Long Weekend in Paris
Paris is a true treasure box, offering something unique for just about everyone. A weekend here is a proper chance to reset and reconnect with your inner Parisian. This guide offers a compilation of both Parisian staple destinations and monuments as well as secret nooks and crannies to explore on a wholesome Parisian trip. That’s the thing about Paris: it can be both ringarde (as our favorite Emily in Paris would say) and yet always holds a secret for each and every visitor to discover. Stop by some of the most notable locations and then dive deep into its trendiest cafes and restaurants.
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Where to stay
Expect stylish, compact rooms and a plum location near the Louvre at this welcoming city bolthole.
Le Narcisse Blanc
On the Left Bank, this elegant hotel is home to a Clarins spa, conservatory restaurant, and glamorous suites.
Hôtel Particulier Montmartre
An exclusive 19th-century townhouse in Montmartre, with just five suites and spectacular city gardens.
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Things to do
Please your Francophile at heart
Perhaps the most famous monument in Paris, the Eiffel Tower, need not be scaled more than once in a lifetime, but she is always a beauty to marvel at. Instead, spread a picnic in the park underneath the Tour Eiffel or take a riverboat cruise along the Seine in the evening when the tower lights up in sparkle.
A visit to Sacré-Cœur and it’s neighborhood of Montmartre is a true getaway into one of the oldest villages of Paris. The basilica located at the highest point in Montmartre offers sweeping views of the city (insider tip: it is an incredible spot for sunrise and croissants!). Make your way out into the neighborhood after watching the painters to do their job and the morning cafes open up for the day.
The final stop is at Palais Garnier, an opulent opera house with stunning architecture. The Grand Escalier staircase is one that easily takes the breath away and so do its shows!
For the museum fiend
Paris is home to some of the world’s most incredible museums and it would be a pity to not pay a visit to at least one or too. At the top of the list we’ve got the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie. Come for the Mona Lisa at the Louvre and stay for the exquisite art collection that this world-famous institution has to showcase.
Looking for something a bit off-the-beaten-path? There is also a museum within an old Parisian railway station now home to many impressionist and post-impressionist works of art. We’re talking Musée d'Orsay and its collection of Monet’s van Gogh’s, Renoir’s and more.
Finally, just across the Seine, the Musée de l'Orangerie offers a glimpse into living within a painting with its expansive installation of Monet’s “Water Lilies” that take up two oval rooms.
Respite in nature
While Paris is a modern, metropolitan city, its original architecture allowed for many green spaces where to take a breath and enjoy the bird song. Wander through the beautiful gardens away from the hustle and bustle of Paris at the Jardin du Luxembourg. Here you can see the beautiful Medici fountain and even take your lunch in the form of a picnic as true Parisians do.
If you find yourself on the Right Bank, the Places des Vosges is another beautiful square near Le Marais where you can kick back and take a breather. Surrounded by red brick architecture, you can enjoy a lunch at the surrounding cafes in the square or picnic at its center.
In the mood for an active break featuring a good old game of pétanque? Place Dauphine is just the spot! Soak up the beauty of true Paris at this triangular “square” on the tip of the Île de la Cité. Et voila!
Take your inner fashionista shopping
Shopping in fashion’s capital is a true treat, ranging from flea and vintage markets to high end couture boutiques. Check out the Galeries Lafayette stunning department store with an even more beautiful architectural design. The newly opened La Samaritaine is another destination for designer finds.
When you’re ready to shop like the Parisians do, hop on over to Pigalle’s RoseMarket Vintage boutique that sells both French and international designer pieces at affordable prices. Looking to get further into French secondhand shopping? Take a train out to Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, the largest and oldest flea market in the world. Here you can find all sorts of gorgeous antiques, furniture, clothing and even a hidden Chanel bag or Hermes scarf if you look closely enough! It's a bit of a trek outside Paris, but well worth it (open weekends and Mondays).
A trip out to Versailles is a beautiful way to delve into the regal history of the nation and imagine yourself living in a gilded château. Wander down the impressive Hall of Mirrors and don’t forget to stroll through the majestic Versailles gardens. As the castle and gardens had a bit of a pandemic break, these are now flourishing in full splendor.
Places to eat & drink
Le Bistrot Paul Bert: Looking for that classic, gritty and delicious, Parisian bistro? Here the steak frites are delicious, as are the buttered scallops, and just about everything on the menu. Indulge!
Du Pain et des Idées: Paris has tons of incredible bakeries, and this one is known for the pistachio escargot. Get there early because they sell out quickly, although any choice here is sure to be just as delicious.
Septime: If you're looking for a well-priced, delicious tasting menu, try the refined and modern cuisine at Septime. Reservations open three weeks in advance, but they get snatched up quickly, so plan ahead!
Au P'tit Grec: If you're feeling crêpes, stop by here to get your sweet or savory fix of this Breton delicacy.
Pierre Hermé: Leave Ladurée to the tourists and grab your box of delicate macarons from Pierre Hermé, the true father of modern pâtisserie.
Café de Flore: One of Paris' oldest coffee houses, and a Hemingway favorite, this is a staple of Paris. Order a cafe on the terrace and watch the Parisians carry on with their daily life just outside.
Monsieur Bleu: If you're looking for classic French food with the iconic Eiffel Tower view, check out this chic eatery just in front of the monument. Dress up, it’s a fancy one!
Le Loir dans La Théière: If you're craving tea and cake while in Le Marais, stop by this gem of a tea room. It's charming and cozy with a wide selection of fragrant teas and cakes, pastries, and sweets. Definitely order the enormous meringue lemon tart, you won’t regret it!
Le Perchoir: With a few locations across Paris now, the rooftop cocktail bar is a great place to watch the sunset over the iconic white and gray Parisian rooftops.
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