A Surprisingly Great Time to Visit Paris + An Easy Fall Outfit

My husband and I spent a long weekend in Paris this summer on our way to Mallorca.

When we booked the trip, our main goal was to 1) stay close to a salty body of water 2) in Europe and 3) while our kids were at camp. We thought it would be fun to spend a few nights in a European city before heading down to Spain.

When we chose Paris over London/Barcelona/Madrid/others, SO many people told us we were crazy to visit last summer – too crowded, the riots and crime were too risky (wrong), the heat, too expensive, and on and on.

And when we further disclosed that we were not only visiting Paris but on Bastille Day, the warnings became louder and louder culminating with one (well traveled) friend telling us to cancel immediately and reschedule for another time.

We decided to ignore them all and I am so glad we did. In fact, I am going to be bold and say that Bastille Day is one of the BEST times to visit Paris.

It was crowded, yes – but not nearly as crowded as other times of the year. So many guides and other hospitality industry people explained to us that (like the 4th of July in the U.S.), everyone gets out of town on Bastille Day.

Case in point: Our vintage car tour guide told us he can normally cover 1-2 places max in the time allotted. We covered Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Èlysèes, and a few other hidden spots with time to spare because there was no traffic!

It was really a perfect visit – we arrived on Thursday mid-morning and left for Mallorca on Sunday morning. We packed a lot in to those three-ish days and loved it all. And regarding the weather, you can see that I was wearing a sweater one day because it was so chilly.

So here’s a travel tip for you — if there is somewhere you want to visit, go for it and don’t listen to the noise!

Here is our itinerary:

Thursday: Arrive, settle in to the The Ritz Paris (ahhh), walk around the Tuileries and check out the Fête des Tuileries, cocktail hour at the hotel followed by dinner at Le Grand Colbert Brasserie. Late night drinks at Hotel Costes.

Friday: Three hour bike tour of Paris (whole city to ourselves! More on that later), lunch at Chez Flottes (sit outside), visit to Musée de l”Orangerie to see the water lilies (pre-purchase tickets to avoid the lines), dinner at La Petit Lutetia and late night drinks at Mon Square.

Saturday: Vintage Car Tour with Parisi Tours in the morning, fabulous leisurely lunch at Lou Lou, dip in the Ritz pool, dinner on the rooftop at Perruche, late night show at Moulin Rouge.

Sunday: Depart for Cap Rocat!

NOTE: Reminder I have more guides and tips on shopping and dining in PARIS here!

Plus here is a quick Fall outfit in case you need inspiration during this transition season.

Welcome to The Ritz.
Fête des Tuileries – During the summer holidays, a traditional funfair is set up in the Tuileries Gardens. Children and adults, tourists and Parisians all enjoy the 60 or so attractions: bumper cars, ghost trains, shooting gallery, hall of mirrors, 1900s wooden horses merry-go-round.
This photo was taking at approximately 9:30 PM at night. Still daylight (which explains the late night drinks on the itinerary.)
Mon Square – we went here for drinks but would love to go to dinner here too
There is nothing quite like the Ritz. If you plan on going, don’t miss the incredible book The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris – it will give you so much more history and perspective before your stay.
Best bike tour I’ve ever been on and this was on Bastille Day. I will share more on that later – it was so great, it needs its own post to do it justice.
I had been dying to see this Louis Vuitton installation at their Paris store featuring a giant image of Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama. It was so neat.
The Ritz completely spoils their guests. You receive one of these beautiful cards in your room for every reservation, ticket, or appointment made by the concierge team.
Chocolate Bastille Day Treats from the Ritz.
If you stay at the Ritz, you absolutely must visit the pool.
Radishes, butter and bread. So French and so delicious.
Perfectly seasoned salad.
Dover Sole pour moi.
Parisi Tours: Super touristy but fun vintage car tours. We weren’t so sure about this car when we first saw it but apparently they are refurbished cars that were somehow used in WW2 (the guide told us but I cannot recall the exact details.) But what is so much fun about them is that the top is open which gives you a great view.
This was a hilarious experience – would definitely do it again.
It was a cloudy cool day on the day we went on our vintage car ride tour. This is how close we were to the Eiffel Tower in the car.
Having lunch at Lou Lou is a special experience. Definitely add this to your list.
Middle of July and blankets were needed.
Musée de l’Orangerie – The lines were so long to get into . I had a pre-arranged ticket and waited no time at all – word to the wise.
Perruche – this was an amazing restaurant with incredible views. It is a little complicated to get to so if you decide you want to go, be sure to research or ask your concierge how to get there. It isn’t difficult, but it isn’t straightforward so you need guidance. Or just email me. 🙂
One of the best rooftops views in Paris.
A steak & potatoes, creature of habit kind of guy. No foie gras or escargots for this one.
We weren’t sure about taking this cheesy photo suggested by our tour guide but I love it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *