Honestly, I’m not sure where to begin. This post has taken longer to write than my trip to Paris lasted. Over the course of five days we saw and ate so much – I’m really not sure where to start! So, before I get into all the details, here is a list of all the things I wish I could do again tomorrow:
1. Stroll along the Rue de la Seine and check out all the galleries. Then go for a glass of champagne and a cheese plate at La Palatte. (We loved this little place so much we went back two days in a row.)
2. Spend an afternoon/evening getting lost in the Marais. In my opinion, it’s the most charming part of Paris.
3. Eat lunch at L’Entrecote. The only thing on the menu is Steak Frites. All they ask when you sit down is, “what would you like to drink?” and, “how would you like your meat cooked?” Enough said. It was amazing!
Hotel de Petit Moulin – this amazing little hotel in the Marais was designed by Christian Lacroix. The staff is fabulous and the accommodations are stylish and comfortable. For about $200 a night, I don’t think you can find a better deal in Paris. Coincidentally, Daily Candy published a Paris guide the day I left on my trip and this is the one hotel they recommended. Clearly, it’s a special spot.
La Palette – as I mentioned above, we loved this cafe so much we went back twice. They do not serve dinner, but offer a fabulous lunch offering and a cheese or meat plate during happy hour.
La Relais de L’Entrecote – again, I mentioned this in my list of favorites. In my book it’s a must-visit. There are a number of locations in Paris, so you should not have a problem finding one near your hotel or a site you’re planning to visit.
Cafe Charlot – we loved this cafe in the Marais – it was our favorite breakfast spot. Totally low-key – great place to grab a cafe and croissant.
Chez Janou – this cafe was packed with Americans (likely because of great reviews in many travel guides), but it’s genuinely a great spot. The food is good, not great, but the setting is truly Parisian. I’d go back in a heartbeat. I highly suggest the spinach salad – maybe the best I’ve ever had.
The Classic French Cafe – you can probably find a great cafe anywhere you stumble, but here is a list of some of our favorites: Cafe la Flore, Le Bar du Marche, Cafe Constant, Le Precope and Deux Magots.
I’m embarrassed to admit I did an obscene amount of research before we left for our trip. Here is a list of the places we never got to, but wished we did: Le Grand Colbert, Aux Lyonnais, Market, Angelina, Le Taxi Jaune, Le Pamplet, La Gazzeta, Bouillon Chartier, Le Famille, Au Pied de Fouet, Allard, L’Argume, Le Cafe Jacquemart-Andre, Au Petit Fer a Cheval, Jadis and Le Violin d’Ingres.
See and Do
What can I say? I’m a sucker for Rick Steve’s travel guides – they are generally pretty reliable and in Paris he has some pretty amazing tours mapped out. I’d highly suggest you check out the following walks from his guide in Paris: historic, Left Bank, Marais, Rue Cler and Montmartre.
Then there are the obvious things/places you must visit: the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Notre Dame (although, there is no need to wait in line to visit the top), Sacre Coeur (if you can, this is the place to climb to the top), Jardin de Luxembourg and the Garden de Tuilieries (if you’re a garden lover like I am).