Our suggestion for a dreamy day in the City of Lights from a Parisian local.
BREAKFAST | Linger over a croissant.
Greet the day with a freshly baked croissant, baguette or pain au chocolat. It’s impossible to go wrong — I swear there are no bad boulangeries in Paris! If I really must choose favourites, I’d say Café de Flore (172 Boulevard Saint-Germain) is iconic and we Parisians love people watching from the terrace of a café. It’s a fantastic way to take in our beautiful city.
MORNING | Admire the view from Montmartre.
Try to beat the crowd with an early morning visit to iconic Parisian basilica Sacré-Coeur. Then create valuable belly space for lunch with the walk up to Montmartre, a hefty hill on the Right Bank and the perfect place to get extraordinary views over the city. (Don’t worry, there is also a cable car to the top.) A few cobblestone streets away, stroll through historic Place du Tertre, where local artists sell their work.
LUNCH | A classic French bistro.
Head to one of my favourite spots, Poulette (3 Rue Étienne Marcel), a charming traditional bistro with gorgeously tiled Belle Epoque interiors that will take you back in time. Try the plat du jour (daily special) or a croque monsieur (a hearty, melty ham and cheese sandwich).
EARLY AFTERNOON | Stroll a park and sample Le Louvre.
Stroll through one of Paris’ iconic parks: My favourite is the stunning Jardin du Luxembourg, which began as a royal residence in 1612, but of course Les Tuileries, in front of Le Louvre (Rue de Rivoli), is equally gorgeous. Afterward, call into the museum to see Paris’ treasured art. A central landmark of the city with its bold glass pyramids, le Louvre houses masterworks like da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
TEA TIME | Éclair heaven.
Break for something sweet and find the nearest L’Eclair de Genie (14 Rue Pavée and other locations) for the best handcrafted éclair you’ll ever taste. An absolute must in Paris, they are works of art. Taste a classic like butter salted caramel or fresh strawberry. In fact, it’s maybe better to have more than one.
LATE AFTERNOON | Window shopping in le Marais.
This hip neighbourhood is the perfect place to admire Parisian style in tiny boutiques, stop into funky independent bars and discover tiny museums like the Musée Victor Hugo (6 Place des Vosges), where the writer lived.
DINNER | First an ‘apero.’
Ease into the evening with an ‘apero,’ usually a kir (delightfully French crème de cassis topped up with white wine) with pâté and a charcuterie board. Then arrive late for the full brasserie experience at Le Bouillon Chartier (7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre), an iconic spot founded in 1896. You’ll find all the French classics like soupe a l’onion and beef bourguignon.
LATE | A stylish nightcap.
Treat yourself to a last tipple in one of the city’s charming bars. I like to end the day at Little Red Door (60 rue Charlot). In the Marais district, this bar welcomes you in with a soft and relaxed atmosphere. Little Red Door has received multiple awards for their creativity and hospitality, it is a great place for your final nightcap. Bonsoir!
STAY | Hotel des 3 Poussins.
A delightful gem nestled in the historic Saint-Georges neighbourhood, the hotel is situated on a quiet street near the Sacre-Coeur, Opera Garnier, Gare du Nord, and the department store district. It is a fantastic location for exploring the major sights and landmarks of Paris while also experiencing a traditional Parisian village atmosphere. The lively Rue des Martyrs is at the end of the street, bustling with local shops including delis and boulangeries, and the area has theatres, restaurants and quaint bistros to while away your evening in with a bottle of delicious French red.