Thursday, July 20, 2017

Travel Diary: Top 10 Things to Do in Paris (Eat, Shop, Landmarks)

I recently spent 3 weeks in Europe in May and I'm still in the process of going through my pictures and getting all my travel posts up! If you are headed to London or Berlin, you should definitely give my other travel posts a read. Paris was the last city I visited and since my parents have already been to Paris twice, we only budgeted to spend 2.5 days here.


I put together my top 10 check list items to do in Paris! Most of these things are centered around 1st and 2nd arrondissement. These include eating, shopping, and of course visiting the famous landmarks! In no particular order, let's get started!



Eat

1) Mobilis in Mobili


The last time my parents were in Paris, they had a delicious seafood platter, so that was on the top of their to do list. The closest seafood restaurant to us was Mobilis in Mobili and it was one of the best seafood meals I've had! They have a variety of platters to chose from and the one we picked was around 70 Euros and had crabs, oysters, clams, shrimp, and a bunch of other seafood items.



You could also individually pick the type of seafood, and the way it can be cooked while the platters are pretty much all raw. I liked the oysters the most and definitely wish I got more! I would recommend getting more open shelled items as it's much easier to eat when you're hungry! Overall, it was such a fun experience and the seafood all tasted so fresh!

2) Le Comptoir de La Gastronomie
Rue Montmatre/Rue Etienne Marcel


For classic sophisticated French food, you have to pay a visit to Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie. It's a pretty small restaurant with about 4 tables outside and 10 tables inside. The food is well priced and around 15-20 euro for an entree! We ordered some classics like foie gras and escargot!


Everything was delicious and the service was not pretentious at all! There's also a little shop inside with a good selection of wine, cheese, caviar, and other French delicacies. There were no issues ordering in English and another great al fresco dining experience in Europe.


3) Amorino


There's probably as many Amorino locations in Paris as Starbucks in Seattle. But I had no idea that this was such a big chain until I was writing up this blog post. At Amorino, you can choose as many flavors as you want to be made into your rose ice cream! In addition, you can add a macaron on top which is also made of a gelato filling! It was pretty much heaven in a cone. If you are craving a Parisian snack, you need to get one of these.  I think there are 10 locations in the states right now and I hope it comes to Canada soon!

Shopping

4) Galeries Lafayette


If you are in Paris, you have to pay a visit to Galeries Lafayette. It's a huge department store that sells from mid range to high end clothing and accessories! I could have seriously spent a day in here (although window shopping). If you are on the hunt for designer items, you'll have the option to compare all the designers here. The store itself is also beautiful, definitely do not miss if you love shopping!

5) Rue Montmartre



For a more boutique shopping experience, walk down Rue Montmartre! Between Rue de Clery and Rue de Turbigo, I found tons of cute stores selling fashionable mid-range clothing and accessories. Some of my favorite ones that I stumbled into are & Other Stories, 58M, Maje, and El Ganso. & Other Stories might be my favorite discovery, I love how on trend the pieces are but it still feels high quality and at a reasonable price. 

6) Forum des Halles 


If you keep walking down Rue Montmartre towards the Seine river, you'll reach Forum des Halles, one of the biggest malls in the city. After not spending our money at Galeries Lafayette, we decided to go to stores with a more reasonable price tag. I was mainly on the lookout for stores that we didn't have in Canada! I bought a ton of stuff from Mango (surprisingly I found out later that they have online shopping to Canada). Other stores include Yves Rocher, New Look, Sandro, Pimkie.

On a side note, the restrooms in the mall are all for a fee so you should bring change! Also there are bag checks at all entrances to the mall!

Landmarks

7) Bike Tour


I've never been to Paris before so I wanted a quick way to see all the famous sights. I signed up my parents and myself with Blue Fox Travel based on reviews from Tripadvisor. Their Best of Paris tour is 4 hours long and covers all the essential sights. After taking quite a few walking tours in Europe, I can confidently say that bike tours are SO much better than walking! You get to hit up so many more locations and it's way less tiring!


One of the most interesting things I learned about were the public sparkling water stations. It's just like a drinking fountain except the water is sparkling, yum! We paid 35 Euro each for the tour and it was worth every penny as our guide was so clear on explaining the history and importance of the various landmarks. 

8) Louvre


It would take you days to fully see all the displays in the Louvre! The iconic pyramid on top of the plaza is perfect for cheesy tourist photos! I was a little embarassed at first to be a super tourist! There's also one night of the week when the museum is open for much later in the night, so if you can time it right, you can spend a lot more time in the exhibit. 


9) Eiffel Tower


Our tour took us to the Eiffel Tower right after lunch. But our tour guide didn't tell us and we were biking in a park and all of a sudden the Eiffel Tower came before my eyes and I got chills! The tower is so classic and elegant although pretty brassy without the lights. We had some fun with photos in the park right in front of the Eiffel Tower. Did you know, people have to hand paint the Eiffel Tower to keep it in good condition? What a cool job to have!

10) Pont Neuf


Lastly, I have a hidden gem to share which is Pont Neuf! The bridge doesn't have fancy decorations but is in a great location and is one of the ways to get onto Paris Island. There is a love lock area by the statute and the bridge is never very busy so you can take photos without tourists in the background!

If you are planning a trip to Paris, I hope you found this helpful! And if you recently went to Paris, let me know what your favorite things are!

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