We’ve been lucky enough to have visited Paris 3 times in the last 3 years, and along the way we’ve accumulated a great list of our favorite spots. While we could hit you with everything we’ve ever done in Paris, we’ve kept this post specific to our most current trip, listing out all of the places and things we did. Since travel is so often based on season and weather, this post would look a lot different if it were spring or summer. We’re also only sharing places and things that we have done, so if you see something amazing missing from the list, please feel free to share. We’re always looking for more recommendations, too! So here is our list of our picks of where to stay, what neighborhoods to visit, restaurants and cafes, activities and great photo spots.
In my opinion, the best option for accommodations in Paris is renting an apartment and tricking yourself that you’re a Parisian for the week. Obviously there are some incredible hotels in Paris and it is such a wonderful treat to have room service and the amenities that come with that option. If you go the apartment route, we highly recommend One Fine Stay, as we’ve had wonderful success with both apartments we’ve rented from them. Whatever you decide on, make sure you choose your neighborhood wisely. When we stay in big cities, we love being able to walk as much as possible. This last stay in St. Germain we walked almost everywhere.
St Germain (we rented this one for our NYE trip)
Le Pavillon de la Reine (A charming hotel in Le Marais)
Le Royal Monceau Paris (we stayed here two summers ago and loved it!)
Apartment in 8th Arr. (One Fine Stay)
We’ve visited a ton of arrondissements in Paris and we’ve narrowed that list down to five of our favorites. To me, a great neighborhood is walkable, it has great options for food, beautiful architecture, shops to pop in to and parks or museums.
St Germain– This has become our favorite neighborhood, mainly for the proximity to so much and how much is has to offer with restaurants and shops. I could easily get lost for hours just wandering into every cute boutique that catches my eye.
Le Marais– Delicious restaurants with lots of variety, great shopping and Place Des Vosges. We spend a lot of time here when we’re in Paris.
Montmarte– Some of the best views of Paris, gorgeous stairs and alleyways, winding streets up and down the hills of the neighborhood and artists out displaying all of their work. Beware that there are a lot of tourists over here.
Parc Monceau– This is more of a residential neighborhood, but we love walking through the park, stopping at one of the quieter cafes or just strolling the beautiful streets.
1 Arr– We also spend a lot of time in this neighborhood since it has The Louve, Musée d’Orsay, Palais Royal and Tuileries Palace.
You could argue that there’s no better city in the world for food but especially in a city this big, there’s no guarantee of a great meal if you don’t choose your restaurants wisely. We’ve put together a list of everything from high end restaurants to cafes and falafel shops. Before our last trip, we looked to our great friends Rose (she writes the wonderful blog, The Londoner) and her boyfriend for recommendations. They honestly have the best taste in restaurants and never let us down with a recommendation!
Monsieur Blue- One of the best meals that we’ve had in Paris plus it’s in a great location where you can watch the Eiffel Tower light up the Parisian night
Cafe de Flore- Classic cafe in St Germain
Carette- Le Marais cafe with some deliciously addicting sweets
Le Malabar- A great breakfast spot we stumbled upon on this past trip
Brasserie Lipp- We highly recommend the potatoes au gratin
L’Avenue- Some say it’s overrated, but I think the food is delicious and the atmosphere is really fun
Cafe Kitsune- Located at Le Palais Royal we had some great hot beverages to warm us up in the freezing weather during our last trip
L’as du Falafel- Thomas’ favorite falafel wrap in the world
MI-VA-MI- A close second for best falafel wrap in case the line at L’as du Falafel is too long
Le Loir dans La Théière- Great brunch spot, with delicious quiche
Candelaria- A taqueria in Le Marais worth going to, with a hidden speakeasy bar in the back (such a fun spot!)
Hôtel Costes- A wonderful hidden patio off of Rue Saint Honoré- great for breakfast, lunch or a drink
Le Bonaparte- Each time we sit down for a drink at this spot in St Germain we always have a great time
Café des Musées- Originally discovered this spot while on a desperate search for pommes frites
Marché des Enfants Rouges- this is the oldest covered market and is a great place to grab some food for a picnic
Angelina- The best hot chocolate
Pierre Hermé- For the best macarons (and just all of the pastries in general)
There’s so much to do in Paris that narrowing this list down to a reasonable level that most people can achieve on a single trip is almost impossible. A lot of our activities revolve around whatever neighborhood we decided to spend the most time in for that day. We love walking and just exploring and Paris is the perfect place for that. You’ll never know what you might find!
Eiffel Tower- You are sure not to miss a site of the Eiffel Tower while you are in Paris, but our favorite spots for Tower viewing are Pont de Bir-Hakeim, Avenue de Camoens and of course, Trocadéro.
Musee D’Orsay- My favorite Paris museum
Parc Monceau- Still a favorite park of ours after staying in the neighborhood on our first trip to Paris together back in 2014
Le Palais Royal
Tuileries- Located in the heart of Paris (love spending a sunny day here)
Shopping on Avenue Montaigne or Rue Saint Honoré- a true luxurious experience
Shopping in Le Marais- this is the best neighborhood for small and unique boutiques
Jardin du Luxembourg
Vintage shopping at Scarlett (3 Rue Chambiges, 75008 Paris, France), Valois Vintage Paris or Didier Ludot
Grab a bottle of wine and some cheese and hang out along the Seine
Two things we haven’t done, but are on our list for our next trip:
Take a cooking class and go vintage shopping at the amazing Le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen