Fancy escaping to Paris? Want some inspiration on what to do? We’ve asked the people who know best, those who work in our carefully selected group of Parisian hotels, for their take on what makes Paris so irresistible…
Laurent Rozenbaum, Hotels en Ville group
“I love having a drink onboard a boat, passing under the beautiful old bridges of the city and taking in the view of the Eiffel Tower. At night, nowhere is better than Montmartre, for dinner in a typical Parisian restaurant. My favourite is Le Barbe à Papa, which looks down over the bright city lights – a memorable view.
The 9th arrondissement has a wealth of culture, every corner of each street is packed with small theatres and independent shops. Most importantly, don’t forget to make regular stops in countless cafés and observe the effervescence of the Parisian life. Long live Paris!”
Emmanuelle le Vaillant, Hôtel des Grands Boulevards
“My perfect Paris day would start with buying a delicious picnic from different delis on the Rue des Martyrs. After strolling along the little streets of Montmartre, I’d unwrap my picnic on the Montmartre hills.
Then I’d visit the Musée de la Vie Romantique and wander around the Opera neighbourhood. I would browse the Galeries Lafayette and the Printemps stores all afternoon – both stores have amazing rooftop views over Paris. I’d finish on the quays of the Seine, watching the sunset and thinking about all the things left to do in this beautiful city!”
Miss Inwood, Inwood Group hotels
“I never tire of the 7th and 8th arrondissements: Walking the cobbles of the Champs-Elysées or passing under the symbolic Eiffel Tower is Paris perfection. I love to buy a baguette, stroll through museums, or just settle outside a café and watch the world go by…”
Francois Dapremont, Hotel Balmoral Paris and Hotel Mademoiselle Paris
“My favourite area is around the Left Bank. It combines the splendour of the Invalides/Pont Alexandre III, with fashionable boutiques and the youthful, urban feel of Oberkampf, Bastille or the Canal Saint Martin. I love the charm of the flower market on the Île de la Cité below Notre Dame and the atmosphere of the shops and bistros of the Rue Montorgueil, near the Enfants Rouge and Aligre street markets.
Marie Garabedian, Hotel Le Marcel 4*
The city of Light, cradle of poets, capital of romance … Paris is a fascinating city in constant change that does not deliver up all its secrets in one day! Completely timeless, the Butte de Montmartre certainly embodies the charm of old Paris. Its authenticity attracts visitors who want to find flowery streets strewn with stairs and old lampposts. Montmartre is a piece of paradise for artists.
The tenth arrondissement of Paris has become a must-visit. With its many restaurants and theatres, this district enjoys a central position, close to a plethora of tourist attractions such as the Canal Saint-Martin and the Buttes-Chaumont Park.
Any stay in the French capital is not complete without sampling the famous shopping on the Champs-Elysées. Always bring an empty suitcase!
Audrey Chomilier, Starhotels Castille
I love the St-Germain-des-Prés area, thronged with writers and packed with boutiques and antiques shops – especially Buly, a store from 1903, full of natural soaps and perfumes. This area has a villagey feel and a real sense of ‘old Paris’, with its religious and school buildings towards Rue de l’Université. Enjoy brunch at Un Dimanche à Paris on the Cour-St-André-des-Arts, a little square which feels a world away from downtown Paris.
Master chocolatier Georges Larnicol works nearby, creating monuments like Tour Eiffel from chocolate. Continue this sweet theme with Patrick Rogers chocolate factory in the streets behind Carrefour de l’Odéon and at Breizh café, which makes incredible crepes.
Parisian institution Café Les Deux Magots (on place of St-Germain-des-Prés) is perfect for lunch. It, and Café de Flore next door are famous for the artists who came here, such as Picasso, Camus and Sartre.
Shop in Rue de Rennes, Blvd St-Germain or Rue du Bac, before popping down Passage Dauphine for a tea break – Heure Gourmande is a cosy escape.
For dinner, try Chez Fernand on rue Guisarde. Follow this with a cocktail at my final recommendation, Prescription. This intimate speakeasy with a cool crowd has black frontage and no name, so you need to look out for it on Rue Mazarine.