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Weekend in Paris

Josh didn’t love Paris the first time he visited, so it hasn’t been at the top of our travel bucket list. Back in June we saw a fantastic flight deal from DC to Paris, so Josh’s parents and aunt and uncle jumped on it and booked tickets. We had such a fun weekend exploring the City of Light together and catching up on lost time. Becca was excited to see what all the Paris fuss was about, but in the end neither of us are rushing to go back. The company was definitely the highlight (and the food took second place!) but the city just doesn’t capture us the way it does for some.

Eiffel Tower


Friday 4 November

Eurostar to Paris

Eurostar always advertises €29 fares, but they’re typically impossible to find. Since we booked our trains back in June, we were lucky and got those cheap rates. Taking the train instead of flying was such a treat-- it was so much easier than navigating the airport hassle.

Sandemans Free Tour of Paris

The Free Tour of Paris starts by the fountain on Place St Michel. Just look for the team in red SANDEMANs NEW Europe T-shirts!

Daily at 10, 11, 12 and 1

We didn’t arrive until dinner time, but Josh’s family landed Friday morning and got to sightseeing right away. They loved the Sandemans tour and felt like it was a great way to get oriented in Paris.

dessert at Le Coupe Gorge

Le Coupe Gorge

2, Rue de la Coutellerie

We went straight from the train to dinner at a cute little restaurant. We enjoyed some typical French cuisine, and obviously lots of wine and baguette. Highlights of the meal included the pumpkin soup, dessert sampler, and receiving the good news that Josh’s brother passed the bar exam!

Stay at Le Petit Chomel

15 Rue Chomel, 75007 Paris, France

Our hotel lived up to its name and certainly was very “petit” in every way, but it was nicely renovated and very clean, so we didn’t mind the close quarters. It was pretty convenient for getting around the city and we were able to walk many places from there.

Saturday 5 November

Marais District

Marais District Tour

Saturday morning we woke up and chose one of the many cafes for breakfast. The croissants weren’t our favorite of the trip, but it did the job. We then met our guide, Genevieve for a private tour of the Marais District. It’s a cool area filled with lots of amazing looking bakeries, confectioneries and boutiques, and also used to be the main hub of Jewish life in Paris. Genevieve wasn’t the best tour guide, but we felt like she was our personal French friend to show us around for the morning and serve up a dose of stereotypical Parisian attitude. Even though we didn’t learn too much, we enjoyed exploring the area.

Marché des Enfants Rouges

Chez Omar

47 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris, France

While we were with Genevieve, we walked through a food market that had fantastic looking Moroccan food. When we came back at lunchtime, the line wrapped around the entire market. Since we were in the mood for couscous, we decided to try Chez Omar around the block. We were a little confused by the menu and weren’t entirely sure what we ordered, but were really happy when they brought us giant bowls of couscous, vegetable stew and skewers of meat.

Marché des Enfants Rouges

9 Rue de Beauce, 75003 Paris, France

This market is the oldest covered market in Paris, and has a variety of food stalls with places to sit and eat. We went back after lunch and sampled baklava from a few different stalls. Since the lines at lunchtime were so long, we recommend going early or late (3pm) to avoid the wait.

Notre Dame Cathedral

6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France

We walked over to Notre Dame Cathedral and were surprised to see such a long line. It moved really quickly, and we were inside within 10 minutes of waiting. We just walked around the interior and skipped the tower. We were impressed with the building’s architecture and design, but generally don’t get too excited about churches.

Chalet Gregoire

Siene River Boat Cruise

Vedettes du Pont Neuf, Square du Vert Galant, 75001 Paris

Check seasonal departure times, cruises last 1 hour

It started raining, so we were a bit concerned about our river boat cruise, but the boat was covered. We got on right as it was getting dark, so we were treated to an amazing view of the Eifel Tower lit up. The cruise was worth it just for that view – we definitely got better photos from the boat than from land.

Chalet Grégoire

4 Rue Grégoire de Tours, 75006 Paris, France

We were wandering around, looking for a place for dinner, and Chalet Grégoire lured us in with the prospect of fondue. It’s a tiny restaurant decorated like a wooded ski lodge. The French onion soup was a perfect way to warm up after walking around in the cold. The fondue was great too, but we were already a little cheesed out from the soup. We left the restaurant swearing off cheese and bread for the rest of the weekend, but that feeling obviously didn’t last long.

Sunday 6 November



24 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris, France

This bakery was our absolute favorite of the trip. They had tables to eat at, where we enjoyed pistachio-chocolate and almond croissants and big bowls of coffee. We arrived around 9:15 and were the only ones in there, but it was packed by the time we left.

City Free Tour - Montmartre

Meets outside metro station Blanche, metro line number 2

Saturdays at 10:30am, lasts 2 hours

The City Free Tour of Montmartre is only offered on Saturdays, but Josh’s dad contacted the company and arranged for a guide to do a private tour for us on Sunday. We’re really glad he did, because we loved learning about this artsy neighborhood that’s home to the Moulin Rouge and used to be home to many of Paris’ artists. Our guide was fantastic and made up for the lack of learning on the previous tour. We liked the neighborhood’s residential feel, and after the tour we enjoyed perusing the artist market in the main square. We had a light lunch at a local creperie, but weren’t super impressed (our server’s attitude also contributed to our less-than-stellar experience) .


Musee d'Orsay

1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France

Open daily except for Mondays , 9:30am-6pm

The Musee d’Orsay is free on the first Sunday of each month, so we were worried the line would be insane. We arrived around 3:30 and got in line just as it was starting to get long. It moved quickly and we were inside within 20 minutes. We had downloaded the free Rick Steve’s audio guide for the museum (the museum’s wifi blocks his website, so make sure to download it before you arrive!), which was helpful, but it was a bit hard to follow since the museum moves pieces around. The building itself is really interesting, since it’s an old train station. One of the highlights was the model of the Opera House and aerial view of Paris.

Musee d'Orsay

La Marine

55Bis Quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris, France

Our tour guide from the morning recommended this restaurant to us, and we really enjoyed it. The clientele was mainly locals, and the internationally inspired menu gave us a break from French food.

Monday 7 November


Bread and Roses

25 Rue Boissy d'Anglas, 75008 Paris, France

We really wanted to go back to the same breakfast place as the previous day, but it was a bit far and it was raining. We ended up at Bread and Roses, which was delicious but incredibly expensive (€6.50 for a cup of tea!). The hot chocolate was incredible – it was just melted chocolate with a little warm milk, and the croissants were fantastic too.

Arc de Triomphe

Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France

Daily 10am-10:30pm

Many of Paris’ museums are closed on Mondays, which was frustrating since it was our only rainy day. Luckily the Arc de Triomphe was open, so we walked the steps to the top and enjoyed watching the crazy traffic circle below. There are a few mini exhibits on the mezzanine level that you can stop in on your way up, and the whole visit took about an hour. It was really foggy so the skyline views weren't great, but we still enjoyed it.


From the Arc de Triomphe, we walked down Champs-Élysées, taking in the shops and cafes. We continued walking over to the Louvre, but opted not to go inside.

Cuisine de Bar By Poilâne

8 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris, France

Josh’s family had eaten lunch at this small restaurant on their first day, and it was one of the only things open for a late lunch in our neighborhood. They were happy to go back, and we were pleased to try it. We all got soup and tartines, made with fresh bread from the Poilane bakery next door. Our coffees came with cookie spoons (also from Poilane), which was a great touch.



On every trip we share our rose (highlight), thorn (lowlight), and bud (what we're looking forward to).

Rose- breakfast on Sunday (Becca), seeing my parents (Josh)

Thorn- getting sick (Becca), rude Parisians (Josh)

Bud- Thanksgiving (Becca), first visit to Africa (Josh)


If you go, things to know...

Where to stay? Paris is massive, and there are lots of great neighborhoods with plenty to offer, so it really depends on where you plan to go during your visit.

How long? Again, since Paris is massive, you could easily spend a week there and still have new things to see and do every day. Three days was a good amount of time to get a feel for the city and see the highlights.

When to visit? We’ve noticed that weather makes a huge impact on how much we like a place, and Paris would have felt very different if we were walking around in warm sunny weather. That said, the foliage was beautiful and fall is a less crowded time to visit. Better weather tends to mean longer lines, and there were still lines at many attractions, so it’s all about your priorities.

Is the “rude Parisian” stereotype true? Partially! We met plenty of waiters and other people who fit the typical “rude Parisian” stereotype, but we also met plenty of people who were super friendly and welcoming.


We're Becca and Josh Flyer, American ex-pats living in London, taking every opportunity to explore the world around us. We created this blog to share our adventures with our family and friends and hope it's also a useful resource for other trip planners. Thanks for joining us on our journey as we live life on the fly!


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