlin and do off-the-wall things like lesbian punk shows in back alleys filled with repurposed shopping cart robots but I had a Parisian native tour guide so I genuinely don’t know the name of or how to get back to anything.
Touristy thing I genuinely love: “hike” up Montmartre at sunset, shirtless dudes on the top will walk around with a backpack and sell you a mug of wine or a cold beer and you can watch the sunset.
I also went on a bike tour followed by a boat tour in Paris and it was fantastic. Totally touristy but real great. Fat Tire was the tour operator.
Cheese - since you’re American, if you like cheese, going just to a regular supermarket and exploring the cheese aisle is really fun and frugal compared to the same thing here (the US has a 100% import tax on french cheeses, so everything is half the price as it is in the US). My ex was a lactose intolerant cheesemonger here in the states and she had a field day in the supermarket because they have a lot of lactose free fancy cheeses.
@anomalily The hike at sunset sounds great! We’ll also have to look into the bike and boat tours. We LOVE cheese. I’m so excited that it’ll be cheaper, that just means we can eat more of it muahahaha!
I lived in Paris for a semester in college and it was AMAZING! H and I also took or honeymoon there. This so touristy but if you like sweets definitely go to Angelina’s and get their Chocolat l’Africain, hot or iced (hot is my favorite but depends on the season) it’s hot chocolate that tastes like straight brownie batter. Mmmm.
What else…the metro is great and as long as there’s no strike, it makes getting around super easy. I love to just wander around because there’s always a metro stop that will get you home. I prefer to stay in the 14th arrondissement because that’s where I originally lived but also it intersects some of the major metro lines and the stations aren’t super crazy but can get you just about everywhere and back from what you have access to there. We got a cute Airbnb there that I would recommend, PM me if you want details. The street markets are amazing and there’s tons of little creperies and cute restaurants. We did A champagne tour of Epernay because I love champagne and that was nice as well, it’s a few hours outside the city.
I have a document of places and things I recommend to anyone who asks that I can send if you want it, just let me know.
I will definitely PM you! Thanks!
So sad to see Notre Dame burning yesterday! That was also on the list…
So, so sad to watch. I’d definitely still go over there though, apparently the stone parts of the church are mostly still standing and the neighborhoods around Île de la Cité are worth walking around in.
We just went to Paris in September. It wasn’t what I would consider a “budget” trip, but we did a week for around 5k. We stayed just around the corner from the Opera which made for very easy getting around. Definitely use the metro, its pretty easy to navigate and google maps was great in directing us around. I highly reccomend a day trip to versailles, we spent the whole day there wandering the gardens and rented bikes to visit le petit trianon. If you go there, spring for the guided vip tour. Its only like 10 euros more and you dont have to wait in the ridiculous line.
Also, my favourite tip, which might not apply to you, is that almost all the museums/sites have free admission for disabled people with a companion. I brought my handicap parling permit and registration and we got in free to the Louvre, the Orsay, Saint Chapelle, and could have gone up to the Eiffel tower.
@Marcela how did you get to Versailles? Does the metro go there or a specific bus? I’m definitely interested in going there!
We took the metro! From our hotel it was a straight shot (walking) down to the orsay station and there’s a line from there straight to versailles. Very easy and I think the trains would come like every 10 or 15 minutes. We love love loved Versailles and husband is trying to convince me to repeat Paris soon just so we can stay there a few days and enjoy the gardens more.
Two dessert places of note for Paris: Pierre Herme (patisserie) and Le Bertillon (ice cream & hot chocolate)!
If you are sad that you won’t be able to see Notre Dame, go to see Sainte Chapelle instead - just around the corner, and (as a friend of mine once put it) ‘with stained glass that shits all over Notre Dame’.
ETA: I wrote a Paris guide on my blog not too long ago. It is vegan-oriented where food is concerned but there are some great general tips right at the top