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Paris - Things To Do

Paris - Things To Do

Okay, so I've been lucky enough to travel to Paris a few times and each time I visit I still have a HUGE list of things I want to see. On my last trip, I spent a week in Paris and my wife had literally scheduled each day with things to see and places to eat and we still have things to see for our next trip. 

Depending how much time you have on your first trip to Paris, you can end up spending your whole trip visiting the amazing (and obvious) sites of the city of lights- The Eiffel Tower, Norte to Dame etc etc... These are easy to find- just jump on a red hop on and off bus and you're sorted. So this list is of things to do are for the not so obvious places- little shops, galleries that you may have to ask a local to find. 

The easiest way of tackling these is separating them into neighbourhoods of Paris. This is also the easiest and most efficient way of seeing them all. Choose an area, choose what you want to see and start ticking them off your list!

1ST ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Place Vendrome is possibly the most opulent part of Paris and there is enough here to spend a whole day!
    • Angelina’s (Chanel and Audrey Hepburn’s favourite spot): Have a white hot chocolate. 226 Rue de Rivoli
    • Chanel Flagship store: 31 Rue Cambon
  • Tuileries Garden: Grab something sweet from Angelina’s and walk across the road, sit at a park bench and watch the world go by. Some positions in the garden have the Eiffel tower in the distance. So French!!
  • Librairie Galignani- it’s the first English bookstore in Paris. There is a beautiful range of books for adults and kids in French and English. It’s next to Angelina’s so pop in there first. 224 Rue de Rivoli, 75001
  • Hotel Costes (top spot socialites and the fashion industry. Have lunch in the courtyard) : 239 Rue Saint-Honore
  • The Ritz Hotel- go in and take a look at the renovated hotel, its beautiful! Eat at one of the resturants – its an experience! Hemingway Bar at The Ritz (best cocktails in town). 15 Place Vendôme, 75001
  • Café Marly: A fancy café overlooking the Louve. Go there at dusk for an extra special view : 93 Rue de Rivoli
  • Kong (amazing resturant under glass roof made famous on Sex And The City : After you’ve eaten here, walk to the Lourve and go to Café Marly for a coffee or desert and watch the people go by. 1 Rue du Pont Neuf.
  • Ferdi Bar: Kim and Kanye apparently eat here : 32 Rue du Mont Thabor
  • Square Gabriel Pierne: Rue Seine meets the Seine and walk to Pont des Arts pedestrian bridge
  • Place Dauphine (beautiful square):  Rue de Harlay
  • Flower + Bird market (Sunday only) ‘Marche aux Oiseaux’ :  Place Louis-Lepine, Quai de la Corse
  • Palais Royal Garden ‘Jardin du Palais Roal’. Inside is Didier Ludot La Petite Robe Noire (famous vintage store, Hermes, Chanel, Dior etc). 24 Galerie de Montpensier.
  • Shop on Rue Saint-Honore
  • La Droguerie (walls of ribbons, trims and beads) : 9-11 Rue de Jour
  • Dider Ludot (vintage couture and priced accordingly but nice to have a look) : 24 Galerie de Montpensier, Jardin du Palais-Royal
  • Café Ruc (favourite with fashion people. A bit pricey) : 159 Rue Saint-Honore
  • Astier de Villatte (beautiful white homewares) : 173 rue Saint-Honore
  • Le Fumoir (perfect for a drink at the end of the day. Jazz club) : 6 Rue de l’Amiral Coligny
  • Hotel Meurice : Beautiful hotel with lovely restaurant like the Ritz : 228 Rue de Rivoli
  • Rue Saint-Honoré (street in 1st with all the massive fashion houses).

 

2ND ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Galerie Vivienne (The Kate Moss of Paris and very beautiful. There are nice home ware stores, vintage bookstores and a great kids store in here. Amazing tea salon A Priori The 35-37 Galerie Vivienne) : Rue des Petits-Champs, 6 Rue Vivienne and 5 Rue da le Banque.
  • Le Grand Colbert: For dinner. The food isn’t the best in Paris, but the restaurant décor is so beautiful, it’s worth it. Something’s Gotta Give was filmed here): 6 Rue Vivienne.
  • Rue Montorgueil – Bistros, quaint cafes, pretty boutiques, cheese and wine shops
  • Passage du Grand-Cerf : beautiful hidden passage way with high end stores : Cnr Place Goldoni + Rue Marie Stuart
  • La Belle Epoque (beautiful and typically French restaurant/bar for fashionistas) 36 Rue des Petits Champs

 

