Bonjour! We’re heading to Paris soon to meet my parents for my mom’s 60th birthday. We’re spending a few days with them, then staying on for four more days to explore the city on our own.

Since this is my first time in Paris, I wanted to hear from you all on where to eat and shop. I’ve read the Gospel of Paris According to GOOP, but I want to hear from you all. What is amazing or unmissable? And please, do not spare any detail when it comes to desserts.

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6 thoughts on “paris!

  1. Debbie

    You will absolutely love it. Make time to climb the stairs at Notre Dame (included with the Museum Pass). The view cannot be beat!

  2. Michelle

    One thing I would highly recommend is to pick up a “paris pratique” which you can get at almost any newspaper stand, tabac, probably even in the airport — its a pocket sized map of each arrondissement of paris and the metro system. There are a couple really huge perks to that — the first being Parisians themselves carry them, so you won’t look as much like tourists, but also it’s easy to reference (SO easy) and it’s easy to carry so you aren’t running around with a map in your face. Each arrondissement gets its own page, and you can look up a location by street in the back of the book so you can navigate en route. It’s seriously the most amazing thing.

    Anyways — here are my visitation recommendations!
    Le Refuge des Fondues
    17, Rue des Trois Frères, 75018 ParisMétro: Abbesses (Metro Line 12)
    Its an easy-to-order fondue place in Montmartre that serves wine in baby bottles, packs you in tight, and has really good fondue. Its often loud and crowded but in September the weather should be perfect for a visit. You will probably have to wait a bit, and the two guys that own it are gruff at best, but the experience is really fun and pretty worth it.

    Le Square Trousseau
    1 Rue Antoine Vollon 75012 Paris
    Metro: Ledru-Rollin (8)
    The best restaurant in Paris. Not super touristy, in a “logan circle” kind of neighborhood, actually was in a scene in Paris Je T’aime.
    Not touristy, or flashy…just good food in a good atmosphere.

    For a little on the go food, I highly recommend getting a crepe/falafel/panini from Rue Mouffetard and walking up and down it…its just a really lively street that is a fun way to see real Paris.

    Sacre Coeur
    Its a really beautiful church, if you’re into that kind of thing, but the hill at night is where things get really beautiful. At night (this is great for after dinner at Le Refuge bc they are in the same area) grab a bottle of wine (screwtop!) and climb to the stairs right in front of the church looking over Paris. Its beautiful, and not a view many people take the time to go see when they visit.

    Montparnasse Tower
    33 Avenue du Maine 75015 Paris
    Montparnasse-Bienvenue (12, 4, 6, 13)
    I don’t recall how much it costs, but you can ride the elevator up all 56 floors to a viewing deck on the roof. If you go at night, you can time it to be there when they light up the Eiffel Tower and (in my opinion) is way better than the Eiffel Tower because you can see all the pretty parts of the city.

    Pere Lachaise
    Pere Lachaise (2 and 3)
    This is a great thing to do, even though its kind of creepy to sight see in a graveyard. So many legendary people are buried here (Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison) and has lots of monuments to see. You can get maps of it, which is probably best to do since it’s so big.

    I highly recommend spending time in the Luxembourg Gardens and Tuileries…they’re both beautiful and were designed for the royals back in the day. They’re in the area of a lot of the museums so an easy jaunt if you are doing a lot of “inside” and want “ouside.” And, the cafe where Coco Chanel used to draw her designs is called Angelina and the hot chocolate is pretty much melted chocolate bars but its awesome if it happens to be chilly :) (

    Otherwise, all the touristy stuff is totally worth it…go hang out on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower, go up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe (or if you can, be there when they do their tribute to the unknown soldier; it’s pretty awesome), the Pantheon, Invalides…see it all if you can! But don’t eat in the cafes adjacent to these things, they are total tourist traps. Food stands nearby (paninis, crepes, etc) are a much better deal in terms of raw value and a lot more “authentic” :)

  3. Kristina

    David Lebovitz’ guide is a great place to start (he hasn’t led me wrong): A few highlights: lunches at Cuisine de Bar (and pick up a miche at Poilane while you’re there); Le Rubis (prepare to speak only French – very old school); Breizh Cafe; and perhaps my favorite of all, Les Papilles ( Walk, a lot. Enjoy the long, light days of summer. Maybe even take a boat ride down the river.

    1. colleen Post author

      Thanks, Kristina! I definitely had Breizh Cafe on my list, glad to see it recommended again.


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