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In March 2017, we went to Europe. Our original plan was to do London/Venice/Madrid, however Milana has been obsessed with the Eiffel Tower for over a year and kept asking to go see it. So what would any parent do? Take your 5 year old to see the Eiffel Tower, of course! We ended up skipping Venice and went to Paris instead. We didn’t have much time (36 hours really) and the main reason was to see the tower. Dave and I have been to Paris before, but this was Milana’s first trip.
We opted to fly vs. take the train from London (it was much cheaper!) and it was a quick, uneventful flight on British Airways. Once in Paris, we stayed at the Renaissance Paris Le Parc Trocadero Hotel due to its proximity to the Eiffel Tower. I booked the hotel using my Chase Sapphire Reserve points, making it completely free. Can’t beat that! Our room was the family suite and fairly large. We had a queen size bed for us, and a pull out sofa for Milana. Because of my status with Marriott, we were given champagne, macarons and chocolate in the evening as well as a free breakfast buffet in the morning. We really loved this hotel and the location as well.
The Eiffel Tower was less than a 20 minute walk from our room, and that was the first thing Milana wanted to do. She was super excited to see it, as is evident in these pictures!
Near the Eiffel Tower is a small playground. It’s nothing spectacular, but enough to entertain your kids for a half hour or so and it has amazing views of the Eiffel Tower!
With limited time, the only other major attraction we opted to visit was the Notre Dame Cathedral. Clearly, Milana has a thing for Paris architecture!
Like many other European cities, Paris is a walking city so we walked around a lot! The area around our hotel had lots of cute streets, alleys and cafes/restaurants to check out. A block away was a bakery with lots of yummy treats, and Milana insisted that we visit it every day!
Paris is known for its pastries, and one of the most popular places to get them is Angelina. There are so many options but perhaps the thing they are most known for is their hot chocolate. You will never have a better cup of hot chocolate anywhere! It’s literally melted chocolate with nothing else added, so rich and yummy!
Since we didn’t have time to try too many restaurants, I wanted to make sure that the ones we tried were good. One of the best local finds was Chez Fernand. There’s a reason this place has such high reviews! If you only have one meal in Paris, make it here. After you are seated, they bring out a small barrel of pickles for the table. We started off with the snails in garlic butter, bone marrow and pate. For our entree, we all had the beef bourguignon. It was so delicious, a must try while here.
Another really good find was Sgabetti, a 5 minute walk from our hotel. It’s one of the best Italian restaurants we’ve been to. Milana, who is not a pizza fan, devoured her 4 cheese pizza and said it was the best pizza she ever had. Their pasta dishes are delicious as well. Who knew some of the best Italian food was in Paris!
Of course, what’s a visit to Paris without having a banana-nutella crepe from a street stand? Milana loved these and ate almost the entire thing herself!
Before we knew it, our 36 hours was up and it was time to head to Madrid. We had fun walking around the city, eating yummy food and showing Milana her bucket list item! But we were glad to leave the cold, dreary weather behind and head to warm Madrid for the next couple of days.