With another Paris Fashion Week behind us, and a new stamp to add to my passport, I’m feeling a little nostalgia for my American in Paris days. After a magical trip I decided it was time to share my love affair with this city and how to explore Paris like a Parisian.
As most of you know I have family in Europe and spend time there for work so crossing the pond a few times a year is inevitable.
With so many of my friends and fellow bloggers traveling to Paris for the first time this summer I created a list of my favorite must-see’s. When in Paris act like a Parisian!
I typically vacation in Paris for a few weeks to a month at a time. Airbnb works best for me. Living like the locals gives you a sense of what it feels like to live in Paris with a wee bit more space. Although let’s be honest accommodations in Paris are tight regardless. That said, who doesn’t love room service in bed and dry-cleaning at your beckon call? If you are looking for a luxury experience sleep on the posh side of Paris and stay at a one of these hotel recommendations: Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, Piscine Molitor, Le Burgundy Paris, Hotel Plaza Athenee, Mama Shelter, L’ Hotel.
There are so many great places to dine in Paris its hard to narrow it down to only a few. In my best attempt here is an eclectic mix of ethnic, casual and upscale restaurants from Paris’ food scene. From coffee to brunch, Japanese, Italian French, Korean and Mexican. This guide is only an introduction, but a great place to start. How would you know you were in Paris without the ultra see and be seen spot L’Avenue? Are we still in LA? A few other favorites: Le Cinq, Le George, Epicure, Hero, Cafe’ Creme, Chez Ralph’s at Ralph Lauren, Candelaria (a speakeasy tucked away in a taco bar through a secret back entrance), The Beef Club, Les Petites Bouchees, Clown Bar, Artisan De La Truffe, Ellsworth, Mama Shelter, Yoko, Ob-La-Di, Eat Happy France, Nolita Paris, Le Quatrieme Mur, Dersou, TaoKan, DS Cafe Paris, Les Éditeurs, Heimat, Table, Café de Flore, L’Ambroisie, Amarante. Indulge your way around Paris!
SJP said it best in Sex and The City when she said, “I like my money where I can see it… Hanging in my closet.” Retail therapy is a must in the City of Lights. I love concept stores and Colette is my favorite. Of course Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, the first ever modern department store, is a known oldie but goodie. With levels of designer clothing on every floor, photo opportunities and a food hall there is something for everyone. Let’s not forget my guilty pleasure: vintage shopping. Paris, the origin of fashion, has tons of treasured vintage shops. Finding a place where “designers exist in harmony” is sorta like heaven. Nice Piece Vintage is that place. You are guaranteed couture there. I’m a big sucker for a little edge and retro vibes. Pretty Box is the place for both. Think Yves Saint Laurent and 70’s. If this is your ammo you’ve met your match.
Visit the Champs-Elysées. Aside from the beautiful neighborhood and shops it offers a great photo backdrop. Afterward head to nearby botanical garden Le Jardin des Plantes for an afternoon stroll or picnic in the garden. If you are an art lover Musée d’Orsay is worth the visit. Yes, the line will be hours long, but who flies all the way to Paris and doesn’t make the full trek? If you prefer an intimate atmosphere go-to The Musée des Arts Décoratifs or Musée Jacquemart-André. Both museums will satisfy your culture cravings. The scene of Dior’s couture show Musée Rodin is exquisite and picturesque. You’ll want to bring your camera. Bloggers prepare your photoshoots. During sunrise or sunset visit the Seine. If you time it right you can capture the Eiffel Tower at its best hour. Awe, so romantic! For the best view of the Eiffel Tower though relax over a coffee and a light snack at brasserie Monsieur Bleu. If you still want more take a scenic walk along the bridges on the Seine river. When the weathers just right the views are breathtaking. The Seine connects to the canal so if you want to rest your feet you might consider a Seine river boat ride or cruise along Canal Saint-Martin.