josh and i are going to paris for a mini vacation in the end of may, and i would LOVE some tips on where to go– restaurants, shops, museums, etc. i’ve only been to paris once when i was fifteen years old. i’ve read through these great suggestions. this has to be a low budget trip for us, so it will be mostly just window shopping and we’ll have to be creative about not spending too much on food (baguettes and croissants are fine with me!)…


* we don’t have a hotel booked yet. any suggestions? we’re looking at cheap hotels (150 euros max). i’m wondering if it’s worth saving money and staying further out, or would we regret not being in a really central location?

photos from this is paris, by one of my favorite illustrators miroslav sasek

85 thoughts on “

  1. In November I stayed at the Comfort Hotel Lamarck in Montmartre through a very reasonable package deal offered at http://www.go-today.com. It was a really good location, clean, with small, plain rooms and a very nice breakfast. It was very easy to budget with all the great bakeries around for inexpensive quiche and sandwiches. Enjoy!

    Rose

  2. My mom loves it there. I have yet to make it there and thus have no advice, but all I’ve heard is good things.
    Have an amazing time.

  3. I love Paris! You must go to the Musee D’Orsay and also the Dim Sum/ Chinese food is incredible in Paris. Eat loads of Dumplings.

    There is a fantastic Days Inn on the Rue Moutffard (sp?) that is an old cobbly winding street that is perfect. It was cheap when I went a few years ago and there is so much life and city around there

  4. Oh sounds wonderful! When I went I was only there for two days – backpacking trip – so it all seems like a blur to me now!

  5. I love Paris and hope to return very very soon! I stayed at Le 9 Hotel with my boyfriend and we loved the location due to it’s neighborhood feel and proximity to the metro station. It really felt like we were living in Paris. Wonderful experience! Here is the hotel’s website: http://www.le9hotel.com/

  6. I highly recommend the Hotel du Champ de Mars: http://www.hotelduchampdemars.com/

    It’s beautiful, small, and reasonably priced. Best of all, it’s located in the 7th, so you’ll be close to everything, including a lovely pedestrian shopping street (rue Clare) that has wonderful places to eat.

    Have fun!

  7. lena, have you thought about renting an apartment for a week? it can be a lot cheaper than staying at hotels. plus you’d be able to cook meals there, which would also add to the savings. there are a bunch of rental sites all over the internet. i don’t have any specific experience with any one of them, but a friend of mine did. i’ll ask him for the name of the site he used.

  8. so jealous! I was lucky to study abroad there for 4 months and can say with certainty that you do not want to stay in the outskirts- they are the equivalent to the American ‘inner city’- especially the north-eastern part. I lived near the Bastille, and would greatly recommend this area- especially closer to the Marais! Or, go across the Seine to the Left Bank and Latin Quarter. These areas are all quaint, beautiful, and less expensive because they are further away from the touristy Eiffel Tower/Champs Elysee areas. Definitely spend a day in Montmartre, though, and maybe even voyage out to the northern edge for the surreal flea market experience. Hope these tips helps!

  9. there’s supposedly a cheap hostel in the marais. lisa (le bouton) stayed at it (26 euros a night, shared WC/bath). matthew and i loved staying in the marais. it has bakeries and delicious falafel in the jewish quarter, plus you’re right next door to the pompidou!

    i highly recommend popping into grocery stores whenever you’re a little hungry for yogurt or whatever else.

    if you can rent an apartment cheaply, that would save you the most money on food.

    as for window shopping, i highly recommend any of the l’eclaireur locations (2 in the marais). and bon point for their beautiful displays.

  10. my only recommendation is that you stay as close within the city as you possibly can. anything outside of zone 5 (and that’s stretching it) on the metro map is too far. if you’re too far out you run into infrequent metro departures and no buses at night and weekends. there’s nothing worse than missing the city of light at night because you can’t get there!! hope you have a wonderful trip!

