We will never forget our first trip to Paris. And with the Paris Travel Guide, we won’t ever forget it. You see… we have to be honest here. Since Shauna can remember, she has been a bit of a Francophile. From the Madeline series as a child to four years of French in High School, Shauna always dreamt of one day visiting Paris. (So much so, that she used to say that she refused to have children until she was able to see France).
The moment still seems so surreal to her. She remembers seeing the Eiffel for the first time in person so incredibly vividly. The traffic, the crazy moped drivers, and the brisk cold air. She remembers riding in their private cab from the airport to their apartment in the city when all of a sudden, it was right there. And in that instant, something happened that she wasn’t ready for.
She couldn’t believe it. That moment was actually finally here. It was like a life’s worth of dreams finally became a reality, and for the first time, she couldn’t believe that it was here. It had been a long flight, and Shauna was incredibly jet lagged, and though we’d probably like to blame the emotions on a lack of sleep… the truth is…
So today, we are sharing with you a few of our favorite things to do in our Paris Travel Guide.
Cliche? Yes. But also necessary. Be prepared that that tower is actually taller than it looks from the ground if you’re not a fan of heights (like Shauna) and that there are a lot of stairs. Get the pass to the top. You might chicken out like we did, but at least you have the choice to go if you want to.
Again, lots of stairs, but it has such a beautiful scenery of the city.
Note- the line to get your tickets is in the underground tunnel. (A little embarrassed of how long it took us to accept that the long line was for tickets. We were in denial.)
We were fortunate enough to see the church before the recent fire. Not sure the condition of it now, but this is honestly way higher on our list for architecture and overall experience than Sacre Couer was. Many people suggest getting tickets to tour the bell towers, but they sell out fast. You will want to go to the ticket kiosk first thing in the morning to snag a ticket. (We never made our way to the top, but touring the inside, which is free, was still totally worth it. And free!)
One of our favorite places for photos and to actually explore. So many greats (including the Mona Lisa) are in the Louvre. It is massive. Be prepared to get lost and to spend a lot of time there. (Aka be sure to eat a good meal before the Louvre and plan to do just this for one day).
Okay, so we are going to be brutally honest here. The area is a little sketchy, and so many people said this was a must see. We were a little disappointed. It was okay, we are glad we saw it, but don’t spend on spending a ton of time at the church. However, the area directly around the church, just west of it, has so much great food. We missed it the first time we were there- don’t make that same mistake! You can also pay to tour the towers here as well, but they were closed for the time of the year that we were there for.
Note- the love lock bridge no longer has locks because it was becoming an unsafe weight for the bridge, however Sacre Coeur now has a fence where you can buy love locks and put them on the fence. There are street vendors who sell them, and street vendors who you can pay like 2 Euros to engrave the lock for you. We ran out of Euros, but we wish we hadn’t because we would have engraved ours.
You guys. You’re on bikes, riding all over Paris, and eating some of the best local food finds. Please do this. You won’t regret it!
Just note- you will need to rent your bike on top of the fee for the tour. You will meet in a meeting spot and need the Euros to rent the bikes (I think it was 15 Euros per person). Trying the food is included. Extra food/beverages isn’t. Again- just book it.
We did this our first evening (hence the nap in the middle of the day) and oh my word what a way to experience Paris. Again, this is another must do. Most people are dressed up for it, so don’t be afraid to wear something you love. We’re all for a good photo op excuse.
Okay okay- probably sounds cliche, but seriously… if you’re going to be in another county, you might as well document your love while you’re there. And you can trust us when we say that, because you guys, we practice what we preach. Thank you so much to Michelle Harris Studios for these amazing photos that we now have as a momentum from our first trip to the city of love together. You can always look for a local photographer, inquire about paying a photographer to travel. Or, if you know a photographer that you love who travels often, see if you can visit a city at the same time as them when they’re there and you might be able to avoid travel fees. We’re always posting when we are traveling on our Instagram and we love being able to add extra sessions on while we are there.
Want to know how we pick and choose how to plan our trip? Just click here to see last week’s trip planning post!
We hope that helps for any of you planning your future trips! If you enjoyed this Paris Travel Guide be sure to leave a comment below and feel free to tag us in your adventures and planning on Instagram (@shaunaandjordonphotography).
Until next time- au revoir!
Hugs and lots of love,
Shauna and Jordon