62 things to do in France

Spending time abroad is truly a time-bending experience. My going away party at Allen Hall, for example, was five months ago. I remember it as well as some things that happened a few weeks ago — but I feel like it happened years ago.

This list was compiled by the wonderful friends who came to that party to wish me a happy time abroad, but I have to admit — I sort of forgot about it. I kept meaning to check it, but I never thought about it when I was actually by my computer. (Don’t you hate it when that happens?)

I’m surprised by how many I’ve done without even realizing. And with one week left in Aix, and two weeks left in Europe, I will try to finish it off. So, voilà! — here it is!


  1. Buy a baguette — done
  2. Go to a Monoprix — done
  3. Eat cheese — duh
  4. Find a thrift store — done
  5. Find hidden French stores — done
  6. Take artsy pictures — always trying to!
  7. Read French newspapers and magazines — done
  8. Eat in a cafe — done
  9. Eat Belgian chocolate — I have not; however, I find French chocolate to be sufficiently delightful.
  10. Go to a nude beach —  The weather just recently got nice enough to even go to the beach, so I cannot confirm or deny whether nude beaches are as common in France as Americans think. Unaccomplished so far.
  11. Go to Cote d’Azuredone
  12. Go to the Louvre — done
  13. Find the best café — done
  14. Buy French makeup — done. Makeup is so much more expensive in Aix that I actually vowed to myself at the beginning of the semester that I wouldn’t buy any. But have no fear! I caved in and bought some lipstick on sale at Monoprix (see #2).
  15. Send a postcard to Allen Hall— done, many times!

    #31: This ain't France! (It's Prague)

  16. Become fashionable — This was one I put on the list. I’ve always loved fashion in an artistic sense — I don’t really follow haute couture designers, but I love dressing myself well and analyzing style. I can tell that my sense of style has changed from living in France, and I hope I can take it back with me to the states.
  17. Go to the Quartier Latin in Paris — Unfortunately, during my two times in Paris, I didn’t make it here. I guess I’ll just have to make a trip back.
  18. Try a Madeline — done
  19. Keep up a blogdone
  20. Make French friends — done
  21. Make a video with my French friends — Not yet! But there’s still a week left!
  22. Go to a discotheque — done
  23. Eat escargot — I have eaten snails, but they weren’t traditional escargot. But “escargot” means “snail,” probably in any form, so I’m going to check this one off.
  24. Eat frog legs — I have not yet. Maybe I’ll still get a chance to…although, truth be told, I’m not going to go out and look for them.
  25. Listen to French music — done
  26. Tactfully deny advances of all French men — done. I’m going to add Italian to this list; also done.
  27. Get a French haircut — done
  28. Celebrate Passover in Paris — done, if we substitute Paris with Aix. My mom and I went to a lively Sephardi sedar here. Like all formal Judaism in Europe, the synagogue in Aix is fairly traditional, but this sedar felt more exciting and even progressive than most I’ve been to. It was a really neat experience.
  29. See a French movie in a movie theatre — I saw “Hunger Games” in version originale — English with French subtitles. Does that count?
  30. Take the underwater train to England — I won’t make it to England this time in Europe…but definitely something for which to come back.


  31. Travel around Europe — Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, and all around France. I think I’ve done this pretty well.
  32. Sing a French song — probably not a whole song in French, but I do this from time to time
  33. Get lost in a foreign citydone
  34. Explore the catacombs — not done. I’ll add it to my Paris to-see list.
  35. Say yes to any trip offered within reason — I know for sure that I haven’t said yes to every trip, but I have gone on a number of relatively impulsive trips around France. I am content to check this off.
  36. Go to the Moulin Rouge — done. Well, my mom and I stumbled upon it in Paris. We didn’t go inside, though, because tickets were around 100 euros, but I hope to one day.
  37. Go to a burlesque show — To be accomplished with#36
  38. Visit a vineyard — done
  39. Skype with family, staff and friends — done
  40. Take tourist-y pictures at the Eiffel Tower — done
  41. Try a fine pastrydone
  42. Eat in a fancy restaurant — done
  43. People watch on the streets — done
  44. Visit Notre Dame — done
  45. Go on a river boat cruise down the Seine  — on the Paris to-do list


  46. Live with a free spirit — I have to say, it was more difficult for me than I expected. I think I accomplished this here, but I hope that this life philosophy will come with me back to the States, and beyond.
  47. Kiss Matt somewhere in Europe — done, in four European countries. Not bad.
  48. Eat Nutella — done on day one
  49. Take a discreet picture of a nun — I completely forgot about this! I know I can definitely cross this off before I leave. I won’t leave my house without a camera! I won’t let you down!
  50. Develop French mouth — Due to the tight vowels in the French language, French speakers often keep their lips slightly pursed, at ready position. I’ve gotten better at this, but I know my vowels are nowhere near native quality.
  51. Become a pro at cheek-kissing — done
  52. Buy a scarf — done
  53. Try on over-expensive dresses — I’ve definitely window-shopped for over-expensive dresses, but I don’t think I’ve tried any on (minimizes the temptation to buy them). However, there are an abundance of said dresses in Aix-en-Provence, so this shouldn’t be difficult to accomplish.
  54. Eat a French omelet — I don’t know what makes a French omelet French, but I haven’t eaten any omelet in France. I don’t even know if omelets exist in France.
  55. Eat a croque-monsieur — done. My host mom makes them all the time. Ham and cheesy goodness.
  56. Trick people into thinking I’m French— It hasn’t happened all the time, but when it does, it’s awesome.

    #4, #31, #40, #52: Wearing a French scarf I bought at a vintage store while eating a fine dessert (Black Forest cake) in Germany

  57. See an opera — Not done! Don’t tell my dad!
  58. Go to open-air markets — done
  59. Rent a bike and go biking — I would have loved to do this. I hope I can before I leave!
  60. Buy French earrings, socks, shoes, ring — done
  61. Don’t overpack — done. I came here with one suitcase, one backpack, and one purse…but this makes #62 problematic.
  62. Come back with more than you left with — What are the odds that I fit my new wardrobe, my wares of #60, all of my paintings, and a smuggled bottle of wine into this one suitcase, one backpack, and one purse? I’m collecting bets now until Friday.

4 thoughts on “62 things to do in France”

  1. DeeDee Hutcheson

    I love reading your blog Emily! Thank you so much for keeping it up! I hope you enjoy your remaining time overseas and have a safe trip home!

  2. Hi Emily, I saw a post from your blog on Facebook and it caught my eye because I will be living in Europe this summer! I’m taking classes in Bilbao, Spain, but I will be traveling for sure to Madrid, Segovia, Barcelona, Paris and London. Do you have any recommendations of places to go/things to see?

    1. So exciting! You really can’t go wrong…it just depends where you want to go and how much time and money you have. I went to Barcelona and LOVED it, and I’ve also heard great things about Seville and Portugal. And Paris is beautiful, definitely my favorite (although I might be biased because it’s the only international city I’ve been to where I can speak the language).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *