Paris is such a dreamy city, but it can be overwhelming at times. Today l’m sharing my favorite spots for eating, sleeping, sightseeing, and shopping, of course.
Oh Paris. The city of lights, cream colored buildings, couture, lavish gardens, baguettes, and a delicate language that somehow sounds like clouds floating over the Seine. Paris is a dreamy backdrop, whether you go with your significant other or your my best gal pals. In my case, I was traveling with the latter: one being a feisty lawyer, one being a feisty first-grader, and both being unapologetically fabulous.
I’ve been wanting to take London to Paris for a mother-daughter getaway for quite some time, and I convinced my friend Angela to join. We had a great time ordering delicious plates we couldn’t pronounce, admiring buildings that seemed too pretty to be real, and shopping like Carrie Bradshaw after a bad breakup. When in Paris, right?
I wanted to share a few of my favorite Paris spots with you in case you find yourself in dire need of a French getaway or just want to know where 50% of the Scout Fam spent this trip.
Where To Sleep
We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental during our trip and I absolutely loved it! The hotel is in the First Arrondissement a great location not too far from the Louvre and Tuileries garden. We were close to the Seine and in the heart of the haute couture neighborhood so we didn’t have to go too far for entertainment if we didn’t want to! Definitely important when you have little kids in tow. I’d highly recommend this fabulous place!
This is a charming 4-star hotel in the middle of Saint-Germain. Parisian through and through, the hotel decor and delightful neighborhood give off a certain Parisian “je-ne-sais-quoi”.
Where To Eat
(Keep your eyes peeled for a post all about dining in Paris!)
This Parisian bakery is like a daydream. You have to stop in and leave with at least a handful of macarons in pastel shades. The pastries are mouthwatering and the interior is a masterpiece in itself. Don’t forget to snap a picture if you can withstand the temptation before you take a bite.
One of the best spots for an authentic French dinner! L’Avenue is known for their seafood as wells as celebrities that saunter in regularly.
A well-known cafe on the Saint-Germain. The breakfast is to die for! Start your day with a meal here and then head off to explore the picturesque quarter.
What To See
(In addition to the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe of course!)
The Louvre/Jardin des Tuileries
I was really happy our hotel was so near by the Louvre! We spent several hours moseying around, drooling over lavish ceilings, getting lost in mazes of paintings by the greatest artists in history, and contemplating theories about Mona Lisa’s smile. Well, the last one was just London actually. As the biggest art museum in the world, everybody should see it once in his/her lifetime! The Jardin des Tuileries is right outside and it’s a beautiful place to enjoy a pastry, rest your feet, and people watch.
If you’re an art fan with an affinity for Impressionism, you cannot miss the Musee d’Orsay. On the left bank of the Seine, this museum house works by Cezanne, Manet, Renoir and more in what used to be a train station built at the end of the 19th century.
This area can be a little more touristy so I’d recommend going early in the morning. Montmartre is in the 18th Arrondissement and located on top of a hill (take the Metro to the Abbesses). Here you’ll find the breathtaking Basilica of the Sacra-Coeur as well as the Moulin Rouge.
Stroll along the Seine
Walking along the serene river Seine is an event in itself. You can glimpse the beautiful architecture from both banks, admire the adorable used book stands, and soak up the feeling of walking through the magical city unhurried. London wanted to put a lock on the love lock bridge, which could be a fun little activity for kiddos.
If you go to Paris with kids, you’ve got to take them to a carousel! There are so many in the city – at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, in the Jardin des Plantes, in the Jardin du Luxembourg, etc. It’s a pleasant way to give kids a break after a museum excursion, and hey, I wouldn’t judge you if you wanted to hop on too.
Where To Shop
Rue Saint Honore
This street in the First Arrondissement is full of designer shops. It splits into the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore, which has the fashion houses such as Hermes, YSL, and Prada, while the Rue Saint Honore has more small Parisian boutiques. I left the city with this mini bag in an unexpectedly brilliant blue. What can I say? I wanted to take the Parisian sky with me but I couldn’t so I bought a bag in the same color.
Vintage Shops in Le Marais
Le Marais is another gorgeous historic district in the center of the city, encompassing the 3rd and 4th Arrondissement. It’s speckled with chic and charismatic vintage shops if you want to hunt through the treasures of former glam Parisian socialites. Vintage Chanel? Oui, oui.
This grand avenue is home to both high fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton and Montblanc as well as the fast fashion giants such as Zara and H&M. This avenue has become a little more touristy in the last years so it’s not exactly the most relaxing spot. However, it’s the street that runs from the Arc du Triomphe, and there’s a Laduree on the boulevard so… might as well mosey.
I hope you enjoyed these recommendations and photos from the Paris girls’ trip! If you have any Parisian secrets be sure to leave me a comment and share.