Five Days in Paris
Paris in the fall is magical. Truly nothing short of a dream! I was eager to get back to Paris, and the timing of Elle‘s fall break (on my birthday!) provided the perfect excuse. In this Paris travel guide, per request, I’ll share our favorite parts (there are many), our general itinerary and anecdotes along the way. If you wish to shop our photos, click here to view my Paris collection on LTK. Enjoy!
Paris Travel Guide: The Trip
We flew late afternoon on a Wednesday, slept on the plane (though not much) and arrived around 6:00 a.m. After heading straight to the hotel, we unpacked and had a croissant and a coffee. We made lunch plans at L’Avenue and since we had a bit of time beforehand, took a stroll to Galeries Lafayette. We stayed at The Ritz, which is in Place Vendôme, and a lovely location. While you don’t have Eiffel Tower views, I think it’s the prime location in the city!
Our First Afternoon and Evening (Thursday)
After lunch at L’Avenue (which beyond being delicious is fabulous if you like people watching as it’s very sceney) we strolled down Avenue Montaigne. We then took an Uber to L’île aux Fées, the Charlotte sy Dimby boutique. We have loved this brand since Elle was itty bitty and we were so happy to finally meet Sybille in person. Elle’s picture was in the window and she felt like a local celebrity.
We headed back to the hotel after our visit, popped to Ladurée for a quick treat and explored our neighborhood before having a slumber party, complete with jumping on the bed, room service, robes and relaxing.
We slept later than I anticipated (as I was up from 1-4 am and, by chance, saw Claris the mouse run by in the restaurant downstairs). We went right to Angelina around 9 (it opens at 8:30). After waiting for a minutes, hot chocolate and breakfast were welcome. Following breakfast we returned to the hotel for a mama and mini blow dry and Elle had her nails painted. After that we changed and went to Chanel. I highly recommend having your hotel make you an appointment if possible, as this saved a lot of time. After shopping we popped into Costes to eat (without a reservation) and they didn’t have space, so ate at The Ritz’s Bar Vendome which was a delight. Because we were staying there we didn’t need a reservation, but you would need one if you were staying elsewhere. You can also have tea at The Ritz which we didn’t have time for but looked quite nice.
Our lunch ended and it was time for a tour around the city in a vintage car (I imagined this to be a bit chicer than it was, i.e. the car was sort of a buggy style) but the tour guide was knowledgable and it was open air which was a fun way to see the city. We cut the tour short in order to make it to our time slot at the Dior museum which I highly recommend. After Dior, we Ubered back to the hotel and got ready for our dinner reservation at Girafe. This was fun! They have two seatings, ours was at 7, and it was honestly a little bit confusing as there is a big group that all sits at once, so the queue is quite long but somehow it works out. The big allure of Girafe is that you’re looking right at the Eiffel Tower and it lights up at sunset. For the first five minutes of every hour the Tower sparkles! I heard this may be changing but it’s very special if you catch it.
I wanted to take a photo with the sparkling tower so we timed our dinner to end before 9 so we could make it down across the river before 9:05. There was a merry-go-round down there which Elle demanded we ride and it was fun, though a semi-unsavory i.e. touristy experience.
After sleeping well we woke up but had missed breakfast at the hotel, so got a quick coffee and croissant for the road as it was one of our most special days…boat day! We took a river cruise and it was a delightful way to see the city and Eiffel Tower. We then took an electric bike to our picnic by the Eiffel Tower. We arranged this through our hotel, and the benefit to this is that the team found us a semi-private nook (as the main lawn is very crowded on a Saturday). After our picnic we went to Cafe de Flore and then walked towards the Luxembourg Gardens. We had planned to take a scooter, but didn’t end up bringing it and Elle was perfectly happy walking. We walked through a street fair that had beautiful antique and paintings and upon arriving in the Gardens made our way to the adorable merry-go-round. These parks are very special and geared towards kids, particularly on the weekends.
