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The Lo-Down: Paris, France

A few weekends ago, I spent some time in Paris, France. While there, I explored a lot of new restaurants and tourist destinations. Today I am here to share them with you! If  you have any favorite destinations in Paris leave them in the comments down below! 🙂

Paris is divided into different arrondissements which act as different neighborhoods. Every Arrondissement (shortened to “arr.”) has it’s own landmarks to visit and often has a unique vibe and culture.

8th Arrondissement

Visit the famous shopping street Champs Elysees and see the Arc de Triumph. The Arc de Triumph has tours where you can walk up it to see the view which I recommend! Many great restaurants and stores along the Champs Elysees as well.  Then take the avenue Kleber until Place du Trocadero in the 16 arr. from where you have a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tour.

Louis Vuitton Foundation 

There’s a little bus that goes from the Arc de Triumph to there. It’s not far at all. Astonishing architecture, beautiful museum, modern art and fashion exhibitions, check on their website what they’ll have when you’re there. The museum is in the Bois de Boulogne (Boulogne’s park/wood), there’s a cute lake, you can rent a little boat – not sure this activity will be open in winter though.

Champs Elysee Christmas Market

During the winter season there is a christmas market that sells an array of food, presents and much more! I alway love going there for a causal bite or nutella waffles for dessert!

16th Arrondissement

Place du Trocadéro has one of the top views of the Eiffel Tower. Many of the proposal or wedding photos you see with the Eiffiel Tower in the background is take here. Try to go early in the morning as it can get busy during the day with tourists. From there you can walk to the Champs de Mars in the 15th arr. (the park where the Eiffel Tour is and my favorite view), people will chill there when sunny.

15th Arrondissement

Champs de Mars is the park in front of the Eiffel Tower on the opposite side of Trocadero. This is the neighborhood I lived in and I absolutely recommend grabbing wine and cheese and enjoying it on the grass here. Some restaurants below are near here as well.

7th Arrondissement

Les Invalides, commonly known as Hôtel national des Invalides or also as Hôtel des Invalides, is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. This where Napolean Bonaparte’s tombstone lies as well. Pont Alexandre III (the most beautiful bridge!!!) is also here and connects the 7th and 8th Arrondissement so the Christmas Market is walking distance from here as well. There’s nice outdoor chilled spots to have a drink.

6th Arrondissement

You can cross the river and go rive gauche: to Saint Germain des Prés. I love this area for great food, drinks and fun. Have a walk in St Germain, have an afternoon drink or café (Café de Flore or Deux Magots for coffee and pastries, La Palette for cheese and wine- see below). Ralph Lauren has a very beautiful patio too and Le Bon Marché, a famous Parisian department store is there as well. Around there, the Luxembourg Garden is a must do. You can keep going further east on Boulevard Saint, get to the Quartier Latin, visit the Pantheon, walk the rue Monge, etc.

Palais du Luxembourg– is a beautiful mansion and has a garden that is a must see if you have enough time while in Paris. I suggest grabbing a crepe at Creperia Genia (see below) and then enjoy a walk around here.

École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts– This is one of the top art schools and you can go view their art exhibitions.

Pont des Arts- This is the famous bridge where couples hang locks to symbolize their love and throw the key into the river (a very romantic thing to do while there!). This is a perfect thing to do on your way in between the Louvre and Saint Germain.

1st Arrondissement

This neighborhood is home to some of the most iconic Parisian landmarks including the Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries and the Grand Palais. You can walk along the Champs Elysees also to the Place de la Concorde, and the Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden). I definitely suggest spending time at the Louvre even to just see the Mona Lisa! This is close to the 9th arrondissement.

The Grand Palais on your way, where there’s always art exhibition or fun events (check out on the website what they’ll have when you are there). During Christmas there’s always something, either an amusement park or an ice skating park. This is the home to many of the luxury hotels so many places to get a good cocktail and is where the famous hot chocolate place, Angelina’s is! I NEVER had gone to Paris without going to Angelina’s and neither should you.

Palais Royal Garden, (close to the Louvre)  is a hidden and very cute place to see, not all tourists know about it.

4th Arrondissement

This is along the right bank of the Seine where you will find the Notre Dame Cathedral and Île Saint-Louis.

Île Saint-Louis- the ‘island’ where you can find the famous ice cream maker, Berthillon. Even if you cannot go here definitely make sure to have some Berthillon ice cream while there!

Cathedral of Notre Dame- this is a medieval Catholic cathedral that is situated on the Ile de la Cite. The architecture is beautiful and walk behind the cathedral afterwards to see other pretty sightings. There are tours where you can go up on the cathedral as well. Note that there are a bunch of great crepe places around here.

Boat Ride along the Seine- there are several boat line companies that offer boat rides along the Seine river. This is a must do while there! One of the companies pick up right in this neighborhood: http://www.vedettesdupontneuf.com/home/. You can even take a pizza tour along the Seine if you’d like! http://www.pricetravel.com/cruise-along-the-seine-with-artisanal-pizza-vedettes-de-paris 

3rd/4th Arrondissement

This is the arrondissement where Le Marais, the Jewish Quarter is located. On the rive droite, across the river from Saint Louis Island, this tends to be one of people’s favorite neighborhoods. They has the BEST falafel you have ever tried, great places for drinks and fun thrift shops where you can find fur pieces for a euro or two.

Walk around, you can visit the Picasso Museum that is there, walk on the Rue des Rosiers (the Jewish street), walk around and shop – many popular brands there, also smaller designer shops, second hand/vintage stores. It’s usually very busy on Sundays because everything is open. Visit the Place des Vosges and end at the Bastille.

Thrift Shops- Le Marais also has some great thrift shops where you can find very cheap fur! Free P ‘Star is one of my favorites. Good amount of bars in the area as well.

Tea Time at Le Loir Dans La Theiere– most top places for Afternoon Tea are located in luxury hotels but this gem is located right in the Marais! I was recommended to go here years ago by a Perisian friend and have yet to go. If you get the chance to check it out please let me know how it is! http://leloirdanslatheiere.com/photos/

9th Arrondissement

This is near the 1st arrondissement where you can find the Opéra Paris, Palais Garnier, and the Boulevard Haussmann.

Boulevard Haussmann has two of the famous department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. During holidays they have beautiful window displays but often very busy.

Paris Garnier offers stunning ballet performances, operas and concerts throughout the year and is considered  “probably the most famous opera house in the world.” This is also where concept for “The Phantom of the Opera” was born. If time allows, I would highly seeing a show and then grabbing a drink nearby.

18th Arrondissement 

Montmartre and the Sacré Coeur Cathedral – Montmartre is a neighborhood and the Sacré Coeur Cathedral  is a landmark within this area. Start at the Sacre Coeur while it’s bright and warm out and then end by walking around, getting lost in the little streets, enjoy the view. Budget at least a few hours to do this! When leaving you should go back all the way up and take the stairs behind the cathedral down to Lamark and Jules Joffrin. Tourists usually go down Anvers. Also, I know the Moulin Rouge is extremely famous butttt if you’re planning to attend a burlesque show I would suggest to go to the Crazy Horse (or the Lido as a second option). Dali’s museum is in Montmartre. Good place to buy souvenirs as well.

Other nice museum, but check on their websites to see if you like what they have to offer:

Musée d’Orsay

Musée du Quai Branly

Musée d’Art Moderne, Plalais de Tokyo

Institut de Monde Arabe

Food and Drinks

Angelina’s

BEST hot chocolate- I recommend grabbing a cup to go and bring it to the tuileries next to the Louvre and enjoy it in the garden. Plus, the line to sit down at Angelina’s is usually very long.

La Durée

The famous macaroons! You can either have them to go or sit for a tea time, the one along the Champs Elyssé is very nice but tends to have a very long line. The location near the Madeleine is nicer but there are many locations in Paris!

Café de Flore*, or Les Deux Magots* 

Very famous too, but more for tea time or a light lunch. They have very good French pastries, Deux Magots has the famous Pierre Herme Ispahan macaron (made with the rose flower). I also LOVE the hot chocolate from both of these places. Touristy but still loved by Parisians.

Le Suffren

One of my personal favorites as I lived right near this restaurant in 2012. Great food and walking distance to one side of the Eiffel Tower. Their chicken entree was always my favorite and is also known for their seafood. The quality of food is incredible here for the pricing especially.

Les Ombres

Great food and amazing view of the Eiffel Tower. I recommend the Prix Fix menu for lunch at 42 euros. Wonderful food and you can go out to the deck area behind the restaurant afterwards for beautiful pictures with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

La Coupole

This brasserie is filled with history as it’s referred to as “the most famous Parisian brasserie in the world.” Many historical figures including Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway used to frequent this brasseries during their time. I didn’t think their food was anything special but it is a neat place to have a meal considering all the history behind it.

L’Amis Louis or Bofinger

Both very famous, old and traditional French restaurant. If you’ve never tried, you should have snails to start: Escargots de Bourgogne!

Creperie Genia

My favorite crepe stand! This is near Palais de Luxembourg and usually has a long line. I would get a crepe complete and then a nutella banana crepe for dessert. They pack the crepes with extra nutella 🙂

Croque Madames

These ham & cheese sandwiches with a fried egg on top are to die for. You can’t really go somewhere to eat and get a bad croque madame in Paris.

L’Avenue

French, food is good but it’s really a seen place with great food (see on KUWTK) – Lunch, ask for a table in the terrace once there – they won’t guarantee it when you make the reservation

La Belle Époque

I love this place. You can’t not make reservation. Food is good they have nice cocktails.

Hôtel Costes

French food, some Asian touch here and there – Food is good, the spot is nice. You can also go lunch, it’s nice. Ask for a table in the patio (they might tell you they can’t guarantee it but once there ask for it). The bar there is cool too, the can try it. But, if you want a fancy hotel bar before/after dinner there, you can try the of the Mandarin Oriental (it’s next to Hotel Costes).

Orient-Extreme

Japanese – Either in Montaigne or Saint-Germain-des-Près. – dinner, expensive. It’s really a seen place, even more the one in Montaigne.

