At long last, finally a blog post about my favorite landlocked city in the world! (Yes, I know that’s oddly specific.)
We went to Paris as the last stop in our 2-week whirlwind honeymoon of 12 cities, eight flights and six ferries. What better place to end a honeymoon than in the city of love? It was my third time in Paris, but my husband’s first, so we had to make the most of our time there!
Which meant seeing all your quintessential Paris city sites, PLUS Versailles and Disneyland Paris!
Wednesday Night (Day 0.5)
We arrived in Paris around 4pm on a Wednesday, and lucky for us, the sun doesn’t set during the summer until almost 10pm.
We stayed in an adorable Airbnb in central Paris that I would ABSOLUTELY recommend! It was much cheaper than a hotel, but very cute and central. Being near Châtelet-les-Halles, it was a straight shot via RER lines to the Charles de Gaulle Airport, Disneyland Paris and Château de Versailles.
We checked into our Airbnb and then took public transit to Montmartre, home of Sacré-Cœur Basilica. It was a beautiful evening to walk around!
The only thing I regret is not properly checking hours of operation ahead of time. We were able to walk around Sacré-Cœur, which was our objective, but couldn’t climb up to the observation part because it had just closed. Regardless, the view of Paris was lovely from the hill, and the church is just so beautiful.
We then walked to dinner at a charming bistro called “Chez Michel.” It was probably the most authentic French food we had on our brief trip, and everything from the pate to the famous Paris-Brest was delicious.
They also brought us a variety of complimentary dishes—champagne, sea snails and strawberry dessert. Because we were on our honeymoon!
We then strolled around and explored until we retired to our Airbnb in order to wake up early for Notre Dame and Disneyland!!!
Thursday (Day 1.5)
We walked from our Airbnb the next morning to Notre-Dame Cathedral, a must on anyone’s Paris list.
The cathedral opened at 7am, but silly us, we didn’t check what time the tower observation decks opened! So once again we didn’t get a high vantage point of Paris/the Eiffel Tower. However, it was still worth it to be there early in the morning before other people were.
After this, we took the RER A line straight to Disneyland Paris. We did research ahead of time to see what was unique to these parks.
We had such a blast! We only spent a half day between the two parks, but we planned our time out carefully. I won’t take too long detailing our trip, but here are the highlights I would recommend:
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS PARK
- RIDE: Crush’s Coaster – Line up for this one when the park opens as there are no fast passes for it. This is a unique “roller coaster” that simulates riding a current in a shell. It’s righteous, dude!
- RIDE: Ratatouille: The Adventure – Get a Fastpass for this one and journey along with Rémy as you shrink down to his size and follow him in the kitchen in a 4D experience.
- RESTAURANT: Bistrot Chez Rémy – You MUST go here!! We made reservations two months in advance, and it was totally worth it. Sit down and enjoy a meal prepared by “Rémy” as you take in the darling décor set up so that you feel the size of a rat. Every set meal comes with ratatouille—of course!
Also, fun story–I was obsessively photographing the 25th Anniversary chocolate that came with my espresso. A puzzled server noticed and asked me, “You are photographing the chocolate?” Embarrassed, I said, “I like chocolate.” He disappeared and then brought me MORE CHOCOLATE!
- RIDE: Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain – This is very different from the other Space Mountain rides at the other Disney theme parks. It’s more thrilling and intense, and the Star Wars aspect of it is taken seriously.
- RIDE: Phantom Manor – If you ever wished the Haunted Mansion was a little creepier and actually had a narrative, this ride is for you.
- ATTRACTION: Dragon – There’s a dragon under the Sleeping Beauty castle (which in itself you should walk through, because it’s so charming and magical)!!
After this, we grabbed some refreshing iced coffee in Disney Village (Paris’ Downtown Disney) and spent the remainder of the evening walking around Paris and exploring Le Marais and the general area around our hotel.
We turned in early because the next day we woke up at dawn!
Friday (Day 2.5)
I’m lucky to have such a kind and patient husband. He cheerfully allowed me to wake him up at 5am so we could get to the Place du Trocadéro by 6am for sunrise pictures! We had a magical time taking in the views and having the place to ourselves—save for a few other couples who were actually getting professional engagement pictures done.
