My Perfect Parisian Day and Hidden Paris Treasures

March 4, 2019

Meghan Donovan in Paris I wit & whimsy

I am so thrilled to be kicking off Paris Week on wit & whimsy today! As longtime readers know, Paris is my favorite city and a place that means so much to me. I share a lot of posts about Paris each year but wanted to do something special this week. Starting today, all five posts this week will be dedicated to Paris. I’ll be sharing some hidden Paris treasures (read on below), favorite Paris coffee shops, never before seen photos, a Weekly Roundup entirely dedicated to Paris content and lots more! I’ll also be doing Paris related content over on Instagram! Hope you’ll enjoy more peeks into why I love the City of Lights so much.

Meghan Donovan in Paris I wit & whimsy

Meghan Donovan in Paris I wit & whimsy

Meghan Donovan in Paris I wit & whimsy

Meghan Donovan in Paris I wit & whimsy

Meghan Donovan in Paris I wit & whimsy

In today’s post I wanted to share a look at my idea of a perfect day in Paris as well as some hidden treasures within the city if you’re looking for spots that are a bit off the beaten path.

My perfect Paris day would start by waking up at my favorite hotel, The Hotel Therese and then include a walk over to the gardens of the Palais Royale. I’d get a coffee at Cafe Kitsune or Telescope Coffee and enjoy it in one of the iconic green chairs that line the park’s gardens. I’d slowly make my way over to Le Marais and wander, wander, wander. The Marais is my favorite neighborhood to get lost in. I’d get another coffee at Ob La Di and perhaps a croissant at Poilane before settling into an outdoor table at Cafe Charlot for their warm goat cheese salad and a glasse of Sancerre. I’d pop into my favorite shops including Kerzon (the very best candles!), Papier Tigre, OFR Bookshop and Merci. Following lunch and shopping I’d head to Ile Saint Louis (perhaps get a Berthillon ice cream cone…my favorite flavor combo is chocolate and raspberry!) and then up and over to Ile de la Cite. I’d pop into Place Dauphine and then wander through the Luxembourg Gardens before heading over to the 7eme arrondissement where I’d pop into the Rodin museum – one of my very favorites. Not only is the home where Rodin lived stunning, the gardens are a delight to wander through. I’d then satisfy my sweet tooth at La Patisserie Des Reves or Pierre Hermé before heading back to my hotel to freshen up. Dinner will be at one of my favorite Paris restaurants – Frenchie Wine Bar or Septime or Servan. Followed by a night cap at a favorite cocktail bar such as Experimental Cocktail Club or Prescription. I’d walk home along the Seine taking in Paris at nighttime and hopefully sneak in a look at the sparkling Eiffel Tower.

As for some of my favorite Parisian hidden treasures:

  • Venture out to the 12th arrondisement where there are far less tourists and take a morning walk on the Coulée verte René-Dumont. It’s an elevated park that NYC’s Highline was modeled after. It’s incredibly peaceful and lovely to see Paris from a bit higher up. Be sure to pop by nearby Café Oberkampf for the best banana bread and a good cup of coffee and then wander Rue Cremieux to spy its colorful houses. In the same neighborhood is the amazing Passage L’homme. A leafy, winding alleyway that feels a bit like you’ve transported back in time. Pop into Passager Coffee after you stroll the Passage.
  • Insiders know the magic of Place Dauphine but due to it being tucked away on Ile de la Cite it is easily overlooked if you don’t know it is there. It is particularly magical at Spring when the cherry blossom trees are blooming.
  • Other photogenic streets you may enjoy include Passage L’ancre, Rue Bachaumont and Passage Dauphine.
  • A bit tricky to find but a piece of garden magic, don’t miss Jardin Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur.
  • You may recognize Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole from Pinterest but it is hard to find. It’s tucked away on a tiny street near Notre Dame on Ile de la Cite.
  • Parc Monceau doesn’t get as much love as many of Paris’ other parks but I love it for a peaceful stroll among locals.
  • The 9th arrondisement is often overlooked by tourists but I adore some of its food options including Buvette and Pink Mamma, cocktail bar Lulu White as well as the hidden tea garden at the Musée de la Vie Romantique.
  • The Yves Saint Laurent Museum is fairly new and not to be missed if you enjoy Fashion. It’s small and can be taken in within one hour’s time and the true highlight is seeing YSL’s studio which has been preserved. I absolutely loved seeing it!
  • One of my favorite experiences in Paris is La Cuisine Paris. They offer a variety of classes as a means of further understanding Parisian culture through food. I had a blast taking the croissant making class and also loved the wine & cheese course.
  • I adore the few covered passages that are left in Paris to this day and one of my very favorites is Galerie Vivienne just near the Palais Royale. Another good one nearby is Passage du Grand Cerf.
  • If you’re looking for a fantastic yet secret-feeling view of the Eiffel Tower look no further than Avenue de Camoens. Your Instagram can thank me later ;).

Heading to Paris? Book Paris, Perfected with me and get customized recommendations based on your travel preferences to make your next trip to Paris the best one yet.

Kate Spade Dress (on sale! Wearing a 6), Heels & Bag (c/o)

p.s. 3 perfect days in Paris and where to stay in Paris.

[Anna Lebedeva Photography]

what I'm wearing

14 comments on “My Perfect Parisian Day and Hidden Paris Treasures”

  1. Absolutely adored this post, and imaging a day spent visiting all these places – all favourites of mine too, except for Hotel Therese and the Coulée verte René-Dumont – neither of which I have visited yet, but which have gone on my list for next time.

    Can’t wait for all your other Parisian posts!

    Briony xx

  2. ooh la la, Paris! Looking forward to all Paris-related content this week. : ) speaking of Paris, I just finished watching an ADORABLE French series on Netflix, “plan coer” (or “the hookup plan” as it was translated to English on Netflix) — not only did I think it was an absolutely adorable little show, but it’s set in paris and there are some gorgeous scenes of the characters as they go through their day-to-day lives around modern Paris! i don’t think the netflix “preview” of the show does the show justice, so I’d really encourage giving it a try, esp to anyone who loves France/French culture/Paris!

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