The greatest adventures of my life are wound in my love story. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m blessed to have a husband who wants to show me the world! Last year, we celebrated our first anniversary in Iceland. This year, Josh sweetly surprised me with a trip to London + Paris for our second anniversary and birthdays. With three days in London, three days in Paris and a month to plan, I dove into gathering all the information I could find to begin planning our next newlywed travels adventure!
Some of our plans we stuck to, while others were replaced with spontaneous decisions, tips from locals and of course some foodie cravings. But that’s the best part! We loved having plans that we could choose to stick to, but also enjoyed stumbling upon hidden gems off the beaten path. Without further ado, here are our trips + tricks for visiting London and Paris!
Newlywed Travels | Tips While Visiting London
Favorite Foodie Finds
Some of the best meals we ate were at the local markets. Travelers love Borough Market for its delis and restaurants + farmer’s market Fridays and Saturdays. We started off with a proper pot pie and fish and chips like true Londoners and then walked around enjoying the other food vendors and shops. Another favorite market was Old Spitalfields Market, where we found Smokoloko, a smoked barbecue vendor. The smoked beef sandwich wrapped up in a delicious flatbread with arugula and caramelized onions was delicious!
Those who know me well know I love pizza, and we weren’t planning on getting pizza in London until we stumbled upon Three Johns Pizza. It was so good, we ended up going twice while we were there. Believe me, it was worth it! We also enjoyed plenty of traditional English breakfasts consisting of eggs, ham, sausage, potatoes, beans, tomatoes and mushrooms. One of the days in London, we took an overnight trip to Liverpool for a soccer match. Before the game, we wanted a snack so we got kebabs from Olive Branch. And they were so good, we had them again for our late night snack after the match.
Must Do in London
Get a London Underground three day pass! We had three days in each city, which meant we wanted to make the most of our time. We did a lot of walking, but we also wanted to ensure we got from place to place quickly so we could see all the sights. This helped us get around the city quickly, and was definitely a must.
Of course, you’re going to want to see the monuments. Some of our favorites: Big Ben, Tower Bridge (yes, get the hot sugary nuts to enjoy while walking across the bridge), Westminster Abbey and all the historic churches.
Consider watching a soccer match. One of our favorite parts of the trip was visiting Liverpool to go to the match. The pre-match singing at some famous pubs, the atmosphere and crowd at the match and just getting to explore a different city was well worth it! If that’s not up your alley, watch sports with the locals at the pubs wherever you’re traveling. We did this too after dinner on our trip and had a blast!
Newlywed Travels | Tips While Visiting Paris
Favorite Foodie Finds
We quickly found that London was better for us as a couple when it came to food. We decided to skip some of the best restaurants we researched prior to arriving in Paris and hit the spots that had the most appealing menus. Most of our meals consisted of lots of French onion soup, French fries and steak! Our favorite meal (and best French onion soup of all) was at Le Marquis. They only serve food up until lunch and then it’s just drinks later, so make sure you go for lunch!
A Croque Monsieur is a good go to if traditional French food doesn’t appeal to you. We of course had to try the best ice cream in Paris at Berthillon, which didn’t disappoint! We also visited the oldest (and prettiest) patisserie in Paris, Stohrer, but were so full from lunch we didn’t get anything. I will say that you should find the best sticky toffee pudding and crème brûlée near you, you won’t regret it!
Must Do in Paris
While it took us a day or so to figure out the types of restaurants we’d like best, we so enjoyed sitting on the little porches enjoying lunch and dinner at every single restaurant we went to. Take your time, have a couple glasses of wine, people watch and soak it all in while snuggling up together at a table for two! Some say that the Latin Quarter is a must do, and we agree – but make sure you pick a good spot to eat. It’s entertaining to see the waiters outside battling for customers as you stroll down the narrow streets. We got fondue and French onion soup, but I’m sure there are better spots to hit.
The Eiffel Tower is a must! We walked all the way up as far as allowed and then took the elevator to the tip top. The same day, we walked to the top of Sacré-Cœur and enjoyed the sprawling views of the city. You can even see the Eiffel Tower from the top. Notre Dame is a must! Take your time admiring the beautiful stained glass windows. We also stumbled upon some other beautiful historic churches that were fun to tour. The Arc de Triomphe was beautiful at night – all lit up and glowing in its glory. We also visited The Louvre and spent some time inside and walking around outside. But, we didn’t feel the need to wait in line forever to see the Mona Lisa. Instead, we strolled around and admired the Eiffel Tower views and stunning architecture of the surrounding buildings.
What to Pack for your Trip
- We visited in early March, so it was a little bit chilly. Bring some base layers you can wear under your tops. You’ll be thankful you have them at night, especially if you want to sit outside for dinner to take in the ambiance of the city.
- A rain jacket was a must for me. We didn’t let any rain stop us with our rain coats. So I recommend bringing a light weight rain jacket you can carry around and throw on.
- Two pairs of comfy shoes (at least). We did so much walking, I can’t stress this enough.
- Pants/jackets with pockets. I didn’t bring my purse and we put everything in Josh’s front pockets and my zip up jacket pockets.
Other Newlywed Travels Tips for Traveling Overseas
- Fighting jet lag was tough! We took off from Atlanta around 7 PM EST, had about eight hours of travel time and got to London around 8 in the morning local time (which was 3 AM EST). We wanted to get on local time as quickly as possible. So, we stayed up as late as we could that first night. It definitely helped adjust so we could enjoy the night life and not go to bed super early every night. That was Josh’s idea and doing. Thanks for the encouragement to stay awake babe!
- Make friends with the locals and get their suggestions of where to eat, have a drink or hangout.
- Prioritize what you want to see just in case you don’t make it to every monument or sight seeing spot!
-Kristen + Josh Green