Let us show you how to spend 5 days outdoors in Paris, France
…because we are nature lovers after all!
(The last post in a series of 3 about our time road tripping France.)
Arriving for your first time visit to Paris
Day 1: Good morning! We have arrived at one of our favorite portions of our road trip around France, PARIS! This was our first time visit to Paris and this resilient city! We were determined to spend our 5 days outdoors in Paris. Upon arriving we had a small hiccup in connecting with our host. This was resolved quicker than in Lyon. Once settled into our 1 room apt we brought Lucy (our spunky 4-door rental car) to the airport to be returned. We were going to rely on public transport and our own two feet the remainder of the trip. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Here are some awesome placed to stay near the action!
My husband is a very talented driver and even has his CDL commercial license. He was no match for Paris though. Never have we seen crazier drivers (not even in Italy). People would want to turn Left but merge from the far right lane as the turn was happening AND without a blinker! We were thankful to be done with driving at this point. Now, it was time to explore this lively city! Even though we could not speak French well, we never felt alone in Paris!
We were ready to get our first time visit to Paris and 5 days outdoors in Paris started! After having quiche and espresso (because what else do you eat in France? Just kidding, there are so many things here!) we mapped out where we were in coordination to what we wanted to see. A sweet couple from New York joined us on the bench. Being the Southerner that I am, I struck up a conversation and connected instantly. We gave them advice about our time in Avignon as they were planning to train it down to Arles for a few days from Paris. We are now Facebook friends and follow each other’s travels.
We were fortunate to stay in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, a neighborhood known for its 1920s history and vintage feel! The streets were made for writers and dreamers. Here are a few AMAZING tips for visiting Paris 4 like a local, from a local!
Dancing to street musicians-Night one brought us cheap sandwiches, wine, and jazz which reminded me of New Orleans, a funky city close to my hometown. What great energy and fun was had by ALL! This is the best way to get acquainted with a new city!
Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Shakespeare & Company
Day 2: The following day we visited Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and Shakespeare & Company. We walked and rode the subway until we couldn’t anymore. I honestly felt like I was at Disney World. Here I was, seeing all these beautiful landmarks that are in so many movies and books! I was in love already and this was just day two!
Versailles and Luxembourg Gardens
Day 3: There were several Subway strikes during our visit and other stops had been flooded from the torrential rain Paris had received the week prior. This made our 5 days outdoors in Paris, quite interesting. Also, the EUFA (soccer tournament) was ramping up to take place in various parts of France, including Paris. After riding the subway, walking a lot, and hailing a bus, we made it to Versailles. I enjoyed walking in this summer palace though hoards of tour groups ruined the aura of the place. Its elegance was dirtied by selfie sticks and odd poses with statues. Needless to say, I loved the gardens here more than anything else. On all sides of us were neatly manicured gardens lush for the summer. We also caught glimpses of locals picnicking and reading below us. The day was getting late so we decided to figure out the transportation system back to the Left Bank. To end the night we picnicked in Luxembourg Gardens among the locals and watched a magnificent sunset as the park closed.
Having fun? Here are more posts with a French Connection for you:
Montmartre, Moulin Rouge, Basilica
Day 4: Off to Montmartre we go. Scandalously, we scurried to the Moulin Rouge and the many sex shops on our way up to Montmartre. Viator offers discounted tickets to the many shows at Moulin Rouge! See the Moulin Rouge! Book tickets, VIP experiences and dinner with a show
We paused to take in this show house of nudity and exotic dancing. After climbing hundreds of steps and walking at a constant incline we arrived to Montmartre and the art that awaited us. There were several cafes and breathtaking city-scapes from up here. On the way back down to the Basilica, we were bombarded by middle easterners selling “selfie sticks”-not again people! We brushed them off and took in the view point we had earned! After freshening up in our Paris apartment we decided on a place to dine. We had dinner at a sidewalk cafe on the Left Bank and partook in swing dancing afterwards. This was some “Paris in the 1920s” magic!
Strolling the Seine and Saying Goodbye
Day 5: Our last day was spent doing nothing, just how I like it. With all the touristy stops out of the way, I could partake in being a local in this amazing city! We shopped for souvenirs and paid Shakespeare and Company another visit. I read books and wrote on the banks of the Seine. We strolled the Seine everyday, multiple times of the day and I felt like Ernest Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald from Paris in the 1920s. That last night in Paris, we made love to the sound of brass instruments playing in our patio entryway and felt the true romance of Paris for all it’s sensuality. I did not want to leave this City of Light but new adventures awaited us. The following morning, we had a “French Breakfast” complete with cafe au lait, orange juice, croissants, and eggs before catching the metro to the airport. We had 5 days in this amazing city but many people only have 48 hours in Paris! This link will help narrow down the adventure for you!
Resources: This has been a helpful resource for all you solo travelers and on your first time visit to Paris! She gives the inside scoop about the catacombs and Musee D’ Orsay, (which we didn’t get to see)! I also love this list of books to inspire travel to Paris! (in case you need more motivation)
There was much to love about this country of France and still moments that made me not want to return. I am thankful for the people we met that made this trip so rich. I loved attempting to learn this difficult language with the few locals that were patient enough to practice with me. I will cherish the memories made and the lessons learned. I hope to return to Paris someday and continue my Hemingway dreams.
5 days outdoors in Paris LIST for your first time visit to Paris:
- Must visit Shakespeare and Company to buy a book by Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, or Gertrude Stein then reading it while overlooking the Seine
- walk to the Notre Dame
- picnic in the Gardens of Versailles
- visit the Eiffel Tower at sunset
- enjoy wine in Luxembourg Gardens
- walk under the Arc De Triomphe
- shop around the Champs Elysees
- explore the Louvre or Musee D’ Orsay
- dance to the street musicians
- throw away the key to your “love lock” from the Pont Neuf
- strut your stuff alongside the sex shops of Montmarte
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Be well and Travel often.
*This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own**
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