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Paris, France

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

July 2023 | Our itinerary

After visiting Copenhagen, Denmark, spending 11 days on our British Isles European cruise through Scotland, Ireland, & England, then docking in London & exploring the city for 3 hours, it was finally time for our last stop to Paris, France!

Day 1:

After our many forms of transportation for the day (cruise ship, taxi, & train), we had finally made it to Paris, France! Once we got off the Eurostar Train, we quickly figured out how to get from the station to our hotel. We went back and forth between taking more trains or just hopping in an Uber but after a quick cost analysis it definitely made more sense to take some trains. So after another couple of trains + lots of stops, we finally made it to our hotel around 8pm.

Once we checked in, we rode the tiny elevator up to our room where we started unpacking our things and settling in. After freshening up, we decided to make our way to dinner which was around 9:30pm. It's crazy 1. how long it stays bright in Paris in the summertime because the sun was just starting to set when we were walking the streets of Pari and 2. how late people in Europe eat dinner. I had originally planned on us eating at Chez Ming, which I had found as a "hidden gem" on TikTok. The restaurant was just a 10 minute walk from our hotel and then a 7 minute walk to the Eiffel Tower. It was located on a backstreet where you could sit outside to get an intimate, unobstructed view of the tower (which is perfect for night time when the tower lights up). Unfortunately their kitchen was closed when we walked up but luckily there were a couple other restaurants located in that same area so we just ended up picking a different one instead. We quickly came to realize that all of the kitchens were closing but luckily the host at Au Bon Accueil allowed us to sit as long as we ordered quick (which obviously wasn't a problem for us Americans). Once seated on the cute outdoor terrace area, with the perfect view of the Eiffel Tower, we ordered our food + drinks. Alec enjoyed a nice red wine to start while we placed our order for the Butcher's cut and chicken breast entrees. Both came with tasty sides of potatoes + fresh veggies which was the perfect amount of food. While we sat outside, enjoying our meals and watching the sunset over the tower, we just tried to soak it all in. What a surreal moment living our best Parisan summer life in the city for lovers with your soul mate, I seriously can't get over the fact that this is our real life.

Around 10:45pm we finished up our dinner and paid our tab. Since it was almost completely dark outside, that meant the Eiffel Tower was about to sparkle for the evening. This only happens at the top of every hour, once it's dark enough outside, for 5 minutes. So in the summertime the tower only sparkles from 11-11:05pm. Because of that, we decided to just hang around the area we ate at and wait to see the tower sparkle. After grabbing some quick pics + videos, we just soaked in the moment and enjoyed one of the most romantic evenings of our lives together. Once the tower was done sparkling, we walked back to our hotel to get some rest before our eventful next few days in the city.

Day 2 :

Thursday morning we woke up and were ready to hit the ground running! Knowing our time in Paris was going to fly by, we wanted to make the most of each day. After we finished getting ready, we walked from our hotel to Café de l'Empire for some delicious breakfast. This was a little further of a walk from our hotel (about 30 minutes) but it was close to the activities we had planned for the day so it made sense. Also this was just a cafe highly rated + recommended on the Out of Office app, but there are TONS of cafes up and down every street in Paris and you really can't go wrong with any of them. For breakfast most of the cafes have 2 options, a smaller breakfast meal or a larger breakfast meal. The smaller meal comes with a drink (coffee or hot chocolate) and a pastry while the larger meal comes with both of those items + eggs and bacon. That day I decided to order the smaller meal while Alec had the larger one and of course we got the infamous chocolate pastries which literally melted in our mouths. We both really enjoyed our experience our breakfast Cafe de l'Empire from the kind waiter, to the ambiance, and the tasty meal, we couldn't more highly recommend this spot especially if you are in the area.

Once we finished eating and paid our tab (which you do at most counters in cafes in Paris) we walked over to the Musee d’Orsay for our morning museum visit. This was only about a 5 minute walk too which was super nice! We did buy tickets ahead of time, which we highly recommend because during peak season day of tickets can often be sold out or you have to wait in a long line just to purchase them. As soon as we got inside we were immediately in awe. We couldn't believe how big this museum was or how beautiful all of the pieces inside were. Since our time in Paris was so limited and there was so much we wanted to see/do we definitely rushed going through the museum and didn't get to see everything. But no joke if you wanted to see every piece of art it might take you a whole day to go through the museum. So just keep that in mind when planning your trip, we would suggest allocating at least 2-3 hours and just brace yourself for lots of people/crowds.