  11. i went to paris last september and if you follow the link, you’ll find my little shoppingguide.. ;-)

    http://www.trespluscool.com/?p=386

    have fun, i fell in love with the city, it was my first *real* time i’ve been to paris and not the last, that’s for sure!

  12. I’m so jealous… I love Paris!

    I haven’t been there in quite a few years, so I’m hesitant to give you names of restaurants/shops (I lived in Versailles and Paris for a year, during college, studying architecture – the school was housed in what used to be the horse stables, across the street from the palace). Hmm, where to start…

    May is a fantastic time to go – perfect weather for wandering the city and sitting outdoors, people watching.

    I would just recommend wandering the city by foot to take it all in. The city center itself is not that big and if you break it down, you could easily tackle different neighborhoods by day.

    Definitely walk along the Seine and check out the bridges (Pont Neuf, Pont des Arts). Visit Ile St. Louis and stop at Berthillon (YUMMY sorbet and ice cream). Visit Montmartre (even though touristy) and the Latin Quarter (also can be touristy, but more filled with students, so you’ll find cheap eats, lots of bookshops and other shops, PLUS the Luxembourg Gardens!). Also wander around the Marais (very cute and be sure to visit Place des Vosges – the oldest square in Paris).

    There are a ton of museums/places to visit in Paris – the Louvre, Pompidou Centre, L’Orangerie, Musee Picasso, Musee Rodin, Musee d’Orsay, Musee Quai Branly (amazing green/vegetative facade), Fondation Henri Cartier Bresson, Bibliotheque Nationale, Institute du Monde Arabe, Garnier Opera House, UNESCO, Ste. Chapelle, Notre Dame, Palais Royal, etc. If you can schedule a visit, Maison de Verre. ALSO, be sure to visit some of the almost extinct arcades (there was an article in the NYTimes a couple years ago, describing a few, that I managed to locate: http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/03/11/travel/11culture.html

    One recommendation for eating on the cheap – breakfast at any cafe; snacks/lunch and picnic supplies – grocery stores, like Monoprix; boulangeries should also carry things you can buy a la carte. … then splurge a little on dinner.

    How long are you staying? If you can afford a couple day trips, I would definitely suggest Versailles and Chartres.

    Versailles can be overwhelming, but it’s worth it, plus you can rent boats and bikes to see the gardens, plus all the Trianons and the Petit Hameau. They used to have concerts and performances during the year around the palace grounds… you may want to look into the calendar of events…

    Chartres is about an hour train ride from Paris – you’ll get a flavor of a smaller town PLUS the cathedral is AMAZING with its stained glass windows and 2 different towers (my parents got married there, so I’m biased, maybe…).

    One last thing – if you can, try and hit the markets (Versailles has a huge one every Saturday morning and I know there are plenty throughout Paris on weekends too) – fun to wander. Also, the flea markets are fun to visit (Porte de Clignancourt/Les Puces de Saint-Ouen is the largest, but there are many others).

    Sorry for the info overload but hopefully these thoughts give you a few extra ideas/suggestions!

  13. I always recommend the Hotel de Rivoli. I lived in rural France, and whenever I stayed in Paris, this is the hotel I used. Almost all of my friends have stayed there (on my recommendation), and they have all been happy with it.
    It’s spare, but clean. You can get a double room (with a bathroom, i believe) for 40 euro a night. That’s similar to a hostel. It’s even cheaper if you have a shared w/c. The location couldn’t be any better. Right on the Rue du Rivoli, in the Marais, near a metro stop. I think there’s a PM curfew, so that’s something to consider…

  14. Oh, and I got the information on Hotel de Rivoli from the Lonely Planet France guide.

  15. Hello! I am planning a trip back to Paris for the first week of May and have been doing a lot of similar research myself.

