How to spend three days in Paris…
Amongst work meetings, this is how I recently spent three days in Paris! A mix of tourist favourites and local haunts. Let’s go…
Travelling from London for work, Grace and I arrive in Paris to our cute and cosy hotel in the cartier of St Germain des Pres. We are here for work too, but manage to fit in a few days of pure joy in between meetings. (It would be rude not to.)
We are staying just off Rue Buci in St Germain des Pres, which is one of my favourite streets in the city. (When I lived in Paris, I would catch the metro to St Germain and wander around the cobblestone streets with a Nutella crepe from the little creperie stand right outside of the St Germain metro.) I was very happy to see it still there on our recent visit. And that that the charm of St Germain was still in the air too…
St Germain des Pres:
If you are not staying in this cartier, definitely come and visit; it’s the authentic old-world Paris and quintessential Left Bank ‘Bobo Chic’ (As the French say, meaning ‘Bohemian Bourgeoise.’)
You can start your morning here with a coffee at Cafe de Flore or Les deux Magots and soak up the history of the famous writers and artists that used to frequent both spots. (Just be aware that a lot of other tourists are doing the same! And the wait staff at both cafe’s do have degree’s in rudeness.)
Or try a more hipster scene at La Maison Sauvage, where you will find a rare avocado on toast in Paris! While there, make sure to explore Rue Buci, it’s one of the most adorable and charming streets on the Left Bank.
Afterwards, head to Masion Laduree for salted caramel macarons. Just around the corner, are some of the most beautiful home and linen stores in all of Paris.
Next up is the secret alleyway of restaurants and boutiques in ‘Cour du Commerce Saint-André’ where locals gather to sip rosé whilst looking slightly annoyed and completely fabulous. So Paris! Be careful in heels in this highly cobblestoned street! You have been warned.
To finish, a little dinner at the quaint bistrot ‘Le Pré aux Clercs’ is Parisian heaven and well priced for Paris. Extra points if you are sitting outside in summer, as the people watching game is strong along this gorgeous street!
Another beautiful area to explore in Paris is Le Marais. During the time that I lived in Paris I discovered that the coffee (by Australian standards) is generally not up to par in this gorgeous city. I still absolutely loved the little gold gilded cafes though, mainly because they all look like they are part of a movie set.
If you are searching for a really good coffee rather than a Paris movie moment, head to Partisan in Le Marais for what I would describe as one of the best coffees in the city. (It’s right up there with Australian café; Coutume.) All the cool kids in the know are lounging in cute outfits sipping on oat milk lattes at Partisan.
Then head to what I would call the most adorable park in Paris; Place des Vosges. This little park is incredibly quaint, and lined by picture perfect Parisian townhouses and apartments. A great spot for a summer picnic or to wallow with a take away Nutella crepe or Amorino flower gelato from nearby.
If boutique shopping is on your list, than Le Marais is a treasure trove. It’s also a great place to enjoy an aperitif ‘spritz’ on the terrace and watch the world go by… And one of the only areas open in Paris on a Sunday (Champs Elysée is the other main avenue that also stays open on Sundays in Paris.) In Le Marais, also check out mini department store ‘Merci’ for boutique brand collabs and a wholesome cafeteria.
Finish with dinner at Les Philosophes with the Le Marais hipsters.
Other Paris must do’s!
1) Puces de Clignancourt: For flea market lovers, then this is a must visit, being the biggest flea market in the world. It’s open on the weekends and Monday’s every week. We visited on a Monday, and whilst about 30-40% of the sellers were closed, there was still so much to see and so many treasures to find. (It was also very quiet compared to the weekends, which you might also prefer.) I personally find crowds pretty stressful, so the Monday vibe suited me perfectly.
After exiting the metro (Porte de Clignancourt, Garibaldi) make your way to the main market of vintage sellers past the sellers offering mass-produced clothing, electrics and fake perfumes. (This is not the main market, so just keep walking until you hit ‘Rue des Rosiers’ and see vintage Louis style gold gilded chaise lounges.) That is when you know you have hit the right area! Keep an eye out for gems like vintage CHANEL jewellery for under $300.
The market sells incredible antique home decor, vintage clothing and jewellery. Absolutely worth half a day of fossicking!
2) Dinner at The Cristal Room : This is my absolute favourite restaurant in Paris! A must book with only a small number of tables inside. The Baccarat Cristal Room is like no other… A perfect excuse to dress up for dinner in Paris and drink a spritz out of crystal. Without a doubt, the best soufflé in Paris!
3) Picnic in Champs de Mars / Eiffel Tour: Join all of the other tourists for a picnic in Champs de Mars, in full view of the Eiffel Tower. Bring your own Rosé, cheese, baguettes and a picnic blanket! Heaven.
4) Les Grand Magasins: Of the department stores in Paris, I love both Printemps for the incredible building and interior, and also Le Bon Marche for old world luxury and an amazing food hall. Both are must visits. Mornings are always more pleasant to shop in Paris than in the afternoon when everything is super crowded and everyone just has a slightly unhinged vibe. Stop for coffee at ‘Coutume’ and enjoy the interior whilst visiting Printemps.
Finally, when in Paris, the beauty is all in the details so slow down and take it all in. The packaging at a local chocolate shop, the delicate details of pastries in every window, the beauty of almost every building. It’s always in these little details or ‘glimmers’ that you will notice the true magic of Paris…