Once we saw some of the most iconic pieces of artwork in the museum, we decided to make our way to our lunch reservation. After our 15 minute walk over to the Saint-Germain des Pres area, we stopped for lunch at Les Deux Magots. To drink I got an alcohol free cocktail spritz while Alec enjoyed a glass of white wine and then to eat Alec ordered the Croque-Madame while I had the Club Sandwich with fries. We really loved everything we ordered and were very pleased by the tentative, friendly staff especially at such a popular, busy restaurant. After we paid our tab, we decided to walk over to The Louvre Museum to see if we could get in early. Just like we did for the Musee d'Orsay, we bought tickets ahead of time because we were told that they often sell out on tickets day of or you have to wait in a super long time to get them. Obviously both aren't ideal, especially in the heat + 7 months pregnant. This was only about a 15 minute walk + we got to window shop a little along the river. There are tons of pop up shops where artist sell paintings, prints, knickknacks, you name it. All pretty reasonably priced but cash only, so be prepared!

When we arrived at The Louvre, it was packed so we figured we wouldn't be able to get in early. Our ticket reservations were for 4pm but we got there around 2:30/3pm. Once we walked up and showed them our tickets they didn't seem to care at all in regards to the actual time of our reservation. Not sure if that is normal or because I was visibly very pregnant but nonetheless they let us into the queue to go inside. This was about a 20 minute wait outside where you had to go through a scanner + get your bag checked. However once they noticed I was pregnant, they jumped us to the front of the line and let us in right away. Things are just so different over there! They really prioritize families and children not making it seem like a burden or issue which was such a pleasant surprise. Once you get inside you go down an escalator which opens up to basically an underground museum. There are SO many different paths and rooms to walk through/around and it can be pretty overwhelming. Truthfully we had both hit quite a wall after lunch, feeling full, sleepy, and tired from all the walking so we decided to just head straight to see the Mona Lisa. Of course everyone and their mother had the same idea so it was quite a crowded and hot walk all the way to the back of the museum to see the infamous lady! Along the way we stopped to admire lots of other beautiful artwork and paintings all very captivating and gorgeous in their own, unique ways. After what felt like an eternity of following endless signs that showed an image of Mona Lisa, we finally made it to the room where her painting lived. Once inside you have 2 options, you can either wait in a line to get a front row view of her or walk along the side and hope to get a quick snapshot of her with no line. We decided to take the line approach (which we highly recommend) and it only took about 10 minutes to get through. Once at the front you are given a minute or 2 to take pictures, videos, etc. with the painting before they shuffle you out. There is a gap between the actual painting + where the line is where people can walk in front if given special permission. As we were leaving the line, Alec and I both thanked the women working for their time and help in which they returned our kindness by letting us walk in front of the Mona Lisa with an unobstructed view! Just goes to show how a little love towards others goes a long way :)

After seeing the famous lady and getting out of the hottest room in The Louvre, we decided we were ready to be back above ground. However this was much easier said than done because it feels like a literal casino down there with endless rooms and hallways all leading in what felt like a giant square. Eventually we finally found ourselves back at the entrance and were able to see the light again! Once outside we were in the Tuileries Garden. For reference though, we didn't even see like a fourth of the museum, that's how big it is! We were just too tired and could only spend about 2 hours in there but you could seriously carve out an entire day to spend wandering and exploring that magnificent museum. Once we walked further into the garden away from the museum crowd, we decided to sit down and do some people watching for a while. It was so sweet just watching kids play, families hang out on picnic blankets, and couples walking hand-in-hand. We could have sat there for hours! After getting a little rest we decided to get a little pick me up from the cafe in the garden. And what better way to round out the hot afternoon than 2 gelatos cones! As we sat in the shade eating out afternoon treats, we couldn't help but day dream about coming back to this garden one day with our baby boy. This trip just made us even more excited to have our son and get to show him the world through travel!

