France Trip Itinerary

I have been oddly reluctant to blog about my recent exciting adventure across the Atlantic, and I believe I have at long last figured out why: I don’t want to admit it’s over. My trip to Paris was breathtakingly beautiful in every sense, full of heavenly pastries, priceless masterpieces aplenty, and memorable encounters with some truly lovely locals. Paris, France exceeded all of my expectations. Every fresh morning brought with it the dreamlike feeling that one was within a charming classic film from the 1950s. I nearly expected to stumble upon Audrey Hepburn singing and exploring the sights, as she did in Funny Face. Though this was indubitably mere wishful thinking, it cannot be denied that the sprawling city has an inimitable, magnetic atmosphere; it seems as if absolutely anything can happen in Paris.

Before you travel abroad, I strongly recommend planning far in advance: research the varying costs of flights and which airports you may be traveling through (while remembering to consider respective layovers), learn key phrases in the primary language of the place you will be visiting (if it differs from English), investigate whether the sights you long to see are free or charge admission fees, exchange any cash currency you may be carrying with you for currency you can freely spend while abroad, etc. I began planning AT LEAST six months in advance, and that was far too short a time to construct the optimal, affordable trip. With the need for careful planning and organization now stated, I must also add that there is a dire need for flexibility as well. For example, my family found it extraordinarily helpful to ask kind locals daily which coffee shops, bakeries, and restaurants they recommended, and they never led us astray, constantly steering us towards the most delicious boulangeries, patisseries, brasseries, bistros, cafés… I really need to stop now. My mouth is watering.

After tedious planning, as well as some last-minute unexpected alterations due to weather and transportation, this is the splendid itinerary that was finally assembled — well-suited for the sort of trip my family desired to have. This itinerary may not perfectly fit your own preferences, and that is absolutely okay! Please do not fret! I am simply sharing this here to aid those who may be planning a similar trip and wish for some inspiration and/or guidance as well as those who might have been curious about what else I did in Paris besides consume an unfathomable amount of carbs.

France Trip Itinerary (6/2/2017 – 6/10/2017)

6/2/2017  {Friday}

  • Flight from Nashville to Boston
  • Flight from Boston to Amsterdam leaves

6/3/2017 {Saturday}

  • Flight from Boston to Amsterdam arrives
  • Flight from Amsterdam to Paris
  • Check into our apartment (“Le Grand en Isle” from
  • Explore the Île Saint-Louis and Île de la Cité
  • Walk to Notre-Dame

6/4/2017 {Sunday}

  • Peruse the bouquinistes (stalls selling antiques, souvenirs, and books) by the Seine
  • Visit the Shakespeare & Company bookstore (and sip tea at its adjoining café)
  • See major Parisian landmarks on a Big Bus tour

6/5/2017 {Monday}

  • Train ride to Giverny
  • Visit Monet’s grave
  • Wander Monet’s home, studio, and extensive gardens
  • Train ride back to Paris

6/6/2017 {Tuesday}

  • Tour Victor Hugo’s home in Place des Vosges
  • Travel to the site where the Bastille once stood
  • Explore the Petit Palais (Note: the nearby Grand Palais is sadly closed on Tuesdays)
  • View the Monet collection at the Musée Marmottan

6/7/2017 {Wednesday}

  • Move to our second apartment (“La Charme du Marais” from
  • Revel in the opulence of the Palais Garnier (and obviously recreate iconic moments from The Phantom of the Opera)
  • See the Saint-James & Albany Hotel (where the Fitzgeralds were once thrown out for their misbehavior)
  • Wander through the Jardin des Tuileries
  • Gawk at the beauty of Monet’s famed “waterlilies” paintings in the Musée de l’Orangerie
  • Meander through the many exhibits of the Musée d’Orsay (and take dramatic pictures in front of the iconic clock face — a remnant of the old train station)
  • Eat at Café Campana
  • Stumble upon the Musée Rodin and enjoy its fragrant rose garden
  • Eat chocolates at the base of the majestic Eiffel Tower

6/8/2017 {Thursday}

  • Train ride to Versailles
  • Tour the impressive chateau and its gardens
  • Purchase macaroons at Laduree
  • Train ride back to Paris

6/9/2017 {Friday}

  • Get fresh juice at Italian Trattoria
  • Tour Sainte-Chapelle
  • Walk through the Paris Flower Market
  • Tour Notre-Dame
  • See the famous “Lady and the Unicorn” tapestries at the Musée de Cluny
  • Explore the Pantheon (and the crypt beneath, housing many famous Parisians)
  • Marvel at Sainte-Genevieve Library
  • Eat lunch at an outdoor café in Luxembourg Garden and watch the toy boats race
  • Try (and fail) to experience the Louvre in its entirety

6/10/2017 {Saturday}

  • Flight from Paris to Amsterdam
  • Flight from Amsterdam to Boston
  • Flight from Boston to Chicago
  • Flight from Chicago to Nashville

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