My Paris Top 10: A list of what I want to do and see

There are many, many things I'd like to do while in Paris, but I thought it would be better to make a top 10 list and keep it simple. This list seems rather basic after perusing amazing books on Paris about the food and the markets and the architecture and the shopping. But since I will have a week to explore Paris and not a year, I'll have to settle! If I can do these things, then anything else is just a bonus.

1. Musee du Louvre
I have no doubt I'd like to visit the Louvre.  Although I've been warned that one could spend several days there. So the next thing to decide is which parts to see and when to go. And for those of us whose visits to Paris happen mostly in our imagination, I've found this virtual tour of the Louvre.

*image by Oliver Ffrench

2. Jardin des Tuileries
And while I'm in the vicinity, I'd love to see the Jardins des Tuileries, a public park that was once the garden of kings.

3. Notre Dame

*image from stay true as cool yellow

4. Laduree
I'm fascinated by the beautiful patisserie that Laduree symbolizes, not to mention the macaroons.  And I have to go while I'm there!  If anyone has another "must-see" patisserie, please share!

5. Mariage Freres
I'm pretty obsessed with tea.  And I've love to visit some quintessentially french tea rooms while I'm in Paris.

6. The Eiffel Tower
Mais, oui!

*image from tibchris

7. A boat tour on the Bateaux-Mouches
How can one resist this after seeing Charade?

*image by dicktay2000

8. Montmartre - including Sacre Coeur
I want to do some walking tours.  I love exploring on foot.

9. Marche aux Puces
I don't feel as if I'd really be shopping much, but I just want to soak it in!  I've loved antiques and flea markets for many years and I'd hate to miss these while I'm there.

10. Le Shopping
I need some help here!  I don't want to spend a boatload of money, and I don't want to spend all day in dressing rooms. I'd like to come home with some extra-special little treats - like amazing soaps or perfume or gourmet foods (that are easily transportable and non-perishable).   Does anyone have any recommendations for specialitees de Paris that are very girly and luxe?


  1. Hi Valerie. May I also suggest Napoleon's Tomb? And Versailles and Giverny? And one of the two department stores (Lafayette and Au Printemps) has a gorgeous dome. I'm dreaming through you!

  2. mmmm monmarte/jardin de tuleries - take a ride on the carousel/laudree and a boat on the river are musts!!

    also may i suggest, if the weather is nice, walk to ille st louis...go down to the waters edge and eat cheese, bread and wine bought from a local shop or an ice cream bought from berthillion like the locals do...also listen to the fantastic bands that play on the bridge that connects st loius to ille de cite.....if you are lucky the wedding band is the best...often there on a weekend.


  3. You should be able to do all of these things quite easily in a week's time. We did almost all of these things and more, with kids and with not starting out until at least 11 a.m. each day, in our five days there.

    I will be posting photos and thoughts from our trip this week and maybe next at my blog, but I'll go ahead and mention a few things here. You can easily do the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Tuileries, Ladurée, and a boat ride on the same day--we did. We visited the Louvre on Wed. night when it's cheaper and open later. Crowds weren't terrible. If you don't have much time for the boat tour and you don't want to spend the big bucks on a dinner cruise, take one of the boats that leaves from Pont Neuf. They do a one-hour cruise. Definitely do this after dark. If you want a dinner cruise, I think the nicest boats we saw were "Bateaux Parisiens"--nice lighting, lovely little tables. Ladurée is as gorgeous as you expect, and the macarons are fantastic. My fave shopping was in Montmartre, along rue des Maistres (fantastic bakery there--Le Coqueliquot, something like that), rue des Martyrs, rue Lepic (where the cafe´from "Amelie" is), that area. The Marais is also good for smaller shops with very cute things--wish we'd had more time to spend there. You can see that area if you go to the Orsay museum, which I highly recommend. And on the Left Bank, I think you would enjoy going in the original Shakespeare & Co., the famous expat bookstore. It's creaky and atmospheric.