3RD ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Le wood- It’s nothing super chic, but its where actual Parisians eat. It’s also in a nice spot to walk around. Order the beef tartar, it was incredible. Yolo in Paris and order one! 1 Place de Thorigny, 75003
  • Merci: A popular bookstore, interiors, craft store with a great deli downstairs. Take a pic at the popular entrance with that famous red car: 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais
  • The Collection ( near Christian Lacroix’s Hotel du Petit Moulin, this is a mini boutique with beautiful artful pieces, silkscreen prints, vases, kids toys etc. Adored by stylists, bloggers etc) : 33 Rue de Poitou.
  • Le Petit Atelier de Paris (cutest gift store in Paris and beautifully wrapped. Great for mum/sister/boss etc) : 31 Rue Montmorency
  • Marche des Enfant Rouges (Paris’s oldest food market. Choose food from the various stores and eat dishes at the communal tables). 39 Rue de Bretagne, upper Marais.
  • Café Charlot (tartin is great) : 38 Rue de Bretagne
  • Images and Portraits (owned by photojournalist – vintage cameras, boxes of old blackand white pictures for sale) : 35-37 Rue de Charlot
  • Marche des Enfant Rouges (undercover, gourmet food market) : 39 Rue de Bretagne
  • Anachi (Argentinean restaurant that fashion people go to before dark. Looks rundown from outside, but great inside) : 49 Rue Volta.
  • The Collection (great homewares) : 33 Rue de Poitou
  • Ofr Paris (bookshop): 20 Rue Dupetit-Thouras.

 

4TH ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Ile Saint- Louis (Island, beautiful with famous homes of Hemmingway, Reubenstien, Votaire). Get a gelato from Berthillon gelataria.
  • Le Saint-Regis: The food isn’t the best in Paris but it’s worth going for the experience of the outdoor tables. Sit outside on the little French tables, have an Aperol Spritz and enjoy watching the people go by and the sun setting across Ile Saint-Louis. 6 Rue Jean du Bellay, 75004
  • Papeterie Marie-Tournelle- it’s a beautiful stationery store. There are a bunch of other cute stores on this strip of street. 5 Rue des Deux Ponts, 75004
  • BHV department story. This is one of my favourite places to shop in Paris. The store is filled with affordable pieces. Think of an affordable French David Jones. 14 Rue Du Temple
  • L'As du Falafel: You can’t go to the Marais without eating lunch here. There are a few falafel restaurants around here, but just look out for this one- it has the line of people out the front! After having lunch here, walk around the corner to Pierre Herme for desert. 34 Rue des Rosiers.
  • Pierre Herme: It’s a macaroon store with the MOST DELICIOUS macaroons in Paris in a variety yummy flavours. 18 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 (there are also stores in 4 Rue Cambon near the chanel flagship store and in O’pera 39 Avenue de l'Opéra, 75002). Grab your macaroons and take them around the corner to Place des Vosges- it’s the loveliest garden filled with green grass and fountains and watch the world go by
  • The Bouquinistes (book sellers by the siene): on the right bank from the Pont Marie to the Quai du Louvre, and on the left bank from the Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire.
  • Maison Eurpoeenne de la photographie (Museum of European Photography. Devoted to contemporary photography. Check what’s exhibiting) : 7 Rue de Fourcy
  • L’oeil Ouvert (store to but vintage photographs/prints, most from the 1920s): 74 Rue Francois Miron
  • Pompidou Centre (One of the world’s finest modern art museum showcasing works from Picasso to Matisse. Great bookstore, public library and clear escalators to the top floor for views of Paris). 19 Rue Beaubourg.
  • Calligrane (incredible stationary. Stylish and beautiful) : 4-6 Rue du Pont-Philippe
  • Higgins (Antique store, some affordable pieces) : 3 Rue de Mauvais Garcon
  • 13 + 21 +25 Rue Saint –Paul (antique stores)
  • Rue Saint-Paul, Rue Charlemagne, Quai des Celestins (all streets with antique stores worth browsing through).
  • Le Village Saint Paul (near the seine, loads of antique dealers)
  • Carre d’ Artistes (affordable original artwork. Friendly and help yourself): 29 Rue Vieille de Temple, open 11am-8pm
  • Flower Market (on Ile Saint-Louis) : Place Louis Lepine
  • Rue Des Rivoli – best paper and stationary stores
  • Hotel de Ville (beautiful square)
  • Le Petite Fer a Cheval (café with incredible Parisian décor): 30 Rue Vielle du Temple
  • Places des Vosges (incredible urban square)

 

5TH ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Grande Mosquee de Paris(Built in honor of North Africa from the war. Beautiful, amazing tea house) : 39 Rue Geoffroy-Saint Hilaire.
  • Shakespeare and Company (Legendary bookstore) : 37 Rue de la Bucherie
  • Bouquinistes (second hand bookstore along the Siene- books, vintage posters) : 53 Quai des Grands Augustins
  • Cluny Musee (beautiful medieval display on top of ancient Roman baths) : 6 Place Paul Painleve
  • Pantheon
  • Grande Mosquee de Paris (amazing tea house) : 39 Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire
  • Art Deco Wintergarden – huge rose garden.

 

6TH ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Boulevard Saint-Germain (famous cafes)
    • Café de Flore, 170 St-Germain. Ask the waiter if you can have a paper table cloth with the illustration on it to take with you. It’s a lovely momento.
    • Ralph Lauren Restaurant: Make sure you spoilt yourself with dinner here one night. Afterwards, go to Café Du Flore for desert. If you’re not there too late, pop into the bookstore Hume which is next to Café Du Flore. 173 Boulevard Saint-Germain
    • Laudree
    • Peux Magots (famous café, was frequented by Hemmingway, Picasso), 6
    • Brasserie Lipp 
  • Bookstores:
    • Hune (next to Café de Flore, open late), 170 St-Germain
    • Assouline (beautiful art, fashion, travel, photography), 224 Rue de Rivoli
    • Village Voice (nice surrounding area), 6 Rue Princesse
    • Taschen : 2 Rue de Buci
    • 7L (Karl Lagerfeld’s store + photo studio), 7 Rue de Lille
  • Buly 1803: My wife has said that it is worth coming to Paris for this store alone. The store is incredibly beautiful and is full of equally as beautiful body products in equally as beautiful packaging- beauty all round! Walk from Café du flore to Assouline to Buly1803 and then towards the Siene for the nicest few hours of shopping! There are plenty of lovely, independant stores all around this area. 6 Rue Bonaparte, 75006
  •  La Maison du Chou (beautiful bakery) 7 Rue de Furstenberg
  • Catherine B (vintage Chanel and Hermes at about $1000) : 1 and 3 Rue Guisarde
  • Sabbia Rosa (beautiful lingerie store. Kate Moss is apparently a fan) : 73 Rue des Saint-Peres.
  • Au Petit Suisse (for lunch in the Luxembourg Gardens. Big arched windows, messanine level, terrace outside) : 16 Rue de Vaugirard.
  • Pierre Frey (textiles and decorating) : 2 Rue de Furstenberg
  • Cire Trudon (create your own candle fragrance) : 78 Rue de Seine.
  • Flament (beautiful homewares) : 8 Place de Furstenberg
  • Avenue Montaigne (Balmain, Ralph Lauren)
  • Rue de Buci (fashion boutiques)
  • Rue de Seine to Rue Saint-Andre des Arts
  • Saint-Andre – Cour de Rohan (picturesque Paris)
  • Place De Furstenberg
  • Odette (bakery rated very well online. Great picture opp): 77 Rue Galande,

 

7TH ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Le Bon Marche: An incredibly beautiful department store that isn’t as crazy busy as other shopping spots in Paris. The building is worth a look at itself. 24 Rue de Sevres. Walk from here to La Grande Epicerie de Paris next door and then to the Willy Rizzo studio- there is heaps to see and lots of cute shops in between.
  • Next to Le Bon Marche is La Grande Epicerie de Paris: Again , this deli is worth going to Paris for! We once found a premixed bottle of Belini in Italy and spent years trying to find it again. We cheered when we found it here! La Grande Epicerie de Paris is huge and has a huge range of delicious product from around the world. 38 Rue de Sèvres, 75007
  • Willy Rizzo Gallery (beautiful old shots of Chanel, YSL etc and coffee table books all shot by the talented Willy Rizzo) : 12 Rue de Verneuil, open 11am-6.30pm. His prints are around 10,000euro each, but the gallery is beautiful you can buy one of his lovely coffee table books for about $100. His wife and daughter run the studio and love to have a chat about him.
  • Café Gustave (quaint café on street front) : 23 Avenue de la Bourdonnais
  • Orsay Museum (Musee d’Orsay. Formally a deserted train station that been converted into an amazing museum housing works such as Monet and Van Gogh. Don’t miss the view of Paris through the clock face- it’s amazing) : 1 Rue de la Legion d’Honneur
  • Rue Cler ( one of the best market streets in Paris for food and chocolate). Close to the Eiffel Tower: Cnr Rue De Grenelle + Rue Cler.

