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Paris, France Tourism: Best of Paris
Paris lives up to its hype: A city with unbelievable food and culture, plus stunning views everywhere you turn. With 18 arrondissements, it’s a lot to see in one trip, but each neighborhood has a personality all its own. You can’t miss the iconic 7th, where art and history meet—there’s the Eiffel Tower, sure, but the impressive Musée du quai Branly is just a short walk away. It houses an amazing collection of indigenous art. Or, hit up Montmartre (the 18th), with its boho shops and cozy brasseries. It’s a must-stop on the way up or down from Sacre Coeur. While the French practically invented fine dining, don’t skip the street food—Paris has world-class kebabs and falafel. But no matter where you are, be sure to pop into a sidewalk cafe, sip a glass of wine, and people watch—it’s the way to get a taste of true Parisian culture.
“Yes, you'll find the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, and the crowds [at the Louvre], but…the secret to this museum is that the hoards are usually only interested in the main attractions. For example, if you visit the floor dedicated to the early masters (Rembrandt, Van Dyck, etc.) you'll have the place to yourself.”
— Glenn M
“The Hemingway Bar is so much fun. The staff and the fine cocktails makes the place—as does the Hemingway paraphernalia throughout…Important note: The place is tiny. To optimize chances you get in, stay at the Ritz and dress the part. If you aren't at the Ritz…put on your best pair of shoes [and] spiff up.”
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The perfect mother-daughter trip to Paris
Paris is the ultimate destination for a girls’ trip—especially if your travel companion is your daughter. I recently visited the City of Light with my 10 year old in tow, and together we enjoyed a magical, flowery, delicious adventure that she talked about for weeks. Read on for how we spent our time as a mother-daughter duo in Paris.
- Bateaux Mouches7,955There are many options for boat rides down the Seine, but our favorite was the dinner cruise with Bateaux Mouches. Not only is it a great way to see the city (including the Eiffel Tower, which sparkles in the evening), but you also get to enjoy a four-course dinner and live music while taking in the sights. If you’re not one for floating restaurants, consider booking one of the day cruises instead—you’ll still get epic, unobstructed views of the Eiffel Tower.
- Palais Galliéra334My daughter is into fashion, so we made it a priority to visit the Palais Galliéra on our trip. The museum, which is housed in a Renaissance-inspired palace just a short walk from some of the top haute couture boutiques in Paris, holds more than 200,000 items related to the history of fashion, including photos of famous designers and my daughter’s favorite: 18th-century dresses.
- Palace of Versailles27,254The former home of King Louis XVI, the Palace of Versailles captivated both me and my daughter for hours. We took the train right from Gare du Nord and then spent the entire day exploring the museum interior, picnicking in the park, and strolling through the perfectly manicured gardens. We also enjoyed renting a rowboat and paddling along the Grand Canal.
- Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann7,584The sprawling Galeries Lafayette department store is about way more than just shopping. There are restaurants, a new spa, and a range of experiences, from cooking classes to guided history tours. My daughter and I opted for the macaron making class, led by an esteemed French pastry chef. It was so much fun making the shells, adding the ganache, and, of course, tasting our handiwork. Held in a quiet corner of Galeries Lafayette, right in the heart of the Opera district, the class makes for a great pre-dinner-and-a-show activity.
- Pink Mamma2,520Pink Mama is a popular Italian restaurant housed in a cute, rose-colored building—a.k.a. the ideal spot for a mother-daughter meal. The garden-themed space, with its artwork, mismatched tableware, and pops of color, is incredibly Insta-worthy, and the menu is full of indulgent dishes like lobster risotto and Neapolitan-style pizza topped with fresh truffles. Split the tiramisu for dessert.
- Carette795In Paris, you could eat a croissant at a different spot everyday and never run out of new places to visit. Trust me, we tried. Our favorite of the bunch was Carette, where we paired flaky pastries with rich cups of chocolat chaud (hot chocolate). Everything was delicious, the decor is classic and elegant, and the views of Place des Vosges from your table make eating here extra special.
- Le Bois de Boulogne402One day on our trip, we picked up a baguette, lots of cheese, and some fruit and had a picnic in the stunning Le Bois de Boulogne park on the city’s western side. Commissioned by Napoleon in 1852, it’s the second-largest park in Paris and home to landscaped gardens, several lakes, a waterfall, and even a zoo and amusement park. We chose a sunny spot in the park surrounding the Château de Bagatelle and enjoyed our lunch in view of the castle.
- Palais Garnier19,896The opulent Palais Garnier opera house plays host to everything from chamber music concerts to famous operas, but my daughter and I came here to see the Paris Opera Ballet. We saw a show that my daughter herself had performed in back home and it was just spectacular. The baroque architecture and grandness of the opera house only added to the magic.
Explore Paris by interest
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Make like a chef
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