Americans in Paris- A Travel Guide
I lived in the South of France for a semester in college and loved it. We could take the train to Paris for the weekend, and often would. I would be transported to such a romantic city and have so many memories of walking the streets just soaking all the sights and smells and noises into my bones. I fell in love with Paris and vowed to take my family there one day in my future, when I was older and became a mom…..
Years later, actually a few decades, having 3 boys in tow, Doug and I have been intimidated to vacation at one of my favorite cities in the world. We are not as care-free and easy as my 20 year old self. There are more of us, more opinions and needs- like bathroom breaks.
However, with all our fears and worry- we went! Despite the heat wave and 13 hour flight, we braved the city and had the most epic vacation ever!
In no way am I an expert on Paris, but as your friend I had compiled a list of tips that I wish I knew before our trip. From mama to mama, here is what I learned from our trip to the city of love:
My Paris Travel Tips
- Purchase “Skip the Line Eiffel Tower Tickets” (Click Here)
We did not do this and regretted it. You know you want to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower and if you have little ones, the last thing you want to do is wait (in the heat) to get tickets. It can be overwhelming so if you have your tickets ahead of time, you save yourself time + a headache.
- Go early one morning to the Eiffel Tower – take photos. Yes, this is a bit annoying in the moment but you will forever have this photo. You also are up early with jet lag, but this way you have been productive and now you have your whole day ahed of you. We ended up just going out to breakfast and it helped us get on the time zone anyways. (We used this company for photos)
- Be prepared to walk everywhere and enjoy it! If you don’t have your kids you can rent scooters or bikes on the street, but our kids walked 6 miles daily and were able to do it.There is so much to see and it is an adventure to just get out in the city and walk.
- Hire the “ Street Legal Golf Cart” If you have kids, they will love this. It feels like you are in a movie scene, and is a great way t0o see the city. We like to do this the first day so our boys can get a lay of the land and have an overview of some of the sites we will take in as a family over the next couple of days.
Places You Must See
- The Champs Elysees is like the Vegas strip. It’s a must see but be prepared for crowds.
- The Louvre Museum Even if you choose not to go inside beaus you have young kids, this Museum 9is worth a visit. The grounds alone are full of history and a sign o see.
- Notre Dame We were unable to go inside because it was under construction from the fire, but this beautiful church is still worth a trip. We walked around the building and I read some of the history to pour boys. They were even impressed by its beauty!
- Dinner Date on the Paris Seine River Cruise This is a for sure, must do. It is so romantic to sail down the Seine River through the city at sunset with the love of your life After dinner they have you go to the top of the boat as the Eiffel Tower is light with sparkles and you sip champagne. It is the most romantic date. (Here is the exact boat Doug + I went on)
- Get a drink at Le Meurice bar 228 or splurge dinner at the Michaelian Star restaurant Alain Ducasse. Legend says blue ivy was made at this hotel so if it is a drink, a stay, or a meal, Le Meurice is a must visit in Paris. Music videos have been filmed here. Lots of artists and actors and poets stay here. Salvador Dali lived here for 30 years! The bar has live music and some of the best hand crafted cocktails inn nets city.
- The Ritz Paris is a great place for a lunch spot. The Persian version of the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, this is great people watching and luxury vibes. Complete with a live piano player, AC, and great food. The booth next to us had a 99 year old man with a 24 year old supermodel on one side and a professional athlete was sitting in the booth across from us.
You can’t go wrong when you travel with family. Even the flights and the journey is all part of the adventure. We bonded and created memories that we will all treasure. Paris is the City of Love and has a special place in my heart, but I believe it also has sunk its magic into my children as well.