Last month I had the pleasure of helping Natalie, a San Fransico native who has adopted NY as home, an art lover, and an all around #girlboss plan her #30bday trip to Paris. With an ambitious list; to explore as many museums as possible, soak in all the beauty of the city, eat at as many Michelin Star restaurants as possible, and have an over all have an amazing birthday trip. I’m impressed of how much Natalie was able to cross of her Paris bucket list and I think it is safe to say she had an unforgettable trip.
For her first full day in Paris, I put on my local guide hat and planned a lovely day for us to explore the city.
Here is a RECAP of what we did:
Sunday Morning Brunch at Ellesworth
Explored Montmartre during the afternoon. We started off at Sacre Coeur, followed by a stroll through the quaint streets near Abbesses, followed by drinks at Terrass Hotel rooftop bar where we watched a very beautiful sunset.
Natalie finished off the night for dinner at Clown Bar in the Marais, that is known for its experimental menus.
I always enjoy meeting new people and seeing their excitement to see, feel, experience with their own eyes. Here is a little insight of Natalie’s impressions of Paris and travel hacks/ tips that she discovered during her trip.
How would you describe Paris in 3 words (after spending the past 5 days here)?
Chic, cosmopolitan, fabulous.
5 days in Paris- Too short, just right, Too long?
Just right. I mean of course I would have been happy to spend 2 weeks or 6 months in Paris, but 5 days was just right for a first visit.
What were your trip highlights?
Versailles, especially the gardens. Restaurant H in Le Marais was an incredible dining experience at what I consider to be a very fair value. The crepes at Cafe Breizh was also a standout. Picasso Museum. Getting lost walking around Le Marais.
What were some things that were shocking to you compared to what you imagined Paris to be?
The metros were small! Parisians were not as rude as I heard they would be (standoffish and dismissive if you try to speak French). I didn’t have trouble at all not speaking French, which was a concern of mine (especially for restaurant menus). I was also shocked at how truly huge the Louvre is and how barbaric tourists acted to see the Mona Lisa. There’s an irony in that.
Parisians were not as rude as I heard they would be (standoffish and dismissive if you try to speak French).
What are some tips you would provide to people visiting Paris that you learned?
If you are an art lover like me, I highly recommend the Paris Museum Pass. It was a great value (I got the 4 day pass for 48€). Versailles- skip the “music show” in the garden which they upcharge for- it’s just classical music being played from hidden speakers in the gardens. Once you arrive, go to the group tour entrance in the front right side of the castle to skip the gargantuan line. The tour is worth it to really take in the history more easily and with less crowds (because you gain access to certain parts of the castle that the general public does not). It’s totally worth the cost of the tour. Also, buy all the Caudelie products you can in the pharmacies, especially their almond based cleanser/make up remover (I swear by it for washing my face in the evening).
If you could bring anything back with you to NY from your trip here in Paris what would it be?
A French husband, 20 bottles of the Caudelie almond oil cleanser/ make up remover, and fresh orange juice from the small produce market on Ile Saint Louis. It was some of the best orange juice I’ve ever had. Oh and 5 pounds of gruyere cheese, 5 cases of Bordeaux wine, and 100 pounds of freshly baked croissants.
Check out more of Natalie’s adventures in Paris on her Instagram @nataliesdee