Hi friends! A couple weeks ago, I ventured over to Paris for the weekend to celebrate my best friend, Whitney’s, birthday. I hadn’t been to Paris since 2018, I believe, so I absolutely love that this was where she wanted to celebrate. I could only justify heading over on a Friday morning and jetting back to London on Sunday morning but, with so much to do in Paris, I knew I could squeeze quite a bit into that 48 hours. Many of you have mentioned you’re heading to Paris in the next few weeks and months so I thought I’d share five things I did on my weekend visit. Before getting started, I also want to mention I have done a Paris Travel Diary so don’t miss that for more on what to do and where to eat in the city. I will also be sharing a travel post on what t to pack for Europe [specifically in the Spring] next week so be sure to subscribe to have that delivered to your inbox when it goes live!
STAYED AT HOTEL LANCASTER
Another hotel to note is the one I decided to stay at for the weekend, Hotel Lancaster. Situated in the 8th arrondissement, it was incredibly close to so many things that I wanted to see and do. I loved that there was so much on my doorstep that I could easily walk to while also being a short cab ride when I wasn’t up for it. The staff were incredibly kind and hospitable. My room was spacious and comfortable. I used points to book and found that the rate was reasonable especially considering how close many of the luxury hotels were nearby. It felt very Parisian and boutique. Overall, I had a nice experience and would recommend.
ENJOYED HAPPY HOUR AT HOTEL DE CRILLON
Consider this your warning. When you walk into Hotel de Crillon, I want you to prepare yourself to be completely blown away. Keep tabs on your mouth to ensure it stays closed and your jaw doesn’t end up on the ground. Hotel de Crillon is part of the Rosewood family of hotels and, with that, comes luxury at its finest. It is ideally situated at the foot of the Champs d’Elysées and Jardin des Tuileries so, the perfect starting off point for anyone who wants to explore Paris. Sadly, your girl could not justify the price of rooms here so I [happily] settled for happy hour in the opulent and stunning Bar Les Ambassadeurs.
While I was easily enchanted by the overall ambiance, I must say I left a happy customer only after also receiving impeccable service and enjoying one of their many creative cocktails. Our group had a great start to the evening here before making a short walk to Mimosa for dinner.
STOPPED IN MUSEE D’ORSAY
I’ve been to Paris a few times now — three, I think — so, I feel like I’ve made quite a dent in my list of things I had to do and see in the city. But, one of the things I haven’t prioritized on previous trips is meandering the plethora of museums that there are to choose from in Paris. I wouldn’t say I love museums [which is why I didn’t prioritize them on previous trips] but I have always liked impressionist and post-impressionist art – particularly Monet, Matisse, and van Gogh, so, I was adamant about making sure I snuck in at least one trip to a museum, even if I did it solo. And I did. I went on a Saturday morning to Musee d’Orsay. I purchased my ticket the day of and had no problems but, if you go during a busier time of year [I was there at the beginning of April] you may want to book in advance. I paid €16 and getting inside & through security was simple and stress-free. I didn’t have a ton of time and I don’t like to rush so I only made it through half of what I wanted to see. I got to see all of what they had by van Gogh as well as some paintings by Manet and Renoir, which were all lovely. I didn’t see any of the ones there by Monet or the big clock, which I was bummed about, but all the more reason to go back! I also want to visit Musee de l’Orangerie.
PURCHASED A VINTAGE ART PIECE
One thing our group wanted to do on Saturday was shop – some of us at Hermes and others at a vintage flea market. Ha! While I mostly fell into the first category, I also do enjoy looking at and for antiques and, when speaking with a hotel concierge, we were told that the flea market is not to be missed! It was quite a bit outside of central Paris — well, about 20 minutes — and, admittedly, in an area that felt a little uncomfortable at first. I’d recommend going with a group, if possible, and also keep an eye on your bags. Even with this being the case, I’d also recommend having cash on hand. Some of the vendors won’t take card. After meandering through the different stalls full of treasures [and some junk, not gonna lie, ha!], I stumbled upon a stall with quite a few art pieces that caught my eye.
DISCOVERED THE MOST GORGEOUS STREET IN THE 9TH
On Saturday night, we were going to Le Bimbo, in Montmartre, a neighborhood not to be missed, for dinner. Being that we were celebrating Whitney’s birthday, Victoria and I wanted to get a chocolate tart [the closest we could find to a cake at the patisseries we looked at] to present to her when we sang Happy Birthday and then share amongst the group. I got a cab to drop me off at the bottom of Rue des Martyrs, which was a short walk to the wine bar where we’d be presenting said tart, and as I stepped out of the cab I felt like I was simultaneously being dropped into a movie. There was just something so cinematically perfect and ‘feel-good’ about it. The road is mostly pedestrianized and ventures up through the 9th arrondissement and into the 18th. It is full of patisseries, local shops, and buzzy cafes and restaurants. But, the most magical thing is that, as you walk up the street, you see Sacre Couer is the distance growing larger and larger as you go. I dropped the tart off at the wine bar then headed up toward it for dinner but, what a dreamy end of the day it would be if you popped into one of the wine shops or grocery store, grabbed some bread, cheese or charcuterie as well as a bottle of wine, and went and enjoyed it on the steps of Sacre Couer at sunset. OMG, please. Make that a plan for one of your evenings.
Of course, there is so much more to see and do in Paris than just that. Most of the gals that I enjoyed my time with during the weekend stayed much longer and got to do so many amazing things! But, I do hope you jot these few things down as ideas if they seem enjoyable to you. And, more than anything, I’m so excited for you to go and enjoy the city. It’s incredible.
Be sure to wear comfy shoes, attempt to speak French even in small ways [greetings and asking for the check; I just use Google Translate], keep an eye on your bags, and ENJOY! xo.