Bonjour! Ciao! It’s hard to believe that this time last year Ryan and I were embarking on our honeymoon adventure to Paris and Rome! Swoon. We had the most unbelievable time! So in honor of the one year anniversary of our trip, I thought this would be the perfect time to write a full recap for y’all (and for me, so I can keep on reminiscing).
Between the craziness of planning a wedding and the exhaustion from the day of, we decided to take a little time in between our wedding and honeymoon. We got married in May and decided to take our honeymoon at the beginning of August. So during those months we caught up on sleep, adapted to married life, and actually had time to research and plan for the honeymoon. We didn’t have a wedding planner so I couldn’t imagine having to plan a wedding and honeymoon at the same time. No thanks! I felt like things were so much smoother and enjoyable this way. But if that’s not for you, to each his own!
Ryan and I had never been to Europe before so we could hardly contain our excitement for this trip. We knew it was going to be unforgettable because #1 we were celebrating our honeymoon, and #2 it was our first trip overseas! We created memories that we’ll cherish forever, and I’m so excited to share them with you all now!
PARIS AND ROME TRAVEL GUIDE
One thing I’d like to note before we jump in is, like I said, this was me and Ryan’s first time to Europe. We spent the trip visiting the most famous and iconic sites of Paris and Rome. So with that being said, you will find that most of what we did were “must see” attractions. If you’ve never been to either of these cities then this will be helpful for you! If you have been before, then these sites might be “touristy” for you and you might be looking for more obscure attractions. Just keep that in mind while you’re reading on.
Some tips for when you visit:
- Bring a collapsible water bottle with you! Our friends Ashleigh and Connor gifted us one for our trip and it was super convenient! It was easy to fill up with water and not to mention wine for long tours! We would stop at a little market and purchase a bottle of wine and fill up the water bottle for fun day drinking. Make sure to purchase wines with twist off caps or bring a wine opener with you.
- Take advantage of Aperitivo (Rome Happy Hour). Pretty much every bar has a Happy Hour where they have good drink and food specials. Some even put free appetizers out!
- Whenever buying tour tickets, always purchase “Skip the Line” passes. You didn’t go to Europe to wait in line!
- The metro (subway) system in Paris and Rome are pretty easy to navigate. I would utilize it as much as possible. I would put my destination in Google Maps (point A to Point B), press start, and follow the listed directions to know which stops to get off at.
WHERE TO EAT IN PARIS
Cafe St. Regis. This was our first meal in Paris, and man, it did not disappoint! About a five minute walk from Notre Dame, this is a great little cafe. The wait staff could tell it was our first meal in Paris and were very kind and patient with us. Ryan and I split a Croques-Monsieur and a Croques-Madame for lunch, and it was delicious!
Le Relais De L’Entrecôte. Two of my favorite foods – steak and french fries! How could I not love this restaurant? Steak frites is a very popular French dish and this is the place to get it. There are a few different locations. No matter which location you go to you will have to wait in line to be seated but it goes fairly quickly because steak frites is the only thing they serve.
Le Consulat. Loved this place! Such an iconic Paris cafe that you’ve probably seen in artwork or on social media before. We sat on the patio and enjoyed our lunch taking in the sites, sounds, and hustle and bustle of Montmartre. We had all the famous French foods – french onion soup, escargot, and french fries!
Picnic in the Park. While this isn’t a restaurant, I highly suggest you do a picnic for dinner at sunset one evening. There are a ton of markets about three blocks away from the gardens in front of the Eiffel Tower. We picked up meat, cheese, crackers, grapes, and plenty of wine. So relaxing, romantic, and very Parisian!
Ristorante al Caratello. This was one of our top meals the entire trip – Italian food in Paris! We started off with some bruschetta, Ryan had the Linguine Pollo e Funghi (linguine with chicken, mushrooms, white wine cream sauce and prosciutto on top), and I had the Linguine allo Scoglio (seafood linguine with red sauce). We still dream about this meal! And the service was incredible, with complimentary Limoncello shots after dinner!
WHAT TO DO IN PARIS
Louvre Museum. There is so much history and artwork in the Louvre. Do your research because you could spend a full day in there. We knew what exhibits we wanted to see so we were done under two hours. And make sure to stop and see the most famous painting of all time – the Mona Lisa! She definitely smirked at me! Ha!
