When I think of other places I could live, Paris comes to mind almost immediately. It has a charm about it — whether it’s views over the Seine or getting endlessly lost in Le Marais amongst boutiques and cafes.
Recently, I’ve found myself looking for a few new places to add to the rotation in addition to the iconic places like the Louvre, and dining at the historic spots like Cafe Flores.
Take a look at my alternative guide to Paris.
Seen the Louvre? Try…
- Musee National Gustave-Moreau: A museum centered around the life and works of Symbolist painter, Gustave Moreau.
- Palais de Tokyo: a few rooms to visit, this modern museum offers experimental art and a wonderful cafe.
- Villa Savoye: For the architect-lovers, this Corbusier house is located on the outskirts of the city.
- Musée des Arts Décoratifs: A museum right next to the Louvre dedicated to the ins and outs of fashion and design.
Looking for a Full List of Paris Restaurants and Cafes?
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A few shops to check out:
- Merci: Redefining the department store, this multi-level destination offers the best of in local designers and more.
- Marche aux Puces de Saint Ouen: A grand flea market ripe for the picking.
Eat here in Paris:
- La Fontaine de Belleville: A traditional brasserie for a quick bite.
- Au Passage: A choice of small or large plates, this hard-to-get-a-reservation restaurant brings a lot to the table. Creativity and French ingredients are staples of the chalkboard menu.
- Les Cocottes: After eating here, it will be on rotation. Each dish is made in a cast-iron — it seems whatever Christian Constant touches turns to gold.
- Papillon: Where innovative cuisine and decoration blend into a fine dining experience.
- Holy Belly: One of the best brunch spots in Le Marais.
- Clamato: Seafood done exceptionally well.
- L’Eclair de Genie: The modern take on eclairs packed with flavor.
- David Toutaine: French food done with a modern twist — be sure to splurge on the truffle menu.
Take a drink at these spots:
- Septime Cave: A beautiful wine bar with charcuterie boards galore.
- Candelaria: Cocktail bar and a Mexican restaurant blended with a lot of flavor.
- La Buvette: A tiny wine bar in with a fine collection.
- Telescope, Boot Cafe, Loustic, Merci Cafe, and Fragments are the go-to coffee spots.
- Le Mary Celeste: A very happening bar with a fresh menu serving small plates to share.
Skip the lines at the Arc de Triomphe and go here for a view:
- La Rooftop Lounge at Shangri-La (open 4pm- 11:30 pm): Grab a glass of wine and take in the view.
- Parc des Buttes Chaumont: On one of the highest hills in the city, the views are stunning from here.
- Printemps: The shopping mall boasts great views over the sprawling city (P.S. it’s free).
Seen the Jardin du Luxembourg? Try these gardens:
- Gardens at Albert Kahn
- Parc de Bagatelle
- Parc Monceau
- Places des Vosges
- Les Serres d’Auteuil
- Jardin Saint-Gilles-Grand Veneur
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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!
These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.
1. Book Your Flights
Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.
2. Book Your Accommodations
Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
3. Book Your Tours & Experiences
4. Book Your Car
Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access
Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.
6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: