I have received so many requests from family, friends, and readers for our awesome Paris itinerary that I figured I should start off the week (of what I hope to be all about love and my love for this city) with the details of our trip. This was carefully crafted with the input many, and reviewed by someone who lives in the city... so you know it's the real deal! We were able to cover about 90% of the things on this list, and when I go back, I plan on doing all of them again!!! I hope this is something that you will be able to bookmark, just in case you find yourself stuck for 5 days in the most beautiful city on the planet!
- This itinerary starts on a Saturday for a reason. Most things except the Marais are closed on Sundays, and almost all the museums were closed on Monday. If you are visiting on different days, you will have to move things around.
- A lot of the food choices are not very "French" but when we went, we were the only foreigners there. Most of these places will not be in your typical guide book.
- As soon as you book your hotel, have the concierge call and book your lunch/dinner reservations. It's hard to eat anywhere without them.
- The Metro system is AMAZING. We rarely took taxi's unless 1) we were very dressed up and freezing, or 2) we were very lost.
- I'm sure there are some misspellings here, definitely check the street names with your concierge.
- I take no responsibility if you are halfway through your trip and you decide to sell all your possessions and never return. The thought crossed my mind a number of times during our visit!.
Without further ado. My Paris journey.
Comparable to Soho, West Village, Chelsea part of the city. Definitely a must!
Check in/ breakfast
-rue du Bac
-rue de l'Universite
-get cheese at barthelemy
- go to deyrolle for home goods (amazing taxidermy)
- Boutique 7 rue se montalembers (good clothes)
Hermes flagship in left bank. (bottom of a converted pool) -> very near the Bon Marche.
Visit Bon Marche's grocery to stock up on goodies for the week.
Dinner at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (reservations can only be made for 6:30 and must be confirmed the day prior) $$$$ but well worth it!
Drinks after at next door Hotel or cab it to this young/ hip place like we did Le Paino Vache in the Latin Quarter.
Sun Walk The Marais (my favorite part of the city)
Breakfast- Rose Bakery (rue Debelleyne) - tiny place, nice but perhaps not very French (it's like for French going to Balthazar in NYC) So amazing and worth the wait!!! Get pastries for later!
Walk around Marais. Le Marais is made of tiny narrow streets, very charming, typical of the old Paris. It hosts both the gay and jewish quarters.
The Marias is a great area for shopping and walking around. Right by the Place des Vosges there are a ton of great stores that will keep you busy and a stop at the Musee Picasso or Musee Carnavalet is always nice.A specific walk that we took was starting on Rue Charlot and Rue de Bretagne or further up by Rue de Normandie. Walk straight down Rue Charlot heading towards Rue de Poitou and along the way there is an adorable hidden market called the Marche des Rouges Enfants (something like that) it is really cute to walk through and stop for a bite to eat. When you reach rue de Poitou on Rue Charlot make a left and walk to Rue Vielille du Temple and make a right down that to Rue des Francs Bourgeois and turn left and walk towards Place des Vosges (the most beautiful square in Paris).
You’ll hit a ton of great stores including an everyday sample sale on Rue de Poitou right off of Rue Charlot. There is also a store called Shine on that block that I love. You'll hit a lot of the French designers on that walk such as Vanessa Bruno, Tara Jamon, etc.
If you go the other way on Rue de Poitou towards Blvd Beaumarchais and make a right on Blvd Beaumarchais you’ll hit this new concept store Merci. It is absolutely adorable and they have a tea salon that you can enter from the street on the right hand side or you can walk through the courtyard to the main store and they have a little food area downstairs. It’s a really cool store that opened last Spring by the owners of Bon Point the baby store. This is store has everything!
Lunch L'As du Falafalle here- it will blow your mind!Musee D'Orsay (closes at 6). Another one you could try is Jacquemart André which used to be a home and is the most charming place in Paris if you want to understand how people lived in Paris in the 19th century (fantastic ballroom). The tea room is great too. Dinner at Derrière (8pm rue de gravilliers)- Small funky restaurant hidden behind a door and in a garden. Very funky and modern, food is excellent! Get the caramel macaroon for dessert. Actually get three, one for you appetizer/ dinner/ and desert ;).Mon George V triangleOn the right bank by the Arc de Triomphe, there is the George V shopping triangle: Avenue George V , Ave Montaigne, Rue Francios: Celine, Christian Dior, Lacroix, Erex, Gucci, Bulgari, Prada, Marni, et Balenciaga, etc). There is also the George V and Plaza Athenee for a cocktail. The new bar at the Plaza Athenee is amazing. Champagne cocktails! -> avoid the Champs Elysées, touristy, crowded, lots of pickpockets, go to the avenue Montaigne where all the nice shops are.
Stop for coffee/lunch at L'Avenue.
Taxi to Centre PompidouLunch/ at 1 at George's at the Centre Pompidou -> amazing view (better than Eiffel Tower), good chocolate cake. Walk Pompidou- where the Warhol's and modern art are on exhibition.
Dinner at 8pm Mama Shelter (quite a hike... 25 min train/10 min walk 109 rue de bagnolet) Very modern/ funky. Super cool vibe. Kind of a seedy part of town, we didn't mind. Or,instead you could try a nice brasserie. A great one the Brasserie Lipp in Saint Germain, in front of the Cafe de Flore. Try the typical French dishes (lots of carbs but delicious), some tourists go there but it's better on that front than the Grand Colbert which is FULL of American Tourists.
Train to Versailles - Wear good, comfy and warm shoes, the gardens of versailles are almost as pretty as the castle itself. The Trianon Palace is a must for a 'gouter' (4pm French snack/high tea)
I'd recommend grabbing a sandwich from a patisserie on the way. The train is about 1 hour each way from the center of the city. Beautiful views on the way.
Dinner at Verjus 8pm (rue de Richelieu). Amazing restaurant by the owners of the former Hidden Kitchen (google it, I'm sure it was amazing!)
Lunch at 1 at Le Fumoir or in front of the pyramide du Louvre you have the Cafe Marly which is pretty good for lunch too.
Walk behind Louvre and down st. Honore... Look for Colette
Drinks experimental cocktail
Dinner Frenchie at 7:30pm or 9:30... only 2 seatings per night.
Hemingway Bar at Ritz
Fly Home :(
Near hotel in St. Germain
Pierre Herme Macarons
72 rue bonparte near st. Supliee (nice stores on street)
Mariage freres (sp) tea - also in the Marais
24 rue serves Get Marco Polo tea bags
Also recommended by friends.
Eat lunch at Aux Nuits des Tres on the rue de beaune
The only thing I wish I would have added was a visit to Jim Morrison's grave. I guess now I have a reason to go back!!!