Virtual vacation to Paris

Virtual Vacation to Paris

Have you been dreaming of going to Paris? Standing in front of the Effiel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Visiting the Louvre and seeing all the treasures Paris has to offer. For the first time, you can take a virtual vacation to Paris.

Well, the good news is the Louvre has opened its doors to virtual vacation tours. In fact, all of Paris can now be toured virtually. So today let’s take a virtual vacation to Paris. Sit back, grab your baguette, a glass of wine, and enjoy your virtual vacation to Paris.

Paintings on a ceiling with gold inlays and crystal chandeliers

The world has stopped traveling and everyone is staying home. We are all doing our part to social distance and stay home. But that doesn’t mean you can’t see the world.

Many museums all over the world have opened their doors to virtual tours. This means that you can see the world right from your couch. And I have to say it is pretty incredible. Having been there in person and now experiencing it virtually form home.

We are going to tour the city and see the most famous sites. We will cook French food from home, listen to music, and even speak the language. You don’t have to leave home to have a great French experience.

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Before you go on your virtual vacation to Paris

Just like any other trip, there are a few things you will need to prepare for your virtual vacation to Paris. First, make a list of the things you can buy to prepare a French meal. The more you go all out for this virtual vacation, the more fun you will have.

Take for example this Dad who served his kids a gourmet meal at home. The reason it was so fun is because he went all out.

Completely brilliant and fun

So plan ahead and buy a few things to make your staycation a blast. You may even want to buy some new outfits to celebrate the day. This set from Amazon is lots of fun it includes a beret, scarf, sunglasses, and gloves. Or you can buy just the French beret on Amazon.

Close up of girl in a pink jacket and red beret with the Eiffel Tower in the background

Set up a photo booth with the Eiffel Tower in the background for some great photos.

Take time for your virtual vacation

Set aside a day or a half a day to really enjoy your virtual vacation to Paris. Just like a real vacation, take a day off work, turn off the tv and immerse yourself in Paris.

If you don’t have a full day, you can easily do this tour in a couple hours. Enjoy your time in virtual Paris and soak up the French culture.

Learn some French

French is a beautiful language and if you have ever visited France, you know the French love to speak their own language. So have some fun today, learn a little bit of the language.

Just one tip, always say Bonjour! This is how you say hello in French. You must say this anytime you enter a store, or greet a cashier. People will be so much nicer to you if you start with Bonjour.

Check out this video for some more key phrases for tourists. The video has great tips on not only how to speak French but also French etiquette.

Start the day the French way

We are going to transform your whole day as if you are in Paris, from start to finish. So first of all, let’s start the day with a classic French breakfast. The French do not put a lot of weight into their breakfast.

Did you know the French consider breakfast the least important meal of the day? But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a great breakfast. The French typically have a light breakfast.

Two mugs with coffee on a wood table and an almond croissant.

No French breakfast would be complete without a strong coffee. Try something different and use a French press to make your coffee this morning. For the perfect grind, try The Java Press from Amazon!

The French always have a dairy product (but not cheese) for breakfast. So try some yogurt with your breakfast this morning. Try some French yogurt from Amazon.

Another great addition to your French breakfast is the classic baguette with fresh butter and jam. If you have a local bakery that is open early, swing by and pick up a baguette and maybe a buttery croissant.

Enjoy your meal

The French do not eat on the go. They sit and enjoy their mealtime. So when you eat your breakfast today slow down and enjoy it. Enjoy your coffee. Sit for a while and take in the morning. Sit out on your porch or deck if it is warm and enjoy the sun.

People eating at a French bistro in Paris with black awnings.
The French enjoy their meals

Start our vacation at the Louvre

We are going to start our tour of Paris at the most famous museum in the world. The Louvre has opened it’s doors for virtual tours. So you can see everything the Louvre has to offer from your own home.

The front of the Louvre with a pond and fountains. People walking on the sidewalk.

The Louvre was originally built in 1190 as a fortress and like many buildings in Paris, it has been built and rebuilt over the years. It was first opened as a museum in 1793. The Louvre has been added on to and changed many times over the centuries and has become known to hold some of the best art in the world.

Let’s get started on our virtual vacation to Paris! Click here and enjoy the music and a quick welcome to the Paris video. Then you’ll end up the outside the Louvre at the infamous pyramid. Then come back here before you head to the Notre Dame so we can go inside more exhibits at the Louvre.

Find a comfy seat and get ready to tour the exhibits inside the Louvre. Don’t forget to check out the famous Mona Lisa Click here to see all the virtual tours that the Louvre has to offer. Spend some time enjoying the museum. Click through the tours and learn more about the wonderful art inside the Louvre.

Come back here so we can head to our next destination together! Time to hop on the Metro and ride over to the Notre Dame.

Grab the kids, dog, cat, or your significant other and stand close. Cram on to the metro (pretend) and enjoy the smells of the Paris metro stations.

Notre Dame and Saint Chapelle

We have now arrived at Notre Dame. The church first started building in the 1100s. This church has a long history with renovations and additions. Though one thing has remained the same, this church is a Parisian icon and beloved by millions.

Notre Dame in Paris at night

There is a lot about the Notre Dame to learn about! The towers stand 225 feet tall. This church is home to the Holy Crown of thrones worn by Christ as well as a piece of the cross and a nail from the last days of Jesus’s ministry and crucifixion.

Sadly the icon was badly damaged in a devasting fire in 2019. It is currently closed to the public due to the damage. They are trying to rebuild but no one knows how long the reconstruction will take.

The Notre Dame after the fire. Take a Virtual vacation to Paris
The Notre Dame now, after the fire

Remember if you were able to visit Paris in person today, you wouldn’t be able to go inside the Notre Dame. So this is better than if you were really there. So take advantage of the virtual tour of these amazing sites online.

Saint Chapelle History

I have been to Paris more times than I can count but I have never made it into Saint Chapelle. So I was excited to see it on this tour. This stunning Chapelle was built in the 13th century and was commissioned by King Louis IX.

Saint Chapelle in Paris. Virtual vacation in Paris
Saint Chapelle

The Chapelle used to be home to over 22 relics including the crown of thrones. King Louis IX loved to collect relics and Saint Chapelle was his favorite place to keep them. The Chapelle is actually made up of 2 chapels. The upper chapel was reserved for royalty and the lower chapel was for everyone else.

Stained glass windows inside Saint Chapelle.

You can read more about Saint Chapelle here.

Come back after you’re finished with your tour and we will have a classic French lunch together under the Effiel Tower.

Petit Dejeuner

It’s time for lunch or in French Petit Dejeuner. Let’s prepare a real French lunch together. Then we will take a walk through the famous Champ de Mars park that ends at the Eiffel Tower.

People on the grass under the Eiffel Tower. Take a virtual vacation to Paris

Listen to some classic French music while you prepare and indulge in your lunch.

We are going to have a traditional French picnic today. When I lived in France one of the things I loved the most was packing a picnic and hanging out at the park. The French can spend an entire day just munching and relaxing in a park.

Picnic blanket with croissants, peaches, and grapes on the blanket. Straw hat, book with a red rose.

So what do you need for your French picnic? Here’s what I would pack:

  • Bread, another baguette or croissants
  • Charcuterie~ lots of cured meat like sausage and cured ham
  • Cheese of course! Make sure to try some stinky cheese that you wouldn’t normally buy.
  • Mini quiches
  • Fresh fruit
  • Something sweet~ a pain au chocolate is my personal favorite. But if you can’t find these in the grocery store, look for some madeleine cookies or some macarons.
  • A bottle of wine
Picnic set up on a blue and white table clothe. Baguette, wine, cheese, salami, and other picnic food.

Now that your picnic is prepared, it’s time to sit down and enjoy lunch. The French take eating very seriously. Mealtime is a time to sit and enjoy each other’s company. Don’t eat in front of the tv or have other distractions. For more tips on French eating etiquette, take a look at this.

After your lunch, enjoy this walk through the Champ de Mark Park that leads to the Eiffel Tower. Imagine yourself walking towards the Eiffel Tower with the cools air and warm sun on your face. A light jacket with a scarf, just like the french.

The Eiffel Tower

Close up of the Eiffel Tower in black and white

When anyone thinks of Paris, the Eiffel Tower is one of the first things that comes to mind. It’s time for you to see the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower took 2 years to build. Construction started in 1887 and it was completed in 1889. It stands 984 feet tall.

