Bonjour mon cheri! Audrey Hepburn really said it best… “Paris is always a good idea”. 2019 is the year of exploring and adventure for us, so we decided to take our travels to France! And we’re giving you a snapshot of our trip with the ultimate Paris travel guide! We don’t know about you, but when we plan trips abroad we are overwhelmed with where to begin; what photo moments can’t be missed, what historical spots we should prioritize, and what hidden gems we can find to get the feel of a local. Luckily for you, we did most of the work and found some awe-inspiring moments and experiences that you absolutely must add to your itinerary if you are planning a trip to Paris.
This place is known for being the “city of lights” and “city of love” for good reason. The history on every magical street will leave you captivated and the architecture is simply beautiful. From where to stay, to some of the most Instagrammable spots in “pah-rhee”, you will be filled with endless inspiration! What are you waiting for, mon cherí? WARNING: You will want to have a croissant or coffee close by while reading this guide!
Where to Stay in Paris
We teamed up with The Leading Hotels of the World and stayed at some of the best boutique luxury hotels Paris has to offer. LHW is comprised of more than 400 hotels in 80 countries representing boutique, independent, and uncommon luxury hotels throughout the world (we are slowly checking them all off our list ;)).
Do you know that feeling when you return home after a long trip or “a day” and realize that your house has never seemed more appealing or homey? That is the exact feeling we received when we arrived at the Fauchon L’hotel Paris! Located at the center of all Paris explorations in a historically significant Haussmann building, the Fauchon L’hotel is well situated for guests to experience the best Paris has to offer both on-property and off. Instead of checking in at a concierge desk, we were greeted by smiling faces and shown to the beautiful library. There, complimentary macarons (yes, this is not a drill), a cozy fireplace, and plush furniture filled with their signature colors awaited us. Throughout the entire hotel, you will find pops of magenta, black, white, gold, and the occasional powder-pink incorporated tastefully to embody the Fauchon spirit and brand.
We knew this was the hotel of our dreams when we were informed that their core mission follows the concept of “G.L.A.M” to capture the spirit, zest for indulgence, and glamour of a multi-sensory experience. G is for gourmet, L is for location, A is for attention & experiences, and M is for Mesdames. We know you are wondering that if “GLAM” is a large part of their identity, then it must be more on the feminine side… but we were pleasantly surprised to see tasteful masculine touches mixed in with the culture and overall ambiance. It really is for anyone and everyone! The view from the balcony in our room and the details all throughout the hotel and in the rooms are truly what made our stay as marvelous as it was. This five-star hotel experience played a huge part in our magical Parisian getaway and we are counting down the days until we can return, as we were so sad to leave. But we couldn’t leave until we had one of their signature pastries…and boy were we glad we did!
Moving right along to a beautiful hotel that is located in the 8th district, within walking distance of one of the best shopping streets in Paris, Champs Elysées Avenue. Hotel Lancaster exudes Parisian class and culture. Before it became the sophisticated hotel it is today, it was built in 1889 as a private mansion. If you are looking to stay somewhere with the feel of a true Parisian palace and a quiet atmosphere, then look no further! Not to mention many renowned guests such as Marlene Dietrich, and Russian artist Boris Pastoukhoff have made the Lancaster home. With art deco touches and beautiful antiques, paintings, and furniture, this hotel really made us feel like we were transported to a different time in Paris.
We were lucky enough to go while the patio garden area was set to accommodate the winter temperatures. Tucked away, the Terrasse du Lancaster is filled with beautiful plants and calming decor and our favorite part…a heated igloo! Guests are welcome to enjoy a glass of Moët & Chandon while they relax in the magical igloo filled with plush pillows and throw blankets to give a cozy, intimate vibe. Definitely a top-notch date spot recommendation 😉
Trendy meets colorful at this fabulous boutique hotel filled with texture. The rooms are decorated with pastel color that brings everything to life. We were thrilled when we opened the door to our room and were greeted by a fresh mint green hue (SO cute!). You might even get lucky and be placed in their chic millennial pink room. We loved their tiny vintage elevator that we had to take turns in to bring up our luggage – definitely a unique touch. To find a hotel this lovely in Paris with less expensive rates can be difficult, so we were thrilled to discover this gem.
Where To Eat
Angelina Paris: In our opinion, you can’t go to Paris and NOT visit Angelina’s for tea, their famous hot chocolate, and macarons. The decor is inspired by romanticism, poetry, and sophistication, and it is truly beautiful from every angle. We stopped in for yummy pastries and a cup of warm hot chocolate. Trust us when we say we did not want to leave!
