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Paris: The Places You Won't Find in a Guidebook (My Favorites Places)

I’m finally getting around to writing this post.



If you’ve been following my blog you know that I spent the summer doing an internship in Paris! It was definitely a dream come true, but also a little scary because I was basically moving to a foreign city (where I don’t know the language) all by myself.

I was overwhelmed with excitement to see what these 2 months of adventure would hold for me and to have the opportunity of a lifetime working at Condé Nast. Although my Instagram may have looked like it was all fun and games for 2 months, it was so much more than that.

I was living in a small dorm room and I worked 40+ hours a week. While the city is amazing and I wish I could have explored a different part every day after work, the reality was was that I was so tired by the end of the work day that most times I would take the 3 metros back to my dorm and workout, make dinner, and hit the hay.  It was hard at times. I called my mom crying one of the first nights there after a really bad day unsure if I was going to be able to do this all by myself. It was lonely at times, but looking back I know I grew and learned so much about myself and proved that not only can I succeed at an internship at a large (read: intimidating) company, I can do it in a foreign country thousands of miles away from all my family.

I was lucky to have so many visitors (my dad, my mom, my college roommate, 2 sorority sisters, and some childhood friends!) when I was there so I was busy most every weekend doing something different throughout the city. I also flew to visit some family friends in Germany where I used to live!

One of the best things I did was make a list of all the places I had to visit before I left. I did extensive research and scoured Pinterest to find the coolest places. I was there for 2 full months so by the end I felt like a local and I stumbled upon or was told about some of the places that didn’t show up in my research.

Since Paris is such a popular travel destination I thought I would do a little reflection and share all my favorite spots so you could bookmark this post in case you are going to Paris in the near future!



Au Vieux Paris | This is an adorable ivy covered café on a small cobblestone side street steps away from the Notre Dame. I didn’t get a chance to eat here but occasionally I would walk by it just to stare at it’s beauty.  There are also picture perfect purple tables outside and it's right next door to a picturesque cupcake café. If you are at Notre Dame, I highly suggest at least strolling past this cute little Parisian café.


Vélib’ Bikes | Okay so this isn’t exactly a place but these are so much fun. They’re public bikes and they have pickup/drop off stations all over the city. Literally you’ll probably see 10 just on your first day. They are the same price as a metro ticket but the difference is is that you can keep it all day and then turn it back into other stations near you. My dad and I were on our way to the Eiffel tower one night and did not feeling like walking. We decided to give them a try and I’m so glad we did. It gives you such a cool view of the city and they are so easy. Just be careful! My favorite is biking along the Seine and stopping for a picnic dinner!



La Maison Rose | Basically all you need to know is that it’s a pink and green café. Any preppy girl’s dream right? It’s located in the heart of the Montemarte. We ate outside and it was so much fun to people watch!


Top of the Arc | The first thing people think of when they think of Paris? The Eiffel Tower.  So of course one of things every single tourist wants to do is go to the top for the spectacular view of the city. But here’s a little insider tip, skip the 3 hour long lines and use that time exploring the city. Then head to the top of the Arc de Triomphe where the line is not usually longer than 15-20 minutes for an even better view. Most people don’t know this so it’s never at busy as the Eiffel Tower and the best part is you have a view of the Eiffel tower which is so cool.

Warning: you do have to climb stairs up to the top


Street by Eiffel Tower | Want a cool side street to take pictures on with the Eiffel tower in the background? There's also a few cafes on this street with a perfect view!



La Droguerie | Just the cutest yummiest (is that a word) crêpe place ever. Located in the heart of Le Marais (an adorable shopping district in Paris). Definitely a must if you are in the area. I was known for heading here after long work days to get a dessert crêpe instead of dinner.



Tuileries Garden | Every Parisian has their own favorite garden in the city. Mine? The Tuileries. It’s located right in front of the Louvre and just spectacular. In the summer they have a giant fair on the side and if you ride the Ferris wheel or swings you have a view of the entire city!  In the garden they have super comfortable chairs to lounge by the fountains and some really cute cafes in the heart of the garden! They took my breath away every time I visited. My tip, get breakfast at a close by café and lounge in those comfy chairs I mentioned and enjoy the view!


Stairs across from Musee d'Orsay | So I’m not exactly sure if these stairs have a name but they are located right across from the Musee d'Orsay museum and right on the Seine. Literally most perfect place for a picnic along the Seine. It’s not known by too many tourists so it’s usually filled with locals!


Pink Flamingo Pizza | You may have seen my Instagram about this super cool place. My roommate actually knew about it so when she was visiting we decided to try it out. They have multiple locations in the city but the best one sits right along the canal. You order your pizza, they give you a pink balloon, head to the banks of the canal, and then they deliver your pizza to you via pink bikes in a pink pizza box. You can’t tell me that’s not the coolest thing ever.



Printemps | One of the best department store in the city! A really cool secret about it? They have a café located on the roof and you have a really amazing view of the city and the Eiffel Tower! Just make sure not to go 30 minutes before they close because they’re known to be on their own schedule and close early.  I would suggest breakfast as it’s never too busy!



Galleries Lafayette | I swear it’s any girls heaven. I think I was drooling the entire time I was in there. I can't even explain how cool this place is. Think of every designer you’ve ever loved and put it in all in a gorgeous French department store and that’s what this is. This place is a MUST.



See my favorite places in Italy by city here

What are your favorite places in Paris?


Remember,

xoxox

Shannon



6 comments

  1. I love this post! Paris is definitely on my travel bucket list!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh my gosh! I am so glad you made a post about this! I went when I was 15 with my family during Christmas 7 years ago, but I want to go back and look at all the places I missed. Thank you for this!

    Best,
    Scheu
    thescheutangclan.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Prep Ave. I adored your post today! It was so vibrant and loved the incorporated french terms! Great blog! I have added you to my blog list on mine, The Yellow Spectacles...Hope you check it out! Oui. Oui.-Katelyn

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wish I had seen this before my trip! You found SUCH gems :) Thanks for sharing, girl!

    XOXO Paulina
    paulinamartin.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. This was such a great post! I've always wanted to go to Paris! What a great blog, by the way! I love your layout and subscribed!

    xx Cat
    readthebyrdbook.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm so glad you tried out Pink Flamingo Pizza! I still have dreams about their pies. How in the world did you go about finding an internship with Condé Nast?! Hello, dream job!

    Char

    ReplyDelete