Every once in awhile, it seems as though everyone I know is off to Paris. For some, it’s their regular pilgmriamage. For others, it’s a special occasion or a business trip. For many, it’s their first time.
Ahhh, Paris for the first time.
When two friends, an ex-colleague and a current colleague all approached me recently for some tips and must-dos for their upcoming trips to Paris, I dug out a list that I had assembled while living there. Granted, it’s a couple years old now and hot boites like Le Carmen and restos like Terroir Parisien weren’t yet around. But it's still a trusty little guide.
I first wrote it for a friend's mom who was visiting with her friends. I broke it up into daily tours of specific neighborhoods, always suggesting places to eat. It's by no means meant to be comprehensive or trendy. But re-reading it put a smile on my face and steered my friends in the right direction.
First Arrondissement, A
Lunch at Grand Vefour
Grand Palais: The shops, the garden, the Daniel Buren installation
A tour of the Opera house – beautiful!
Dinner at Le Garde-Robe or Spring
First Arrondissement, B
Walk the Seine: bookstalls and bridges
The Tuileries Gardens
Evening cocktails at Le Saut du Loup (beautiful setting outside Museé Arts Decoratifs)
Dinner at Frenchie, La Régalade Saint-Honoré, Au Vieux au Comptoir, Chez Georges or Le Soufflé
Boat ride leaving from Pont Neuf
Sweets: Bertillion ice cream
Restaurants: Mon Viel Ami, Chez Julien
Place de Vosges
All the charming, little streets: wonderful for exploring and getting lost
Lunch at Chez Janou or the Merci cantine
Sweets: Jacques Genin
Dinner at Glou or Robert et Louise
Picnic and stroll in Luxembourg Gardens: pick up yummy goods either on rue Moufftard (fifth) or rue Buci (sixth)
Shop: all the streets – just meander
Sweets: Pierre Hermé, Gerard Mullet, Ladurée
Ladurée would be a nice spot for lunch, too
Coffee at Café la Flore
Dinner at L’Itineraire, L’Avant Comptoir or Fish Boissoinerie
Between Sixth and Seventh/rue du Bac
Shop: Le Bon Marché, rue du Bac
Sweets: La Patisserie des Reves, Victor et Hugo
Lunch or tea at Les Deux Abeilles
Markets of Rue Cler
Sweets: Michel Chaudon chocolates
Dinner at Café Constant, Les Cocottes de Christian Constant or Chez l'Ami Jean
For more ideas on Paris for the first time.