Once we were finished with our gelatos, it was time to make the long trek back to our hotel for the evening. This was a 30 minute walk in probably the hottest part of the day but we were up for the challenge. When we got back to the room I quickly rinsed off before hopping in our bed for a little evening nap. Since Paris is such a late night city, an evening nap is perfect for a multitude of reasons. 1. They eat dinner so late over there that napping around 6/7pm is totally fine. 2. It stays bright there for much longer in the summertime so when I woke up around 8pm the sun was still fully out. While I rested Alec just hung out watching Wimbledon, enjoying being off his feet for a while too. After waking up, we decided to get ready and head to dinner. When we originally booked this trip (pre-baby) I had planned lots of fancy dinner reservations for us and had intended we stay up and out much later but realistically that just wasn't doable this pregnant. And honestly it was also a breath of fresh air. Normally on trips we are go go go always have a plan and a reservation to get to but this was kind of a nice change of pace. We enjoyed just relaxing in the evenings and not feeling so pressured to get to dinner reservations at a specific time. So with our change of plans (or lack there of) we just decided all we wanted was to get something to go so we could take it to the Eiffel Tower to sit and enjoy a romantic picnic dinner together. As we walked towards the tower we decided to stop at Angelo Pizzeria because it was one of the very few places in the area that offered food to go. We quickly placed an order for 2 personal pizzas which came out within 15 minutes. From there we just walked straight to the Eiffel Tower to grab a seat on the grass, eat our food, and watch the sunset behind the tower. Additionally, since it was the night before Bastille Day (Paris's 4th of July basically) the symphony & singers were doing a dress rehearsal for their big performance the following night. You would have thought that this would have been a super crowded event but it totally wasn't. We got to the tower around 9:30pm and were easily able to get a seat with an unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower while listening to beautiful singers perform. It was seriously one of the most romantic evenings and moments of our lives! And then of course at 11pm it was finally dark enough for the tower to sparkle. We were just in awe the whole evening that this was real life and we were luckily enough to get to travel to the city of lovers together. Once the twinkling of the tower was complete (at 11:05pm because it only lasts for 5 minutes), we walked back to our hotel to call it a night.

A couple of things to keep in mind when sitting in the Eiffel Tower grounds-

  • There is this group of men who constantly walk around offering to sell you drinks (beer, wine, liquor). It is pretty over priced but they are definitely open for haggling if you are into that sort of thing.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. This is obviously a very touristy area so pickpocketers are more common (however we never noticed anything/felt unsafe during our visits to the tower).

Day 3:

Friday morning we got up ready to tackle the day! After much contemplation on my outfit (I was not feeling what I had originally planned to wear) we finally made it out the door to grad a pastry from Artisan Boulanger Patissier before making the long walk to our first activity of the day. We learned from the day before that I needed some extra fuel + energy early in the morning to make those 30 minute walks without getting too hangry. Once I had my chocolate croissant we started walking to Cafe de Flore which was about 35 minutes from our hotel. That is one thing we learned quickly about Paris, it's very walkable but you have to be ready to WALK (which was easier said than done 7 months pregnant).

Once we arrived at the cafe we were seated right away in the outdoor patio area, which was exactly what we were hoping for! Alec of course started with a coffee while I enjoyed a hot chocolate. To eat I had some scrambled eggs + bacon and Alec had the croque monsieur (he was over eggs at this point lol). We both really enjoyed our meals along with the vibe and atmosphere of the cafe. I was obsessed with the aesthetic and wanted to snap pictures of literally everything (including the adorable placemats lol). After we finished eating and paid our tab, we decided to walk over to see Cathedral Notre Dame. As many of you probably know the Cathedral was nearly burnt to the ground due to a fire about 4 years ago so it was still under major construction. Due to that you still can't go inside but they are hoping to reopen to the public in December 2024. Once we got some pictures + videos, we then decided to do a little bit of shopping in the nearby area. There are so many little different boutiques and shops to just pop in and out of so that's exactly what we did. After we found some souvenirs and knickknacks, we started making our way to the Luxembourg Garden.

This was about a 20 minute walk however, it was still relatively in the same area that we had been in for most of the day. That is a huge recommendation we would suggest when planning out your days in Paris. Try and lump site-seeing together based on the different arrondissement areas. For example all of the things we did on Friday morning/afternoon were in the 5th/6th arrondissement so they were pretty close to one another. The day before we spent most of our time in the 1st arrondissement (Musee d'Orsay, The Louvre, Tuileries Garden, etc.).

Once inside the garden we walked around a bit until we found some sweet treats that we could sit and enjoy on one of the many benches in the park. I got a zesty lemon popsicle while Alec enjoyed his refreshing strawberry gelato cone. It was so nice just sitting in the shade, relaxing, people watching, and soaking up the beautiful Parisian air. After about an hour or so of just hanging out it was time to make the long trek back to our hotel. It was about a 40 minute walk but of course along the way we stopped to do some shopping, snacking, & took plenty of breaks in the shade. We made a quick detour to have a refreshing drink down by the river at one of the many little restaurants along the walking path before heading back to our hotel area to grab a bite to eat. We decided to grab a table at L'Eclair since we hadn't eaten a "real meal" since earlier that morning. After all of Alec's croque monsieur/madames it was time for me to get one of my own so I had that while Alec had the infamous fish and chips. Once we finished eating + paying we walked back to our hotel where I quickly rinsed off again before taking a little cat nap.

