ESSENTIALS

  • With an average of 27 million visitors per year, Paris is the most visited city in the world
  • It’s common courtesy to greet shop owners upon entering with a ‘bonjour!‘ (even a small attempt at French will go a long way)
  • Eiffel Tower isn’t for everyone – Guy de Maupassant preferred to eat at the base of the landmark because he claimed it was the only place in the city from which he could not see it!
  • Macarons are sold in McDonald’s McCafe’s in France
  • France produces over 400 types of cheese
Paris
“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.” - Thomas Jefferson

SHORTLIST

  1. Macarons at Ladurée – touristy, but a must
  2. Afternoon stroll through the Jardin du Luxembourg
  3. Train to Versailles or Giverny
  4. Louvre by night
  5. Rue Mouffetard market
  6. Oysters and champagne (September-April)
  7. Chez Georges sunset cocktails at the Pompidou
  8. People watching at Café de Flore in St. Germain
  9. Seine boat cruise
  10. Cheese and wine picnic at the Eiffel

STAY

Historic townhouse
$$$
St. Germain chic
$$-$$$
Chic apartment
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ITINERARY

Friday

  • Café de Flore | Start your Parisian trip at one of the oldest institutions in the city once frequented by Picasso, Sartre and Hemingway.  Sip on a café crème at one of the sidewalk tables to people watch.
  • Deyrolle | Pop into the incredible taxidermy shop just off St. Germain Boulevard.  A fascinating menagerie displayed in a 170 year old establishment makes for an otherworldly experience.
  • Museums | With only a few days in Paris, choose Musée D’Orsay or L’Orangerie over the Louvre.   L’Orangerie for Monet afficionados and the D’Orsay for the Beaux-Arts railway station in which the art is held. (*D’Orsay closed Mondays/L’Orangerie closed Tuesdays)
  • Lunch | Reserve a table on the terrace at MiniPalais for a chic brasserie lunch.
  • Shopping | Wander down Rue Francois past the Dior and Chanel stores just off the Champs Élysées.  Check out Céline, a luxury house founded in 1945, for exquisite handbags and shoes.
  • Jardin de Tuileries | Stroll through the garden created by Catherine de Medicis in 1564.  Start at the obelisque and make your way towards the pyramid for a dramatic introduction to the Louvre.
  • Dehillerin | Just past Les Halles on Rue du Louvre is a cooking lover’s dream of a shop. It’s packed with every cooking utensil imaginable. It’s hard to leave here without buying one of the beautiful copper pots!
  • Wander down Rue Francois past the Dior and Chanel stores just off the Champs Élysées. Check out Céline, a luxury house founded in 1945, for exquisite handbags and shoes.
  • Café Central | Freshen up before heading here for a pre-dinner cocktail.  The picture-perfect Rue Cler is a popular street among tourists for a reason.  During the day, the vendors set up like a farmer’s market in front of the storefronts.  It’s the perfect place to grab a rosé and assortment of cheeses for a romantic picnic in front of the Eiffel.
  • Chez L’Ami Jean | Dinner here is an unforgettable meal.  The tasting menu is fun but plan on spending at least 2 hours for dinner.  The Riz au Lait is a must for dessert!
  • Eiffel Tower | The iconic structure is best enjoyed from the Champ de Mars.  It’s a great way to digest a big meal and take it all in on your first night in Paris.

Saturday

  • Bread & Roses | The brioche and jam is the perfect start to a Saturday morning.
  • Jardin du Luxembourg | Visit the gardens for a relaxing mid-morning walk.  Sit in one of the reclining chairs in front of the palace and watch the old men playing a game of pétanque
  • Sorbonne | Once known as the University of Paris, it now houses several higher education and research institutions. 
  • Panthéon | The breathtaking structure is modeled after the Roman building of the same name.  The crypt is the final resting place of Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo & Marie Curie.
  • Saint Étienne du Mont | Nearby visit the church whose steps were featured in Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’.
  • Le Salon | Grab a coffee or tea in the cafe on the second floor (no sign) of the oldest surviving movie house, Le Cinéma du Panthéon.  Interiors designed by film legend Catherine Deneuve.
  • Rue Mouffetard | Experience an open market on one of Paris’ oldest streets.  Stop in Androuet for cheese, Le Papillon for Anthony Bourdain’s favorite spot, and Chocolats du Neuville.
  • Lunch in St. GermainHuîtrerie de Régis offers some of the freshest oysters you will ever have or head to Yves Camdeborde’s Le Comptoir du Relais.  No reservations available at lunch, but the queue moves quickly.  L’Epigramme is a quaint neighborhood bistro with excellent food at a reasonable price. Pierre Hermé is a must for the macaron-lover.
  • Pont des Arts | Unfortunately, the popular tradition of attaching a “love lock” is destructive to the bridge itself (as well as the Seine) and there’s even a local campaign to end it. It’s a romantic gesture, but show your love of Paris and sign the petition to save the beautiful monument! 
  • Near the Louvre | Le Fumoir is perfect for a glass of wine before dinner. Or enjoy a nighttime stroll in the nearby Palais Royal garden with tree-lined alleys, shops and boutiques.
  • Le Chateaubriand | Book a reservation 2 weeks in advance to get a table at Inaki Aizpitarte’s restaurant (27th world’s best) and enjoy a 65 euro prix fixe. Luckily, the restaurant offers a no-reservation “2nd seating” starting at 9:30. Be sure to get on the list early and notify the host that you’re grabbing a drink next door at Le Cave or Le Dauphin.   

