I recently had a new client who wanted to surprise his wife with Christmas in Paris. It's their anniversary as well, so we created an itinerary that allowed them for some flexibility and enjoyment of a few fun things.
Some activities not listed here that the client went with -
Dinner at the Eiffel Tower followed by a boat ride on the Siene
An intimate cooking class
A night at the opera
A night of dinner with classical music at Sainte Chapelle
A Cinderella Carriage ride
A hot air balloon and dinner for 2 at a castle
Paris for Lovers:
Day 1: Coming from CDG Airport after a long trip, it is advisable to rest a little and then, start your visit at Place de la Concorde. Admiring and taking a picture at the obelisk; take a panoramic view of the Champs Elysees ending at the Arc de Triomphe. Turn around and see to the entrance of the Jardin des Tuileries . You are at the center of Paris. It is very romantic to walk through the park holding hands. Sit at the octagonal pool and end your walk at the Arc de Triomphe de Carrrousel. In front of you will be the LouvreMuseum. The immensity of this museum requires at least a half a day. It is open every day except Tuesday.
Retrace your steps, walking through the Rue de Rivoli, where you will find a variety of shops and places to eat. Walk as far as Rue de Castiglione and make a right turn to the Place Vendome. This is where the back entrance of the Ritz Hotel is and where Audrey.Hepburn film Love in the Afternoon. A true romantic spot. Godiva chocolates as well as Guerlain and Cartier are located in this area. If you still have the stamina, walk on Rue de la Paix until you reach Place de L’Opera. Sit at le Café de la Paix, and like Hemmingway “see the world pass by”. Return to your hotel to rest.
Day 2: Start your day at the Tour Eiffel. If it is a clear day it is recommended to buy tickets all the way to the top. There is a replica of a tiny apartment where Eiffel lived. The best views are from the Second Etagere. North: Le Sacre Coeur in the Montmatre district. South: Montparnase and the Paris suburbs. West: La Defense. East: Les Invalides. There is a very good restaurant inside the tower: Jules Vernes, reservations is a must.
After visiting the tower, walk through the Champs de Mars in the direction of the Ecole Militaire. Go to the corner towards the Place de la Ecole and turn right on Avenue de Tourrvill (a couple of blocks) until you reach Les Invalides, where Napoleon is buried. Turn left at the corner of Rue des Invalides and then, make a right on Rue Varenne to visit the Rodin Museum. There is a cafe at the corner where one can drink a good espresso. Walk to Rue de La Belle, make a left and walk several blocks to Musee D’Orsay. This is a must place to visit. You can have lunch in the museum. After visiting the museum, walk alongside the Quais (next to the river). Until your reach Place St. Michel. Cross over the bridge and walk on Boulevard du Palais and visit Sainte Chapelle. (There is a concert of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on December 23. A must place to visit). Afterwards, take Rue de Lutece to visit Notre Dame de Paris. The best time to visit is an hour before the sunset, since the FAÇADE takes a pink color from the sun at the end of the day. Walk to the little park behind the Cathedral, cross the bridge an you are on I’lle St Louis. There is a very quaint brasserie called la Brasserie de l’Isle St Louis on 55 Quai de Bourbon where you can eat dinner.
Day 3: Start at the Luxemburg Palace and gardens. This is the area where Americans expatriates lived in the first part of the XX Century. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Tolkas lived together on 27 Rue de Fleurus nearby. After visiting the gardens, take Rue Sufflet and visit the Pantheon. Next to the Pantheon is the Church St Etienne Du Mont. This is a very peculiar church where the remains of St Genevieve (Patron Saint of Paris) are and it is one of the few churches in the world that have a rood screen. Retrace your steps to Boulevard de St Michelle and go downhill to the Cluny Museum. After visiting the Museum turn left on Blvd St Germain and walk few blocks to the Church of St Germain du Pres. Across the church you can spend some time at Café Le Deus Magots famous for Picasso, Sartre and many others. Around the corner from the church, find Rue de Furstemberg where the studio of Delacroix was. This is a typical street of Paris en in the XIX C. There are street vendors that sell terrific crepes!
Day 4: Start your day at the Basilique of the Sacré Coeur in Montmatre. It is better if you take a taxi, since going by metro or bus is a little complicated. Once you visit the church and admire the panoramic view of Paris, turn right towards the Place de Terre. You will be together with many other fellow tourists. Have a espresso at one of the cafes at this place and then, start to go downhill on Rue Lepic. At one point you will see the the Moulin de la Galette that inspired Renoir and Van Gogh. On 54 Rue Lepic, Van Gogh lived there with his brother Leo. Go down to Place Blanche. Take a taxi here, and spend the afternoon at the Louvre Museum.
Day 5: Start at Place de Vosgues. This is Paris oldest square. Visit the house of Victor Hugo. Then take Rue des Francs Bourgeois to Musee Carnavalet, it is the Museum of the History of Paris. Very interesting! Continue on the same street to Hotel de Soubise. At No.58, is the oldest of the mansions dating from the 14th C. Continue few blocks until you reach the Centre Culturel G. Pompidou. This is the Marais district: the Bohemian quarters and a Jewish neighborhood. Many place where you can have a good meal. The former market of Paris Les Halles have been transformed into gardens and it is just steps from the Centre.
Day 6: Start all the way to the West at La Defense. Start at the Grande Arche. It is advisable if you can get a local map that describes all the buildings. Then, take a taxi to Galleries Lafayette on the Grand Boulevards. Or if you prefer, take a cruise through the Seine River. You can take one at the foot of the Quai near the Eiffel Tower. At the point where the Seine splits in two there is a Park called The Vert Galant, where a couple holds hand and kiss each other. It is a place especially for two people in love. Tonight, dine at Le Grand Vefour. It is located at the Palais Royale and it is one of the foremost restaurants of Paris. Try the ravioles de foie gras in truffle cream sauce! Reservations: a must.
Day 7: If you have not taken any local tour there are several to select from: A full day tour to some of the Castles, or a ½ day tour to Versailles. Or if you prefer, there are other places in Paris that can be visited: The Place de la Republique; the Bastille Opera House, The St. Martin quarters, the Trocadero quarters, the Rue de Mouffetard (very recommended), etc.