25 Places to Visit in Paris Now
Only have a weekend to explore the City of Light? We've got you covered. Here, all the must-visit museums, restaurants, shops, and sights to cross off your Parisian to-do list. Read on for the best places to visit in Paris now. Allons y!
Kick-start your first morning in Paris with a croissant and an espresso at Merci, an eclectic coffeehouse and concept store in the ultra-trendy Marais distract. Once you’ve gotten your caffeine fix, tour the rest of the space and check out the expertly curated displays of used books (10,000 of them!), refurbished vintage furniture, jewelry, and clothing. From there, keep the creative juices flowing by visiting Musée Picasso, the largest and most comprehensive Picasso museum in the world, home to nearly 5,000 paintings, sculptures, and sketches. With Baroque flourishes, stone Mazarin architecture, and grand staircases, the building (formerly the Hôtel Salé) is easily one of the most beautiful places to see art in the city.
If contemporary art is more your speed, continue along to the striking Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers-designed Centre Pompidou—instantly recognizable by its exterior escalators, pipes, and tubing—where you can tour cutting-edge exhibitions, participate in a hands-on workshop, or catch a dance performance. After, it’s time for truffled pasta, pizzas, ricotta with honey and other drool-worthy bites at Big Love Caffè, a see-and-be-seen spot with rustic décor (picture small leather benches, hanging sausages, shelves filled with jars of preserves).
Work off lunch by popping into some of the neighborhood’s best boutiques and ateliers. On your hit list: Atelier Couronnes, which specializes in jewelry, stylish stationary, indie cosmetics and quirky home accents; Vanessa Bruno, where you shop the designer’s sophisticated silhouettes and impeccably tailored creations; and The Broken Arm, a glitzed-out space offering men’s and women’s ready-to-wear looks and Italian-made accessories.
After all that shopping, you’ll be ready to retreat to your sumptuous, art-filled guest room at Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris, on the avenue between the Arc de Triomphe and Parc Monceau. One of just eight Parisian hotels to have earned the official French ministerial “palace distinction”—one step higher than five star—the exclusive property features whimsical interiors by Philippe Starck, an art gallery and art concierge, and an A-list guest list, including the likes of Beyoncé, Madonna, Walt Disney, King Farouk of Egypt, and Lou Reed. Dinner is at the Michelin-starred Il Carpaccio restaurant, where celebrated Chef Roberto Rispoli serves up traditional Italian family recipes (think beef carpaccio with Sicilian caponata and Amarone vinegar and tortellini with quail’s egg and Italian ham) using the finest seasonal produce.
Wake up early to walk the Champs-Èlysées and snap a few photos of the Arc de Triomphe before continuing on to the Palais de Tokyo, the massive art museum that houses monumental contemporary installations and multimedia projects. If you’d rather see the Mona Lisa and other masterpieces like Venus de Milo and The Wedding at Cana, Musée du Louvre is a short metro or Velib ride away.
Take an art tour break with a late breakfast at the German-inspired Claus café, where you’re in for a European-style spread of biscuits, organic mueslis, jams, cheese, and fresh juices. Resist the urge to linger and people-watch in the beautiful, all-white café; you’ll want to visit the nearby Palais-Royal Gardens to photograph its graceful archways and lush greenery, before the early-afternoon crowds descend.
Get a change of scenery by crossing Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris, and exploring île de la Cité, home to iconic sights like the Notre Dame Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle, and île St.-Louis, the perfect spot for an ice-cream or an afternoon picnic.
For dinner, it’s off to Michelin-starred chef Jean-François Piège’s Clover Grill, a handsome space (all polished marble, floral wallpaper, geometric light fixtures) where wood-fired and spit-roasted meats are the main draw. Order a champagne cocktail, then tuck into carnivorous dishes like wood-smoked noire de Baltique beef and duck foie gras for your main.
Reserve Sunday morning for navigating the bustling street markets and cobbled streets of the 7th arrondissement. Every turn here promises jaw-dropping views of the Eiffel Tower. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, stop for brunch at Miss Marple, an English-style tearoom with high-fashion interiors and mouthwateringly-good pancakes.
Once properly buzzed, stop to smell the roses at Musée Rodin, which has one of the most beautiful gardens in the city during the spring and summer—along with gorgeous sculptures and work by Auguste Rodin, of course. Within walking distance is the historic department store Le Bon Marché, whose glistening white interiors provide a sophisticated backdrop for collections from designers like Manoush and Madame à Paris. Don’t leave without picking up a bonbon at the famed food hall, La Grande Épicerie de Paris.
If you can’t afford to buy Chanel, the next best thing is to get a glimpse into the world of Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld at his bookstore, Librarie 7L. The personally edited selection of books, which cover the fields of fine art, photography, architecture, cuisine, and fashion, is sure to be a hit among the fashion-obsessed. You can crack open your new read in the nearby Jardin du Luxembourg, an urban oasis of elegantly manicured lawns and stunning 17th century French architecture.
End your Paris sojourn on a gluttonous note at Les Cocottes, a contemporary brasserie-style restaurant run by Chef Christian Constant. The dishes are served in cast iron platters—we love the king prawns ravioli with artichoke purée—and the place has a convivial, neighborhood vibe that will make you feel like a true local.
How to Get There
The all-business class boutique airline La Compagnie offers regular transatlantic flights between Newark International and Paris- Charles de Gaulle airports at competitive fares. Each plane is outfitted with 74 lie-flat seats and offers thoughtful mod cons like Samsung Galaxy Tablets, Caudalie cosmetics, complimentary WiFi, and a a fine-dining menu by Michelin-starred chef Christophe Langrée.
What to Pack
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