 

8TH ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Laudree : Auenue 75 Champs-Elysees
  • & other stories- it’s a high street fashion store for women. There are heaps of on trend pieces and all reasonably priced: 277 Rue Saint Honoré, 75008. There is also a store at 35 Rue Montmartre, 75002
  • Fauchon (world famous food market/stores) : 24-26 Place de la Madeleine.
  • Hotel Plaza Athenee (incredible hotel and restaurants (alfresco lunch, cocktails, haute cuisine, elegant breakfast, decorated like the Ritz) : 25 Avenue Montaigne. (near Champs-Elysees).
  • Musée Nissim de Camondo (is an elegant house museum of French decorative arts) : located in the Hôtel Camondo, 63, rue de Monceau
  • Restaurant l'Avenue (fancy and expense restaurant.  Beyonce apparently visits frequently) : 41 Avenue Montaigne
  • Raffles (beautiful hotel and amazing mirrored bathrooms. Good for pics) : 37 Avenue Hoche
  • Armorial (beautiful shop front. Custom engraved stationery): 109 Boulevard Haussmann
  • Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume (arts centre for modern photography): 1 Place de la Concorde

 

9TH ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Perfume Museum (Musee du Parfum. Displays perfume through history and manufacturing and packaging, how natural ingredients are combine etc) : 9 Rue Scribe.
  • Bouillon Chartier (Audrey Tautou film here. Very French, rustic and affordable. Does take reservations, but worth the wait) : 7 Rue du Faubourg.
  • Opera de Paris/Palais Garnier neighborhood (opulent neighborhood with the opera house)
  • Galeries Lafayettte + Galeries Printemps (beautiful galleries and amazing rooftop with view of Paris) : 40 + 64 Boulevard Haussmann.
  • Romantic Museum (Musee de la vie Romantique, beautiful walk here and 19th century beautiful inside) : 16 Rue Chaptal.
  • Pain Pain (cool kids bakery) 88, rue des Martyrs
  • A la Colche d’or (legendary and old fashioned resturant is open all night. Actors come here after finishing up on stage): 3 rue Mansart

 

11TH ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Les Fleurs (charming bouique selling pretty little, unique hand made pieces) : 6 Passage Josset
  • Gaia (you need to ring the doorbell to get inside. Affordable vintage clothing) : 7 Rue de Crussol.
  • Café Charbon (Lively place to have a drink. Jazz bars are in the neighborhood if you want to kick on) : 10 Rue Oberkampf.
  • Le Bistort de Peintre (Belle Epoque beauty for dinner) : 116 Avenue Ledru Rollin

 

12TH ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Le Train Bleu is a restaurant located in the hall of the Gare de Lyon railway station in Paris, France. The restaurant has served drinks and meals to travelers and other guests since 1901 in an ornately decorated setting): 1er étage, Paris Gare de Lyon, Gare de Lyon, Place Louis Armand

 

14TH ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation (photojournalism exhibits- check what’s on) : 2 Impasse Lebouis

 

15TH ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Montparnasse Tower (high rise with an amazing view of paris) : 33 Avenue du Maine

 

16TH ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Talmaris (tiny department store Tom Ford and DVF frequents with beautiful trinkets) : 71 Avenue Mozart.
  • Museum of Fashion and costume (Musee de la Mode et du Costume- fashion through the ages. Check what is exhibiting) : 10 Avenue Pierre Ier de Serbie.
  • Reciproque (Arguably the best vintage store in the city) : 9=89, 92, 93, 95, 97 and 101 Rue de la Pompe
  • Champagne Bar at Le Dokhan’s (Interior design is very stylish- elevators made from LV steamer trunks etc. Great place to have a champagne) : 117 Rue de Lauriston.
  • Resturant Bon (designed by a famed architect in an old flower market. Different rooms with different themes in the resturant. Pan Asian food) : 25 Rue de la Pompe.
  • The Shangri-La Hotel (beautiful hotel and food) : 10 Avenue d'Iéna
  • The Peninsula Hotel ( beautiful hotel) : 19 Avenue Kléber

 

18TH ARRONDISSEMENT:

  • Café des Deux Moulins (café that the movie Amelie movie was filmed in) : 15 Rue Lepic
  • Place du Tertre (incredibly beautiful square. Great picture opp. Art markets here too): Place du Tertre, 75018
  • Flea Market – St-Ouen amazing flea/vintage market. Catch the train and get there early as there are far less people first up then there are later in the day (They open about 10am). Also- the market is HUGE, so rather then look for something that looks like a cluster of flea markets, you’re looking for actual streets. Start at about 136 Rue Des Rosiers and go from there. Also be aware that what sometimes looks like a little store is actually an entry to a cluster of stalls which is where we had the most success shopping.  SO make sure you’ve got walking shoes on and are in the mood to hunt through streets of markets stalls. 
  • La Maison Rose (the beautiful pink restaurant near Sacre Cour. Beautiful pic opp): 2 Rue de l'Abreuvoir. I sadly didn’t make it here, but I wish I did. If you go to the Sacre Cour, make sure you check this place out.
  • Chez Louisette restaurant (edith piaf music/vibe and great food): 136 Avenue Michelet, 93400 Saint-Ouen
  • Le Consulat Restaurant (rated well online and a great picture opp): 18 Rue Norvins
London - What to do

London - What to do