The Perfect Paris Itinerary

The last time I went to Paris, I feel like I fully got my bearings and was able to do things that extended beyond your typical tourist destinations. There was plenty of picture-taking and site-visiting, but this trip was also filled with unique restaurants, quiet parks, and local markets.

I think the highlight of my entire life was when a French woman started speaking to me on the metro in French asking for directions. She, a true Frenchwoman, thought I was a local! I was HONORED. This was the first time I'd gone to Paris not during the peak summer season, and I couldn't recommend it more. Paris in April isn't teaming with tourists, is sunny but brisk, and full of pink blooms on the trees. Apparently spring here is a phenomenon of sorts; I discovered that there's even a Billie Holiday song called "April in Paris."

I also had the advantage of seeing the city through my best friend's eyes, who had been studying abroad in Paris for five weeks and had definitely discovered her local favorites. I loved everywhere we went so much, that I kept scribbling our itinerary on the back of a crumpled receipt I kept stuffed in my coat pocket the whole trip. That receipt became my most precious souvenir, with close seconds being the flowers I picked from a field in Versailles and the copy of Around the World in 80 Days that I bought from Shakespeare & Co. I figured it might be helpful to copy the scribbled, crumpled contents of that receipt itinerary to a place that won't accidentally get thrown away someday. See below for all we saw, ate, and did!

Day One
Eiffel Tower for classic "first moment in Paris" experience
La Favorite for dinner in La Marais 

Day Two
Shakespeare & Co for a coffee, breakfast, and the most perfect bookstore 
Notre Dame for stunning architecture and history   
Flower Market for roaming through greenhouses and rows of flowers 
La Bastille for delicious lunch and people watching
Momarte for exploring the most unique neighborhood in the city and seeing the Sacre Coure
 La Petite Gone for a dinner of steak frites and chocolate mouse

Day Three
Tulleries Garden for a peaceful walk near the Louvre
Musee L'Orangerie for Monet's "Water Lilies"   
Galleries Lafayette Rooftop for (in my opinion) the best view of the Eiffel Tower 
Angelina for overwhelming hot chocolate (that tastes more like drinking a melted Hersey's bar) 

Day Four 
Cafe de Flore for breakfast, literary history, and outdoor dining in the Saint-Germain
Versailles for a day of palaces, parks, tandem bicycles, and tons of walking  
Eiffel Tower at sunset for beautiful photos and people watching 
La Fontaine de Mars for a delicious and authentic French meal 

Day Five
Les Deux Magots for the breakfast rival of Cafe de Flore (I liked this place better!)
Juice Lab for green juice and smoothies  
Luxembourg Garden for immaculately kept gardens and yellow flowers as far as the eye can see 
Judy's for a delicious and colorful meal
Pont Neuf for a walk along the river bank
Shopping in La Marais for beautiful souvenirs, designer brands, and second-hand treasures (I found a vintage Louis Vuitton tote for 100 Euros!)

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