Entertaining in Paris is exhausting. When guests come to Paris ( especially for the first time) they bring along a long list of things to do. While its all new and exciting for them, there are only so many times I can manage to climb the Tour Eiffel and fight the Asians to see the Mona Lisa. My parents are visiting me in Paris for the first time and I learned a few things the hard way.
1. They do no want to be left alone ( for the first few days at least). Don’t get me wrong, I adore my parents and love them dearly, but a few days together has reminded me why I moved an ocean away. So in the first two days, I recommend just getting the big sights out of the way. I broke it down by starting at the Eiffel tower and the Champs des Mars park. By walking around the area and showing them the tower you can take photos without actually walking up (they can do that on their own another day). From there we made to the Louvre museum to have a quickie run through (2-3 hours) to see the highlights and get a feel. Even after 10 times, each time I go to Louvre I find a new room I haven’t seen before. Tip : Enter the museum through the metro station stop NOT the pyramids. You will save at least an hour of waiting in line. Trust me. After that a stroll through the Jardin des Tuleries and walking along the Seine before stopping to a fabulous French restaurant for dinner together. My favorites (in the 7th Arr.) are Les Cocottes and Chez L’Ami Jean.
2. Get their feet wet (and tired). Day two take it up a notch. My parents were still VERY excited to be in Paris so I wanted to show them the entire city without actually taking them through the entire city. I took them to lunch in the 5th Arr. ( Latin Quarter) and hit the highlights. Notre Dame, Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore, Love Locks and Pont Neuf. This gives them a feel of the city making them feel right at home in my city. From here I decided to show them the entire city from the Sacre Coeur. Best views in Paris with the added bonus of the village of Montmatre right next door. By this time they’ll be so tired. Stumble into a restaurant for and early dinner and chuck up the deuces for the night. Tip: At Sacre Coeur, if you value your life, nose and sense of security do not, I repeat DO NOT get off at Chateau Rouge Line 14 (aka little Angola). Its crowded, its loud and its a nightmare.
3. Plant ideas for solo outings. Two full days of jam packed itineraries make everyone tired and miserable. They key is offer outing ideas they can do alone ( without a host) to give everyone a nice break. Tomorrow I’ve suggested for my parents to get out of Paris for a bit and see Versailles. While I get to sleep in and roll around in bed like a normal person on vacation. I think my master plan has worked. Tip: Have back up suggestions like Fontainebleau or Reims. Just get them away. Far Away. Your inner peace demands it.
4. Welcome them back with open arms. A day apart is always nice but remember to have cute stuff planned to do together when they get back. Still plotting this portion of the plan. Will report back.
As always, photos below of my beautiful Paris.