    On the Hotel front:
    1. Hotel Amour: Amazing, crazy art hotel near Montmartre. Conceived by the graffiti artist Andre, each room is decorated by a different artist. It is pretty wild but supposedly very cool and, they give you Khiels products in the bathroom! Rooms are about 140 euro/night

    2. In addition, you can rent an apartment for a lot less than a hotel. There are a lot of websites for this. Here is a real gem I found in my search:
    http://parismaraisflats.free.fr/
    Also check:
    http://www.parisattitude.com/

    As for inexpensive activities… Some favorites:
    FOOD
    1. The Mosque by the Jardin des Plantes-have tea on the terrace!
    2. Berthillion on Ile St Louis-Best Ice Cream. Ever.
    3. La du Falafel near the Place des Vosges-bring your falafel over to eat on the grass!

    DO
    1. Musee Carnavalet-Museum of Parisian artifacts: old signs, architectural models, really cool stuff
    2. Village St. Paul-This is actually a street in the Marais. Very picturesque and funny little shops
    3.Take a walk and check out the houseboats on the Seine (closer to the Eiffel tower). They are so charming and perfect.

  16. One more because it’s so great and you can swing by after your falafel :)

    Entree Des Fournisseurs – notions shop down an alley off of rue francs bourgeois. This place is a dream for people who like to sew, knit, work with fabric, etc. There are jars of pailettes, perfect chiffon feathers, yards of grosgrain ribbons and waterfalls of buttons.

  17. Oh Paris in the spring!

    Wherever you stay the metro is easy and totally reliable and fast too.

  18. Back in 2001, my mother and I took a wonderful trip to Paris. We stayed at Hotel de Senlis, near Luxemburg Gardens and Notre Dame. It was inexpensive and perfectly located–we walked, (and shopped, and ate) everywhere.

  19. you can rent an apartment on vrbo.com
    you can have a really nice lunch, as most restaurants have prefix lunch 12-40euro then gather “goodies” -bread, cheese, wine…. for your dinner.
    one day we took the subway out to clignancourt and walked back in, discovering some great little neighborhood places (inexpensive).
    tsumori chisato store:20 rue Barbette
    miller et bertaux:15, Rue Ferdinand Duval

    enjoy.

  20. I just got back from a week in Paris and am missing it already. Lucky you!

    We stayed in a hotel near the Canal St. Martin (10th arrond.) and it was a great location – easy walk to the Marais, lots of interesting people to watch, and good places to eat – the kind of place I think I would go back to again and again if they were in my neighborhood. It reminded me a little of the Lower East side of Manhattan.

    Make time for the Musee Quai Branley – the admission is not cheap, but the patterns you see there are intoxicating – and a stop by the Brancusi studio (free + located right in the plaza by the Pompidou Center). I also liked visiting Sennelier (where Picasso and Cezanne bought art supplies) and the beehives in the Luxembourg Gardens.

    The best thing is simply being there – wandering around and finding tiny parks with marble busts of Voltaire, munching croissants, seeing small children wearing impeccably wrapped scarves, and watching the Parisian dogs trot down the street after their owners, holding their own leashes in their mouths.

  21. i used to go to paris all the time when i worked for UO. i used to stay at Hotel de Nice:
    http://www.hoteldenice.com
    and it was lovely and cheap. right near the marais, very convenient to everything with a fantastic moroccan restaurant behind it (palais du fez) and amazing pizza with hot pepper and an egg on it (that’s the one i liked anyway) across the courtyard. and i loved the yarn store La Drogerie: http://www.ladroguerie.com/ even though i didn’t crochet then! glad to see it’s all still there…

  22. I was logging in to also recommend the Musee d’Orsay.

    Also, a Batobus ticket is worth it. While the Metro is great and really clean, the Batobus is a fun way to see the city while floating along the Siene.

    It was not too expensive and you can get on and off throughout the day. It stops frequently.

  23. I just got back from Paris last Tuesday. The five day Metro pass and the 4 day museum pass were great purchases. I second Musee D'Orsay, Rodin, Orangerie and Picasso Museums. If you go when they open, your experiences will be more intimate. I got lucky last Sunday and had The Thinker to myself.

