Fun in Paris: Jessica’s Top Picks

ALP Paris Picks
Images: Left: Rue Mouffetard, Place de la Contrescarpe; Top Right: Angelina, Chocolat Chaud; Bottom Right: Fontaine de Medici

When my friends plan their first trip to Paris, they always ask for recommendations for fun things to do. To get the perfect Parisian experience, I believe it’s important to achieve the right balance of being a tourist and being a local. Museums are fun. Sampling fancy stinky cheese is fun. It can be done!

Check out my list of essential activities:

 

  1. Eiffel Tower at Night: The current trend in travel blogging seems to discourage readers from visiting the Eiffel Tower, and I always shake my head in response. Sure, the lines can be aggravating, but worry not- you can avoid this. That itself is a topic for another time. Trust me- the Eiffel Tower is iconic. You won’t want to miss it! I’ve written more about this here. It sparkles! Whether you are by yourself or with a group- plan a night to go to the Eiffel Tower, grab a crepe at the stand on Quai Branly, and spend a little time savoring the moment.
  2. La Fontaine de Medicis: During my Parisian summer, I accidently found the Medici fountain while purposely trying to get lost. What a splendid surprise! Nestled in the Luxembourg garden visitors can sit and relax in this gorgeous ivy-kissed nook. It is the perfect spot for reading a good book on a breezy spring day.
  3. Rue Lepic: Montmartre in the 18th is my favorite neighborhood in Paris, and Rue Lepic is quintessential Parisian charm. Meander through cobblestoned paths, cheese shops, art galleries, and cafes- you will truly find little French treasures everywhere.
  4. Fat Tire Bike Tours: Zooming through streets and along the Seine, you’ll see Paris through a different lens. It’s a great time!
  5. Cooking Class, Food Tour, or Both: Gastronomy is an essential component of French culture. Even the seemingly simplest looking dishes are the most extravagant to the taste buds. Learn the basics of a baking baguette or tour Le Marais and discover the most superior culinary experience. Even if you are not a foodie, you’ll surely find yourself drooling!
  6. Rue Mouffetard: Forget about Galleries Lafayette or Printemps… OK- those are fun, BUT Rue Mouffetard is truly the shopper’s paradise. Plan to spend most of the day poking around boutiques, shops, and markets, finding some impressive French flare and dancing to some lively street music all the while.
  7. Drink a Chocolat Chaud: Even on those sizzling Paris days a chocolat chaud, or hot chocolate, will send you into a blissful and rich state of euphoria. If you don’t mind the crowds, make a reservation at Angelina or if you’d like to try something a little calmer, Sébastien Guadard will equally dazzle you.
  8. Monoprix: Monoprix is the French version of Target. Need I say more?
  9. Picnic: Sitting along the Seine with a basket full of artisanal goodies and a bold glass of wine is the best way to relax and people-watch. People-watching is spectacular, and Paris does not disappoint! If you are limited for time, Paris Picnic will do the work for you. Choose your basket, pick a location and time, and Paris Picnic will deliver it for you to enjoy! The simple life really IS that easy.
  10. Wine. Wine. Did I mention… wine?: Try it everywhere you can. The Girls Guide to Paris- one of my favorite resources- offers a great guide to the best FREE wine tastings in Paris.