If you’re a longtime reader, you know that Paris is my favorite place on earth. For those of you that may be newer readers, as background: I first visited Paris when I was a little girl and ever since then have tried to return as often as possible. I spent four months studying abroad there, spent two weeks in high school on a French immersion trip and most recently, I have been lucky enough to return the past four years in a row.
Therefore today I’m pleased to be sharing the first series of photos I shot while there last month as well as all my Parisian favorites. What I love to do and see, where I like to eat and drink…every little spot I love to spend my time while in the City of Lights.
I hope you enjoy this little guide and if you’re planning a trip, please don’t hesitate to reach out! I absolutely love talking about this magical city.
My Paris Favorites
See & Do:
Coulée Verte René-Dumont:
An elevated park that NYC’s Highline was modeled after. I LOVED it. Seeing the Parisian rooftops from higher up was pretty spectacular. Get a coffee at Passager after or a treat at Ble Sucre. Les Fleurs is a really cute store nearby as well.
Jardin de Luxembourg:
Always worth a stroll through on every trip! This is one of my favorite parks in the city. I also love Parc Monceau.
I adore it here! I shot these photos here before the city awoke and this place is just so special to me.
our ride is finishing it is just in time to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle!
Rue Cler is the most perfect street to buy everything you need for a picnic on the Champs Des Mars in front of La Tour Eiffel. They have a boulangerie, a flower store, a butcher, a frommagerie and a wine shop.
This museum housed in an old train station is not to be missed. That being said, the lines can be very long. If you want to skip the lines and you are planning to visit multiple museums on your trip, purchase The Paris Pass. You’ll bypass the long lines at the museums you visit and you get unlimited Metro rides! I loved having mine for two days on my most recent trip.
I adore this very small museum housed in a beautiful former home.
Pop by this department store and go up to the terrace for a beautiful (+ free!) view of Paris. You can also get a glass of wine up here. Galeries Lafayette has a similar terrace and it’s worth visiting both for slightly varied views over the city.
Montmarte is such a unique neighborhood to explore. The winding, hilly streets are full of charm and Sacre Couer is a must-visit spot.
Galeries Lafayette’s grocery store is so fun to wander or pick up picnic supplies.
One of my favorite museums that got a makeover recently and is just a delight to visit. See so many of Rodin’s exquisite pieces of work throughout the home he once inhabited and then wander the gardens to see even more.
Ile Saint Louis:
A delightful small island to walk around. Head over to Ile de la Cite after to marvel at the chestnut trees and Notre Dame.
One of my all time favorite spots in the city! In the spring this little, tucked away Place is full of pink blooms (see them here!) and is often a quiet little oasis. Stroll through early in the morning or on a late afternoon.
My favorite neighborhood in all of Paris is also one of the oldest. It has such history and is filled with beautiful homes, gardens (Place Vendome is not to be missed), museums and shops. I spend most of my time in Paris in this neighborhood.
I never miss the opportunity to pick up gifts at the concept shop Merci and always visit L’apartment Sezane for clothing and home goods. Other favorite shops include Kerzon candles, Maison Codage, Les Fleurs (11eme), Mona Market, Papier Tigre, Galeries Lafayette and others included here.
If you want time to bliss out, book yourself a facial at the Darphin Institute. They make some of my favorite skincare products and their treatments are next-level. Tucked away down the street from Place Vendome, their expert aestheticians will analyze your skin in one of their luxe, cozy rooms and then get to work. My skin felt so healthy, so revitalized and the products they recommended to me I use almost daily now. Can’t recommend this spot enough for a little R&R during your trip!
Eat & Drink:
Poilane is Ina Garten’s favorite spot for bread and they make some of my favorite croissants. They have a few locations now but I personally love the one in the 7eme arrondisement. (It was outside this location I serendipitously met Ina.)
Septime is perfect for a special ocassion meal while in Paris as it is currently one of the top 50 restaurants in the world. Everything was exquisite in taste, texture and plating in the set menu. Such a special treat to dine here!
Season is not very French feeling but I love this place for a healthier lunch option. The menu is brimming with beautiful quinoa salads and fresh pressed juices.
Nestled on one of my favorite streets in Paris, I have had two really good meals here where they serve many of their dishes in traditional ‘cocottes’ (small cast iron dishes.) I highly recommend the terrine if they have it on the menu.
An Australian restaurant in the trending 10eme arrondisement, this spot is heaven for breakfast. The pancakes and eggs are incredible but as such, expect to wait in a line here. Visit 10 Belles nearby for a coffee to sip while in line.
