Top things to do in Paris

There’s plenty of things to do in Paris, but knowing where to start can be a challenge. Here, we’ve put together our favourite places to stay, eat and see in the glorious City of Light.

Where to stay in Paris

Villa Madame

Villa Madame is a chic, family-run boutique hotel located in a quiet and historical street off the Left Bank.

Linger with a book in its cosy library or sip a glass of traditional kir (chilled white wine with cassis) in the serenely elegant courtyard garden. 44 rue Madame, 6e.

One Fine Stay

Alternatively, if travelling with children, it can be nice to live like a Parisienne and book a home-from-home apartment. We rate the truly excellent short-let company, One Fine Stay.

Where to visit in Paris

Paris is divided into districts (arrondissements), with each having its own feel. The 1st is the heart of Paris, while the 5th will take you to the Latin Quarter and the 6th, 7th and 8th are scattered with chic shops and restaurants.

Obvious highlights include the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Then there’s the majestic splendor of Les Invalides (housing Napoleon’s Tomb, one of the grandest buildings in Paris) and Notre-Dame Cathedral, which still stands proud despite its recent devastating fire.

Stroll the 57 acres of the gorgeously grandiose Jardin de Luxembourg gardens planted in 1612 by Queen Marie de’ Medici. Book a two-hour nature walk through its hedge-lined paths and statues of French royalty pausing at the Medici Fountain for a selfie.

Where to eat in Paris

Les Vinaigriers

Les Vinaigriers is more country inn than Parisian bistro, and we love this place for its seasonal produce and home cooking. Here you’ll find good-value set menu lunches, wholesome suppers and a friendly French welcome.

La Tarte Tropézienne

La Tarte Tropézienne is home of the legendary cream-filled brioche bun. For many years it was found only in St Tropez, but there’s now one here in the heart of fashionable Saint-Germain. Try the Baby Trop – a mini bite-sized version for a less guilty treat. 3 rue de Montfaucon, 6e.

Chez René

Chez René is a traditional restaurant serving the most perfect steak frites. It’s classic French, with a lovely outdoor terrace in the summer months. 14 blvd Saint Germain, 5e.

Where to shop in Paris

Inès de la Fressange

Model turned designer Inès oozes Parisian style and you can’t go wrong with anything she puts her name to. Although her fashion is pricey, you can pick up less expensive sundries such as notebooks, plant pots and even stylish brushes and brooms. 24 rue de Grenelle, 7e

LouLou Addict

LouLou Addict is one of the nicest and neatest homewares shops, selling colourful cloth and paper napkins, star-printed oil-cloth table protectors and pretty reusable plastic containers in joyful prints and snazzy colours. Just the place for stocking up on picnic and tuck boxes. 25 rue Keller, 11e.

Soeur

Head here for on-trend, high-quality clothes with that stylish Parisienne touch. Soeur is spread throughout Paris at a various locations.

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