My third trip to Paris was by far the most enjoyable. My first two visits to Paris were brief—just 3 or 4 days—and as a result, I was only able to view the major tourist attractions and get a brief insight into Parisians’ daily lives.

On this most recent trip, I spent a full week casually exploring the city’s streets, going to museums, and dining in cafés while the sun shone. I’m sharing my favorites to motivate people who haven’t gone to put Paris on their bucket list and to remind those who have been what a wonderful city this is!

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IN THE CAFS. It’s difficult to choose just one thing I miss most about Paris (see all my favorites below), but the caf scene is always at the top of the list. Everybody finds time to sit at sidewalk cafes in Paris, and you can find them on every street corner. I adore how frequenting a cafe—whether for a meal, just a caf express, or a glass of rosé wine—becomes a daily ritual for both locals and visitors.

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THE STRUCTURE. The attention to detail on every bridge and building, the iron railings along sidewalks and windowsills, the large gorgeous doors that open to lovely courtyards, and the stone flourishes on every face just astound you as you travel the streets of this city.

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The gardens and parks. The Jardin des Tuileries garden near to the Louvre Museum and the Jardin du Luxembourg garden (where kids race sailboats) are two gardens you must see. Both are formal gardens with trees and flowers, gravel walks, and many of Parisians relaxing in the sun.

I particularly adore the Place des Vosges, the oldest plaza in Paris, with its four lovely fountains, and the serene gardens of the Rodin Museum. At Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, which offers a pleasant stroll and great vistas of Paris from its highest elevation, we discovered more unofficial gardens.

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A MUSEUM. Paris is known throughout the world for its amazing museums and abundance of artwork, but you can’t see it all in one trip. There are a few museums you shouldn’t miss, with The Louvre at the top of the list. Due to its size, it can be daunting, but if you just focus on the highlights, an afternoon will be enough. One of my faves is the Muse dOrsay , which is built in a former train station and has enormous clocks inside, a terrace with views of Paris, and a ton of impressionist artwork.

The Muse de lOrangerie is gorgeous and is noted for its numerous impressionist pieces as well as its enormous Monet Water Lilies. Amazing sculptures can be found around the Muse Rodin , and the grounds and gardens are well-kept and serene. We frequently avoided waiting in line by obtaining the Museum Pass, which I highly recommend if you plan to visit several museums and landmarks. (Buy it when you arrive at the train or airport.) The Muse de Cluny and the Maison de Victor Hugo are two other museums worth visiting if you have the time (off the Place des Vosges).

Louvre

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DOrsay

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Seasons Scenic Photography Backdrops

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You can indulge to your heart’s content in the city’s many patisseries. Jardin des Tuileries 0, which makes tiny morsels of confectionery nirvana unlike anything you’ve ever tasted, was one of two locations we fell in love with. Jardin des Tuileries 1 to understand what I mean. We were the last customers in the store one evening on our second visit, and all that was left were the coffee-flavored ones, but we didn’t care because we devoured them all when we got back to our flat.

Another treat was sharing a pot of chocolate at Jardin des Tuileries 2, which is located near the Rue de Rivoli and offers some of the most delectable sweets and stunning wall murals.

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THE ROAD WALKS There are four walks we particularly enjoyed. The first was a trip along the beautiful Rue Saint Andres des Arts, which is off the Boulevard Saint-Germaine. We strolled along it several times to take it all in. It has plenty of cafes and businesses on narrow cobblestone alleyways that are only for pedestrians.

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Rick Steves developed the pedestrian market known as the Rue Cler, which is worth visiting since it’s a terrific area to promenade and buy fresh market or speciality goods.

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We stayed in an Jardin des Tuileries 3 in Le Marias, and it was a fantastic area to live in for four days. You’ll find street after street filled with specialty stores and charming little cafes. We both rented bikes and walked everywhere we went; it was great fun! The Rue Rambuteau is home to some fantastic stores and eateries.

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Start your journey at the Hotel Ritz if you enjoy high-end apparel and jewelry, then stroll through Place Vendome to window-shop and down Rue Saint Honor to visit the clothing boutiques.

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THE REMARKABLE LANDMARKS From the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe, Paris is known for its numerous landmarks. The chance for a good photo is always worth the trek.

North Dakota:

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Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees:

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The Sacr Coeur Basilica

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The Moulin Rouge

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Similar to other large cities, you can borrow a bike in Paris, ride it around town, and then return it at any of the rental shops. Always keep in mind that pedestrians have the right of way!

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Paris is one of those places where you just have to go and explore it on foot or by bicycle because you never know what you’ll find around the next corner.

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I’ll wrap up with this endearing movie that I made to give you a flavor of the Bastille Day celebrations. On July 14, my traveling companion Karin and I observed the local festival, and all across Paris, people were jubilant and dancing in the streets as you can see here. Sadly, this was also the evening of the terrorist assault in Nice, about which I wrote in Jardin des Tuileries 4. But we must always keep in mind that we should not live in fear, which is why I am eagerly anticipating my upcoming trip to France, and especially Paris.

Jardin des Tuileries 6 to Jardin des Tuileries 7 from Jardin des Tuileries 5.

We witnessed a lot more, but I’ll stop here because this post is already too long! What have you enjoyed seeing or tasting in Paris?
See Jardin des Tuileries 8 for a list of some additional fantastic stops!

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