Every year, Joey and I take a long trip over the winter holidays. Two years ago, it was to Shanghai. Last year, we went to Lisbon and southern Portugal. This year, we split our trip between two cities–Paris and Dubrovnik. Today, I want to share some photos from the Paris portion of our trip, as well as outline my suggestions for 5 things to do that will make the most out a trip to the City of Lights.
1. Cedric’s Paris Tour
Take it from me, there is no better way to tour a city than in a vintage car, with a knowledgeable tour guide, and a bottle of champagne. This is what Cedric’s Paris Tour provides. Cedric and Romain, two Parisian firefighters, started doing tours in their 2CVs in their spare time. What started as a small operation has blossomed into a very professional, but still authentic feeling tour company. Cedric’s brother, Chris, was our guide. He picked us up in his green 2CV at our Airbnb apartment on a Saturday morning and drove us all around Paris for just over 2 hours. I have been to Paris multiple times, but this was Joey’s first visit, so we asked Chris to provide a drive-by of the major sights, but throw in some lesser known haunts for good measure. He delivered! My favorite part of the tour was when he drove us to the banks of the Seine and popped open a bottle of champagne for Joey and I to enjoy.
Joey says instead of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” we were “Companions in Cars Drinking Champagne.” Seriously, can’t recommend this enough. It was a blast. After the tour, Chris dropped us off at the Saint-Ouen Flea Market.
2. Saint-Ouen Flea Market
The Saint-Ouen Flea Market is a bustling, fascinating place. It’s on the edge of Paris, so it isn’t as easy to get to, but it’s well worth the trip. With over 3,000 dealers, it’s hard not to get lost among the beautiful antiques. My only regret was that I couldn’t buy any furniture. It would be way too expensive to ship home, but if I lived in Paris, this would be my go to spot for furnishings.
Quite the opposite of a Flea Market, Printemps is a high end Parisian department store. I’m putting the flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann on this list of must do activities in Paris for a few reasons – beautiful window displays, great interior design, and a killer view from the rooftop deck (see above). There were also handful of inventive marionettes in the window displays for Christmas.
4. Explore on Foot
One of my best suggestions for getting the most out of a trip to Paris is to get out and walk around. Joey and I walked all over Paris and some of our favorites sights were things we just stumbled upon.
5. Chow Down
Being a vegetarian is always a little challenging when traveling, but we found a decent selection of restaurants that cater to the vegetarian crowd. There is Cafe Miznon, which is not actually a vegetarian cafe, but has a great selection of options including a ratatouille pita that is probably the best pita I’ve ever had. Another place we enjoyed is Cafe Pinson. It’s got a really cool vibe and the food is delicious. For a more formal dining experience, I would suggest Le Potager du Marais. It’s very small and gets incredibly busy, so get there right at 7pm when they open. One other place that I highly recommend for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike is Laduree, the famed macaron and pastry store. You can’t go to Paris and not have macarons, am I right?
There are obviously a million things to do in Paris, but these are a few of my favorites.