I woke up around 8:30/9pm and we were ready to make the most of the rest of Bastille Day! After we both freshened up for the evening, we walked back to Angelo Pizzeria to grab some more pizzas to go. We really loved doing this because it was fast, simple, and allowed us to eat while sitting in the Eiffel Tower park (or at least that was the plan). Once our pizzas were ready, we continued walking to the tower for the Bastille Day show which basically entails a live music concert by the orchestra followed by fireworks all around the city. When we walked up to the park area it was such a different experience than we had had the night before. There were SO many people, police, and barricades it was honestly hard to get around. After much deliberation we decided to hop into the line with the rest of the crowd to be shimmed into the Eiffel Tower area. Luckily it did feel very safe and there were tons of police officers around checking bags and monitoring the situation. Once inside it was packed! There was hardly anywhere to stand let alone sit and we realized this might not be for us anymore haha. Being that pregnant I just couldn't stand for the next 2 hours while we waited for & watched the fireworks show (which started at midnight) or be in that big of a crowd. I was just very nervous for after the show and how it would be leaving the park. So after we walked around a bit, got some shots of the Eiffel Tower, and listened for a little bit to the orchestra, we decided to take our to go pizzas back to our room to watch the performance/show from there. Luckily we had a view of the top of the tower from our balcony which was just enough for us. Once back to our room we enjoyed some bubbly (non-alcoholic for me of course) along with our tasty pizzas and watched the show while also listening to the orchestra perform on the tv. It was such a cool event to get to be a part of in person especially because that is the only day each year that they set fireworks off from the Eiffel Tower. All in all it was an incredible day and we were excited to see what our last full day in Pari had in store for us the following day.

Day 4 :

Since Saturday was our last full day in Paris, we wanted to make sure to get up early and make the most of our time the city! We really felt like we had done and seen almost everything so we were very pleased with our planning + timing.

Once we got out of bed and got ready, we walked down to the cute little restaurant/shopping area by our hotel to grab some breakfast from Cafe Central. Similarly to our first morning in Paris, Alec ordered the large breakfast option while I had the small breakfast option. Mine included a hot drink (so I got hot chocolate) and a croissant (so of course I went with chocolate) and Alec's had the same options (however he got coffee instead) + bacon and eggs. Overall it was a very romantic, relaxing breakfast hanging out on the beautiful outdoor patio table just taking all of Paris in. After we finished eating and Alec paid our tab up at the counter, we hoped in an Uber to head over to Parc de Princes. This was definitely too far to walk (about an hour) but was only a 15 minute drive + not an expensive Uber at all. We went ahead and purchased tickets to do a stadium tour that morning prior to our arrival but you could definitely buy them onsite as well. It cost about $25 per person and took us about 2 hours overall but you could totally make your visit longer or shorter just depending on your preference. During this self guided tour we were able to see the field from the suites + the pitch, the lorckerrooms, the press box, the media room, and the trophy room. It was so cool getting to see all of the different areas where you normally wouldn't get to go if a game was going on. Of course once we finished our tour we had to walk across the street to the gift shop to grab a couple of souvenirs before hoping back in an Uber to our hotel area.

By this time momma was hungry and ready for some lunch and what better way to refuel than some Big Macs from Mickey D's. Truthfully I think we were both kind of missing American fast food chains and we wanted to check out what McDonald's was like in another country. Unfortunately the closest one was about a 30 minute walk from our hotel but it was near the Arc de Triomphe which we hadn't seen yet so it was truly a win win. Once we arrived at the McDonald's it was popping! I quickly snagged a table so I could rest after the long walk while Alec ordered for us. Then we pretty much sat in silence scarfing down our meals and recovering from our trek over to this side of the city. After we finished eating we decided to do some shopping along Champs-Elysees. This area is very well known for its high end stores and wide variety of cafes. We decided to stop into Adidas, Nike, Zara, and a couple others before walking closer to the Arc de Triomphe to snap some pics and videos. By this point I was exhausted and ready for a little break, so we made the long trek back to our hotel where I took another little cat nap in preparation for our last night in Paris.

