First thing you absolutely must do is take a free walking tour.  Look on trip advisor for the best ones.  It helps you get a vibe for the city and understand the lay out.  I would recommend not getting a week’s metro pass and instead just walk as much as possible.  The metros are fairly easy to understand.

Words you must know:
escue moi (excuse me)
merci (thank you)
bonjour (good morning)
bon soir (good night)
pardon (par don: pardon me)
parlez-vous anglais (par lay voo ahn glayze: do you speak english)
most people will speak english but they want you to try in french first – also Spanish can REALLY help you because the pronunciation is pretty similar.


1. Musee D’Orsay – by far the best and most beautiful museum, it houses impressionism and lots of Monet.  Go here first thing as it gets crowded (also ask for student prices in ALL the museums).  Get the D’Orsay/L’Orangerie pass.

2.  Musee L’Orangerie: in the gardens in front of the Louvre – its really small so it doesn’t need more than an hour or so but it is the home of the lily pad paintings by Claude Monet.  It is a MUST.

3. Musee Louvre – The Louvre: go early, pick out ONE thing you want to see each and go to those.  It is the biggest museum, you will get lost and it will be absolutely crowded.  Mona Lisa lives here.

4.  Invalides: it is where Napoleon’s tomb is but is also a war museum; you can skip it and not feel bad though.
5. Centre Pompidou: the building itself is a sight to see, its built inside out, its contemporary so if you like modern art definitely check it out.


1. Champs Elysee: crowded and kinda cheap stores so just go to look

2. Rue di Rivoli: lots of designer stuff, really fun to people watch

3. Marais: more vintage/boutiques for really special Parisian only clothing (Sunday there is a vintage designer flea market here)

4.  Longchamp – it is cheaper here then in the states

1. Eiffel Tower: if you want to go up, do the stairs – the line is way shorter OR eat at the restaurant on the 2nd floor – its pricey but then you get to go up for free

– my recommendation is get a bottle (or two) of wine and take it to Champs du Mars (in front of the eiffel) and watch the eiffel light up all night long while you get blitzed, best memory I have of Paris

2. Montparnasse Tower: go up this tower at dusk, you get a beautiful view of the city which INCLUDES the Eiffel Tower and your pictures will be incredible (also super cheap)

3. Jardin du Luxembourg: gorgeous gardens that are fun to people watch and see (near Montparnasse if you want to walk/metro there after)

4.  Sorbonne: this is next to the Luxembourg gardens and houses the university.  This area is really young and hip, has some good shopping, great bakeries, a Starbucks if you need it and the best gelato called Amaretto (its a chain so you will see it all over)

5.  Sacre Couer: do a trip up here, its SUPER touristy though so watch for pickpockets.  This is where the artists lived in the 40s and still has beautiful cafes and artists in the street.

6.  From Scare Couer you can walk to Moulin Rouge: mind you its SUPER ghetto (but in Parisian standards so its not that bad) but you probably want to see it nonetheless.

7.  Arc di Triumph: this is worth going to the top of as well because it is at the edge of Champs Elysees, if you don’t climb the top its still beautiful to see from below and watch all the people trying to figure out how to cross the street (there is a tunnel underneath to cross below the road).

8.  Place de la Concord: huge obelisk stolen from Egypt, all the fanciest hotels are around there.
9.  Opera House: so pretty to see, also easy to walk to and good shopping around there – if you can go in do it but if they have a show they wont let you
10.  Notre Dame: SO cool, go inside and take pictures – you can even climb up to the top where the hunchback lived (have to go early) – this is free so DEFINITELY go here.
11. Saint Sulpice: really gorgeous church on the isle near Notre Dame – the security is crazy so make sure you don’t have a cork screw in your back…long story.

1. Laudere on Champs Elysee or in Madeline (good shopping around there too)

2. Angelica’s: BEST DRINKING CHOCOLATE EVER (fun to grab tea here)

3. Amaretto: gelato

4. Berthillion ice cream: sometimes restaurants will serve it too.

5. Almond croissants ANYWHERE: so fucking good

6. French onion soup: so cliche, so good.

My biggest recommendation, ignore my list and walk around Paris and get lost.  Drink wine at a cafe on the sidewalk and just enjoy as much as possible.