Ya'll... I am literally sitting in a Parisian cafe writing this blog post. LIKE.... WHAT?
I have had such an amazing time. If you followed along on my socials, then you saw that I spent the first week with my mom as this was a gift to her from me. I am going to break down everything I did and will include the costs for the entire trip.
Now, keep in mind, I splurged more than I normally would because I wanted to make this very special for my mom. So remember, you could travel and do this entire trip at a fraction of the price but you all wanted the exact details....
The Booking Process:
I chose and have always done all of my own travel planning. I haven't used a travel guide but they can make it a bit easier and potentially could save you some money overall but I enjoy the process of researching and it almost feels like more of a surprise when I get to where I'm going.
I use Expedia for my hotel bookings and have never had an issue. They also offer rewards too and discounts on rooms if you use them regularly.
For tickets to museums, shows and other attractions, I like to use the Viator app. It is very easy to use and easy to get in touch with customer service if need be. I booked some of these ahead of time for stuff I knew we really wanted to do but also booked things on site if we saw something we wanted to check out. I am big about having plenty of free time while traveling because you never know when you may want to get wine drunk and stay in to order room service. The get your guide app is another good one to have downloaded.
Okay so I don't know how some of you managed to travel for more than a weekend with just a carry on but there was NO WAY I could do it. I had 3 checked suitcases AND a carry on AND a huge tote purse HAHA. I also like to have my own blowdryer, hair tools, etc. I have a Delta American Express card and because I am a medallion member and we flew Delta One (more below on this) we both could check up to 3 bags for free.
Hear me out. I think everyone should fly first class at least once but beware, you will never want to go back. We flew Delta One. It is a couple of steps up from your standard first class seating but only offered on international flights. Even though the Delta One class is very pricey, I truly feel like its worth every single penny. Especially if you are going to be experiencing a time change in your new destination. You get priority access through gates and claims, access to the airport SkyClubs*, drinks and food are free and you are served very nice meals and snacks throughout the flight. You also have your own private dedicated cabin which makes such a big difference. You can extend your seat into a complete bed, you get a little care package with slippers and a blanket and pillows, eye mask and other goodies. And you have full access to movies and shows on your own tv. You are truly treated like royalty and it can make such a difference especially on long flights or if you are a nervous flyer.
The price for our round trip with seats in first class cabins came to $7,200. I know. I KNOW. But keep in mind this price depends on location, dates and other factors. We could have flown standard first class for around $4,500 total and it would have been nice too. Some people could literally care less about the flight prices though and if that's you, then you could easily get a roundtrip ticket for under $1,000 to Paris in a lot of places if you choose main cabin/economy.
For the first week, we stayed at the beautiful La Villa Haussman hotel. I did book a suite but WOW it was great. The views were sooo good. And they staff was absolutely incredible. I mean like... blew me away amazing. There is an indoor heated pool and steam room that was so nice to enjoy for unwinding before bed.
We stayed in the Eugenie Suite and it was gorgeous and super spacious with a wrap around balcony and view that was worth the price alone.
The room total came to $5,620 + $177 in room service.
We felt so safe and were treated like queens!
*Breaskfast was not included
Here is the link to the hotel:
After I decided to stay for a few more days on a whim, I moved hotels as they did not have anymore available rooms. I moved to Hotel West End and honestly was just blown away all over again. I booked a deluxe room for the last 3 nights of my trip and paid $1,223. Upon arrival, I was informed that I was upgraded to a Junior Suite just because (HECK YESSSSS) This hotel is so funky and AWESOME and about a 15 min walk to the Eiffel Tower. It is within 10 minutes walking to tons of shopping . Again the staff was so incredibly friendly and helpful. 10/10 recommend.
Here is the link to the hotel:
We downloaded and used Heetch a lot. It is like the Paris version of Uber. We also took the metro a few times and the train depending on where we were going as it was much cheaper - only about $2-$4 a ride. You can get a metro card at convenient stores ( a lot of them will say tabac on the sign because you can get cigarettes there. Just ask for a Navigo card and ask for 4-10 rides. You can always refill it as needed in the stations.
