Hello from Amsterdam!
We arrived here on Sunday evening and are loving everything so far. We’re headed to the Anne Frank House this morning, but before we go, I wanted to stop by to say hi to you guys and share some highlights from our time in Paris last week.
It was Travis’s first time in Paris, so he wanted to make sure he saw all of the main attractions, and I think we covered a lot in one week. The major highlight for me was the chance to see my dad’s side of the family, who lives in Paris! Given the distance, we don’t see them as often as I’d like, so it felt very special to be reunited after a year and a half.
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Whether you’re planning a trip to Paris for five days or two weeks, make sure you know where to go and what to eat. Here are my suggestions:
Where to Go in Paris:
Notre Dame Cathedral. Make sure you climb to the top. The line is long, but the view of Paris is beautiful and worth the wait. Plus the 387 steps to the top will help burn off all the baguettes you’re going to eat.
Eiffel Tower. Yes, this one is obvious, but necessary. Skip the long line to go to the top and instead head across the Seine at Place de Trocadero and view the Eiffel Tower from there. The spot is fantastic for photographs and undeniably breathtaking.
Le Marais and the Jewish Quarter. There are countless little boutiques and plenty of delicious food options in the area.
Walk up the Champs Elysee for high-end shopping and to check out the Ladurée for their famous macarons. From there walk to the Grand Palais. Even if you don’t go inside, you can still marvel at its beauty from outside the palace.
Meander down Rue Montorgueil in the 2nd arrondissement. There are so many authentic French brasseries, cheap eats, and little shops to check out.
What to Eat in Paris:
Travis is the one who discovered Frenchie’s on a French restaurant review site. It was tucked away on a little side street right around the corner from our Airbnb in the 2nd arrondissement. We read online to get there ten minutes before it opens since they don’t take reservations and it fills up quickly. Luckily for us, we were the first ones to arrive and we got the best seats overlooking the kitchen. I would consider the cuisine French with global influences. Every bite was unique and special.
What to order: The menu changes regularly, so it’s difficult to suggest one thing. If there is burrata on the menu, order it. And get a second helping of the bread. You won’t be sorry.
You’ll likely find this place listed on all of the top Paris restaurant guides, but it’s worth mentioning again here. Travis and I love falafel (especially after eating the authentic stuff in Israel last year), so we knew we wanted to visit this hotspot during our trip. If you’re walking around the Jewish Quarter in Paris you can’t miss L’As du Fallafel because there is always a giant line of people waiting to order. Don’t let the line scare you, though! They have the ordering process down pat, and we didn’t wait more than five minutes to get our food.
What to order: The falafel in pita as it comes. Just let them know if you want it mild or spicy.
A Parisian might read this and think I am nuts to include Eric Kayser because to them it is probably consider a “chain”… but if you’re like me and don’t eat fresh baguettes and croissants on a daily basis, then this is place is a DREAM. There was an Eric Kayser Boulangerie in every area we walked through, so you’ll be sure to find one wherever you’re staying. I had a Pain au Chocolat
almost every day, and we purchased their fresh bread for our breakfast every morning.
What to get: Pain au Chocolat (it seriously is the BEST) and the pain rustique or pain aux cereals for breakfast.
(source: ECC Facebook)
Travis and I visited the Experimental Cocktail Club in NYC a few years ago, but it has since closed down (rumor has it they’re looking for a new location). Travis and I are typically solely beer and wine drinkers, but when a friend suggested we try ECC in NYC we were blown away by how unique and creative the cocktails were.
We knew there was a location in Paris, so we made a point to stop by after our dinner at Frenchie’s. If you go, make sure to look for the lead bartender (I’d prefer to call him a mixologist), Max. He speaks perfect English and will help you select the best cocktail for your tastebuds. Even if you aren’t a cocktail person, I can’t recommend ECC more. Each drink is so unique, you’d be crazy not appreciate what goes into each one.
What to get: The Experience 1 cocktail, if you’re going for something refreshing and not-too-sweet. But you can also just tell the bartender what you typically like and he or she will guide you in the right direction.
That’s it for Paris! See you later this week with more from our time in Amsterdam…