After I woke up and we got ready, we decided to just grab a table at Les Telephones for our last dinner in Paris. This was a new restaurant located in the quaint little area by our hotel which made for a short walk and chill evening. To eat Alec of course had to get steak frites while I enjoyed their truffle risotto dish. We both really enjoyed our choices but Alec's was definitely the superior option (and now I know why that is such a popular dish in Paris). Once we finished eating we decided to grab one last sweet treat in Paris from Amorino and honestly we are mad that we didn't get gelato from this place every night! It was literally to die for, I will seriously dream about that gelato forever. You start by ordering + paying at a kiosk (as many flavors as you wanted) and then go to the counter to add toppings to your gelato which included macaroons. Such a unique spin + some of the freshest, most flavorful gelato we have ever had. As we walked the romantic streets enjoying our dessert, we decided to head back to the Eiffel Tower one last time for the 11pm sparkle. As we were sitting on our picnic blanket, soaking in our last few moments in the city of love, a friendly person came up to us and asked to airdrop some pictures + videos she took of us admiring the tower. It was such a kind gesture and we are forever grateful to her for capturing one of our core memories from this beautiful trip together & in love in the most romantic place on Earth! Once the sparkle was over we did one last walk back to our hotel to finish packing our bags and get ready for bed before our long travel day back home.

Day 5 : Sunday morning we woke up with a bittersweet feeling that we had to leave Paris, France and go back home. That's the beauty though of taking a long vacation (and why we love it so much) because by the end of it you typically are ready to go back home to your own bed, routine, and life. But of course we were sad to leave our Parisian lifestyle summer and go back to reality.

After we finished packing up our bags, we headed downstairs to the Artisan Boulanger Patissier one last time for some breakfast before getting in an Uber to the airport. In total it was only about a 30 minute drive and cost $X total. All in all it was totally worth it because by the end of our 17 day long trip we were both too exhausted to figure out any other way to get to the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Once we arrived, we quickly checked our bags, went through security (which is a little more of a process there than in the U.S. so be sure to allow for ample time), and arrived at our gate with about 30 minutes to spare. Definitely cutting it on the closer side but if you know us at all we typically do ;)

Luckily this was a direct flight from Paris to DFW (10 hours total) so once we boarded the plane and settled in, we were on the home stretch for our trip. Overall this European summer vacation was a dream! From the moody Scottish mornings to the scenic Parisian cafes, we couldn't have had a better last European trip before baby boy's arrival in the fall!


Where to stay

For our time in Paris, France we stayed at the Relais Bosquet Hotel. This is a chic, modern hotel with a flare of feminine touches & boho vibes throughout. Friendly, multilingual staff in the perfect location! Only a 15 minute walk to the Eiffel Tower + just steps from the Rue Cler shopping/cafe street. Most rooms also have a view of the tower just pay attention to the details when booking your room!


Where to eat

Coffee/Tea + Breakfast

Cafe de Flore* (no reservations allowed)

L’Avenue (email for a reservation)

The Hoxton

Brunch + Lunch

Chez Julien (make reservation 1 month in advance)

Pink Mamma (make reservation 1 month in advance)

Dinner + Drinks + Dessert

Bambini (make reservation 2 weeks in advance)

Chez Ming (no reservations allowed)

Girafe Restaurant (make reservation 1 week in advance)

Le Cafe Marly (make reservation 1 month in advance)

*places we ate at


What to do

*things we did


How to get around

Getting around Paris can seem like a lot to figure out but truthfully it is pretty simple. There are a couple of ways you can get from different areas in the city which is by-

  • walking

  • biking/scooting

  • pedicabs

  • train

  • Uber/G7 (there form of Uber)


What to wear

Overall the weather in Paris in the summertime is a little warmer than other times of the year but nothing compared to the Texas heat. During the day shorts or light pants are perfect with either a short sleeve top or tank + light cardigan. Here's what we wore when visiting Paris, France in the middle of July-


Additional notes (from friends)

  • Download G7 it is the “Uber” equivalent in Paris.

  • You can book restaurants through an app called The Fork which is their Resy/Open Table.

  • If you can, book all activities/excursions you want to do in advance!

  • Even at night, after the sun goes down, it still feels super safe to walk around the city so be sure to do so and grab dessert along the way (there are plenty of crepe stands, ice cream shops).

  • Be mindful of pickpocketers - especially in more touristy areas (Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, trains, etc.). It wasn't nearly as bad as I anticipated it to be (TikTok really freaked me out) but just be aware of your surroundings and you should be fine.

  • Bird scooters & electric bikes are HUGE there and the people actually respect bike lanes which makes it way safer than in the U.S.

  • If you are up for it (and want to save money + time walking) take the subways - simple, clean and safe but will require you to use a map (lol) or Apple Maps on your phone!

  • Restaurants by the Eiffel Tower are going to be more expensive just due to the nature of location so just one thing to keep in mind / it may be worth going to different Arrondissements.

xo, The Stegalls Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can watch our full vlogs (part 1 and part 2) on our romantic visit to Paris, France!

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