After our fairytale wedding on October 8, we embarked on our dreamy Paris honeymoon, setting the stage for a marriage full of spark and adventure.
Paris was unimaginably beautiful. No matter how many times you see pictures of the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe, you’ll never quite grasp their overwhelming beauty until you see them in person.
Our five-day itinerary was filled to the brim with must-see attractions, reservations and day trips, plus plenty of time to roam around and explore the City of Lights.
Learn more about our trip so you can plan your own! Read on for pro tips and insights on where to stay, what to do and how to prepare, especially if this is your first international trip.
Where to Stay in Paris
One of the most important decisions you’ll make during your planning is where to stay. If you’re honeymooning, you’ll likely want to splurge on location. Staying in the heart of the city is key to having a walkable, convenient experience.
We chose Hôtel Régina, a luxury hotel in the 1st Arrondissement (2 Place des Pyramides, 75001 Paris, France). It’s right across the street from the Louvre, adjacent to the Jardin des Tuileries and a block away from the Seine River. Plus, if you get the right hotel room, you’ll have a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower and can watch the nightly light show every evening from sunset to 1 a.m.
Pro Tip: Email the hotel ahead of time and let them know you’re staying there for your honeymoon. You’ll likely be greeted with rose petals throughout the hotel room and a sweet handwritten letter like we were!
What to Do in Paris
Be sure to plan enough activities ahead of time and make any necessary reservations to maximize your stay in Paris.
Even if you’re interested in a less structured experience, you’ll still want to have an idea of what you want to see or where you want to go. Consider creating a checklist if a full-on itinerary isn’t your style. Here are some ideas of what to do in Paris, based on our honeymoon itinerary.
Sample Paris Honeymoon Itinerary
Day 1: Eiffel Tower Day
- Jardin des Tuileries
- Love Lock Bridge*
- Eiffel Tower tour (up to the summit)
- Seine River cruise
- Trocadéro to watch the Eiffel Tower light show
We arrived in Paris at 9:30 a.m., so we had the whole day to explore. We knew we’d want to see the Eiffel Tower first, so we built in a whole day to take in its beauty. While we were waiting for sunset to watch the nightly Eiffel Tower light show, we took a Seine River cruise – included in the Paris Pass, which I highly recommend purchasing before your trip (continue reading to learn more!).
*The “famous” Love Locks on the Pont des Arts bridge no longer exists, but almost every bridge that crosses the Seine has locks for sale, which you can attach to the railing.
Day 2: Explore the City Day
- Jardin du Luxembourg
- Fontaine St. Michel
- Latin Quarter
- Ile de la Cité (Notre Dame)
- Place de la Concorde
- Arc de Triomphe
- Ladurée (the BEST macarons!)
- Romantic dinner at Lapérouse
We were actually supposed to catch a free walking tour of Paris this day, but ended up getting lost while trying to find the meet-up spot.
It worked to our advantage, though, because we discovered our absolute favorite part of the city: the Latin Quarter. When you think of Paris, this is likely what you envision. Open air markets, cheese shops, chocolatiers and a feeling that you’re more than just a tourist.
For us, the Latin Quarter was more quintessential Paris than the touted Champs-Élysées. Having lived in Chicago before, the Champs-Élysées – with the exception of the Arc de Triomphe – didn’t quite wow us like we expected.
Day 3: Museum Day
We packed a LOT of museums into one day. If you’re the type who likes to stroll around a museum for hours, I do not recommend trying to fit all of this into one day. However, if you know what you want to see, then this is totally manageable (just wear comfy shoes)!
- Musée Rodin (“The Thinker” statue)
- Musée d’Orsay (Famous Van Gogh and Monet paintings, among many more)
- Montmartre (Moulin Rouge and Sacré-Coeur)
- Musée du Louvre (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Winged Victory of Samothrace)
Day 4: Day Trip to the Loire Valley
- Château de Chambord
- Château de Nitray
- Château de Chenonceau
This was my favorite part of our honeymoon. We booked a 12-hour Loire Valley wine-tasting day trip through Viator, and we were not disappointed!
Day 5: Day Trip to Versailles
On the very last day of our honeymoon, we took a coach bus to Versailles. While the palace is a must-see, we were both disappointed in the long waits and huge crowds. I would recommend going on a weekday (we went on a Sunday) and researching when the palace might be the least crowded. That said, the gardens are beautiful and the musical fountain show added to the ambiance.
6 Tips for Planning Your Honeymoon in Paris
Here are some more pro tips for planning your honeymoon in Paris, particularly if you’re a first-time international traveler like we were:
- Make an itinerary to ensure you stay organized and hit all the placed you’d like to see.
- Purchase the Paris Pass to get free entry to 60+ attractions and tours, plus unlimited travel on the metro, RER and buses with the Paris Visite Travelcard.
- Make dinner reservations ahead of time and don’t be surprised if they call you the day before to confirm. (Pick up the phone when they call to make sure they don’t cancel your reservation.)
- Choose a hotel that’s conveniently located in the city – preferably one with free wifi.
- Speaking of which, take advantage of your hotel’s free wifi. Map out where you want to go the night before and make sure to confirm hours and prices.