Just a hop, skip and…well, a Eurostar from London, or a short flight from the rest of Europe, Paris and all of its romantic culture is so accessible. In many ways a bohemian melting pot of cultures and artists, Paris is also a super-luxe playground for the rich and famous — it just depends which end of town you happen to be in.
When to visit?
Like a lot of northern Europe it’s great all year round but if you’re keen to re-stock your wardrobe while you’re there, It’s worth noting that most of the one-off shops and boutiques actually close down for the month of August (although many of the locals decamp too so it tends to be quieter).
Best way to get there?
- Take the Eurostar from London straight to Gare Du Nord and either walk, take a taxi or the Metro to your hotel
- If you’re flying in, a taxi from either Charles de Gaulle or Paris-Orly costs around €50 but can take a while in traffic.
- While you’re in Paris, the Metro is the speediest and cheapest way to get from A to B
- Language: French
- Currency: Euro
- Time zone: GMT+1
- Dialling code: +33
Where to eat?
Café de Flore
172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006, Paris Tel: +33 1 4548 5526
Once host to regulars Brigitte Bardot and the Surrealists, Café de Flore is still a hip hangout. The cakes and coffee are on the pricy side but the hot chocolate is totally worth it.
16 rue Royale, 75008, Paris Tel: +33 1 42 60 21 79
If you are a fan of the macaroon, head to one of the many Ladurée shops around the French capital. Ladurée is known as the inventor of the classic macaroon, and offers a range of the sweet treats in different flavours. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, head to the Ladurée restaurant on the Champs Elysées to sit down and sample a savoury dish. Even their sandwiches are mouth-watering!
5-6, rue du Nil 75002, Paris Tel: +33 (0)1 40 39 96 19
If by some great miracle you manage to secure a table at Frenchie, you’ll be in for a treat. For €45 you get a 3 course French menu that people rave about. Book in advance. Well in advance.
La Table des Anges (The Table of the Angels)
66 rue des Martyrs 75009, Paris – France Tel: +33 1 55 32 24 89
This home owned, quaint little restaurant in the beautiful and arty area of Montmartre will definitely get your taste buds talking!
The restaurant staff are down-to-earth and friendly, ( the chef regularly pops out to talk to his guests) It is reasonably priced, with a great wine list. We recommend the Avocado mouse with speck, absolutely delicious!
Le Petite Vendome
8 Rue des Capucine, Paris Tel: +33 1 42 61 05 88
If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or a simple lunch and don’t want to pay a small fortune for it, this is the place to go. Nestled on a small street in the heart of Paris, the sandwiches are possibly the best you will ever taste and the service was some of the warmest you will experience anywhere.
68 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris
If you’ve come to Paris to sample the vino, make this wine bar your first port of call. A super chic bar, restaurant and wine tasting destination, sample hundreds of wines whilst getting first-class advice from the friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Where to Stay?
109 rue de Bagnolet 75020, Paris Tel: +33 1 43 48 48 48
You’ll need to head out to the 20th Arrondisment but it’s worth the trek. This super cool Philippe Starck hotel comes complete with superhero masks and iMacs in the room and a bathroom loaded with Kiehl’s toiletries. The pizzeriacomes alive at night with a fun, buzzy crowd and it’s a total steal for Paris
Hotel Melia Le Colbert
7 Rue de l’Hôtel Colbert 75005, París Tel: +33 800 91 91 30
Located on a secluded street a stone’s throw away from Notre-Dame, this small yet perfectly formed hotel is a great base for a few nights in the French capital. The location makes it ideal to explore the cafes and bars of the trendy Left Bank and 10 minute walk along the river takes you to the must-see Louvre.
What to See?
The rich and famous make the Champs-Élysées their playground with upscale designer stores a plenty.There’s also some pretty gardens if you’d rather people watch.
If you love one off boutiques, hip, eclectic bars and a cool crowd then you might want to head to the winding streets of the Marais. There’s something to discover around every corner
Once a village full of bohemian writers and artist, Monmartre still has a very creative vibe. Stroll up to the Sacré-Coeur for breathtaking views and if you have the time, the Cimetière Monmartre is worth a look
Les Puces de Saint Ouen
If you’re a lover of all things vintage, this flea market is not to be missed! From retro furniture to rare piece of antiques and coveted vintage boots and bags, there is something for everyone.
Do you have a favourite place to visit in the City of Love?