Sunday

  • Notre Dame | Avoid the masses and head here early (Sunday mass occurs at 8:30 am). Behind the “Our Lady of Paris” cathedral, the small garden offers a unique and less-touristy viewing spot of the world famous cathedral. Walk across the Seine and pass the Hôtel de Ville on your right.
  • Breizh Café | Perfect spot for a breakfast crepe. There’s another location in Tokyo.
  • Place des Vosges | The oldest planned square in Paris and the residence of  Victor Hugo where most of his ‘Le Misérables’ was written.
  • L’As du Fallafel | Prepare for long lines where a mouth-watering mix of cabbage slaw, eggplant, crispy falafel and warm pita bread is served street-side to the rue de Rosier shoppers.
  • Shopping in the Marais | Jimmy Fairly for chic eyewear with a “buy one, give one” business model, La Maison du Savon de Marseille for handmade soaps from Provence and Pretty Box for vintage finds.
  • Pompidou | Worth spending hours here, but take the elevator to the left of the main entrance for an easy way to see the view without paying museum entry fees. The Georges atop the museum is the best spot in the city to grab a drink at sunset.
  • Benoit | Alain Ducasse offers traditional French bistro fare and a quintessential Parisian dining experience.  Get the escargot and save room for the profiteroles.
  • Île Saint Louis stroll | One of the most expensive residential areas in the city, the isle is also home to the famous Berthillon Ice Cream.

Monday

  • La Palette | Great coffee is a rare find in Paris but the cappuccino and atmosphere of this corner café will keep you coming back for more.
  • Rue de Buci | Explore the shops and café culture. Grab a pain au chocolat from one of the many bakeries. Stop by Arty Dandy for unique, local items and Isabel Marant for the Parisian designer’s high-end fashion. Pop into Astier de Villatte where you’ll find their collection of handmade porcelain, antiques, china as well as pieces by John Derian. 
  • Serge Gainsbourg’s House | The graffiti-covered façade marks the famous house. 16 years after he passed away, the interior remains the same.  Not open to the public, however, the artwork left on the exterior is something to see.
  • Seine River | Walk along the river and shop at the vendors offering antique books along with the touristy Moulin Rouge magnets and Eiffel keychains. Stop into the iconic Shakespeare & Co. for a visit to the bookstore.
  • Les Climats | Weather permitting, head to the terrace for a 35-49€ prix fixe lunch and one of the few restaurants actually open on Monday in Paris.
  • Le Bon Marché | Paris’ oldest department store. Be sure to visit the Grand Épicerie to purchase your favorite European gourmet foods to take home with you.
  • Bateau Playtime | Grab a taxi to the boat dock. A one hour journée will take you past all of the major landmarks by boat.  Floating past the Eiffel Tower on the river Seine is one of the most magical ways to end a trip to Paris. 
  • Septime | Arrange another taxi (or schedule the same driver in advance to pick you up at the dock in an hour) to take you to the modern bistro by Bertrand Grebaut. The nearby Bistrot Paul Bert is a great option (if it’s not a Sunday or Monday evening.) Order the steak frites and the macaron for dessert and your trip to Paris will be officially complete.
  • Cocktails | Experimental Cocktail Club for a mixology bar with a young, chic crowd.  Au Caveau Montpensier is another great option just around the corner from the Louvre.

PACKING LIST

ROADMAP

Includes every location mentioned above
Lauren Greenberg
Itinerary By

Founder of The Weekender

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