here's a quick, truncated guide to paris...
paris is amazing. in my opinion it isn't overrated. it is split up into arrondissement / neighborhoods that are numbered which is handy. so you can always ask the number of the neighborhood you are going to and you won't get lost.
take the metro. it's why my dad from oregon calls paris a mole city [not in a bad way], and it's the easiest way to get around. buy the tickets in packs and don't throw them away because you have to use them to exit at some stations. uber is also reliable and nice in paris. but don't take a cab.
if you go shopping -- i personally recommend the APC surplus or Alaia Outlet but those are more for for the girls. also any of the cute boutiques in le marais. when you enter, always find the closest shopkeeper and say "bonjour monsieur/madame/mademoiselle" they will probably respond in english but be nicer to you and assume you're canadian.
so just take everything in. take embarrassing tourist pictures, just don't buy a selfie stick.
top of the arc at champs-elysées is better than the top of the eiffel tower imho. it's also way less crowded. go at night for the best views.
speaking of the eiffel tower you should still go. grab some wine, cheese, bread from a grocery store and boulangerie and go have a picnic in the park.
sacre coeur do this and wander around monmarte. it's a great view looking back at paris and there are super cute bistros in monmarte.
the catacombs if you're into bones and skulls like me.
notre dame - this is a duh thing but it is a beautiful cathedral.
jardin du luxemboug - that's the senate building now and is just a very nice stroll.
the opera. this building is stunning and they let you tour it if you want.
museums, a breakdown:
the louvre has permanent works, works through the mid-19th century and of course mona lisa. it takes hours and hours to get through the whole museum. it also has a really cool plaza with the glass cube sticking out from the underground part of the museum and is a really pretty spot to eat lunch outside.
the musée d'orsay has mid 19th century-early 20th century and when i was there had a manet/monet exhibition which was really awesome.
the centre pompidou is modern art. i really like it and the building's architecture is really hotly debated in paris. it also is geared towards kids and has interactive exhibits which i think is awesome.
l'orangerie is an entire museum about money. i didn't really like it.
the napoleon museum is a really spectacular and pretty [building wise, even for paris standards] museum for history | war | architecture buffs.
i also love the montmarte museum where all of the original moulin rouge posters live. it also can be checked off easily while heading sacre coeur | boulangerie raphaelle and it backs up to the only vineyard left in paris city limits.
crepes and gallettes with cider at brizeh. you must go here. they take reservations by phone so do this so you don't have to wait in the usually massive line.
bread or lunch to go at maison kayser or erik kayser - it's a chain (one is close to the louvre) and they have awesome croissants / bread / lunch meal options. quick and easy but not the best.
however THE BEST BAKERY IN PARIS, in my opinion and a lot of other peoples - is in monmarte. it's boulangerie raphaelle and i dream about it still. 🥐 🥖
chez aline - go to this place and get the ham and butter [jambon & buerre] sandwich. i kid you not it is life changing.
there are insanely good dumplings at this hole in the wall dim sum place called raviolis? get the jiaozi. its 10 out of 10.
kapunka is thai and a good casual lunch spot. they will serve you an omlette on top of your pad thai.
on the asian in paris theme, there is a pork katsu sandwich to be ordered at abri. it is only served on mondays and saturdays from 12-3 so get it then. they also run a soba shop i read is good in the 9th eme. 🍜
le baratin - this is a great dinner option and one of the nicer places i went. you will want to make a reservation.
au petit tonneau is a fucking adorable bistro. i thought i wanted to take up smoking and just sit outside of it forever. another option for a very french bistro is camille in le marais. these are the places that you order things like steak frites and veal piccata with a large glass of wine.
for a covered market experience check out marche des enfants rouges. do a lap before deciding on the vendor you want to eat at.
i mean honestly it's paris. just eat anything. i didn't include any really fancy michelin starred tasting menu places like l'arpege or l'astrance because let's be real i can't afford them but i'm sure they are fantastic.
speaking of non alcoholic things, les duex magots has sipping chocolate which is fun.
le perchoir marais this place is trendy and great for cocktails.
aux folies gives kind of hipster dive bar vibe but i love it.
bubar - this is a wine bar to end all wine bars. you. must. go. 🍷
rosa bonhuer - this is a bar inside of a park on the river. if it's sunny while you're in paris go and enjoy some beers outside.