I went to Paris once. It was not a sweet-sun kissed endeavor; I did not sip coffee and brunch on baguettes, nor did I frolic along the River Seine. I did Paris wrong.
I did Paris wrong, but you can do Paris right if you strategically plan where you want to go. If you are short on time, I recommend savoring one or two outings, as opposed to attempting to experience everything in the city.
DO sip your coffee slowly. The Parisian café is a great snapshot of French culture. Life can be experienced through the appetite for variety and excitement, or simply the joy of a great cup of coffee – black or au lait. Paris cafes give you a great opportunity to experience them both. Given any morning or afternoon, one can sit by the sidewalk and learn a lot about human nature. Take your time here, let it all sink in. This is why you traveled half-way across the world, now live it. Keep your order uncomplicated, and order one dish at a time to give yourself a real chance to delight in it.
DON’T climb Notre-Dame de Paris. There is no doubt that Notre-Dame is an exquisitely beautiful cathedral, but the line to tour it is absurd. I waited in line for almost an hour, to climb what felt like one million and eight steps. I believe that is the definition of a lose-lose situation. If you aren’t especially invested in seeing this particular edifice, I would recommend using your time to explore one of Paris’ smaller historical churches.
DO kiss someone. After all, you are in Paris. Viva la France!