Meet a friend, stroll the Champs-Élysées, dine in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. And more.
“25 best things to do in Paris.”
“What to do in Paris NOW!”
“The essential things to know before you visit Paris.”
Don’t miss this! Don’t miss that! So much to see, so much to do, visiting Paris can be almost like work. But what if you only want to have a relaxing, enjoyable day and still have history, culture and cuisine?
Well, it’s possible. Here’s what we did.
Can we meet in Paris?
The email was straight out of a novel: can we meet in Paris?
Our friend, Ray, asked us to meet him in Paris. He was a chaperone on his daughter’s school musical group tour. He, his daughter and 498 of their closest friends were on a weeks-long bus tour, with one of the stop being Paris.
We chatted with the owner en français until Ray was able to join us. The four of us continued chatting, in English and French, until we each finished two more glasses of wine. Then, off to dinner for more food and French wine.
Why we love the Eiffel Tower
In 2002, on our first visit to Paris, one night after dinner we found ourselves walking across the Champs de Mars, the field next to M. Eiffel’s tower. We were admiring the tower, colored orange from the illuminating lights and contrasting against the dusky blue sky, when it began to sparkle.
It sparkled! Really! And from that moment, we loved the Eiffel Tower.
We wanted to see it sparkle again so for this trip we chose a hotel with a great view of the Eiffel Tour. We splurged a bit, not as much as you’d think, and it was worth it.
And to think that during construction the tower was derided and fought against. Now, it’s a treasured world icon. Makes me wonder what things that we deride today will become treasured tomorrow. And what things that we treasure today will become worthless tomorrow.
Our itinerary for an enjoyable day in Paris (without working at it)
Another friend recommended that we visit the Musée de l’Orangerie for Monet’s Water Lilies. The Musée de l’Orangerie is an easy stroll from the Petit Palais, just across the Place de la Concorde, so after a good lunch at the Petit Palais, we went in search of water lilies.
But what about all the things we missed?
It is possible to have a relaxed day in Paris while enjoying history, culture and cuisine. True, we opted not to visit the Louvre, Notre-Dame, Sainte-Chapelle and so many other places, but that just means we have to go back another time. Quelle horreur!