Local and tourist hotspots that will take your breath away.
The Luxembourg Gardens, in my opinion are the most beautiful gardens in Paris – yes, I know that is a BIG call. Located smack bang in the centre of Paris in the 6th arrondissement and is therefore easily accessible by metro.
The gardens were created in 1612, by order of Queen Marie de Medici and are inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence. The gardens span of 25 hectares and are split into both traditional French gardens and English gardens, meeting in the middle with a large pond and the Palace de Luxemburg.
As such, the garden is the perfect place for a picnic, or somewhere to put your feet up after walking through the nearby Latin Quarter.
Particularly in the summer, the garden is a hotspot for both tourists and locals alike with its chess tables and farmyard animals. The pond even houses miniature sailing boats which you can rent for €3.50 for 30 minutes. Sailing a boat in the pond is a tradition that is over 90 years old.
La Maison Rose
‘La Maison Rose’ is a café nestled on the cobbled stone streets of Montmartre and translates literally into English as “The pink house”. The district of Montmartre itself is known for its bohemian nature, having been the home of Renoir, Monet, and Picasso and is filled with artists, writers and poets to this day. La Maison has been open for over 100 years and has been operating as a café since its beginnings. Today you will find a seasonal menu of fresh produce and high-quality meats and fish. If the weather is nice, I recommend taking a seat outside on the cobble stone laneway and treating yourself to a coffee or dessert out the front of the most photographed building in Paris.
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is undoubtedly the most instagrammable monument in Paris, and it’s not hard to see why. No matter where you are in the city, the tower stands tall and can’t help but make you feel nostalgic and grateful to be in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There are many ways to experience this infamous tower, however, weather permitting, I recommend a picnic at sunset at Champ de Mars. Get there early enough to secure the perfect spot in the centre of the greenery and set up your perfect French picnic. This is the opportunity to go all out on the tourist mode and fill yourself up with a spread of eclairs and macaroons from the local patisseries, a fresh baguette and a (few) bottles of champagne.
When the sun goes down, the tower sparkles on the hour which also makes for a beautiful photo opportunity.
Maison Sauvage, which translates to “Wild House”, can be found on the streets of the 6th arrondissement. The venue is a café by day and bar by night. The bar is a local hotspot for the trendy young Parisians, who sit with a cocktail in one hand and a cigarette in the other. If you want the true Parisian experience, I recommend sitting outside, where you can people watch all the hustle and bustle of the streets and better experience the view of wildflowers that hang from the rooftop. However, if you don’t want to inhale gallons of second-hand cigarette smoke (or if the climate is too cold) then the interiors are decorated just as beautifully.
If you feel like sipping a silky-smooth hot chocolate in the shadows of Proust and Coco Channel, then Angelina’s is the place for you. Located at 226 rue de Rivoli in the first arrondissement, you’ll find yourself in a traditional and luxurious tea house which has been in operation since 1903. The café is famous for their African hot chocolate (the perfect antidote to a Parisian winter) or the signature Mont Blanc pastry. Hint: Ask to be seated at table “45”, Coco Chanel’s table…
Galeries Lafayette Rooftop Bar
Located on the 7th floor of Les Galeries Lafayette, this bar provides the perfect birds-eye view of Paris. The bar can be accessed through the story itself by going up the escalators to the very top. Weather permitting this rooftop terrace is open all year around. If you venture there in summer you will most likely have to cue to enter but not for too long, as the friendly staff also provide great and efficient service. If you go in any other season you may be lucky enough to pair your tequila sunrise with an actual sunset – providing a brilliant golden hour over all of Paris. Unfortunately, this cannot be done in summer as the bar closes before the late sunset.
Important to note is that the bar also includes a delicious 100% vegetarian restaurant by chef Julien Sebbag. While the dishes and drinks are indeed on the more expensive side of things (I paid €12 for an aperol) you’re paying for the view and the atmosphere, and the view in and of itself is priceless.