Posts in France
Our Three Favorite Restaurants in Paris

After one week in Paris, we had three favorite restaurants that stood out. Read more about these spots and what made them special.

Read More
Paris for Book Lovers

France has long produced a steady stream of talented writers, thinkers, and philosophers and has served as a beacon luring expats to its literary center.

From the romance of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers to Victor Hugo’s woeful, colorful characters of Les Miserables to France-at-war tales like Sabastien Japrisot’s A Very Long Engagement or Romain Gary’s The Kites to more stylistically unique works like Albert Camus’ existentialist novels and Alain Robbe-Grillet’s noveau roman novels in the 1960s, Paris has played a substantial role in the literary world.

Read More
Off the Beaten Path in Paris: 6 Amazing Destinations

Paris is a popular destination with a long list of spots on most travelers’ must-see lists from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre. If you’re looking to go a little off the beaten path and see some great but less well known spots, which are also usually less crowded, these are some places that may be of interest to you. From a unique art museum to underground early Paris city ruins to the northernmost Roman ruins and more, find a spot in Paris of interest to you!

Read More
Paris: Visiting Crypte archéologique de l'île de la Cité

Crypte archéologique is a fascinating underground museum that holds the ruins of the early city center of Paris. Found on site and displayed in the museum are coins that show the breadth of early trade routes. The museum shows the evolution of buildings and the city’s development over time. Visiting this site helped broaden our view of the city and its residents over the centuries.

Read More
Paris: Visiting Sainte-Chapelle

You will find yourself dwarfed by over 1100 stained glass windows at Sainte-Chapelle. With windows depicting religious scenes and rising to epic heights in astonishing proportions, this 13th century chapel was built by King Louis IX to house religious relics and enhance his political stature. Of all the churches we have visited in our travels, this one definitely stands out among the most beautiful.

Read More
Paris: Visiting Notre-Dame de Paris

We had the good fortune to visit Notre-Dame de Paris about a week before the April 15, 2019 fire engulfed its roof. During our week-long trip in Paris, our apartment was basically right across the Seine from the cathedral and just a few minutes’ walk. We could hear the tolling of the bells that rang out at what appeared to be random intervals, and we walked by the cathedral multiple times a day.

Read More
My Journey to Learn Some French Before a Trip to Paris

We both took French in school - Dustin took it in high school, and I took it in middle school - and neither of us were particularly good or successful at it. I have always said foreign language was my weakest subject in school and so I hopped from French in middle school to Latin for the four years of high school to two years of Italian in college (my political science degree required foreign language or else I would never have voluntarily taken more language courses!). That’s right, I hopped from language to language hoping to find one that would click with me, but not a one! It was not all for naught, as I came away with a love of etymology and Roman history from my Latin classes and just enough comprehension to be able to halfheartedly translate the occasional foray into any Romance language in a novel. I also walked away with some basics of other languages that are foreign to English-only speakers like the idea of gendered nouns.

Read More
Paris: Visiting Père Lachaise Cemetery

This 110-acre, cobblestone- and tree-lined homage to many of Paris’ important historic figures is a change of pace from the rest of the city of Paris. Spend your time exploring interesting mausoleums and tombs and searching for specific graves.

Read More
Paris: Food + Drink

Paris is known as a food lover’s paradise for a reason. Here are our top tips from a week spent dining in this food mecca.

Read More
Paris: Travel Tips

These tips from our week in Paris will hopefully help you know what to expect and how to plan for your best Paris experience! Included in this blog are tips for getting around the city, money tips, some basic French language guidance, apps you may want to download, safety awareness tips, and some clothing recommendations.

Read More
Paris: Visiting Musée de Cluny (Museum of the Middle Ages)

We decided to visit Musée de Cluny, the National Museum of the Middle Ages, because I have always been particularly fascinated by that time period and wanted to see the famous tapestry housed at this museum, the Lady and the Unicorn, that I had studied and fallen in love with in an art history class in college. The museum is located in the vicinity of the Latin Quarter of Paris nearby the Pantheon, so if you plan on visiting both, you should do so back-to-back.

Read More
The Louvre: What to Know Before You Visit

The Louvre is usually one of the main Paris landmarks people plan on visiting while in the city. The building has a fascinating place in French history well beyond its current life as an art museum. In this blog, we’ll share with you all things Louvre - from fun facts to our personal experience to tips for your own visit. Have you been? For a museum as large as this one, I expect no two visits are alike. We would love to hear your own tips and experiences in our comments section!

Read More
Visiting the Pantheon in Paris

First, when most people hear Pantheon, they are generally thinking about the famous Pantheon in Rome. (Not to be confused with the Parthenon in Athens.) But still, we were curious about the Pantheon in Paris and thought it would be worth checking out. A ‘pantheon’ by definition is a group of important people or gods. Paris’ Pantheon is currently a secular, state-run mausoleum that began life as a cathedral and houses the remains of some of the city’s most important historical residents.

Read More
Street Art of Paris

The creativity and unexpectedly universal themes and elements that show up in street art always make for an interesting lens through which to view a city. Paris did not disappoint. The majority of these images were captured in the 3rd, 4th, and 11th arrondissements during a day where we spent a lot of time walking through the city.

Read More
Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 7 - Notre-Dame de Paris, Crypte archéologique de l'île de la Cité

The final day of a trip is always bittersweet: bitter that it is coming to an end and for the upcoming return flight home and sweet for the new memories and experiences.  I often get to the end of a trip having not done things I thought I would do but having done other things that led to unexpected surprises. 

Read More
Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 6 - Musée de Cluny, Pantheon, Jardin de Luxembourg, Musée Rodin

With different itineraries, we parted ways with our traveling companions for the day. The first stop on the list for us was Musée de Cluny, the National Museum of the Middle Ages. I have always been particularly fascinated by that time period and wanted to see the famous tapestry housed at this museum, the Lady and the Unicorn, that I had studied and fallen in love with in an art history class in college.

Read More
Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 5 - Picasso Museum, L'Atelier des Lumières, Jardin des Plantes

Our day started with what had become our Paris norm: flaky goodness of croissants. Adding some excitement to the mix, Dustin added a ham and cheese croissant, whereas I stuck with my you-can’t-go-wrong choices of croissant au beurre and pain au chocolat. Hey, if you can’t have chocolate for breakfast on vacation, when can you? (Never is not an option!).

Read More
Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 4 - Bike Tour of Versailles

After long days of walking around Paris, our feet were sore and some blisters were starting to rear their ugly heads. So, we planned our fourth day perfectly: a bike tour of Versailles to give our feet a rest and use some other muscles for the day!

Read More
Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 3 - Sainte-Chapelle, Louvre, Tuileries Garden, Musee l'Orangerie

While we are pretty active travelers, we are not over-active travelers; we know when to go-go-go and when to go slow! With a full week in Paris staying at one place, it was a perfect excuse to explore the city at just the right pace. What that meant is we whiled away some mornings over croissants, coffee, and conversation. Bonus: the day was able to warm up a little before we ventured out. Our April in Paris was a tad on the nippy side!

Read More
Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 2 - Père Lachaise Cemetery, Place des Vosges, and Other Wanderings

If you like wandering without a goal in mind, Paris is a great city for absentminded discoveries. Our first full day in the city can be summed up in that sentence. Along the way we explored a huge section of the city on foot, wandered much of the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, lunched in the oldest planned square in the city at Place des Vosges, which dates to the 17th century, and dined casually along the Seine.

Read More