Hop-On, Hop-Off Big Bus Tour. I know this seems really touristy, but I think it was one of the best decisions we made. You really get a feel of the city and the location of all of the most iconic spots. There is a red route and blue route where you can hop on and off as much as you want. We purchased the deluxe tickets so we could do one route a day. The red route passes the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe, to name a few, and the blue route visits the artistic area of Montmartre.
Chapels, Cathedrals, and Basilicas. Paris is a very religious city so you can find churches almost anywhere. Even if you’re not a religious person, I would still make sure to visit these spots. Some of the best architecture in Paris are religious establishments. They are everywhere! Some of the most popular ones to check out are the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and the Chartres Cathedral.
Arc de Triomphe. This is the best view of Paris, in my opinion. You get to see the Champs-Élysées extend across the city, as well as the Eiffel Tower. Absolutely stunning! And make sure you mentally and physically prepare yourself to climb all of the steps to the top because there is no elevator!
Nighttime River Cruise. Beautiful night cruise down the Seine River. You get to see so many parts of the city all lit up, not to mention the Eiffel Tower sparkling at the top of every hour. We purchased some wine to put in our water bottle and enjoyed relaxing down the river. Tickets for the cruise can come with your package when you purchase the bus tour, or you can purchase tickets individually.
Palace of Versailles. So many things to see at Versailles, so much history you walk through. And, if you think the palace is beautiful, wait until you go outside and see the garden! Breathtaking! You can walk throughout the gardens or even explore them by renting bikes or golf carts. We also had lunch on the grounds at Angelina Petit Terrace.
Moulin Rouge. You can’t go to Paris without experiencing the Moulin Rouge! We purchased tickets to the 11:00 p.m. show that included a bottle of champagne. My first cabaret show ever, and it did not disappoint with dancing, singing, elaborate costumes, animals, and stunts. Such a great way to end the evening!
WHERE TO EAT IN ROME
Scusate Ritardo. We stumbled upon this restaurant our first night in Rome and it was great – the food, the views, the service! It is right next to the Pantheon which is gorgeous at night time. Ryan had lasagna, and I had fettuccine alfredo – two great Italian dishes for our first night in Italy! And our waiter gave us free champagne because of our honeymoon!
Angelino “al For” dal 1947. This is the perfect lunch spot! It is right near the Colosseum so we grabbed some pizza before our tour. This was our first pizza in Rome, and I can’t even describe how good it was! Paper thin crust with so much flavor in the toppings! Perfecto!
Trattoria “da Luigi”. Great restaurant that was not too crowded. Ryan had tortellini with alfredo sauce and prosciutto, and I had penne pasta with a red cream sauce. We always got completely different dishes at restaurants in Rome so we could try as many as possible! Also, it’s walking distance to Vatican City.
Osteria da Zi Umberto. Our last meal of the trip was in Trastevere. It’s a great area where more of the locals go. This is a very popular restaurant so I suggest making a reservation. We didn’t but they told us to get there right when they open at night. Pasta was amazing, and we celebrated the last night of our trip with each of us ordering a carafe of wine – red for Ryan, white for me.
WHAT TO DO IN ROME
Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain Walking Tour. This is such a great hidden gem! This walking tour takes you to some of the most popular spots of Rome – Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and more! And it’s FREE! What?! So crazy! Just make sure to tip your tour guide at the end of the tour.
Ancient Rome and Colosseum Walking Tour. Rome’s most iconic landmark – the Colosseum. It is truly marvelous to see and learn about the history of Rome. During this tour, you explore the first and second levels of the amphitheater and then you walk on over to the Roman Forum to see ancient ruins. It’s really long so make sure to bring your walking shoes, but it’s oh so worth it!
Vatican City. We were so lucky to actually get to see the Pope during our visit as he gave a speech at the Vatican while we were there! If you aren’t so lucky, then definitely do this tour. I suggest doing the early access so it isn’t as crowded as during the day. You will get to see the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums, and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Stroll, Sip, and Sweets. We took it easier in Rome than in Paris and didn’t have as busy of an itinerary planned. It was actually quite nice. We enjoyed strolling around the streets on foot, and one day we even rented bikes and rode around the city. We would just stop at cafes or bars to have beer or wine and consumed SO much gelato!
There you have it, friends, the places we loved visiting, experiencing, and eating at in Paris and Rome! I loved getting to relive this trip with y’all via this post! If you have any questions about our trip (from what we packed to, I don’t know, if we saw Paolo and Isabella – LOL) leave them in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you there!