Everything in Paris is magic. Each time we return it feels new, and I get the blues as soon as the wheels leave the tarmac of CDG. If you’re a tourist, there’s so much to do and see, as well as old favorites to return to that you’ll simply never get enough of this romantic city. I wrote separate posts for the two daytrips we took both to the towns of Giverny to see Monet’s home, and Épernay for a tour of the Moët & Chandon Champagne house. Here are a few highlights from our September visit.
Le Marais Neighborhood & Our ‘Haven In’ Rented Apartment
Renting an apartment in Paris sets you into a neighborhood and can help you experience what if feels like to actually live there. We had a wonderful apartment in the Marais neighborhood that was easy distance to every necessity, as well as Métro stop. We frequented the Monoprix almost daily and began to refer to it as ‘Target’ for its familiarity , having everything we needed and plenty we didn’t. As it turns out, Monoprix is not only a great place to get groceries, but also beautiful sets of ‘made in France’ lingerie which was on my list for this trip. We also had no idea when we booked that there would be such a conveniently located premium wine shop directly across the street that we could see from our balcony!
Places des Vosges
We were only a couple of blocks away from the oldest planned square in Paris dating back to the early 1600s and today, a popular park to enjoy.
Permanent Bracelet Souvenir from Le Bon Marché
I had heard of this jewelry company that creates permanent jewelry welded around your wrists or ankles. They have just a few locations worldwide and one happens to be in the Bon Marché department store in Paris. I loved the idea of having a little permanent reminder of Paris to wear among my other daily gold bracelets. I wrote about the whole experience here.
Jardin du Luxembourg
My absolute favorite thing to do in Paris is to hang out at the Luxembourg Gardens. It is a stunningly beautiful place, and it’s a marvelous way to spend an afternoon with a little picnic and a bottle of Champagne.
Picnic at La Tour Eiffel
No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower! (Picnic on the Champ de Mars optional).
Ô Château Wine Cruise on the Seine
A river cruise on the Seine is not overrated, and if you can also incorporate wine into the mix, it’s even better. We booked our cruise through the wine bar, Ô Château and they served three Champagnes in a private area at the front of the boat. Our sommelier talked about the production and tasting notes of these particular wines from boutique growers.
Diptyque Flagship Store
As a devotée of this brand of candles and luxury skincare, I was delighted to visit the original shop where Diptyque began. We were told it is largely unchanged since the beginning, and the shop has thankfully resisted a shiny, modern update. Antique glass display cases, dark wood paneling, thick carpets and heavily perfumed air comprise the shop’s charming interior. Among what I brought home with me was the Diptyque 34 Candle, which is named for the store address on 34 Boulevard Saint Germain. The scent is created by capturing the essence of many different candles stored in an old wardrobe over months, and the enchanting ‘34’ is the result.
Many come to see this 13th century Gothic cathedral’s famed stained glass, but for me, it was all about the floor tiles and the otherworldly light that is cast on its floors.
Evening at the Louvre
On Wednesdays and Fridays, the Louvre is open until 9:45 pm. So as many museums are closing on these days around 6:00 pm, the Louvre is welcoming evening guests. It is fun to get a bit dressed up for touring the museum by night, and I’ve found that the crowds are far less. In the evening, you can marvel the Louvre’s many treasures in relative solitude.
It was so encouraging to see the reconstruction efforts after the fire that ravaged Notre Dame in April of this year. I look forward to witnessing more stages of progress over this years-long restoration campaign.
Rooftop Bar at Printemps
A little-known gem for a spectacular evening view of Paris is to visit the rooftop bar at the department store, Printemps in the 9th arrondissement.
Ladurée Tea Room
We visited Ladurée at the 21 Rue Bonaparte location, said to be the most beautiful, and oldest Tea Room in Paris. Indeed it was a lovely atmosphere in their upstairs tea room with blue gray walls and monochromatic blue curtains and furnishings. It’s perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up of caffeine and sweets on a day of trotting around the city.
In all of our running around, we managed to also squeeze in a trip to the flea market, though I wish I could have devoted an entire day to that place! I wrote about flea market shopping in Paris here.