One of the most wonderful things about Paris is that when you are driving or walking from place to place you are basically guaranteed to see several landmarks and things you will recognize from movies without even having to go out of the way to see them. It's a huge place but everything is relatively close at the same time? Haha.
Ok so I didn't do great at keeping track of all the places I ate but there were only a few that really stood out because most of the time we would just pop in and grab this or that but I did love ...
The Blue Cheese burger from Le Colonel Moutarde - this is a relaxed place - kind of a like a pub atmosphere. But not very reasonably priced and the service was great. Keep in mind, burgers are served almost raw - you can ask them to cook more but it's not a common practice. At first it freaked me out but then I learned to love it.
The other place I really enjoyed that stood out to me was Le Maresquier. The hanger steak was INCREDIBLE. But remember, it will be very rare. I asked for medium and it was still rare but I ate it anyhow. It was delish! The vibe is so cute in here. It has a cozy, homey vibe and there are plenty of photo ops.
Le Pepiniere was cute for drinks and photos! It's like a jungle feel.
And OMG for the prettiest donuts, cupcakes, coffees and photos.... YOU HAVE TO GO TO Bestie's Bakery. Ya'll even the toilet paper is pink.
What We Did
The Lourve was every bit as spectacular as I imagined. You could stay for 3-4 hours and still not see everything. There is a lovely cafe called Angelina in the museum where you can stop in for lunch & cocktails ( I had the roast chicken and it was divine)
I always heard that the Mona Lisa was tiny and very hard to get close to because of crowds, but I didn't find that to be the case at all. It was bigger than I expected to be honest and we were able to walk right up close without issue.
Palace of Versailles was one of my favorite visits. We got tickets with an English speaking guide. I am a huge history buff so this was right up my alley. The tour takes about and hour and a half and then you're free to explore as long as you want (you can go without a guide and do self tour if you choose)
My favorite part was seeing the bed where Marie Antoinette slept - the comforter is still the ORIGINAL!! And to think I change mine out a few times a year, haha.
Last minute we jumped on a Seine River Cruise ($18 a person) it was a beautiful way to see all the big landmarks by boat. It took about an hour and it was a great way to unwind before dinner and bed.
Make sure while you're bouncing around, you make a point to go to Le Madeline Church. It is absolutely beautiful and you can walk right in and it's free.
Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Paris skyline from the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. The church alone is stunning and the inside is one of a kind.
On Sunday, we had brunch in the Eiffel Tower. I pre-booked this on Viator and it was $131 for both of us (meals are a choice of 2 options) The food was just ok in my opinion but it was a beautiful experience and offered breathtaking views.
(You can also just get a ticket to go up to the top of the tower without dining)
We did have tickets to tour the opera house and for moulin rouge but we ended up being so caught up in laughing and eating and exploring that we actually missed both of our reservations. Sigh... but in the best way :)
Tickets for all of these were fairly inexpensive and can be purchased on site or in advance using Viator or Get Your Guide.
I highly recommend at least stopping in the Dior Boutique. It is absolutely gorgeous. Enjoy timeless exhibits, a coffee in the cafe and shopping of course! I initially bought a ring at the Dior in the shopping center but was so swept away in this boutique Dior that I ended up buying another ring too. It is just an experience that is unmatched.
“It had to be 30 Avenue Montaigne. I was going to settle here and nowhere else!”
Christian Dior succumbed to the charm of this hôtel particulier and inaugurated his house of Dior there on December 15, 1946: an elegantly understated setting, chosen for its location, modest proportions and neoclassical façade.
I feel like there is so much more I want to share but I'm honestly still processing my trip and all of the joy I feel from it. Feel free to reach out to me on instagram or Facebook if you have more specific questions.