In comparison, we were no professionals—I kept setting my camera up on random ledges or piling our bags and hats underneath it (I had no tripod!), and then running into the frame for shots! I can only imagine how silly we must have looked to everyone else.
But got some magical shots—one of which has been printed and hung above our bed. <3
After this, we continued on to Versailles Palace. To avoid lines, we had purchased in advance a guided tour: The Private Apartments of the Kings. I would HIGHLY recommend doing this!
For 7€ extra a person, we got a guided English tour through the Kings Quarters—areas of the palace that the general public doesn’t get to enter!
This included Louis XV’s bedchamber, clock room, clothes cabinet, the dogs’ room (yes, for the king’s favorite dogs), private chambers, library (which a door hidden in a bookshelf!!) and many other fascinating areas.
I so badly wanted to sing songs from the “Beauty and the Beast” soundtrack while walking throughout the palace. Chateau de Chambord may have been the original inspiration for the 1991 film’s castle, but Château de Versailles had so many charming and grand things that reminded me a great deal of the movie, too!
We were able to skip all the long lines and learned a great deal of fascinating information. Also, at the end of the tour, our guide opened a secret wall that allowed us to get back into the Hall of Mirrors—which was incredibly crowded by this point!
We continued wandering around, and grabbed Ladurée macarons before heading outside to sit out and gaze at the gardens.
We could only make a tiny dent in exploring the grounds! They’re so vast and beautiful, but we were there on a particularly hot and humid day. After we had gotten our fill of seeing the mazes and fountains, we headed out to Rue de Satory outside the palace to find lunch.
Once we had eaten and rested, we went back to our Airbnb and plotted our next moves. First up—find crepes. Second up—go to our early dinner we were able to reserve at Bistroy Les Papilles!
I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Paris. The food quality is amazing for the price you pay. It’s a 4-course meal for 38€/person, plus extra for a bottle of wine. There is no flexibility whatsoever with the meal, and you can’t know in advance what you’ll get—you arrive, sit down, and the chef comes out and explains the menu.
We had a DELICIOUS deconstructed mushroom soup (broth was poured on top of the ingredients), homemade chicken pesto, cheeses (naturally) and mango panna cotta. Safe to say we were very stuffed at the end—and very pleased!
Walking back to our Airbnb, we stopped at Le Cavaeu de la Huchette—an underground jazz club. I didn’t get any pictures due to how dark it was, but this was one of the highlights of our trip for my husband!
Saturday morning (Day 3)
At long last, our last half day in Paris. Our flight was departing at 3:20pm, so we woke up early to go explore the Champs-Élysées. While we didn’t go inside the Louvre, we enjoyed exploring the grounds when they were completely empty.
We then grabbed breakfast and hot chocolate at Angelina. Delicious, quintessentially French and very rich! It was a little pricey, but the experience was so lovely.
After this, we walked down to the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile. I took my husband because this is a must for anyone visiting Paris for their first time. Gazing out over the city and staring at the romantically moody Eiffel Tower, it was a fitting way for us to say goodbye to Paris.
And there you have it!! Of course, we wished we had more time to spend in Paris and there were many things we had on our list that we didn’t get to do. But if you want to see a wide variety of Paris and still get in Versailles and Disneyland Paris, this is how we did it. I can undoubtedly say that we will return very soon to the City of Love.
PARIS TRAVEL TIPS
Languages: French (some people speak English, but try to learn a little bit of French to be polite! Even starting a sentence with, “Pardon, parlez-vous anglais?” can go a long way)
Transportation: The public transit system in Paris is incredibly easy to use. We purchased a 3-day Navigo pass at the airport from a help counter (which includes the RER lines, metro, buses), and it was perfect for us. I strongly recommend getting this all taken care of at the airport or lining up at an official ticket counter for help—I regret to say one of my first trips to Paris I was scammed by someone offering to “help” me at Gare du Nord station when I was trying to figure it out myself at a ticket booth. Always be safe!!
Food: Pretty much everything is delicious in Paris, but you would be remiss to not get pastries, local cheeses, foie gras, duck confit, wine and crepes…yum!