For me, Paris is pure magic. One of those cities that shines in the rain, in the sun and throughout every season – the amount of inspiration it brings is unparalleled and this trip was no exception. When Daniel and I started talking about going to Europe for our honeymoon, we were both thinking of places neither of us had been before. With trips, I try and go someplace new since there is no shortage of beauty to see around the world, but I kept coming back to Paris as the perfect starting point. I have been to Paris a few times before, but with each trip I left feeling like I hadn’t seen nearly enough and a strong desire to return. One of the many reasons I love this city, there is just so much to discover and every visit feels different. This is by no means a thorough guide to Paris, but a quick recap of our specific trip including where we stayed and some of my favorite spots. I hadn’t even planned on putting a post together or sharing much of our trip, but it is hard not to snap a few of the inspiring moments this city has to offer. Surprisingly, I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I typically do. It was so nice to put my camera down a bit and just soak it all in.
Above all, my best advice for visiting is to simply get lost. I am super Type A. I love lists and itineraries and planning out a lot of what I want to see in advance, but with this trip I did none of that. Paris lends itself to a lack of itinerary because there is so much to see without going to a specific destination. Unless of course you are set on a museum or restaurant which are best booked ahead of time, especially during Covid. The best moments are in the minutia. The way the streets look in the morning, the little flower markets or the old courtyards you get a glimpse of when someone opens the front door. I have always found with this city in particular, it is less about the “can’t miss spots” and more about the wandering. Walking out of your door with no real destination point and seeing what you discover. I promise, you will not be disappointed!
Where We Stayed
On this trip I really wanted to stay in the 1st Arrondissement. I think it is nice to switch up the neighborhoods you visit as it can really change the vibe of your stay and in a way become your home base. I wanted to be more centrally located and close to the river so we could easily walk to the Latin Quarter, etc. Originally I was planning on booking a rental property, but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted in the 1st. If you prefer rentals over a hotel, Paris Perfect has beautiful properties and are super responsive with questions. There were also a ton of cute options on Airbnb, but ultimately we went with the Hotel Mansart. One element I really wanted was a terrace. It feels so quintessentially Parisian and is very nice to have a little outdoor space to eat breakfast or drink wine in the evening. It is so fun to sit outside and listen to all the sounds of the city. The room was nothing special (we were not in the one shown on the website), but large for European standards and the terrace was EVERYTHING! Overall I was incredibly happy with this hotel. Super nice staff, clean, large (again for European standards) elevator and the location was unbeatable. Right around the corner from the Place Vendôme, The Ritz and Coco Chanel’s apartment. This location had the perfect mix of buzz, but not too loud or crowded in the late evening.
Luxemberg Gardens is one of my favorite places in the city. Truly feels like being transported.
Where I Like To Shop
There is no shortage of charming shops all over Paris. Often I find some of the best ones are little gems you stumble upon while walking the streets. Others are more of a destination point, including the famous E. Dehillerin. This cookware shop has been around since the late 1800’s and was the inspiration for Chuck Williams to create Williams-Sonoma after visiting back in the 1950’s. E. Dehillerin is the go to place for authentic copper pots and pans. It is a no frills restaurant supply shop that houses just about every pastry tip available and an array of cooking utensils in every size. I finally bought the most beautiful copper saucepan and was easily able to ship it home. The staff is very helpful and incredibly knowledgeable on all copper questions. Definitely a must for cooking and baking enthusiasts.
Astier de Villatte: There are two locations in Paris, one was very close to our hotel on Rue Saint Honoré, but the main hub with all the beautiful displays (seen above in the photo of the white dishes and the candles) is on the other side of the river right by Jardin du Luxembourg at 16 Rue de Tournon. The stunning ceramics are sold all over the place, but at the shop you will see a lot of pieces you can’t find in other retail shops. Plus is is fun to see them all in one place, in person. If you are a fan of this line, you will also love their sister company Carron which has a showroom in Paris by appointment.
Marin Montagut: The most whimsical store filled with unique pieces you won’t see anywhere else. Plus the interior is so charming!
La Trésorerie: The “general store” at 11 Rue du Château d’Eau is magical. I am always a sucker for a kitchen store and this has much more than kitchen products. A true home goods store – it is huge and even has a cafe inside.
Candle Shops: Down the road from Astier de Villatte is Cire Trudon, the oldest candlemakers in the world which have been around since 1643. Again you can find these candles at home, but the showroom is gorgeous and can be a good chance to finally smell all their scents. Same with the original Diptyque store at 34 boulevard Saint Germain. They often carry scents I don’t see at home and I always love getting one to remind me of my trip to Paris when I light it. I had also never been to a stand alone Mad Et Len Shop which is so beautiful inside the Galerie Vivienne (another great shopping spot to wander around). Also love L’officine Universelle Buly on Rue Bonaparte for fragrance and the interior.
Flea Markets: I could spend an entire trip scouring the famed Parisian flea markets. There is truly nothing like it. They tend to be on Saturdays & Sundays only and we weren’t able to hit any this trip, but the big one is Les Puces Saint-Ouen and Marché Aux Puces de Vanves. I would suggest doing some research before if you are interested in hitting either of these. Paris Perfect has a helpful page that breaks down some highlights.
Other Spots Of Mention
Le Petit Chatelet: My Favorite restaurant in Paris! This family owned spot is simply perfect. It is so cozy even on the edge of the Latin Quarter directly next to Shakespeare and Company. The menu is simple, the food is excellent (they have a fireplace inside where they cook the steaks) and it is situated on the perfect little street for people watching. Also their creme brulee.. wow!
Harrys New York Bar | Bar Hemmingway at the Ritz | The Bar at Le Bristol Hotel | The Patio at Ralph’s | Le Rubis |
Treize Bakery | Maison Plisson (for little snacks/gifts) | Markets on Rue Cler | Au Bon Accueil |
Cour du Commerce Saint André (the cutest little alley street with food/drinks) | La Maison Ivre (for table linens)