    I highly recommend the Tuileries Garden bookstore, Artazart for design books, Les Archives de la Presse for vintage Vogues, vintage music mags, sewing patterns, etc. and the Marche Dauphine for amazing flea market finds. Design*Sponge has a great list of places to eat & boutiques.

    I used the City Walks Paris: 50 Adventures on Foot map cards to explore the city. You can get them on Amazon. Canal St. Martin and the Viaduc des Arts were unique and beautiful treasures. Bon voyage. I am already looking forward to my return.

  24. Lena- I’m so excited for you! I have been wanting to travel to Paris for awhile, but it’s not in the cards. I have stayed in the most wonderful hotel- great location, nice rooms and inexpensive. It is located on L’Ile de la cite. http://www.henri4hotel.fr/
    It books fast, so hopefully there are still rooms.
    Have a blast!

  25. I would recommend renting an apt. It's the most economical way to go and you will be in the best neighborhoods. My husband & I spent 2 weeks in Paris about 4 years ago and we booked our apt. through Lodgis.com. They have english speaking agents, were super professional and made it extremely easy. They have nice photos of the apts. too. We opted for a very small apt in a great neighborhood called the Marais. It is equivalent to the Castro in SF. Totally hip and central to everything. It is between the 3rd and 4th arrondissemont. Having the apt also allowed us to cook and save money. Our favorite market was in the 2nd arrondissemont (Les Halles). Though we loved the Marais, we would stay in Les Halles on our next trip. Also, buy a Rick Steve's guide (it's the best) to familiarize yourselves with the layout of the city. Info in his books are very reliable except the food. I was a cook once and I do not agree w/ some of his recommendations. I found them to be more expensive than the great local restaurants and much more touristy. One restaurant we went to (from his advice)had only Americans in it. Best museums: Louvre, Musee D'Orsay, and the Pompidou (modern art). You can't go wrong staying bet. the 2nd and 6th arrondissemont. Do a lot of walking, get lost, go to Ile St. Louis for ice cream at the famous Berthillon ice cream (31 rue St. louis-en-l'Ile). This is the island Nortre Dame is on. It's got lots of shops for browsing and definitely get some ice cream. I'll be happy to give you more info if you want it. Just let me know and I will email more…

  26. Lena-I can’t stress enough about how great renting apartments are. We’ve rented apartments in Paris, Rome, Madrid, and Barcelona. It’s super easy and will save you a lot of money. You definitely want to stay somewhere central (bet. the 2nd and 6th are the best). Paris is very accessible by foot, boat that takes you up and down the Seine, and their incredible Metro but it makes a world of difference to be in the center of things. You can rent a smaller apt in a central location for the same price as a bigger place further out. We got a great tiny place for $60 a night! It’s more now due to the exchange rate but I’m sure it’s still less than hotels. Have fun!

  27. Lena- oh wow! Tomory and I are going to Paris at the beginning of May for our honeymoon. We have never been, so I don’t have any recs but will when we get back!
    Too bad we aren’t going to be there at the same time!
    Glad you posted about this though…plenty of great ideas for our trip!

  28. Definitely get the Museum Pass. I believe you not only get a discount, but the pass allows you to jump the lines. For sure check out the Musee d’Orsay and the Centre Pompidou. I imagine you’d also like to check out the Palais de Tokyo. If you’re into Picasso, the Picasso Museum is worth a look.

    It’s so easy to eat in Paris on the cheap. Boulangeries sell mini quiches and other savoury baked goods that make for good lunches. And their selection of croissants and financiers etc. are great for breakfast.

    Not sure how budget you’re going, but my husband and I went about 5 years ago with a Swiss Army knife with a serrated blade. We’d buy some cheese, tomatoes, a baguette, and make our own sandwiches in a park. The quality of the bread and the cheeses made this kind of budget route actually really enjoyable.

    Renting an apt as others have said will allow you to prepare meals keeping costs low. This is great to minimize the number of meals you eat out. But part of the beauty of Paris is the food, so you’ll definitely want to be sure not to eat all meals in.

    Oh, and even if you don’t always have to, ride the metro at least once. The metro in Paris is great.

  29. I definitely agree with everyone about renting an apartment. Absolutely the way to go. One thing I will add is to eat, as often as you can and in all of their delicious flavors, macarons. Laduree (www.laduree.fr) and Pierre Herme (www.pierreherme.fr) are the famous ones. To really be able to get around, buy a “Plan de Paris”–a book that is a map with all of the streets of Paris–any “tabac” will have one. This way you can really wander around, but not be too afraid of getting lost. And one museum that I didn’t think I would like–but was amazed by–was the Musee de l’Armee. The old weapons were so intricately decorated. Who knew weapons could be beautiful? One last thing–try to go to one of the flea markets. You’ll find some REALLY old stuff. Have fun!

  30. hooray for paris! i havelotsof restaurant recommendations but for a hotel i have heard excellent things about this one and i pass it all the time and look in their courtyard:
    http://www.hotel-grandes-ecoles.com/

    it’s near rue mouffetard in the 5th (fun!) and it’s like a little country in the city–an in may they’ll serve you breakfast in the prettiest courtyard…it was written up in gourmet mag’s paris issue last fall and sounds a bit wonderful…P’s rec sounds great too–

  31. I’m bookmarking these comments for all the hotel recs. I always stay in an apartment when I’m there but I might need a hotel one day!
    So hard to nail down just a few things but: definitely buy a Paris Pratique map book – sold at newspaper kiosks it has a page for each arrondissement which makes it really easy to find your way. get a “carnet” of 10 metro tickets so you’re never without one. Entree des Fournisseurs shop with ribbons, buttons, trims etc in the Marais is amazing and walking distance from there is good stuff to explore further up around the 3rd and into the 10th arrondissements. Agh, could go on and on…have a fantastic time!

  32. THANKS SO MUCH, everyone!
    wow, these tips are fantastic…
    i’m taking notes and getting very excited…

  33. I’m also planning a budget trip to Paris, and I’m finding “Frommer’s Paris from $95 a Day” to be a very useful guide. It includes lots of money-saving tips and some recommendations for things that are “worth the splurge.” It features a good write-up of the hotel P. mentioned, Hotel du Champ de Mars. It’s by far the cutest of the budget hotels I’ve seen in my research, and I think it’s where I’ll be staying on my trip.

  34. Well, you’ve gotten so many tips, but here is mine. I stayed at this little place Hotel du Sejor several years ago when I was in town, and it was quite cheap (looks like it still in). Very bare bones and simple, but, really, what do you need when you’re in Paris but a little bed to sleep in? The proprietors were very sweet, and it’s in a great neighborhood in central Paris.

    And I emphatically second the Palais de Tokyo recommendation.

  35. Paris in May sounds lovely! I recommend staying towards the center because then you can walk everywhere, and walking around is one of the best parts of being in paris. The Verneuil is maybe a tiny bit more than your budget (170 euros) but it’s very charming and has a perfect location in the 7eme, right by the musee d’orsay. http://www.hotelverneuil.com/
    I recommend that you go to Marie Papier, my favorite paper store in the world. http://www.mariepapier.fr/edito.htm It’s on rue vavin – on the far side of the jardin du luxembourg. Food-wise, you must have an ice cream at Bertillion of course on the Isle Saint Louis – their tarte tatin is also super bon. My favorite flavors are the chocolat amer and the prune amagnac. yum. one really good restaurant you might want to check out is le pre verre – very seasonal and fresh and french – and i think the menu prix fixe is like 25 euros. bon voyage!
    johanna

  36. Hey Lena! My sister-in-law who lives in NYC and owns Le Fanion, a beautiful little french ceramics shop in the village, owns an apartment in Paris that she rents out. Its really sweet. Here is a link to it:
    http://www.lefanion.com/paris
    Not sure of the price but I dont think its too much. If you are interested let me know and I can put you in touch with her directly!

  37. oh yea and you must check out musee d’orsay and Centre Pompidou. Both will blow your mind….but in very different ways. I would recommend both over the Louvre any day!

  38. the pompideau is truly amazing for art lovers and students of art and design– budget a bunch of time to spend there.

    in nice weather heading up to sacre couer is a wonderful walk, and the area around is a nice break from doing touristy stuff and has lots of vintage shops to poke around it. there is also a hostel nearby.

    (truthfully i found the eifel tower to not really be worth the time to venture to personally). i stayed in the hotel des gobelins http://bitly.com/9lo4N just south of the latin quarter and it was great– clean, nice, affordable, close to the metro. the latin quarter is great, filled with students etc.

    my suggestions: buy little things from the grocery stores and pharmacies as souveniers, like makeup and accessories, lingerie, etc. it’s totally affordable and just so fun to have them and know you got it in paris! and eat crepes from street vendors! the nutella ones are amazing and they are so cheap!

  39. Hi Lena, I’ve been to Paris five times, and actually just returned! My recommendations for you:
    1) Book a centrally-located hotel/apartment. The city’s really pedestrian friendly, and it’d be a shame to miss out on all the things you’d be able to see exploring the city on foot…
    2) Check out Porte de Clignancourt/Les Puces de Saint-Ouen (ginormous, brilliant flea market)
    3) The Eifeel Tower… it sparkles every hour on the hour in the evening! Cheesy, but it’s still my fav.
    4) L’Orangerie. My favorite museum.
    5) Laduree. Sit down with your Josh (my bf is also named Josh), and enjoy a photo-worthy pastry, some macarons, and tea. A tad pricey, but soooo worth it.
    6)Stop on Monoprix (their answer to Target) for inexpensive gifts and cute underwear…
    HAVE FUN!!!

  40. I studied in Paris in college and finally made it back a year ago, I wish I were going back.
    Last time my husband and I had a fantastic meal at a place called Casa San Pablo at 5, rue Sevigne in the 4eme. Delicious tapas in a cozy space with stone walls and jamon strung from the ceiling.
    Nearby and well worth visiting is rue du Pont Louis-Philippe — three (or four?) amazing paper stores. Marie Papier on rue Vavin (6eme) is worth a visit.
    Also the top floor of Bon Marche — not to mention the food hall, which is heaven.
    Spend some time on rue Jacob.
    Get up to Clignancourt for the flea market.
    And if you don’t mind some smoke and want to hear some groovy music (and English) head to The Beaver on the Ile Saint Louis.
    Eat doner kebabs (with french fries in them!) in the 5eme up by the Pantheon.
    And don’t discount the local bus! It’s a terrific and cheap way to see the city.
    Otherwise walk, everywhere.
    Okay that’s it. Have a terrific trip.

  41. lena, rent a velib! (public rental bikes) sean and i were a little scared to bike through paris, but our local friend insisted and took us on a nighttime ride through the city. all of paris is fantastic, but this was one of favorite things from my most recent visit there..
    xo jen

  42. depending on when you are there you could stay at my boyfriend’s. he lives in the fifth near rue mouffetard. he’ll be here in nyc to help me move to paris. not to be weird or anything. but it could be great!

    also rose bakery is amazing. it’s in the marais, and everyone speaks english there! it’s kind of a nice relief.

  43. i just returned from Paris 2 weeks ago. I stayed in a perfect and affordable apartment. Located in the 5th which is a wonderful neighborhood. And right off the perfect Parisian street, Rue Mouffetard. here is the link http://quartierlatinapartements.shutterfly.com/
    it has a kitchen to make your own food and Rue Mouffetard is an open market street with incredible veg/fruit vendors, flowers, bakeries, etc. you will weep.

  44. What an awesome book! Oh my. Love that. I’d really like to find that for my son. Is that the other in the upper right?

    For hotels, i loved Primtemps when i was there. Cheap and good location. It was very basic but i was just looking for a bed since i was backpacking for 3 months. Close to metro etc. No elevator though…gotta take the stairs. I don’t know how it is now. It was only like $30 night when i was there a few years ago.

    When i went last year i was pregnant and going with a 3 year old we stayed at Holiday Inn Express in the 20th and it was great. I thought it was too far out but it worked great. It never was a problem. Not much personality though since it was american. It was easy though since breakfast was included etc. Good family place.

  45. I have no suggestions, only well-wishes. I hope you will have a wonderful time! (oh, just remembered, frenchfork.blogspot.com just posted on small, off-the-beaten path Parisian restaurants)

  46. Ahhh Paris! Try hotwire for a hotel, we scored a great hotel in a wonderful location for not to much $.

  47. Versailles is worth the day trip! We brought a bottle of wine and sandwich fixings and had a picnic right by the water>

  48. i know you already have a ton of comments to read through, but i HAVE to tell you about this self catering apartment i stayed in last year, it is AMAZING. on the left bank, literally across the road from notre dame. i highly HIGHLY recommend it! it's very neat, has a little table and chairs by a window where we ate our baguettes and cheese and salad some days, nice little bathroom & kitchen. but just a SUPERB location!

    http://www.parisattitude.com/apartment.asp?numProduit=2057

    it works out at 100 euros a night for the entire flat, if you stay there a week. the company, paris attitude, is also very helpful & easy to work with.

    anyway i hope you enjoy it, i am supremely jealous! definitely one of my FAVOURITE cities in the world.

  49. In December I stayed in this sweet apartment in Montmartre with my husband and baby daughter. It was only 160 euros a night and it has a little kitchen so you save extra money by being able to make your own food. Its a great district, where the film Amelie was set, lots of bakeries etc….

    http://www.romanticparisrentals.com

  50. I was there in September with my boyfriend. We had amazing luck finding a place via Craigslist. Rented a studio in the 20th for 60 euros a night (discounted to 50 since we stayed for 10 days). Walking around gazing at everything was tourism enough for us. Best of luck!

  51. Yes to Rose Bakery and Breizh Café. I would really recommend picking up Clotilde’s guidebook, as her recs are always spot on. Go to Jean-Charles Rochoux for chocolate tablettes with nuts, fruit, etc., Patrick Roger for pure chocolate tablettes and Pierre Hermé for macarons (try the ispaphan). Eric Kayser for baguettes (rue de Monge), Poilane for little butter cookies and their famous bread (though there’s a restaurant right next door where you can buy tartines with their bread that are great for lunch!).
    Wander around the Marais for hours, and duck into the Musée Carnavalet (it’s free!), then of course the d’Orsay and Rodin. Make a reservation for Les Papilles (you can google it). It’s phenomenal and only about 30 euros for a set 4 course dinner! Heard great things about a store called Bird on a Wire for interior stuff (again, you can google it). Ummm…I could keep going on, but that should hold you for awhile, I hope. Oh, in terms of staying somewhere, why not try an apartment rental? They’re cheaper and allow you to have fun picnics on the floor. Let me know if you have any questions!

  52. Sorry, but one more thing: Porte de Vanves flea market is the best, open weekend morning only!

  53. Last time I was there (Nov 07), my Parisian friend suggested this great little bar that is definitely a Parisian hangout, not a tourist place. It’s really casual, and they make great cocktails. The bartender spoke English which helped. It was just so cool to be at a bar that Parisians go to, it will give you a true Paris experience. It’s called Le Couer Fou (55, Rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris, France – 01 42 33 91 33) Sentier metro stop, but also not far from Etienne Marcel stop.

