At last, the third and final installment of my Paris travel guide! While the first two parts focused on food and drink, this one is all about where to stay and what to do in Paris. One could easily explore for weeks and not see and do everything that the city of light has to offer, so note that this is not conclusive in any way, and tends to stay away from the typical, touristy endeavors (you won’t find the Louvre in these pages!). Read on for my favorite things to do in one of my all-time favorite cities.
Where to Stay:
Hotel Saint Thomas D’Aquin – This tiny boutique hotel in Saint Germain resides on a quiet side street right off of Blvd St Germain. The lovely vine-covered facade beckons you in, and we had a room with a balcony overlooking the nighborhood. The staff was incredibly helpful and made all of our reservations in advance of our stay, and the room was less than 200 euro/night.
Hotel Caron de Beaumarchis – Location is so important in Paris, and the boutique hotel could not have been a more perfect home base for my adventures. Right in the heart of the Marais, this hotel is small but mighty. The decor was colorful and lovely, and I adored the big tub in my room for a soak after a long day. The staff were incredible, and truly went above and beyond.
What to Do:
Marche de Aligre – This lovely market is a must-see on Friday morning in the Bastille. With a mix of fresh produce and antiques, there’s something here for everyone.
Musee Picasso – Formerly a private residence, this small museum can be visited in an hour, and houses some of the most notable of Picasso’s work, with rotating exhibitions.
Jardin des Plantes – Nothing beats strolling through a beautiful garden in Paris, and this left bank garden features stunning botanical gardens, and a zoo as well.
Empreintes – One of my favorite concept shops in Paris, featuring multiple floors of home goods, art, jewelry, and the perfect little cafe.
Promenade Plantee – Like the Highline of Paris, this elevated green walkway is the perfect place to stroll with your morning cafe.
Musee Monnaie – Tucked away off a side street on the left bank, this incredible contemporary museum houses installations such as Louise Bourgeois’ infamous spider sculptures.
Merci – I come back to this quintessential Marais concept store every time I’m in Paris. The selection of quirky and offbeat yet beautifully made items is unparalleled.
Saint-Chappelle – Far superior to Notre Dame in my mind, I dream about the beautiful, starry ceilings in this beloved church.
Musee Rodin – This museum is more of a westward hike, but entirely worth it. If you don’t feel like being cooped up inside, you can buy a ticket to only the outdoor sculpture gardens and enjoy a stroll among some of Rodin’s finest works.
Jardin du Luxermbourg – My favorite gardens in Paris, period. Bring a book and a snack and find a bench for people watching.
Canal St Martin – No trip to Paris is complete without a walk along canals. Bonus points for picking up a baguette and some cheese for a picnic along its banks.