Going to Paris? Research, Trip Advisor, and simply asking travel pals can net you some advice nuggets. But take it all with a grain of salt. Trip Advisor reviews tend to be geared to the budget conscious. High end travel pros may direct you to the grandest of the grand on the other hand. My advice? You typically get what you pay for—and if you don’t fork out some euros In Paris you’ll have to be happy with what you get.
Top tip therefore for Paris: ALWAYS MAKE A RESERVATION and GET TICKETS IN ADVANCE. Many foreigners still expect to wander into a venue and get a great table overlooking the Left Bank or the best room in a hotel. But Parisians—and smart travelers—know to make reservations early, get concierge help, and plan in advance for trains, plane, cars, tours, museum visits, wine tastings, cooking adventures, and more.
Here’s a short list of some of the places and spaces I frequent while I am there. I generally follow this rule however: try one new place for every tried and true favorite.
Breakfast: Angelina’s, Poilâne, Erik Kayser, Bread & Roses, Coffee Parisien, Frenchie to Go
Lunch: Angelina’s, Framboise, L’Avant Comptoir, Les Cocottes, Taillevent, Les Fous de L’île
Bistros or Restaurants: Bistro Paul Bert, Cuisine de Bar, Le Timbre, Ma Bourgogne, Septime, Georges, Chez Paul, Aux Lyonnaise, Le Fountaine de Mars, Le Soufflé, L’Estrapade, Chez L’Ami Jean, anything on Rue St. Dominic (Left Bank)
Medium-Priced Hotels: Lyric Hotel, Hotel du Louvre, Hotel Langlois, New Orient Hotel, Hotel Beaubourg, Hotel Madeleine Plaza
High-End Hotels: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Hotel Le Six, Hotel Luxembourg Parc, The Ritz, Hotel Plaza Athénée, Mandarin Oriental, Le Bristol Paris, The Peninsula Paris, Le Meurice, Park Hyatt Paris (go to any of these for an aperitif to “live the life” if you can’t afford to stay overnight)
Apartment Rentals: parisaddress.com, parisstay.com, parisvacationapartments.com, vrbo.com
Museum Must-Sees: Louvre, Orsay, Pompidou, Grand Palais, Petite Palais, Rodin, Carnavalet, Pantheon
Walks: Paris-Walks, Discover Walks, New Paris Tours, Hidden Paris, CityFreeTour
Sights: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre, Champs-Élysée, Arc de Triomphe, Luxembourg Gardens, Marais, Catacombs, Palais Garnier, Versailles
Shopping: Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Le Bon Marché, shops along Rue Saint-Honoré, Saint-Germain-des-Prés and any place on the Left Bank. Also Daiwali--my fav scarf store
Street Markets: Rue Cler, Raspail, Mouffetard, Bastille, Montorgueil