I created this list of things to do in Paris when my friend Patty was stranded in Paris for a short period during the volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland back in 2010. All flights were cancelled and it took awhile after everything cleared for flights to be rescheduled.
She sent me a message via Facebook for help knowing that I love Paris and would have some good suggestions of things to do with her family during her unexpected extra time in the city. I have edited the list a few times since sharing it with co-workers and a boss for their trips to Paris. Today I am sharing with you; enjoy exploring my favorite city.
Here are some fun things to do in and around Paris (in no specific order); I haven’t done a few of these but all are highly recommended. If you need any other suggestions or have questions on these suggestions let me know.
I hope you’re enjoying your extended stay in Paris. I am soo jealous. I told Max where you are and said to him just imagine if we were stuck in Paris like that! I still dream of relocating there again; who knows maybe one day!
Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg)- a park, my favorite to just relax! 5th arrondissement (district) (“5éme =5th district- all abbreviations for location will be like this).
Musee D’Orsay (small museum, impressionist painting); 7 éme
Musee de L’Orangerie (Monet’s water lilies are here; absolutely spectacular); 1 éme
Château de Versailles (Louis XIV’s fabulous palace) there are beautiful gardens and tours of the palace. Outskirts of Paris.
City of Giverny (go see Monet’s home & gardens that inspired his paintings) Outskirts of Paris.
Montmartre Area – La Basilica du Sacre Coeur church- “Sacred Heart Church”; an artsy area; avoid at night; 18 éme
Galeries Lafayette Department Store– has incredible ceiling!! Check out – the Opera de Paris is right by there too; sometimes you can get a tour of the inside; 9 éme
La Samaritaine Department Store – has a rooftop restaurant w/ a great view; 1 éme
Latin Quarter – college area; it’s fun to walk along the streets here & if you like gyros you can pick up a gyro and French fry sandwich with a soda relatively cheap! 5 éme
Rue Mouffetard– open air food market, one of the best & my favorite one in the city; 5 éme
**I love the 5 éme district. We stayed here last time we were in town & I have almost always stayed in this area!
Going Below the city– I love the undergrounds of cities!!
A) The catacombs; 14éme
B) The sewer system; ‘‘Musée des Égouts’’; 7 éme
On a side note the American Church of Paris (address: 65, Quai d’Orsay) is near the sewer museum if you want to go to a church service in English!!! They also are a great resource center.
Paris Mosque– “Mosquée de Paris” You can go have mint tea here; it’s a real treat; haven’t been here in at least 10 years myself!
(Muslim Restaurant de la Mosquée de Paris (tel. 01-43-31-18-14)). The restaurant adjoins the courtyard of the mosque and is open daily from 12pm to 3pm and 7 to 10:30pm)
Take one of the open in the back Metro buses to a destination and back. It’s a great “free” tour! You can buy a Metro map at the Paris Tourisme Office on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées as well.. it is so worth the few Euros they charge.
By now you should have a weekly/ or monthly metro pass so you don’t have to pay each time? If not go to a big metro station and someone can help you all buy one.
A natural disaster lead to an extended stay for my friend. I hope to see Paris again in the next few years with my family and visit some of these spots, in particular Versailles where I haven’t been with Max & the kids. I would also like to go to Parc Asterix (amusement park) where I have never been.