Le Royal Monceau: We had the privilege of indulging in the Royal afternoon tea at Leading Hotels of the World‘s Le Royal Monceau hotel. This luxury hotel (complete with its own art gallery) did not disappoint. For all of our tea lovers out there, this experience will be one you won’t forget. Keep in mind that when you go for afternoon tea, you likely won’t be hungry for dinner for a while! The selection of pastries, desserts, and savory bites, in addition to the tea, was a delicious dream come true. It really was a treat in more ways than one!
Baroche Brasserie: We stumbled upon this cute restaurant for dinner one night when we were near the Champs-Elysée. The inside decor was so chic and inviting and the menu looked amazing, so we just went for it… and we are so glad we did! There were vintage decor elements that matched the vibe throughout the entire restaurant. We highly recommend their mushroom escargot as a starter and the vanilla creme brûlée for dessert!! The French onion soup was also some of the best we have ever had.
Comme Chai Toi: Recommended to us by a Parisian local, we knew we were in for a treat with Comme Chai Toi! Located near the Notre Dame, you won’t be able to miss this quaint restaurant. If you haven’t tried escargot, or you don’t really like the taste…their crispy snails will change your mind instantly! We enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine and stayed until they closed. Full disclosure, we wanted to go back a second time before we left Paris because it was that good!
What To Do
Oh la la there is so much to do in the beautiful city of Paris! For all of our art history buffs, we will begin with a couple of our favorite museums. Musée d’Orsay used to be a railway station and is famously known for the beautiful clock. It is also home to the work of famous painters including Monet, Van Gogh Degas, Renoir and more! Next up is the oh-so-famous Musée du Louvre. Not only is it the world’s largest art history museum, but it is also a historic monument in Paris. The glass pyramid truly can’t be missed, and most tourists never miss out on the chance to capture a photo “touching the top” of the pyramid.
There are so many amazing museums throughout Paris, but the last one we are going to recommend is the Château de Versailles. If you haven’t seen Sofia Coppola’s film, Marie Antoinette, starring Kirsten Dunst, then you really should before going to Versailles, since the movie production was given access to film in the actual Palace of Versailles! The royal palace is unlike any you will ever see…we were ready to move in. The Hall of Mirrors is a magical experience to walk through. You should block out many hours – we recommend not planning much else on this day – for this excursion, because the garden is spread across 1,976 acres and is one of the largest gardens in the world. With swans gracefully swimming in the fountains you will be captivated by the beauty that is Versailles.
In terms of shopping, Paris has some of the best in the world – and we can attest to that! Parisian culture is widely known for their chic and sophisticated fashion trends. They are, in fact, the fashion capital of the world! So, whether you are looking for window shopping or to splurge on a beautiful find, we have some great shopping streets for you! Champs-Elysée and Avenue Montaigne are both known for designer shopping (think Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel) and trendy chain stores (Zara and H&M). Venturing out to The Marais you will find more vintage shops, home decor, and boutiques of all kinds. We were getting major Parisian-Anthropologie vibes from some of the items we found in the stores while shopping in the Marais.
You didn’t think we would go to Paris and NOT give you some great recommendations for Instagram content and memories did you? Pont Alexandre III is Paris’ most elegant bridge that resides over the Seine river. With beautiful pillars and the Eiffel Tower in the distance, you will definitely enjoy the breathtaking views here.
If you are looking for a more colorful spot, look no further than Rue Crémieux – a charming cobblestone street lined with sweet pastel-colored houses. A hidden gem in the 12th arrondissement, you will love this little block!
Now the Eiffel Tower goes without saying, but we also strongly suggest a photo near the Arc de Triomphe as it is one of the most famous monuments and as the largest arch in the world it photographs beautifully too. Last on our list and certainly not least, is the Jardin du Palais-Royal and the Jardin du Luxembourg. You will probably recognize the Jardin du Palais-Royal by the black and white striped pillars in addition to the mirror-like spheres. Jardin du Luxembourg is perfect for an afternoon stroll with beauty to be captured at every corner. Here, you can have a peaceful moment to take in the culture, look at the flowers & lush lawns, and enjoy the beauté that Paris has to offer.
We hope this Paris travel guide helps with your next trip to the fabulous city!
xx from Paris with love!