Must do:

Notre Dame – walk around it outside, around the back, the whole place is incredible

The Louvre - has a tour of its most famous pieces (2 hrs I believe), found this to be well worth it. You can try doing self-guided, but you may get lost or miss something. Beyond the Louvre are beautiful gardens (Jardin des Tuileries), a really nice stroll, as well as the main drag that has lots of shops. Walk out past the glass pyramid to the small arc, and beyond.

Champs Elysees – The Arc of Triumph at one end and obelisque at the other. Beautiful (and huge) avenue! Stop at a café and people-watch! Maybe have lunch or a crepe!

Arc de Triomphe – Tomb of Unknown Soldier is beneath. You can take an elevator to the top for a view. DO NOT cross the street, it’s a crazy, dangerous circle; there are underground passages to take.

Eiffel tower - stroll down to the park in front of it, pack a lunch and have a picnic!

Seine river - walk along and check out the vendors (bouquinistes pronounced bookeeneests). The boat ride is very nice to do it’s called Bateux Mouche (pronounced Bat-oh Moosh)

Other things to do:

St. Germain des Pres and Le Marais are nice districts to go for dinner/drinks, they are near Notre Dame; very bohemian/BOHO.

Rodin Museum - It is small, charming, and the sculptures are set in the garden. Go when weather is nice because the garden is beautiful – sculptures are awesome! In the garden you’ll see The Thinker and The Gates of Hell, plus other awesome sculptures. http://www.musee-rodin.fr/welcome.htm. It’s in the 7th arrondissement and I remember being walking distance from Les Invalides (you’ll see this on map, this was the metro stop). Les Invalides is a military academy that I believe still houses (or at least used to) Napolean’s Tomb.

L’Opera – beautiful to see if you have time, not sure when it’s open to public

Galleries Lafayette – HUGE department store, beautiful ceiling – If you have time or are in the area stop in to shop &/or see the ceiling.

METRO

Ticket - If you take the metro, you will insert your ticket into the slot, it will validate and come out at the other end. Retrieve your ticket before going through the turnstyle and hold on to it until fully done using the metro at that time. Sometimes Metro police will ask you to show your ticket as proof you paid.

Train doors – if you’re approaching train and you hear the horn blow, this means the doors are going to close. Get on quick – close means CLOSE. They do not pop open if they close on you. If you don’t think you can get on, wait for the next train, they run every 10-15 minutes.

Beggars/Gypsies – just like everywhere else, just ignore them. They can approach you on metro or street. Sometimes someone will try to hand you a card with written info on it, DON’T TAKE IT. It’ll say something about a discount at a restaurant……. they may also place it on your lap or leave it on the seat next to you. Just leave it there and don’t touch it, they’ll come back for it. They also use children to give you a gift (mirror, ring, etc.), if you take it there will likely be an adult(s) waiting for you down the block who will accuse you of stealing and demand money. Just say no or ignore them.

Turnstyle Jumpers – Someone may quckly pass through the turnstyle w/ you as you go through to avoid paying for a ticket – it’s usually men to women but women do this as well. Just make sure you have your wallet/belongings

Exit = sortie (sortee)

Connections = correspondant

Dining Out -

Bakery = Boulangerie (boolahnjerry) – stop here for croissants, ham sandwiches, baguette, etc. to go, otherwise go to a café to sit and eat. To eat on the go you can purchase a ham & cheese baguette, they give it to you in a skinny bag, and you walk & eat it right out of the bag.

Couple of places to go:

  • The café at the Louvre (cant remember name)
  • Schmucks (make reservation or you wont get a table & there’s no bar for drinks – good food, great atmosphere - trendy)
  • 29 (veignt-nuf – bar/lounge), reminiscent of an old speakeasy 
  • Le Magnifique (bar/lounge)
  • Paparazzi (restaurant) - good food, nice atmosphere
Shopping:

If you want to shop for something other than souvenirs, rue de Passy in the 16th is loaded with shops (clothing, shoes, home goods, etc.) it's not cheap but not outlandish prices either. Souvenir stuff you can find pretty much anywhere.