An Extended Weekend In Paris
Updated: Mar 18, 2019
So! Paris! I spent 4 days there and I'm blogging about my itinerary because I'm that original!
The trip was great and I really felt that I was able to hit every stop on my list. Well, the tenth and final museum on my list was closed upon arrival, but I made it to everything else. Prior to booking this trip, I didn't really desire to travel to Paris. I wanted to go somewhere exotic, somewhere my friends had not ventured out to before, somewhere not "basic." Somehow, my trip was anything but basic. Yes, I hit the big tourist attractions but I was selective about what I visited. I really did my research to make sure I'd avoid waisting time in long lines for no reason. I'm so glad I went to Paris on the weekend that I did, with the time frame that I had. Here are my recommendations for a short trip to France's capitol.
Galeries Lafayette to pickup Museum Pass. This pass covers admission to dozens of museums in Paris, with skip-the-line access. The fact that we cut the line for the Louvre made this worth the purchase. $80 for 4 days.
Center Pompidou: BEST MUSEUM IN PARIS! Insane contemporary art. I wish we had a place like this in NYC. This is my #1 museum recommendation for Paris. (Great for not-so-basic Instagram's!) It took us over an hour to leave the building, because we kept on seeing more art we wanted to learn about.
Palais de Tokyo: CANT MISS IT! Awesome contemporary art! Open til midnight - don’t bother going first thing in the day like I did. Go later in the day - between dinner and nightlife is fine. They have a club in the basement.
Musee YSL: a short walk away from the previous two museums. Cool gallery but my life would’ve been fine if we skipped it. Small museum. If you really want to see a fashion museum, go to Foundation Louis Vuitton.
Musee Louvre: Largest art museum on the planet - aka: lot of walking. Go EARLY in the morning. Buy the cut the line pass I linked above. Don’t go on the weekend because it gets too crowded.
Musee d’Orsay: There’s a big clock on the left side of the building somewhere on the second or third floor. You can see a view of the city thru it. Cool photo op. This museum was originally a train terminal. Big collection of Van Gogh paintings.
Musee National Picasso: The whole building is setup like a maze. Multiple routes to get from room to room. We were almost as excited about the architecture of the building as we were about the artwork on display.
Maison Europeene de la Photographie: JR's photography was the focus of the whole museum while we were there. Plus, it can't hurt that their restaurant has a Mischellin Star.
Jeu de Paume: This is a photography museum next to the Musee l'orangerie.
Musee l’Orangerie: Huge Monet paintings on the ground floor. There's a collection of modern paintings from various artists in the lower level.
Museum of Modern Art: cool modern art. Felt anticlimactic after Palais de Tokyo - the museums are next to eachother.
Drove all the way to the Louis Vuitton Foundation to find out it was closed that day.
Angelina Paris: It felt touristy and there was a line to get in. Make a reservation if you can. Ladurée was better so it’s fine if you skip this.
Lunch at Ladurée: Go to the one in Saint Germain des Prés. The one near the Arc de Triumph is touristy. We had a nice little lunch upstairs and picked up sweets downstairs on our way out. I really wanted to go to Ladurée during this trip after visiting locations in NYC, Italy and Australia.
Dinner at Alcazar: This was such a LOVELY place! It felt like an indoor garden. So pretty! Make a reservation in advance.
Yoyo at Palais De Tokyo - Fun underground nightclub. Check their Facebook page before you go to make sure they're open on the night you plan to visit.
Show at Crazy Horse: This French cabaret felt like a tourist attraction but it was still a fun show. The lighting and dancers were artfully choreographed.
We really struggled to find nightlife because navigation was complicated and we who goes out on a Monday night anyway? (Exactly!)
Just Being A Tourist:
Eiffel Tower - it sparkles every hour, one the hour, after 7pm. We went at 1am two nights in a row and no one was there.
Rue Cremieux : This street with is as a great photo-op with colorful homes serving as a vibrant backdrop. Enter “6 rue de cremieux” into Uber to get there.
Arc de Triomphe - might not be safe because of protests or “manifestation” as they are calling it. People were mad about oil prices and rioting all along the Champs Elysees. We got there just as riots were cooling down, because we truly didn't understand what was going on.
Palais Royal: Just a short walk from the Louvre. We didn't bother going inside, just took some photos in the courtyard, where we found a beautiful monochromatic sculpture installation. Apparently there are contemporary art installations inside the Palais Royal - if you have time to go check them out, do so!
Things I missed:
Louis Vuitton Foundation: it’s a 25 min drive out of the city so make sure you go on a day it’s open!
Luxembourg Gardens: This is a huge garden with a museum in it. The large open space is a nice setting for picnics or photoshoots. It is modeled after the Boboli gardens at Palazzo Pitti in Florence, Italy. Since I've been to that, I didn't feel bad about missing Luxembourg Gardens.