I Didn’t Even Get a Croissant! Ten Things I Wish I’d Done in Paris

Okay, so eating a croissant wasn’t really on my list of things to do in Paris. But I had envisioned a much different trip than the one I actually had.

In the trip I imagined, I’d spend a week in Paris, visit a few friends and all the must-see spots, the Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, etc., then make my way to Bordeaux, the wine region, and Saint-Émilion in search of the Château Grand Mayne. (About 10 years ago, I discovered a Bordeaux with my name on it. I was so excited, I bought a case! Visiting a place that had my name was high on my list.)

At some point, I’d travel to Lons le Saunier, to visit ma petite soeur, Murielle, and her family. I was looking forward so much to seeing the French countryside that I’d sit at my desk when I was supposed to be working and daydream about it.

But life (aka work) intervened. Instead of spending two weeks in France and two in London, I had two weeks between London and Paris. I could manage only three days in Paris. It wouldn’t be enough — I like to spend my time, slowly peeling back layers and discovering a new place — but it’d have to do.

Lines outside the Musée d'Orsay

Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of my three days but it went by so fast, if I didn’t have photos, I’d think it had been a dream.

I’ve been reflecting on the dream and all the things I didn’t get a chance to see or do in Paris, and I made a list:

  1. Sunset Cruise on the Seine Bateaux Parisiens offers dinner, nighttime and private cruises on the Seine that leave from the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.
  2. La Sainte-Chapelle – I don’t consider myself a very religious person but looking at cathedrals always humbles me. Located at Île de la Cité, this Gothic Cathedral was consecrated in 1248. It has been a national historic monument since 1862.
  3. Église Saint-Suplice – The second largest church in Paris.
  4. Moulin Rouge – Home of the can-can, the Moulin Rouge has been around since the late 1800s. Artists from Edith Piaf to Josephine Baker have performed there.
  5. Montmartre – The bohemian place that played host to artists like Picasso, Dali, Modgiliani, Monet and others.
  6. La Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre – The Basilica is located in Montmartre, the highest point of the city.
  7. Musée d’Orsay – I wanted to visit this elegant former train station turned gallery for Western art but after standing in line at the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, I couldn’t muster up the energy for another line.
  8. Montparnasse – I have created my own (highly romanticized) narrative about what living in Montparnasse must have been like for artists such as Jean Rhys, Madox Ford, Henry Miller, Salvador Dali, Jean Miró, Diego Rivera and many others who made it their home. I wanted to walk in their footsteps.
  9. Château de Versailles – One of the largest palaces in the world, it is the location where the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919.
  10. Luxembourg Palace and Luxembourg Gardens – Built between 1615 and 1627 for Marie de Medici, the widow of Henry IV, the Luxembourg Palace is home of the French Senate. Wonder how difficult it must be to have to work there? I’ll never know!

The trip I took was an appetizer. I’m ready now for a more leisurely and elaborate feast with ten (or more) reasons to return to Paris.

14 comments on “I Didn’t Even Get a Croissant! Ten Things I Wish I’d Done in Paris

  1. I saw them almost everywhere but unfortunately, I don’t like eggs/crepes or chocolate/cocoa. Wish I could have had one!
    Thanks for the visit, Christy & Kali,

  2. The sunset cruise on the Seine sounds divine and I wouldn’t have even known about it without reading this post. Now I really want to do it. Aside from the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, I’ve also wanted to go to the Château de Versailles – these would be my top 3 things to do in Paris. Wonderful list! When I go to Paris, I’ll keep these in mind.

  3. You have to go, Sherry! I know you’ll love it.
    Thanks for visiting,

  4. Marcia, I spent nine days in Paris last December, and still missed nine of the places on your list. However, I did visit Versailles, and wrote about the visit on my blog. Definately one of the highlights of my trip, and a place I would like to return to.

  5. There’s so much to see and do, Jim! (Of course, I could say the same about NYC.)
    I took a bus tour and even so didn’t get a chance to catch everything. I’m ready to go back!
    Thanks for the visit,

  6. I only had 4 nights in Paris, and I spent most of my time walking around the city gnawing on a baguette and being amazed at how beautiful everything was. Definitely need to go back and do most of the things on your list. I did manage to see #7, and I really enjoyed it.

  7. You made it – lovely! I took one look at the line and decided to have lunch instead.
    Like you, I know now I have to go back — there’s still so much I want to see.
    Thanks for the visit, Travel Chica,

  8. Great selection of places to see in Paris… As per the croissant, it just means you must go back… 😉 Kudos!

  9. I’ve been living in Montmartre for more than 3 years and I love this area, so lovely sometime I really had the feeling to live in a small village !
    I unfortunately wasn’t on town when you came… but If you want to come back in Paris, you could find a way to match our schedule, this way you could stay at my home too !

  10. Oh, that’s so sweet of you Isabelle!
    Next time, I do plan to stay longer. You and Montmartre will definitely be on my list!
    Thanks, Isabelle,

  11. Three days is way too short an amount of time. I hope you can return and enjoy more of Paris.

  12. I do hope so, Lisa!
    My plan was to spend 2 weeks. But had to cut it short because of work. I’m longing for the day when I have enough of each – time and money – so I can travel whenever and where ever I want.

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