So, for Paris, my favorite thing is to just wander and eat. This means this might not be the best guide.
Things to do
- The Orsay is probably my favorite art museum, anywhere. It's reasonably sized and accessible. The old train station setting is awesome.
- The Louvre, but go in with the understanding that you simply are not going to see everything. It is huge. And there are lots of people.
- Musée National du Moyen Âge is another conveniently sized, accessible museum. See if you can find out when they have their free concerts.
- Notre Dame, of course. It is definitely best at golden/blue hour, when the sun hits it just so, from the left bank. Walk the Seine too.
- Église Saint-Eustache, by contrast, I prefer to see in the morning, while the sun is still low.
- Sainte-Chapelle. While I may tire of the lines, I will never tire of these windows.
- Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois
- I suppose Sacré Cœur is non-optional huh?
- Walk the Canal Saint-Martin. Maybe detour to two older hospitals, hôpital Saint-Louis and Hôpital Lariboisière, both notable for their architecture and courtyards. In my opinion.
- Walk the Promenade Plantée - a predecessor to the High Line in NY, it's a converted railroad viaduct.
- Go to a Market! Here is a list. Get cheese, especially raw milk cheese, which is harder to come by.
- For the Eifel Tower, I prefer it at night, if at all.
A few restaurants I really enjoy:
- Refuge des Fondus. - You get an appertif (kir), a plate of charcuterie, meat or cheese fondue (we did half and half), fruit salad, and a baby bottle (biberon) of wine for 16 euro (maybe more now?). Those seated against the wall get to their seats by climbing over the table. By Montmartre.
- Aux Deux Amis. Great little bar, also some food. Fills up. In the 11e.
- Au Passage. Modern European tapas. In the 11e.
- Septime. New, pricey, fantastic. Modern European. In the 10e.
- La Gazzetta. Classy, not horribly expensive, modern European/French. I'm a big fan of their prix fixé lunch. Price gets a little more astronomical at dinner. In the 10e.
- Bistrot Paul Bert. Standard brasserie, good steak frites without all of the tourists. In the 11e.
- Le Bistrot du Peintre. Very much on my to-visit list, a number of friends have recommended it but I have never been. In the 11e.
- Le Chateaubriand Supposedly one of the best restaurants in the world, I have never been here as it is well out of my price range. Also in the 11e.
For ice cream, Bertillon is famous. On Île St Louis.
- Versailles is an easy and nice day trip. Don't miss the fake farm / model village in the gardens.
- You can do Mont St Michel as a long day trip (TGV to Rennes, bus from there), but... well, it is a long day. Though the train is perfectly relaxing.