I have to start this off by saying that I'm a little bias when it comes to doing anything in Paris (I love everything that has to do with Paris). I was lucky enough my junior year of school to study abroad, for the entire year, and yes you guessed it...in Paris. For the newbie who is just coming to Paris, below is my 12 hour itinerary filled with tourist activities. I'm going to release a week long itinerary soon filled with hotels, restaurants, and more soon for those who want to take it easy. BUT for those that only have 12 hours, here you go!
Wake up early and eat breakfast at your hotel. I stayed at the Select Hotel, which I highly recommend staying at as it's right in the Saint Germain area and has a mix of locals and tourists. As always, I book all my hotels through Expedia.
10am Notre Dame and Cité Metro Station.
Cité is actually a little island in Paris on La Seine, and it's there you will find Notre Dame. Although beautiful to go inside, the line does get long, but usually goes pretty quickly. I also suggest checking out the Metro station to capture that cool long exposure picture.
12pm Lunch at MI-VA-MI
After leaving the island of Cité, walk over to Le Marais where you will find the best falafel in the world. Absolutely delicious.
1:30pm Le Marais
Shop around the vintage and boutique stores that will show you why shopping in Paris is absolutely the best. If you have time, head to my favorite park La Place des Vosges.
3pm Head to Trocadero
If you're an early riser then go as soon as you wake up, if not, stick to this time slot. In the morning you won't be battling any tourists for that perfect picture, and you'll have the whole area to yourself. However, 3pm is another great time as most people are at work (during the week) or still finishing up lunch. Don't forget to walk down through the park.
5pm Head to Arc de Triomphe for Sunset.
Best time for amazing pictures and getting that long exposure night shot.
7:00pm Dinner at Cafe Mabillon
The French eat later than Americans so join them on their schedule. 7:00pm is still early, 8:30pm is prime time.
9:00pm Have a good night!
Most French dinners are at least 2 hours, and if it's really formal it could be 3-4 hours. So enjoy, relax, and have a great night after your long Parisian dinner.
If you have time before dinner check out the area around Le Louvre. The "area" includes Palais du Louvre, Place du Carrousel, Jardin des Tuileries, and Place de la Concorde. It's better at night because you're not dealing with the crazy crowds and perfect to get that long exposure shot (do you see a theme here?).
I know I haven't been posting very frequently but I promise to be better. Like this itinerary? I'd love to hear your thoughts, so comment below!