When exploring a city while on holiday it’s easy to rattle off a long list of favorite things you did, assuming you enjoyed the visit. But what if you had to narrow down your list to just three things? A bit challenging when talking about a city like Paris. But, ethical muse is rising to that challenge as Christina shares her top three recommendations for her very favorite destination…
Favorite Way to Spend a Day
There’s no shortage of lists covering things to experience while visiting Paris. Having been fortunate to visit the City of Light a few times, and having checked off many of those boxes on past visits, last summer we decided to take a Fat Tire Bike Tour to Versailles. While the Chateau is definitely something to see, it was the beauty of the vast grounds and the outdoor experience that made this one of my all time favorite things to do.
The meeting point for this full-day tour was at Fat Tire’s bike shop located in the 15th. From there we took a short walk and boarded the train. Arriving in the town of Versailles, we hopped on bikes and headed to the outdoor market. We were given time on our own, visiting the various vendors to purchase fresh meats, cheeses, bread, wine and fruit for our pending picnic on the Palace grounds. The choices were endless, but our guide steered us in the direction of her favorite stalls.
The bike ride through the breathtaking grounds was leisurely, peddling along tree-lined paths to visit Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet as well as the Grand and Petite Trianons. The highlight was our picnic lunch at the end of the Grand Canal. From there we were given “skip the line” tickets to tour the Chateau at our leisure before heading back to the city by train.
Our guide shared the history and facts in a conversational and modern way, captivating everyone’s interest and leaving us all wishing we had chosen to study the French Revolution at University.
Favorite Place to Grab a Bite
Visitors to Paris are definitely not starved for choice when it comes to restaurants. To choose only one to share is pure torture. The list of great places we’ve eaten in this city is long, and of course there is nothing like a quintessential outdoor Paris cafe. However, there is one restaurant we always find ourselves returning to multiple times. Miznon. Located in the Marais (my all time fave area of Paris, by the way), this Israeli pita chain makes the best stuffed sandwiches from scratch on their homemade, fluffy pita. Great for vegetarians and meat lovers alike, this casual (sometimes chaotic when crowded) spot with a raw, open, industrial decor is the perfect place to hang for awhile to satisfy hunger and rest tired feet after a day touring the city streets. If you like a bit of French flair with your pita the boeuf bourguignon is a must. Messy, but so delish.
Favorite Unexpected Surprise
I assume everyone who comes to Paris knows of the famed department store, Galleries Lafayette, on Boulevard Haussmann. And, yes, if given the opportunity to share a longer list of my favorite things, shopping would definitely be one of them. But this store didn’t make my short-list based on shopping this time. Instead, it’s their roof-top terrace that rounds out my top three. Free to the public, this large terrace offers impressive 360 degree views of Paris. Grab a coffee and chill out on one of the floor cushions or tables while inhaling the view. Oh, and on your way out, you may want to take a detour to Level -1…if you love shoes. Just sayin’…