Our honeymoon was a dream- especially because we went to Paris, which was a dream come true for me! I was so excited to drink champagne, shop, and eat baguettes (omg the baguettes….I took one to go on our last day and ate it on the plane, they were that good). I’m so excited to share all of the amazing places we tried- a few touristy, some recommended by friends, and most of them impromptu after a few days of wandering and getting lost.
Today’s blog post is part of my Honeymoon Recap series! On our honeymoon, we visited Paris, the Amalfi Coast, Florence, and Rome for two incredible weeks. I’m featuring my favorite activities, restaurants, and the off-the-beaten path finds from our trip. If you want to read my post about honeymoon planning tips, you can read it here!. I’ve also linked all my honeymoon essentials in my amazon storefront as well if you want to shop some of the items I mention below directly (I do earn a small commission on your purchases- thank you for your support that helps keep Belle on the Beltline up and running!)! Enjoy and happy travels!
We stayed in the 1st Arrondissement at Hotel Edouard 7. Of all our hotels, Paris was a close second for our favorite- the location was perfect, it included an incredible breakfast with cappuccinos, health shots, and incredible food. It was pretty fancy- we loved staying there!
The funniest part of staying there was that the maid service was so attentive that they rearranged our suitcases and refolded all of our clothes every day, and alphabetized our bath products in the bathroom (it was honestly probably too attentive for my taste, haha). Our hotel had a view of the Opera House and the room had a balcony you could open right onto the street, although the rooms are a little small if that matters to you.
The location of the hotel was perfect- it’s right by the Galleries Layfette and the Opera House, which is almost walkable to the Louvre (or a short cab). Also- the famous Pierre Hermé macaron shop is right next door, which was perfect for getting there early and skip the line.
Paris is famously expensive to visit, and part of the reason is because it’s not a walkable city- to go from neighborhood to neighborhood you need to either use public transit or take a cab. We ended up taking a few cabs every day, which was probably 30 euro a day. Even so, we walked a ton- to the point that I ended up buying two pairs of shoes while we were there (the Vejas I packed to look tres chic were not cutting it and I ended up re-byuing my classic Stan Smiths, which in my opinion are the most comfortable fashion sneakers to ever exist!).
Our Favorite Activities in Paris
We spent most of our time wandering around Paris and getting lost with baguettes in hand, which sounds cheesy but was exactly what I wanted when I pictured us in Paris on our honeymoon! Here were our highlights:
Shop at the Galeries Lafayette and Avenue des Champs-Élysées
I knew I wanted to shop when we were in Paris, and the Euro to USD rate made it an incredible deal. I couldn’t believe the prices! I didn’t go for luxury goods (we just paid for a wedding haha) but a few brands are defiantly cheaper in Paris if you want to buy designer. I did end up buying a few accessories, and my favorite large Lonchamp Le Pilage tote in red for about 100USD, which was way cheaper than US prices. In the store on the Champs-Elysees they monogram them for free, so I added my new initials! It was the perfect high quality souvenir that will still last a lifetime for an incredible deal.
Fragonard is one of the oldest perfume houses in Paris (and is women owned, which is fun!), and we went to their museum and perfume making workshop one of our rainy days. It ended up being so much fun, and it was one of the cheaper activities in Paris at only about 20 euro each. We got to make our own perfumes to take home, which was the best souvenir!
Eiffel Tower Seine Tour and Carousel
We loved our Seine tour- it was the best way to see the City and get a ‘lay of the land’ without having to trek all over. Plus, it was an engaging way to hear the history of the city! We rode the carousel after, too, which was a really cute way to honor our third date, which was at the fair.
Exploring Rue Mouffetard
La Mouffe is one of the oldest streets in Paris, opened by the Romans 2000 years ago. It is picturesque and full of local vendors, shops, and sweets. Hemingway wrote about it in ‘A Moveable Feast’- it was incredible to see in real life! Ryan and I spent half a day wandering around and buying baguettes, cheeses, wines, and stopping at corner cafes. It was our favorite activity in Paris, and free of tourists.
My favorite shopping in Paris was the pharmacies, hands down. I went crazy- buying sunscreen they don’t make in the US, retinol, Biafane, and all the Laroche-Posay I could fit in my suitcase. It’s so cheap in Paris! I had the best time just asking shop keepers what famous French skincare they recommend and am still trying masks and creams!
Where to Get the Best Sweets in Paris
I was disappointed to find that Laduree only has my favorite rose croissants in the United States, but the macarons did not disappoint! We went before heading into the Longchamp Store, right on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. If you don’t want the wait or to sit in the cafe, visit their other locations.
Angelina is all over Tik Tok right now, but I’ve wanted to go ever since I was a little girl and a friend of mine went in grade school and raved about the hot chocolate. It was very good and reasonably priced, but as a salty over sweet girl it wasn’t my favorite thing. Plus, it felt like everyone was there to take photos, and it was really crowded. Be prepared to wait in line if you go. FYI- if you want to eat outside and get hot chocolate, go to Carette by the Eiffel Tower, but be warned their hot chocolate is known for being sweeter.
These are the best maracons in Paris, and I say that as someone that really knows her macarons (I refuse to eat any that aren’t Laduree or Pierre Herme). You can’t go wrong here- buy all that you can afford, and go early or late to avoid the line. Ask the shopkeeper what to order if you want a tip- their recommendations always end up being my favorite.
I love a classic lemon crepe and we stumbled across Pinocchio’s in the Latin Quarter. The crepes were amazing, and the owner even gave us sugared lemons to try. It was one of our favorite treats in Paris!
Our Favorite Restaurants
We tried a ton of restaurants in Paris, but these three really stuck out as a little less touristy, but still incredible.
Cafe de la Paix for French Onion Soup
I couldn’t wait to go to Cafe de la Paix to try their famous French Onion soup, and it did not disappoint! It was amazing- the best I’ve ever had.
6 New York for a Tasting Menu with the View of the Eiffel Tower
Our big ‘fancy’ dinner was 6 New York and it was unbelievable. It’s a Michelin Star restaurant with a view of the Eiffel tower that is priced accordingly. It was the perfect fancy honeymoon dinner!
Bistrot Victoires for Steak Frites
We stumbled upon Bistrot Victoires and it was the most classic French pub. We got the Steak Frites that come with rosemary burning on top in embers. Their appetizers were also incredible- we loved everything we tried. The whole atmosphere was cozy and delicious.
Bar La Petite
This was our favorite bar for happy hour- it was so good we went back again! We went and had cheese boards and amazing wine for under 20 euro and just watched the world go by. Every once and a while, Ryan will sometimes glance at me and say, “I want to go back to our square”- it was our perfect little spot to sit and enjoy Paris in the sunshine.
Our Paris Photo Shoot
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our most memorable activity in Paris, which was our professional photo shoot. We used @myparisphoto on Instagram for a one hour session. The total cost was about $200 and we ended up with 50 images after just an hour at a few locations around the Eiffel Tower. A few of my other locations for pictures that I loved were Plaza Athene’s courtyard, Cafe de Flore (the food is so-so but the outside is cute), side streets by the Eiffel Tower, the roof of Galeries Lafayette, and anywhere touristy at sunrise. 😉