Miss Ko 

Japanese/Asian fusion whatever – the spot looks really cool, nice decoration, there is music and nice, fun cocktails. It’s fun. – better for dinner. I have gone when Miss Ko was closed but the restaurant next door is also perfect for small bites and their cocktial pitchers.

Soma 

Japanese bistro in Le Marais. Delicious food. Sharing plates.

Manko

New place with Peruvian food – Food is ok but you go for the cabaret – a kind of the Box show.  You can go there after dinner for a drink but can get hard to get into.

La Societe

Either lunch or dinner, but outside, which is so pretty and enjoyable.

Hotel Particulier Montmartre 

You can go for lunch after visiting Montmartre, the very romantic neighborhood.

Alcazar

French, Saint-Germain-des-Près, it has been refurbished less than a year ago and has a nice patio.

Le Market 

Same chef of ABC Kitchen or the Mercer Kitchen in NYC, Jean-Georges.   

Carette

French salon de the, lunch / brunch (really not a dinner place), They have two locations, one in the 16 arrondissement with a big terrace, nice when sunny it’s by the Eiffel tower, and one on the Place des Vosges – beautiful place you have to walk by. Near le Marais and Bastille. Order the scrambled eggs with (or without) salmon. Great spot to grab drinks and dessert and be right next to the view of the Eiffel Tower!

Ferdi

famous small restaurant, fun decoration (the owner’s son toys), large menu, Latin American dishes but very they have an amazing little cheesbuger. I really like this place. Need to book in advance by text message at +33651702970

L’As du Falafel

Famous street food, supposed to be the best falafel in Paris and is located in the Jewish neighborhood in le Marais. But I prefer from far Miznon that is next to it – on rue des Ecouffes.

Blend 

Delicious place for burgers!!

Ober Mama

Very good Italian food, no reservation, you must go early to have a table (6:30pm) always very busy. They have two others location, East Mama and Mama Primi, but my favorite is Ober Mama – the place is nicer.

La Mangerie

French / Spanish / world fusion food mix, the menu change often. Check on their website. Everything I’ve tried there is good. It’s a tapas concept – sharing small plates. They welcome you with a shot. Yayy. Friendly staff.

La Cevicheria 

Ceviche only cevicheeee. Really good. Nice spot. Lunch or dinner, then have a drink at Hotel Bachaumont next door.

Hero

In a popular neighborhood, Korean-inspired food. Sharing plates mood. Really good and not expensive! I LOVE this place.

Brasserie Barbes

Also in popular neighborhood. Nice spot. French food.  

Season 

Very good for brunch, brunch is also good at Benedict or Café Charlot. The Royal Monceau has the most amazing brunch buffet but it’s very pricy and has to be booked in advance (approx. 100euros each), I think the Plaza Athenee brunch is a bit less expensive and very good, the chef there is Alain Ducasse, famous French chef.

Mamashelter 

A hotel nicely designed – in a popular neighborhood, nothing to visit around. They have either a the restaurant with a bar, music, a babyfoot… And a pizzeria (no reservation), big hosting table.

Macocotte

In the middle of a famous flee market, but popular area.

The Beef Club and the Fish Club

Both connected by a cool bar downstairs: The Ballroom great cocktails, dancing, if you want do to a night I would recommend this place

Le Derriere

Fun decoration, recycling furniture. Derriere means bottom/ass so you’ll see some fun books here and there. Smoking area hidden behind a closet door. The food is good, the place is very fun.

404 

Moroccan food, next to the Derriere. It’s like Mogador in ny.

Hotel Amour 

Romantic restaurant in a hotel, had a small garden.

Le Marché des Enfants Rouges

A hidden covered food market in Le Marais, offers and array of casual cuisines.

*Note:

Every boulangerie will have very good baguette, croissant and pain au chocolat.

There are also many stands that sell panini’s that are perfect for delicious on the go bites while touring the city.

You can find very good cheeses in any fromagerie or even in the supermarkets, same for wines – wineries or supermarkets. I suggest you buy an array of cheeses, a baguette and a bottle of wine and enjoy time sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Drinks and Nightlife:

La Palette

French terrace in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, not touristy. Go there for “l’aperot” – pre-dinner drinks and snacks. It’s good for wine and cheese.

Andy Wahloo 

Fun bar, also next to the two above (same owner).

Prescription

Cocktails lover, very warm/cozy bar

La Candelaria

Our little Esquina. Hidden behind a tacos place and has great drinks with mixologists who spend a lot of time creating each drink. If you like Mezcal, you’ll love this place.

VIP Room

Fun club that is not too hard to get into as a tourist.

L’Arc

This is where you will see many celebs going while in Paris. Very hard to get into without a table but if you happen to befriend some Persians I would say to go!

Le Duplex

Definitely a touristy slightly grungy place but I always had some of my best nights here

Other beautiful and new palace in town, the Peninsula. They have a nice rooftop with a view on the Eiffel Tower.

Four Seasons

Has a nice bar but I recommend going there for their aaaamzing very heavy chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) you can order it at any time (around 25euros).

Hope you all enjoyed this! Can’t wait to visit Paris again soon!!

____

Xo,

B.Lo

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