    Kiliwatch off of the Etienne Marcel metro stop is really cool, I got an inexpensive knit hat there. They sell new clothes and vintage, clothes, shoes, accessories. (64, Rue Tiquetonne, 75002 Paris, France – 01 42 21 17 37)

    Le Bon Marche is like the Barney’s of Paris. Amazing luxury store BUT the ground floor is the best part, a luxury super market, so if it’s not too cold, you can buy stuff and have a picnic outside!! You can do it cheaply if you look around and it’s just so fun to explore this beautiful supermarket. (38, rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris, France, lagrandeepicerie.fr)

    Have fun!

  54. Lena,

    How wonderful. I have a list that I’ve compiled (from my own past trips and those of friends) and would love to email to you. Just direct me where to send it!

    Best,
    Abby

  55. You have a lot of comments so probably enough info, but I’d strongly encourage you to stay in Paris proper, not outside. You can find pretty reasonable hotels in the 6th arrondissement and in the Marais, both of which are lovely neighborhoods. The hotel room won’t be big, but that’s okay, right? Paris is so walkable that it’s a shame to stay far out. Here are some hotel tips: http://www.continents-paris-hotel.com/index.html
    and http://www.hotel-marronniers.com/and and then, a family fave: http://www.hoteljeannedarc.com/index.html

  56. Hi Lena, I just got your book and it’s so inspiring! Why don’t you stop in Italy after Paris in my town and do some classes…I could try to organize everything!!! Let me know
    Arianna

  57. I am going to save this post for one day when I can get to Paris. It is full of good hints!
    Hope you have a wonderful time!

  58. My favourite part of our trip to Paris last may was picnicking across the river from the Eiffel tower. If you take the métro to Trocadéro station you can set up your blanket on the grassy hill where you’ll have the best view of the Eiffel tower from anywhere in the city. Plan to be there before they turn the lights on, c’est magnifique!

  59. A late recommendation. Just read your post today, and in the event that you need to change plans this may be helpful.

    We stayed at Le Clos Medici near St. Germain and the Latin Quarter a few years ago. It’s a lovely boutique hotel, full of style, well appointed, and just around the corner from Luxemburg Gardens. The neighborhood is charming with cafes and shopping. An easy walk to the Louvre, Notre Dam, local crepes. There was ala carte chinese food with residential uppers across the street. we adored it. Here’s their site:

    http://www.hotelclosmedicisparis.com/index.html

    Have fun!

  60. just got back from Paris…such an amazing city!
    try the Hotel Relais St Sulpice (Arrondissement 6)
    …it is in a great area, quiet, & within walking distance to everything (but definitely note that the breakfast is not complementary, and isn't so good…so go out for a croissant or baguette instead!). If the weather is good, walking around is the way to go. visit the Luxembourg gardens, the Marais District (especially walk to St Gervis Church, the Place de Vosges & the Picasso Museum)…there are so many wonderful places to picnic….(on the Rue des Rosiers there are some great places to get falafel: try L'as Falafel…it is supposedly the best)….and if you go to the Musee Rodin, you can get a museum pass to go to the Musee D'Orsay that same day & not have to wait in the insane line!! also make sure to check out the Rue de Buci & St Germain des Pres…and visit the outside of the Louvre & but def. go inside the Notre Dame (as its free). In Paris at the newstands, they sell this great little map book called Le Petit Parisien: 3 plans par arrondissement, which is the best map book of Paris. Has a regular map of each arrondissement, as well as the bus & the metro for each, and was so incredibly useful. ENJOY!!!

  61. Hello,

    I’ve just seen your post about your trip in Paris. Maybe you allready booked an hotel, but just in case, i recommend the regyn’s hotel. It’s on “Place des Abbesses”(one of my favorite place in Paris), it’s a really nice hotel a room for a couple is 100euros, and for 120 euros you could get an amazing room with a great view on Paris.

    Hope this could help you.
    (PS: love your blog)