As requested, I am publishing a short & edited list of a few of my favorite places to stay, see, and eat in Paris. Having been to Paris quite a few times over the past five years, I have acquired quite a list, but wanted to keep this post focused on the handful of places I love most – and why! If you have any other questions feel free to email me or comment below!
STAY // where to sleep
When traveling internationally, I tend to gravitate more towards newer boutique hotels with updated interiors. If I am staying for an extended period of time, I always use One Fine Stay, which can be a more economical option if you are staying 4+ nights!
Hotel Grands Boulevards – This boutique hotel is set back from the busy le boulevard Poissonniere in the center of the bourgeois districts. While the building itself dates back to the French Revolution, the interiors are more modern and colorful – think beautiful emerald greens with splashes of pink velvet. There are only 50 rooms and the property has an extremely intimate feel. Highlights include the interior courtyard restaurant with its retractable roof, and the neighboring, and more private and dimly lit cocktail bar. Side note: I found this hotel through Mr & Mrs Smith, one of my favorite hotel resources!
The Hoxton – The Paris outpost of the popular London and Amsterdam hotel chain is another great choice. The Hoxton has more of a community feel with a constant flow of hosted events from cinema, art installations, and pop-up shops. The hotel itself is a bit larger and the lobby is spacious and always an equal blend of hotel guest and locals. The lively restaurant Rivié, includes a main brasserie, courtyard spaces, and a popular circular bar.
One Fine Stay – Another option is renting an apartment and your best bet in Paris is One Fine Stay. This white-glove service will have you feeling like a local in no time. The company visits and vets each property, painstakingly prepares each home, and offers 24/7 service for anything that you may need. They greet you and open the home for you to ensure everything is perfect, and also provide you with an iphone (and data plan) already set with tons of local recommendations via their app. For longer stays (typically short stays are not available on the site), I can’t recommend them highly enough!
EAT // where to chow down
Le Mary Celeste – I love this little nautical themed restaurant in Le Marais and I make sure to go every time I am in Paris. The small plates menu changes so frequently with interesting combinations and a heavier than normal focus on fresh vegetables and sauces. The deviled eggs are to die for and I am not even a deviled egg gal!
Frenchie To Go – This is the breakfast/coffee shop outpost of the wildly popular Frenchie restaurant. Frenchie is lovely, but a 5 course meal, which sometimes isn’t the option I am looking for when traveling. Frenchie To Go solves that problem with fantastic breakfast offerings. The Frenchie wine bar, Bar À Vins, located right across the street, is another great spot for dinner and features slightly smaller portions that are a la carte versus the original Frenchie, and no reservations are required!
Bambou – If you are looking for a break from French fare, the Thai inspired Bambou is a really fun place to dine. The interiors alone are worth the visit. The restaurant is housed in an old textile workshop and features numerous dining areas with differing themes including a terrace, billiards room, and old smoking room. Good curry for sure, but better ambience.
East Mamma – This Italian trattoria is part of the popular Big Mamma group. What can I say, sometimes I just feel like a good old fashioned neapolitan pizza and glass of wine! The pasta here is also fantastic and is all made by hand. This spot can get quite crowded so I would recommend going early in order to get a table as the wait can be up to 3.5 hours at times!
Palace Caveau – This cute restaurant sits in Place Dauphine, a public park in the shadows of Notre-Dame. I always feel like this little park should be much more crowded than it is. The Palace Caveau restaurant features stone walls and exposed beams and is a bit of a throw back in time. A perfect spot for a glass of wine and cheese plate prior to your walk back home to either side of the Seine.
Sherry Butt – I’ve had a few fun nights at this cozy craft cocktail bar! The drink menu changes seasonally and is quite inventive. The space is not big, so better to go with a smaller crowd in tow.
SEE // what is not to miss
Musée d’Orsay – This museum is located in a gorgeously renovated Belle Époque train station. The stunning collection of Impressionist and Postimpressionist paintings spans three floors. If possible, I love visiting on Thursday evenings as the museum is open later at night and is much less crowded!
Musée Picasso – This museum is home to the world’s largest collection of Picasso materials, from paintings and sculptures to drawings and documents. It is worth finding your way to the buildings courtyard and gardens as they are often overlooked by many of the visitors.
The Centre Pompidou – With its exposed pipes and ducts and primary colors, this building is one of the most recognizable sights in Paris. The museum within holds the largest collection on modern art in all of Europe. You’ll also have amazing views of the city riding up the escalators!