Another special ocassion meal, Saturne feels elegant yet cozy and the set menu is adventurous but not in an intimidating way. Highly recommend the wine pairing if you book here.
One of my favorite patisseries in the city.
By famed chef Daniel Rose, this place is incredibly special. With only about 11 tables you must make a reservation and be prepared for a set menu. It was one of the most memorable meals of my life.
This little cafe is one of my favorites for lunch while in the Marais. It is across from the Picasso museum so it’s great to dine at right before or after you visit the museum.
Du Pain et Des Idees:
This famed bakery is only open Monday through Friday but is a must on your trip. The pastries are unbelievable. It is a famed place for good reason.
Cafe Charlot is on another of my favorite streets in Paris and nestled in the Marais so it’s perfect for a mid-day meal when your feet need a little rest. I love the goat cheese salad here – it is unreal. The steak is also good and it should satisfy your request for a traditional brasserie. They will be rude to you because you’re American ha!
Another great lunch spot in the Marais tucked down a little alleyway and with plenty of outdoor dining. The chocolate mousse is NOT to be missed! (They bring you your very own bowl to have as much as you’d like!) The menu is expansive and the service delightful.
Prescription Cocktail Bar:
You can tell them at the bar what you like / dislike and they’ll make something incredible for you.
Experimental Cocktail Club:
Similar to the above, be prepared to delight in custom craft cocktails.
This spot feels straight out of the Great Gatsby and is great for a late night cocktail.
Ob La Di: Coffee:
I adore this spot for its great coffee, beautifully tiled floors and lite bites.
Great spot for a quick coffee and pastry.
This is part of a restaurant group who has spots all over Paris and wow, it was some of the best pizza I have ever had! I could barely decide what to order for lunch but ended up with a spicy asparagus pizza (sounds strange, tastes out of this world) and pasta with burrata and both were incredible. I was begging for my stomach to make more room because I loved it so much.
I love getting a coffee here at the Palais Royale location. And wandering the gardens in the morning before the city is fully awake. Note it opens on the later side at 10am.
The original location in the Maris is my favorite but they did recently open in Saint Germaine. Pop by for a coffee before spending the day in the Marais.
Situated nearby a lot of good spots you’ll want to visit, I love the space Telescope is housed in. Airy, bright and home to delicious coffee.
This restaurant feels very New York in vibe but I love all the windows and the bar with plenty of seats.
This menu was so cool! It changes often and a lot of the dishes feature spice so, naturally, I loved everything. The dishes are small so it’s great to go with 1 or 2 other people so you can order a few things to share.
My home away from home while I am in Paris I can’t say enough good things about this hotel. It is centrally located but on this charming and quiet street, the staff is absolutely lovely. The breakfast delicious and the rooms incredibly cozy and chic. They ensure every detail is taken care of and I truly love waking up here while in Paris. See more here.
Hotel Adele et Jules:
Just a short drive away from their sister property Hotel Therese and located in the 9eme, Hotel Adele & Jules is tucked away on a little alley and offers wonderful service and rooms with beautiful details like pink headboards (!) and beautifully tiled tubs. (I took a bath every night while staying there #heaven!) You are around the corner from L’apartement Sezane and a short walk from all the shopping your heart could desire at Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
I am already counting down to when I can next return to my favorite city! My list is never-ending of spots I want to check out <3.
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Shop the Post:
Kate Spade New York Dress (c/o) // Chanel Shoes (similar all nude pair here) // Kate Spade New York Clutch
p.s. the most Instagram worthy spots in Paris and what Paris means to me.
This guide made our trip to Paris so perfect!!! We structured the week around so many of these recommendations and loved everything you suggested- especially the food recs. I need to go back to Paris ASAP because I have so much regret that I didn’t eat 5,555 more croissants at Du Pain et dues Idees. Definitely a must do! I also loved going a little off the beaten path to Cafe Oberkampf. Meghan, you are the ultimate Paris guru!!!
This is truly the best to hear! I am so glad the guide was helpful! Thank you for letting me know my recommendations didn’t lead you astray! Hope you get to return to the city soon.
What a great guide to Paris! I’m a Parisian and regarding recommendations on where to stay I’ll add to the list some lovely boutique hotels such as the Hotel Grand Powers, Hôtel du Rond-Point, Le Narcisse Blanc, or Doisy Etoile 🙂 xo
See my post here: https://leoncechenal.com/best-boutique-hotels-paris/
Or my complete guide to Paris: https://leoncechenal.com/paris-travel-guide/
Merci! A few of these are on my list to check out – thank you for sharing!