I just got back from a week in Paris and I am still dreaming about their patisseries (pastries) and boulangeries (breads). I was sent for work and then got to spend a few extra days exploring the city with my mama (who came with me)! Before leaving, I researched what to pack for a January trip, and it wasn’t as easy as I thought to find suggestions online. We ended up packing perfectly so I wanted to share my tips…
La Maison Rose, cafe frequently visited by Pablo Picasso
Paris in the wintertime is really cold – especially for this Texan! 🙂 Temperatures ranged between 28 – 34 degrees F, so we definitely had to layer, layer, layer. Here’s what I brought:
1.Winter Coat (parka) – I got this one from North Face and it was perfect. Super warm and lightweight, which made it easy to travel with. I got the black parka because it can get dirty without much notice, and you tend to blend in with the locals more.
2. Sweaters & Tanks – I wore a tank top under a sweater almost everyday underneath my parka. If it wasn’t a tank top, it was a fitted short sleeved tee. This kept me perfectly warm without stifling me. I bought four Banana Republic sweaters 40-50% off before I left (and two of them are still in stock):
3. Hat/gloves/scarf – I can’t stress this enough – you need all three. Here’s what I wore:
- Hat (similar, similar, similar)
- Scarf (similar, similar)
- Gloves (you can get the actual ones I wore off eBay, or the black leather ones, similar)
4. Boots/Boot socks – By the time we got there, the snow had already melted but there were still some icy patches on the ground. I didn’t need snow boots, but I’m definitely glad I brought my leather boots. I had them water-proofed before the trip just in case it rained or snowed!
Now that you’re packed and ready for the Paris winter, here are my ‘Must-See’ sites:
- Notre Dame
- Saint Chapelle
- Sacre Coure
- Arc de Triomph & Champs-Elysées (which has the Louis Vuitton flagship store!)
- Musee de Orsay
Inside the Louvre
I used Rick Steve’s Paris 2017 guidebook and it gives you various 1-7 day suggested agendas. The book also tells you which museums are covered by the Museum pass, which is awesome for not having to wait in lines! I have used many guidebooks in the past and Rick Steve’s books are the best (in my opinion). They have recommended walks that are easy to follow and take you through the safe parts of town, which is super helpful when you’re unfamiliar with the area.
Notre Dame Cathedral
- IBIS Bastille Opera – great, cheap option if you’re just wanting a place to drop your bags and sleep. Really small rooms (for western standards) but it’s clean, well-kept, nice shower and great breakfast downstairs. About $100-$120 per night.
- Best Western Marais Bastille – 3 star hotel with larger rooms and bathrooms than the IBIS. The Best Western is in a great area for restaurants and bars! About $200 per night.
A few of my Restaurant recommendations, which are close to the hotels above:
- Le Petit March (French Bistro)
- Spanish Tapas
- Taj Indian
- Davoli — if you’re just wanting to pick up some delicious food at a market, stop by this place on Rue Cler. You won’t be sorry!
Other than that, make sure you try some Crepes and Frog Legs! My favorite Crepe place was on the corner of Lappe and Roquette: La crêperie Bastille, 1 Rue de Lappe.
Enjoy and let me know if you need any other recs!