Paris is one of my most favorite cities in all of the land, coming in a close second behind NYC. It is fashion-forwadrd, rich in character, romantic, colorful and filled with buttery treats and bubbly drinks. This is my kinda town! 😉 Who wants a croissants and champagne?? Me, me!!!
I’ve been to Paris three time in the past 10 years. Not much has changed, and that is the beauty of it. To me, this city is stuck in a beautiful time capsule, and each part of Paris has it’s own special vibe. My favorite thing to do here… WALK!! As I’ve mentioned in my past Travel Guides, this is how Luke and I like to explore a city. I believe it’s the only way to take in a place at it’s core. Don’t act like a tourist, act like a local. 😉 Below you will find my top 3 tips for Paris, favorite things to do/see, places to eat/drink and where to sleep.
Comment below for questions. Enjoy!
1. Attempt to speak a little french. Trying goes a long way with people in foreign countries.
2. Paris comes alive at night – bars and restaurants are open late. Spend one night out wandering the city and going out. It’s magical!
3. Forewarning, food can be very expensive. I suggest getting bites to eat in the bakeries and cafés for most of your meals. Make reservations at a few nicer restaurants for dinner.
Every time I’ve been to Paris I’ve flown into Charles du Gaulle (CDG) and grabbed a taxi at the airport to transfer to my hotel. It’s very easy.
Getting around Paris is fairly easy – walk, walk and walk some more. If you’re not up for getting around on foot, it’s very easy to grab a cab and/or Uber. Yes, they have Uber! I suggest putting your location in your smart phone and showing it to the driver. It’s helpful with the language barrier.
If you are wanting to venture outside the city, I suggest using the trains. Luke and I have traveled in and out of Paris multiple times – for a weekend or just a day. I recommend giving yourself at least an hour before the train leaves in order to find your correct platform, etc. The Paris train station can be a bit overwhelming if you’ve never attempted it before. 😉
1. Pink Mama (favorite meal & interiors) – Let me just start by saying I was not only blown away at the food, but the interiors were outstanding! Being a lover of design, I thought I died and went to heaven. Pink Mama is located in a pinkish corner building – think Flatiron NYC – and each room and floor has a different decor theme. Not only are the interiors top notch but the Italian food is legit! We ordered a pizza, pasta and of course a little vino. It was perfection and I highly recommend this spot! Make sure to walk around the place – it’s huge!
2. Le Clarence (fancy dinner) – To say this dinner was fancy is an understatement, located in a 19th century Parisian mansion. It was an experience! When we arrived we started with a pre-dinner drink in the living room with a full plate of just appetizers. We then moved into the dinning room for our 7 course meal. The food was incredible and the service was impeccable. I have never been so full in my life! LOL! If you are celebrating something, this is THE place to go in Paris. Be forewarned, it is very expensive. Like, the most Luke and I have ever spent on a meal…
3. Bar Hemingway (best cocktails) – This by far is one of my favorite bars I’ve ever been to. It’s located in the newly renovated Ritz Paris. Get there when it opens (6PM), have a pre-dinner cocktail and take in the ambiance. If you go later in the evening, most likely you will wait in line for a bar seat and/or table. It’s very small and intimate. The details and interiors of the bar are impeccable. The menu comes out as a newspaper and is served alongside olives and crisps to start. Both Luke and I got a martini and not only was it the best one I’ve ever had, but also the most expensive. Get ready to shell out some moolah!
4. La Maison Rose (cutest café) – Pretty in pink is what this lil’ gem is all about. Can you say Instagram friendly? 😉 The café is entirely blush on the exterior with charming green shutters. It’s worth taking in the view on the way up to Sacre Coeur on top of Montmatre. The first time I came across La Maison Rose was on accident, and you could say I was one happy lady! Every time I’m back in Paris, I go by and say hi. The café is just that beautiful!
5. L’As du Fallafel (best Falafel) – #nomnom Y’all, it’s worth the wait! Yes there will be a line but that’s just par for the course. Your tummy will not be disappointed! I would suggest walking there so you are ready to eat. It’s delish! Also a very cool area of Paris to explore.
6. Le Grenier a Pan (best chocolate croissant) – There are numerous places to get croissants in the city. I mean, you are in Paris and really can’t go wrong. I wanted to point out this lil’ bakery we found in Montmatre. Luke ordered a chocolate croissant and it was out of this world. If you’re in the neighborhood, pick one up!
1. Chanel Store – The very first Chanel store is located in Paris at 31 Rue Cambon. If you are a lover of fashion like me, it’s worth a visit to check out the beautiful establishment and see the gorgeous goods.
2. Palais Royal – The palace itself is not open to the public but it’s surrounding gardens and pedestals are worth walking through. Yes, pedestals. Once you go, you will know what I’m talking about. It’s very cool to see!
3. Montmatre – A beautiful neighborhood overlooking the entire city, sign me up! I suggest hiking up to the Sacre Coeur, on top of the hill. Trust me, the views are worth it! And yes, it’s a hike – no lie! It’s worth an afternoon.
4. Eiffel Tower – Yes, she’s a beauty and worth every view!! BUT I wouldn’t get stuck in a tourism trap of going up the Eiffel tower and/or eating in it. Pack a picnic and a bottle of wine, head over to the lawns surrounding the tower around sunset and enjoy!
5. Giverny – In my opinion, venturing out to Giverny is one of the best day trips from Paris. We took the train to this little town, rented bikes at the train station and biked to Giverny. This is the place Monet painted his famous lily pads. If you go in the summer, the garden are filled with flower and of course ponds with lily pads. It’s a charming place and worth spending a day exploring.
6. Versailles – The chateau is well worth the visit even if it’s just for the surrounding gardens. The grounds are impeccable and legit, remind me of Allison in Wonderland. If you’re planning on going inside, I suggest getting a ticket here ahead of time. It’s beautiful!
1. Prince De Galles – This hotel by far is the best bang for your buck. It’s an SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) luxury hotel and if you are part of their loyalty points system like Luke and I, you know how amazing the program is! Prince De Galles is one of my most favorite properties to stay at using SPG points. The hotel is newly renovated, 5 stars, has a delish breakfast, great service and is in an excellent location. It’s neighbor is The Four Seasons. I suggest going over and having a drink in the beautiful bar and of course, seeing the incredible flower arrangements.
2. W Opera Paris – The W is also an SPG hotel and is available to stay on points. There were a few nights that Prince De Galles was fully committed, so we ventured over to the W. I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the room, cleanliness and service. It was excellent! I will say the location is a bit more in the middle of the city with the hustle and bustle, but overall, it was a great experience!!