Here are some interesting facts about the Eiffel Tower. When it was built, the French hated the tower. They thought it was an ugly eyesore and had no place in their beautiful city. The tower was only supposed to stand for 20 years. Gustave Eiffel built the tower to show how industrial Paris had become. It was built for the World’s Fair and we never intended to stay standing.

Girl in red barret looking out over Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower
Views from the Eiffel Tower

A few more fun facts about the Eiffel Tower, Hilter ordered the tower to be destroyed during WWII. The orders were never followed through and the French resistance cut the elevator cables so the Nazis had to climb the stairs to hang their flag.

It’s time to take your virtual tour of the Eiffel Tower!

Crepe Stop

No trip to Paris would be complete without indulging in French crepes. A French crepe is like a flat pancake. You can have a sweet crepe, typically made with fruit and Nutella.

Or you can also have a savory crepe for lunch. My favorite savory crepe is a ham and cheese. It is then warmed on the skillet and served warm. It’s kind of like a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.

Blue Creperie in Latin Quarter Paris. Virtual vacation to Paris
Man in a white outfit and white hat making crepes with Nutella in the background

Making crepes is actually quite simple here is the perfect classic recipe.

  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 3 Medium Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Melted Butter
  • 1/2 Tsp of Salt

Watch the video below for instructions on how to mix your crepes.

He recommends using this crepe pan on Amazon here. The crepe pan is easy to use and your crepes should be able to get out without sticking to the pan.

I also recommend using an actual crepe maker which is a self-operating flat skillet. I like it because I can make crepes anywhere without the need for my stove.

Close up of a crepe with strawberries on top on a white plate

Get creative with your crepes, you can really put anything on them! My kids love crepes with Nutella. I love them with fresh fruit and Nutella. They are even great with just sugar on them!

Spend the afternoon exploring the sites

As we continue on our virtual vacation to Paris, we will see some more of the amazing sites that Paris has to offer.

Streets of Paris at sunset
Streets of Paris

Palais Garnier- Opera

Yes there is a box reserved for a ghost at the Paris Opera house. Box #5 is still vacant. It’s reserved for the resident ghost, the Phantom of the Opera.

Fun facts about the Paris Opera House. The Opera House took 15 years to build and was completed in 1875. The giant chandelier that hangs in the center did actually fall onto an audience and even killed on audience member in the 1890s. This chandelier weighed over 7 tonnes.

You can virtually visit the inside of the Opera House here. Don’t miss the rooftop tour.

Arc de Triomphe

Close up of the Arc de Triomphe Paris with the sun setting in the background. Take a virtual vacation to Paris

The construction of the Arc was started in 1806 and finished in 1836. There is a tomb under the Arc de Triomphe for an unknown soldier. The memorial reads “Here lies a French soldier who died for his fatherland 1914-1918. It has been there since 1920. At this time an eternal flame was lit for all fallen soldiers. It has been lit for almost 100 years now.

The tomb of the unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

You can walk around the base of the tower for free, or head to the top for a nice view of the city for a small fee.

For a great virtual tour of the Arc de Triomphe check out the Tourist Tube here.

Champs Elysees

As you stand at the Arc de Triomphe, you can look down the most famous street in all of Paris, the Champs Elysees. Even though true Parisiens think this is a tourist trap, you must walk down this street at least once.

Lucky for you, we can take a virtual tour down the Champs. The perfect way to avoid all the pickpocketing that this street is known for. Although, I have never felt unsafe on this street. The number of police on horseback keep it patrolled. I love watching the giant horses trot up and down the street.

This famous street is known for its 5-star hotels and luxury shopping. Very high-end luxury shopping. This is where you will find all high-end name brands flagship stores.

Luxemburg Gardens

No trip to Paris would be complete without an afternoon stroll through another park. So this time let’s enjoy our virtual vacation to Paris and stroll through the Luxemburg Gardens. Luxemburg Gardens is beautiful and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon watching others enjoy the sun and park.

Luxembourg garden with purple flowers and green grass in Paris

Dinner in the Latin Quarter

People on the streets of Paris in the Latin quarter in Paris. Virtual vacation to Paris.

The Latin Quarter of Paris is known for its touristy restaurants that offer fondue and raclette to many wandering tourists. But you don’t have to travel all the way to Paris to have some wonderful raclette or fondue.