After our lovely time in the Gardens it was time to meet our friends from Atelier Choux for tea! We went to the Laduree on Champs de Elysee which was very beautiful. Elle loved meeting Chloe and I’m quite jealous that she is making connections on different continents at the age of six!
After tea we went back to the hotel and met Michael for a drink (and ran into Claibore Swanson Frank at the bar!) and then on to our favorite restaurant in Paris, Le Voltaire. The restaurant is intimate, old school and truly the best. Much like we did last time we visited, after dinner we walked across the river to The Louvre. Such fun to introduce this special tradition to Elle.
Elle’s Amazon outfit may have been the MVP of the trip.
I booked a shoot with Audrey Photo and had hair and makeup come early (as the shoot started at 8). After shooting we went to the Tuileries Garden where Elle rode on yet another merry go round and had cotton candy bigger than her head. We also rented a push boat which proved to be a fun activity. We popped by the playground and then made our way to Costes, this time with a reservation. We ran into some more friends, this time from Atlanta, and, in quite possibly the best manifestation ever: MARY KATE AND ASHLEY.
After lunch and another run-in with MK&A as they got into their car, we walked to the Orangerie Museum to see Monet. Elle developed her love of panorama photos which was a joy to see. We attempted to shop around after our museum visit, but it was late on Sunday and not much was open. We returned to the hotel, Elle got to take a swim in the beautiful pool, and then we got ready for dinner at Lou Lou which was a lovely meal. In a stroke of luck we got the best seat in the house and had a perfect view of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.
This was a big day for Elle as we went to Disney Paris. It was much easier to navigate than Orlando. Elle wasn’t terribly interested in the Princesses (if you are, go straight there as the wait was long) so we focused on rides. We would have done a private guide, but booked too late so none were available. This ended up being fine and we did the fast pass so got through the lines for the rides quickly. We spent half a day there (and had a car drive us from the hotel) and that was plenty. When we got back to Paris we shopped in Place Vendome (I recommend Guerlain, an iconic perfume brand), had a macaroon and got ready for our final dinner, this time at Gigi. We were serenaded during dinner! We took photos outside the hotel nightly and this night may have been our best photo. Perhaps we were still humming the dinner tune in our head.
We packed up before bed so we could enjoy our final morning in Paris the next day.
We ate breakfast at the hotel (which was honestly amazing and a site to behold) and then visited the playground at the Tuileries Garden and did a bit of shopping at Au Nain Bleu, a children’s toy shop that we happened upon on the way to our dinner at Lou Lou on Sunday night. It was a site to behold! We picked up some macaroon gifts at Laduree and went back to the hotel for our final meal, a quick lunch, before heading to the airport.
As I write this, I can vividly remember every moment and it feels like the trip went too quickly. Much like New York City, there is always more to do, always another reason to return. I cannot wait to get back to Paris, and I know Elle feels the same way. She was a delight on the trip, and kept expressing how lucky and grateful she was to be there. I feel the same way, and if you’re lucky enough to be reading this Paris travel guide in preparation for your own trip to Paris, bon voyage!
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Our Paris Travel Guide: Five Days in Paris
Where to Eat
- Lou Lou (loved this for dinner as their outside gardens are closed, but if gardens open would be lovely for lunch too)
- Bar Vendome
- Cafe de Flore
- Le Voltaire
Where to Stay
- Ritz Paris
- Shangri-La (for Eiffel Tower views)
- Relais Christine (Garden Suite); on the Left Bank
Activities / Shopping
- Galeries Lafayette
- Le Bon Marche
- Avenue Montaigne
- Ladurée Visit
- L’île aux Fées, the Charlotte sy Dimby boutique
- Tea at The Ritz
- Dior Museum
- Open-Air Car Tour
- Boat Tour
- Luxembourg Gardens (Mini Merry-Go-Round and Playground)
- The Louvre
- Audrey Photo
- Tuileries Gardens
- Orangerie Museum
- Hotel Pool
- Place Vendome
- Au Nain Bleu
- Disney Paris