Things to do

Travel itinerary: A weekend in Paris

You have no idea how excited I was to finally take Rick to Paris, one of my favorite cities in the world! When we had planned our England, Scotland, and Ireland trip with Go Ahead, I knew we had to find a way to add a few days before the trip to visit Paris on our own.

I love Paris and can never tire of the city. Plus it’s like London and Rome, no matter how many times you’ve been there’s always something to see or do you haven’t before.

We requested our flights to London be switched to Paris through Go Ahead and then booked a hotel with credit card points to help stretch our travel budget. We were able to add in two full days in Paris with two half days before going on our guided adventure. And here’s what we did with our weekend in Paris!

Prefer to watch content? We have this blog post in a video format with our Paris travel vlog!

How to spend a weekend in Paris

Day 1

We left Denver on a Friday afternoon, had a layover in Munich, and then arrived in Paris mid-day on Saturday. We hailed a taxi at the Paris airport and headed off to our hotel in the Latin Quarter.

We got checked in, rode in the teeny, tiny two-person elevator to the fifth floor and dropped off our luggage and changed out of our airplane clothes.

We luckily had packed clothes we could layer for Scotland and Ireland and thank the lord we did as it was boiling in Paris in early September. Out came the shorts and tank tops! We decided to stretch our legs and check out our hotel’s neighborhood.

Dinner at La Petite Perigourdine

After some walking and exploring, we were ready to help our bodies adjust to the time change by getting on local time and getting some dinner.

Of course dinner came with a carafe of rose as well! The brasserie we found, La Petite Perigourdine, was very cute, had great outdoor and indoor seating, and good service.

We started off with some escargot and then I made sure to get my first tasting in of steak tartare as it’s my go-to French dish and Rick opted for some duck confit that had a crispy skin that was to die for. It was the perfect way to start off our time in Paris.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

Unfortunately, Notre-Dame was still closed while we were there but that didn’t stop us from paying a visit and at least seeing the exterior! It was only a short walk from our hotel and we had a lot of good food to burn off.

The cathedral had some informational signs around it and you can still see quite a bit of the exterior from the ground or they had some stadium-style seating if you wanted to hang out in front of Notre-Dame for a bit.

Le Dante

Still being on US time, we weren’t quite ready for bed yet so we kept walking and checking out the area. We found another cute cafe and sat outside for some more wine and shared a yummy chocolate cake for dessert.

Then it was time to head back to the hotel for some rest as our first day in Paris was jam-packed!

Day 2

Eiffel Tower

Our day started off with a bit of sleeping in before getting up for our first activity of our real Paris itinerary: Visiting the Eiffel Tower!

We had purchased tickets through Get Your Guide for an 11:30 Eiffel Tower and summit ticket. Our ticket was a combo option so we also had a one-hour Seine cruise that we could use at any time during our trip.

Our “guide” got us through security and then up to the second floor. We did book the summit option so we got to ride the elevator alllll the way up to the top, which I definitely recommend.

At the top of the tower we snapped our photos and sipped some champagne. It was fun but also a bit expensive just for the gimmick of it.

After dragging me away from the view we took the elevator back down to the second floor and then opted to take the stairs the rest of the way. I’ve been to the Eiffel Tower twice before and had never gone down the steps.

It was actually really neat to see the Eiffel Tower that way and see all the iron up close. After our time enjoying the views atop the Eiffel Tower it was time to find a spot for lunch.

Cafe lunch

We found a great little cafe nearby and sat outside for lunch. I got a glass of rose, when in France and all that, and Rick accidentally got a liter of Diet Coke. He didn’t understand the server when he asked Rick what size but it’s okay, we left maybe 5 oz. of Diet Coke in the glass when we left!

Both of us got sandwiches, Rick a croque monsieur and I the madame version and it was a lovely leisurely lunch.

Inception bridge

We had to make a quick stop at the Paris bridge featured in Inception, and recreate a moment from Parks and Rec when Ben is so stoked to see the bridge from Inception even though the Eiffel Tower is right behind him.

You can see our recreation on Instagram.


We had tickets for a 4:30 p.m. entry to the Catacombs. I think this is such a neat attraction in Paris, but I do also love all things spooky and macabre.

The catacombs is essentially a labyrinth of tunnels about 65 ft. below the city. As you walk the tunnels, you’ll see the artful displays of the bones of about six million dearly departed Parisians.

The catacombs can be seen as creepy by some, but did you know the site is supposedly haunted as well?

One of the most well-known hauntings is done by the ghost of Philibert Aspairt, who went into the Catacombs only to have his bones found 11 years later. He makes his presence known by whispering in your ear, calling out for others, or blowing on you, though it’s so freaking cold down there you might not even feel it if he does choose to spook you. 

Cheese and wine

After returning to the land of the living, we wanted to keep it that way so we made our way to a cafe for some snacks, wine, and some water to keep things balanced.

We had a bit of time to rest and relax after walking the tunnels of the Catacombs and before our next activity. Like I said, our first day in Paris was a full one!

Montparnasse Tower

After buying our Eiffel Tower tickets through Get Your Guide my app was flooded with recommendations of things to see and do and one that came up was a visit to the observation deck at Montparnasse Tower.