Bowls made of cheese at a French Christmas market. Virtual vacation to Paris.

French fondue

What is fondue? Typical fondue is melted cheese in a large pot. Then you dip breads, meat, and anything else you’d like into the cheese. This is not only the perfect meal for any cheese lover, but it is also a ton of fun to do as a family!

French fondue with bread and tomatoes.

You will need:

Here is a great recipe to make the fondue. Have fun with it, you can add more things to dip and pair it with your favorite bottle of wine.

Bread being dipped in cheese fondue at home. arc de triomphe

Raclette

Swiss raclette in Paris. French Christmas market.

What is a raclette? Raclette is a Swiss dish that migrated to France. When you wander the streets of the Latin Quarter in Paris you will find tons of restaurants serving raclette. The dish is served by melting cheese onto potatoes and then topping it with lardon (French bacon) and veggies.

Raclette cheese being melted onto potatoes on a white plate in Paris. arc de triomphe

I love raclette for a few reasons, first it is yummy! The second reason I love to do a raclette is that it is fun to do with your family. To make this dish you just need to do a little bit of prep work. Then you cook everything right at the table. Here is what you need for a raclette:

Raclette cheese being poured onto a plate of vegetables at home. Virtual vacation to Paris. arc de triomphe

Souvenir shopping

The Latin Quarter is also infamous for souvenir shopping. Lucky for us, Amazon sells some of the most desired souvenirs. Pick up a couple to remember your day spent in Paris.

The front of souvenir stores in Paris with people shopping

These small Eiffel Tower souvenirs are a must-have for every tourist. I have bought so many of these little Eiffel Towers when I have visited Paris, my kids love them!

Another fun souvenir is this 3D puzzle of the Notre Dame. It will keep you entertained while you put it together and remind you of Paris every time you look at it.

Paris at Night

You can’t miss Paris at night. The entire city is transformed and it is absolutely stunning. Sit back with a nice glass of wine and enjoy the beauty of Paris in this video below.

Au Revoir

The French never say goodbye, they say Au revoir which means see you later. I hope you had a great day in Paris. See you all soon!

French flag hanging outside buildings. Virtual vacation to Paris. arc de triomphe

See some of our other favorite places:

Pinterest image of a bridge in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background. arc de triomphe

FAQs

What is a virtual vacation?

A virtual vacation is a way to enjoy a vacation from the comfort of your own home. You can see the sites of a city without ever leaving home.

Is Paris still worth visiting?

Yes, Paris is absolutely still worth visiting. Take a virtual vacation to Paris to get your feet wet and get introduced to the sites. Paris has so many once in a lifetime things to see. The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and eating French food. A lot of these things you can only experience by visiting Paris. So Paris is 100% still worth visiting.

Is it safe to visit Paris?

The quick answer is yes, Paris is quite safe. Most of the streets and sites in Paris are safe. Major crimes against tourists are very uncommon. However, you do have to practice caution from pickpockets. They are often found in tourist areas and look for unprotected valuables to pick up. Be smart and keep your valuables close to you at all times.

What is the best time of year to visit Paris?

Most people will say the best time of year to visit Paris is from June to September. But if you want to avoid crowds (and more expensive prices) I would suggest visiting Paris during the spring and fall (April-June and September-November). The weather is beautiful these times of year and you will get to see so much of Paris because the crowds are lower.

Comments

April 4, 2020 at 5:12 am

What a fabulous and atmospheric experience! I love the recipient for a Parisienne picnic. I think I’m going to ‘visit’ Paris tomorrow. Thank you for the inspiration!



April 4, 2020 at 1:44 pm

I lived in Paris when I was a student and have only been back once in 20 years! How lovely to get to revisit again from the comfort of my sofa and see how it’s changed!



April 4, 2020 at 8:50 pm

As I always say Paris is always a good idea even virtually! Visited 4 times already and I’m sure I shall visit again in the future.



Katherine
April 5, 2020 at 12:42 pm

This is a great idea, especially now that people have to stay at home. 🙂 I hope other cities/museums follow suit.



April 17, 2020 at 4:44 pm

This was a really great post. I loved all the photos and the videos for that added experience. I’ve been to Paris before and this just brings back all the good memories, I cant wait to visit again once the world opens back up!



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