I’m writing this post—slightly jet-lagged and caffeine fuelled—24 hours after landing from Paris. Although I spent 8 days in the city of lights, here’s how I’d break it down into two action-packed days.
Day 1 — Saint-Germain des Prés: Walk down le Boulevard Saint-Germain-des-Prés, up Rue du Bac, and stop at Le Bon Marché (Barneys‘ French equivalent) and head to the third floor where you’ll find all the best French designers: Sandro, Maje, Comme des Garçons and much more. Step into La Grande Épiecerie—a foodie’s paradise—I only wish I could do my groceries there every week. By then, you’ll probably be salivating. Stop for lunch at Ralph’s and order a lobster roll or one of their famous hamburgers (not very French, I know, but delicious). Continue to walk around, up and down all the little streets, through les Jardins du Luxembourg, along the rue de Seine’s galleries and antique shops… Walk back up to Place l’Odéon and have a drink on the terrasse at Le Hibou—the perfect spot for people watching. When for dinner at Le Comptoir across the street—they don’t take reservations and the place is popular, but you can step into L’avant Comptoir next door and order a glass of wine to help with the wait. After dinner, walk down to the banks of La Seine and take in the views.
Day 2 — Le Marais: Start your day at Merci with a petit déjeuner and a shopping spree. Their home floor is filled with delightfully beachy and industrial furniture. Then, spend the day walking up and down the Marais’s boutique-filled quaint streets. Head westward to Frenchie To-Go for lunch and walk towards le Palais Royal and le jardin des Tuileries. Stop by Astier de Villatte‘s beautiful shop and buy a candle or two. When you’ve had enough of tourist crowds, take an Uber to Canal Saint Martin, where locals are likely sipping champagne on the banks. Take another Uber to Le Royal Monceau and have dinner at Il Carpaccio. The oversized coral chandelier alone is worth seeing in this one-star Michelin dining room. Have a Singapore Sling at their Long Bar (Raffles invented it 100 years ago in Singapore after all). For a nightcap that you won’t soon forget, head to Caffè Stern—Paris’ hottest new establishment designed by Phillip Starck—and expect to be blown away by quirky waiters and an even quirkier decor. Order an aperol spritz, a bottle of wine and a few tapas.