I don’t know who had a better time over the last few weeks, Team Europe celebrating their Ryder Cup victory or Mitchell and I on our honeymoon. We didn’t let the U.S. loss deter our fun. The Ryder Cup in Paris and our honeymoon experience was unforgettable.
We decided several months before our May wedding to push back our honeymoon and frame it around this year’s Ryder Cup in Paris. Because of that, our itinerary ended up being extraordinary!
Becoming a part-time travel agent for a few months leading up to it, I planned our entire trip (with suggestions from many helpful friends and family members.) I promise you can do it too! (I’ll share a few tips and tricks I picked up in the process in an upcoming blog post.)
Flying out Monday from Jacksonville (just hours after covering Tiger’s comeback victory), we landed in Paris Tuesday early morning – giving us the entire day to explore. In the days leading up to the Ryder Cup we kicked off our honeymoon taking in Paris’ major sights like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre & Orsay Museums, Notre Dame & Sainte Chapelle’s Cathedrals, Arc de Triomphe — just to name a few.
Tuesday: a.m. arrival
- Early hotel check-in, brunch at a café & stroll around Paris.
- Orsay Museum as it opened to avoid the lines.
- Eiffel Tower in the afternoon. Reserved tickets to go up to the second floor.
- Happy hour and dinner in area surrounding Eiffel Tower to watch it sparkle after sunset. (It sparkles for 5 minutes at the top of every hour after sunset.)
- Louvre Highlights guided tour when it opened at 9:30am via CityWonders (highly recommend this tour company. They were great!)
- Notre Dame & Sainte Chapelle.
- Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore visit.
- Happy Hour at sunset along the Seine River walk at its many pop-up bars (highly recommend!)
- Shopping along the Champs Elysees (Louis Vuitton flagship store is a must!)
- Arc de Triomphe (we enjoyed the sights from atop the Arc even more than from the Eiffel Tower.)
- Commute out to Versailles to check-in for our days in the Parisian suburb for the Ryder Cup.
- A stroll to the Palace and dinner at one of its many charming restaurants.
- Ryder Cup
- Palace of Versailles Guided Tour via CityWonders (The Palace is so much bigger than you even expect!)
- Evening back in Paris before flying on to Italy.
The Ryder Cup experience was like none other. We are so glad we went on Friday to experience the first tee shots of the tournament – which should be on every sports fan’s bucket list! Not only was the atmosphere electric, but this was the first time in SEVERAL years I’ve attended a golf tournament as a fan – so it was very enjoyable. Not to mention, as Americans, we were able to see some exciting golf from Team USA Friday morning.
Aside from the atmosphere and getting to be in those giant grandstands for the opening tee shots, we most enjoyed seeing the course. Le Golf National blew us away! It was so pure, it made us want to come back and play it ourselves. I have a feeling it will be hosting big tournaments for many years to come.
Tips for those looking to attend a Ryder Cup in the future:
- Get up REALLY early and allow yourself extra time to get to the course in the morning. It took us almost 2.5 hours to get to the grandstands and we were staying just a short metro ride away from the shuttle buses.
- Book everything way in advance & buy your tickets when they go on-sale. We stayed in an Airbnb due to the raised hotel prices and lack of availability.
- Watch those opening tee shots, then walk up a few holes ahead of the action to get a spot to see all the groups come through. Repeat. Keep getting ahead of the action so you even have a prayer at seeing groups come through. It is very crowded, with thousands more spectators than available golf to watch. (But don’t worry, they have HUGE screens throughout the course for spectators to watch.)
After our time in Paris/Versailles, we shipped off to Italy for some of our favorite parts of our trip.
- Early flight to Florence.
- Accademia Gallery to see the Statue of David (one of our favorite works of art we saw all trip.)
- Duomo (our Airbnb had an incredible view of this breathtaking church!)
- Mandatory Gelato tasting/snack (it’s a must when in Italy!)
A wine tour in Tuscany is the main reason we came to Florence, little did we know, that we would fall in love with the rest of the city while we were there. The wine tour was incredible and we enjoyed ours with Grape Tours. Beyond that, Florence gave us the kind of laid back, vacation feel we were looking for. A refreshing change from the bustling streets of Paris.
But we went right back to the big city chaos in Rome. Rome is buzzing! From the quick pace and traffic via the locals, to the overabundance of tourists — Rome can give you busy vibes too. But if you allow yourself to casually stroll its historic streets, you will see its charm. Rome was fun and takes you deep into history like you’ve never experienced before.
- Morning bullet train from Florence to Rome (super cost-friendly and a pleasant experience! Wish I could travel like that all the time.)
- Walked around to see the major sights like Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Roman Forum, etc.
- Colosseum by Night Tour with CityWonders – our favorite tour of the trip!
- Morning Vatican Tour (Warning: St. Peter’s Basilica doesn’t open until 12-1pm. So a morning tour will take you through all the museums and Sistine Chapel leading up to the church’s opening.)
- Stroll through streets of Rome and picnic in the Terraza del Pincio.
- Flight back to Paris for our last night of our honeymoon.
- Seine River Cruise (a perfect way to end our trip!)
- Fly back to the states
We had such a wonderful honeymoon and recommend this itinerary to anyone looking to visit Europe in the future. It was the perfect balance of sightseeing and relaxation! Thank you for following our special adventure! You can go inside our daily activities on my Instagram Story, and I’ll be sharing more info on the blog in the weeks to come. Stay tuned!