If it is the beautiful buildings and streets of Paris, the charming (and numerous) sidewalk restaurants, the great food or the French people that make the vibrant city vibe… Paris remains my all-time favourite city to visit for a weekend holiday.
Even though I enjoy walking around having no plans at all, discovering new, cool places by coincidence, we have a list of places that we love to come back to. I have gathered our favourite spots (some old and some new) in this city guide. Perhaps you will fall in love with Paris the same way I did, many years ago. Hope you enjoy it.
Hotel Le Saint – 3, rue du Pré aux Clercs75007, Paris
We had the pleasure to stay at Hotel Le Saint, which is located in the heart of Paris, in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The architect decorated the hotel inspired by the fabulous neighbourhood, and combines the classic Parisian style with charming surroundings. I fell in love with the animal floor carpets… The location, service and rooms are excellent. Our bathroom was covered with white marble, and there was a bathtub that gave the perfect luxury feeling when getting ready for a night out in Paris. I felt like a princess, and we were so glad that we stayed at this wonderful place. And if you are really in for a treat, the hotel has a spa and wellness section that offers various treatments. I already miss waking up to the most beautiful view to the picturesque streets of Paris, starting the day off with fresh orange juice, coffee and, of course, a croissant (or two). Tip: Rent bikes at the hotel to explore the city!
Merci – 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris
Merci is one of my absolute favourite spots in Paris. It is actually both a concept store, café, restaurant, and hang-out spot, loved by the chic French fashionistas and genuine lovers of nice things and great food. You can either sit outside like at a traditional sidewalk restaurant, or inside, in a library. The food is great. And they also have the best brownie chocolate cake that you must try if you are here. The shop is filled with everything from clothes, jewellery and shoes to kitchen tools, interior stuff, note books and all kind of cool things (you didn’t know you needed). Definitely worth a visit!
Hotel du Nord –102 quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris
This is a historical spot. Hotel du Nord is famous from an old French movie and is located at the St. Martins Canal. Perfect both for lunch and people-watching by the canal!
86 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris
Actually, what is known to me, this café does not have a name. It is located on Quai de Jemmapes at about number 86, and has a wooden façade. Anyhow, this is a very nice lunch spot if you are in the St. Martin Canal area. There is a lunch buffet with roasted chicken, potatoes, salads, yogurt, bread, fresh made juices, coffee, and more. The price is 23 euros, and you can eat as much as you like. In the summer there are tables outside, which is so nice. Cool spot!
Ober Mamma – 107 Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris
This is definitely one of the best Italian restaurants we know. At Ober Mamma in Oberkampf they don’t take reservations, so be there early (opens at 7 pm) to stand in line for a table. My recommendation is to have an apperitivo (drink) in the bar while you wait, and order a pizza blanco if you have to wait a while. But don’t worry, it is worth quite a wait! I really recommend trying the cucumber spritz. The food is, however, the main reason to why you should come here – it is absolutely amazing. Among the things we had, was a carpaccio, served on the biggest plate I have ever seen, and fresh pasta with thinly sliced truffle, all of it was very delicious. They have a good assortment of natural wines, which are handpicked by the sommelier. And the best is that you can go rather nuts and it will still be for a reasonable price. The tiramisu is a must for dessert, it was really well done. A new favourite!
Derrière – 69 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris
If you would like to have traditional French food in a cool atmosphere, Restaurant Derrière is the place to dine. The restaurant is hidden in a backyard that you find behind a large wooden gate. The tables are set in different rooms and areas in the restaurant, where someone is seated on a bedside (!), tennis table or in a sofa. Really cool! Afterwards you can head to the neighbouring bar for drinks and music.
Chez Janou – 2 Rue Roger Verlomme, 75003 Paris
French cuisine at it’s best, and at a reasonable price. If you like chocolate mousse, you should order it here. It is served in a big bowl to share.
Colette – 213 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris
Colette is one of the most famous concepts stores in the world, and first opened its doors in 1997. Spanning three levels, customers are invited to come face to face with the Colette experience, which offers a never ending assortment of fashion, high-tech, arts, street wear, beauty and perfume. Come here to look at, and feel the things you can never afford and buy a note book or a magazine as a souvenir.
L’avenue Montaigne – Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris
All the high brand shops are here. Marni, Celine, Chanel, Dior and so on. Either you have plans to buy something really nice, window-shopping or have lunch at super fancy L’Avenue (where all rich and famous people have snails and champagne for lunch), I think it is a nice street to visit just to look at pretty things and people.
PS: Be aware that the shops are closed on Sundays. (yep, we did not know…)
Candeleria – 52 rue de Saintonge 75003 Paris
This is a Mexican street kitchen with a secret bar in the back where they make some crazy cocktails and play good music. Worth a visit!
Andy Wahloo – 69 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris
After you’ve had dinner at Derrière. This is also located in a backyard which is filled with tables and heating lamps, so that you can sit outside. Andy Wahloo is a nice spot if you want good cocktails.
Le Pompon – 39 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 Paris
Really nice underground vibe. This place is mostly known for being a bar, but if you enter the basement you discover that there actually is a dance floor, bar and a smoking room.
Nice streets and places to visit
Saint Martin Canal
The Saint Martin Canal is a super nice area to either have an afternoon walk, lunch, a glass of wine at a sidewalk restaurants. A lot of nice streets around, for example “Rue de la Grange aux Belles” where you should check out Myrthe Epicerie Cantine and Ten Belles.
Rue De Bourgogne
This is a charming little street in St. Germain where they have a food market on Saturdays. Either you are into oysters, baguettes, wine, chocolate or pastries you should visit this street either on the way to the Rodin museum or Musee d’Orsay. And also you have to try the Tarte aux pommes at Besnier!
Jardin des Tuileries
Beautiful park located in the heart of Paris right next to The Louvre and Champs Elysees. Perfect for a morning walk (or run, for those who are of the sporty kind), or an afternoon picnic with red wine and baguettes, Paris style.
Although there are a lot of tourists visiting Montmartre, it is worth the (rather long) walk up to the Sacre Coeur. The view over the city is magnifique, and it is in fact also a cool neighbourhood when you get away from the most touristy streets.
Musée d’Orsay – 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris
Musée d’Orsay is located on the left bank of the Seine. It is based in the beautiful Beaux-art railway station built in 1898. Here you can enjoy (mostly) French masterpieces of modernism and to the post-impressionism from Monet, Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh, and many more. Really recommend taking the guided tour around the museum for maximum benefits.
Hope you enjoy the guide! xx