I had never heard of it but once I saw the photos I knew we were going to book tickets for this experience.

It was about $20 per person and totally worth it for the amazing sunset views we had of the city. We went up at about 7:30 p.m. and we could stay for an hour which was the perfect timing – and I mean picture-perfect timing.

Moulin Rouge

After watching a gorgeous sunset we had to beat feet back to our hotel to change for our evening out at the Moulin Rouge!

I had gone years ago with some girlfriends and wanted to take Rick to see the show as I thought it was such a fun performance and come on, it’s the Moulin Rouge, how can you not go? Though I did not spot Ewan McGregor anywhere!

I’m going to say that getting into the theater this time was a very, very different experience than it was when I last went. Granted the last time I was there it was 2016 which oh my god is almost ten years ago, but still. This time? It was like finding Narnia!

We waited outside, we joined a line inside, that line went up some stairs, around a corner, back down some stairs, down more stairs, another turn, up some stairs, back down some stairs and then finally we were at the theater doors.

Luckily I found this situation funny. It was so ridiculous just getting to our seats. And then we got our seats. Literally next to the stage. I was terrified Rick was going to get kicked in the face during the can-can. He did not, but he did find a boa feather in his shirt when we got back to the hotel.

The show was just as good as I remember and then some. Is it touristy? Yeah, but I still think it’s a lot of fun. It’s got singers, dancers, acrobats, and roller skaters! What’s not to love?

The unfortunate thing with the late night show (11:30 p.m.) was the fact that the trains were done for the night and we had a long trek back to our hotel which cost us a pretty penny by taking a taxi back. So, next time we might try for the 9:30 show if we’re not staying in the Montmartre neighborhood.

Day 3


We started of our second full day in Paris by hunting down some pastries! We found this amazing patisserie, Maison Forest, right around the corner from our hotel and it had everything we wanted!

We ordered two lattes, a baguette sandwich, a pan au chocolat, and a macaron aux framboises. Our food was fresh and oh-so-delicious! It was quite nice just relaxing at the cafe and sipping and savoring every bite.

Seine River Cruise

We made our way back over toward the Eiffel Tower to take advantage of our combo ticket from the day before with our one-hour river cruise excursion.

We took the metro over and made our way to the bank and dock to get onboard the sightseeing boat. The wind was very welcome as it was another hot day in the city but the views from the Seine were worth the heat and sunburns.

The boat does have a narrator or tape recording but it is very hard to hear, especially outside. If you really want to hear the history and stories, I recommend staying indoors or downloading the app so you can play the commentary from your phone.

Drinks and snacks

After enjoying our cruise down the river and taking in the sights of the city, we made our way back to our hotel to freshen up a bit before our evening plans. Luckily, we had a booked a tour that evening that started in the Latin Quarter!

We went back out into the city for a progressive-style dinner where we visited multiple restaurants. We stopped at one for Champagne and escargot before moving onto the next for wine and entrees. It was our last night in Paris so I was getting my second helping of steak tartare and Rick opted for a benedict.

It was a lovely evening sitting outside and sipping some French wine. It was okay we were imbibing some spirits as our next activity was focused on them!

Ghost tour of Paris

Our spirited activity that evening was going on the Paris Dark City Secrets Tour! I love, love, love ghost tours and am always on the hunt for one when we travel and was excited to come across this tour!

The tour definitely leaned more toward the city’s dark history and true crime than scary ghost stories, which was totally cool.

Some highlights from our dark side of Paris tour included hearing about:

  • The Sweeney Todd of Paris
  • The beheaded statues at Notre Dame
  • The man who was killed for being a wizard
  • The mafia using a local trade to cover up killings
  • The 1981 cannibal of Paris
  • The duchess who perfected poisons to go after rapists
  • The hanging tree and a death penalty that annoyed citizens of the time because it was too fast

Read our review of the Paris Dark City Secrets Tour!

Gelato along the Seine

After our spirited walk through the city it was time to cool down for the night and I mean that literally. Our ghost tour guide pointed us in the direction of his favorite place to get gelato: Amorino.

I for one never turn down ice cream so off we went! We got some gelato and then made our way down to the bank of the Seine to relax and soak up the city.

We couldn’t stay out too late as we had a train to catch the next day to whisk us away to London.

Before catching our train to London the next day, we still had time to get breakfast back at Maison Forest for some more French baked goods. On the way back to our hotel we found a farmer’s market and I found some cute souvenirs to bring home. After finding a spot for them in my suitcase. Alas, it was time to bid adieu to Paris.

It was a fantastic weekend and just we were looking for before starting our two-week jaunt around England, Scotland, and Ireland.

We still have so much more to see and do and eat and drink in Paris so I know we’ll be back. If you have recommendations of what we need to do next time we’re in Paris please leave those suggestions in the comments below!

Paris, France
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Hey, I'm Stephanie! I'm a copywriter living in beautiful Denver with my husband Rick, and our dog Rocco. I love traveling, writing, reading, and being outside as much as possible - unless I'm on the couch binge watching Stranger Things with a glass of wine! Thanks for reading and being a part of the adventure with Back to the Passport! ❤️

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