Last update: November 2017
Of course, you want to visit Paris. And I’m talking about Paris, France. Not Paris, Texas. Turns out, I’m heading there several times a year so I’m starting to get a good hang at where to stay, where to eat and where to go. So, here’s a guide!
Make sure to bookmark this page since new places will be added regularly.
The French Girl’s guide to visiting Paris
Paris, France: where to stay?
Hôtel Aston – 9th Arrondissement
The 9th arrondissement is a very central location for a Parisian visit. It’s only a short walk from many attraction and has plenty of restaurants and nightlife if you don’t want to head too far in the evening. This hotel is located in Cité Bergère: an alley with many other hotels. The benefit of that: less street noise, especially at night.
Don’t expect large rooms. They are pretty small, with thin walls. So are the corridor. And the bathrooms are getting a little bit old. But everything is clean and the staff is lovely. Oh and the bed is super comfortable.
I didn’t try the breakfast. It was not included in the price of the room and seemed a little overpriced (14 euros).
Good place to stay if you’re only staying in Paris overnight and need a convenient location to use as a hub.
Don’t stay there if you’re planning on spending time in your hotel room. Or if you’re carrying a big piece of luggage!
Average room price per nigh (as of June 2017): 100-150 euros
Rooms available on AirBnB.
Hôtel Exquis – 11th Arrondissement
I often work in the area of Gare de Lyon, which is not a very fun neighborhood to stay in. But only a 15 minutes walk from there, on the outskirt of the Bastille area, is a little gem of a hôtel.
Yes the room was small, that’s just about what you will always find when you stay in a Parisian boutique hôtel. But this one felt like a tiny house. The sink in the room and the smart design made the stay really fun. The staff was super helpful, charming and the breakfast was a feast. I think I loved everything about this hôtel.
Good place to stay if you want to be central but not in the hustle and bustle of things.
Don’t stay there if you’re a grumpy cat that doesn’t appreciate the boutique-style hotels.
Average room price per nigh (as of November 2017): 100 euros
Rooms available on AirBnB.
Paris, France: where to have breakfast?
Mûre – 2nd Arrondissement
This quaint little coffee-shop is serving a wonderful breakfast. Everything here is home made out of organic and locally-sourced products.
I arrived at 8:30 am on a Friday, right as the placed opened and was able to quietly seat there for a couple of hours, having breakfast and getting a little bit of work done. People came in and out to pick-up one of the yummy freshly-pressed juice, or some of the pâtisserie that smelled amazing.
I went for a large breakfast (it’s the most important meal of the day, after all, right?) for 13 euros. It was composed of a juice (no plain bottled stuff here… I had carrot-orange-ginger), a hot drink, and two “entrées”, which you could choose from a list that made my mouth water just by reading it. Perfectly satisfying and healthy!
Side note: I don’t remember seeing anything savory on the menu. But I might be wrong.
First come, first served. No reservations.
Paris, France: where to have lunch?
Exki – 8th arrondissement (and all over the city)
Exki is a fast-food chain that popped up all over Paris. If my information is correct, it’s coming from Belgium. The food is healthy and has a very innovative twist to it. Don’t be afraid to try things like the Red Pepper and Strawberry Chia Pudding, it’s to die for!
I was lucky to be invited by a client, but I’m guessing that an average lunch is around 12 to 18 euros, depending on what you’re getting. The restaurant on boulevard Malesherbes is beautiful and the dining room is a little off the boutique side, which makes it more convenient to have a conversation (unless they turn on the smoothie machine). There’s a little terrasse on the boulevard, but we felt it was too close to traffic.
Popup du Label – 12th arrondissement
Only a few minutes walk from Gare de Lyon is a very atypical place to have lunch. The PopUp du Label is all in one a bar, a concert venue and a restaurant. All I can vouch for is the restaurant side, and always for lunch. One day, really, I will spend an evening, promised.
I am a big fan of the light and funky cuisine. The menu is very simple: three appetisers, three entrées, three desserts to choose from. There always seem to be a vegetarian option, which is what I went for this time. And oh yum! Some quirky pasta, zucchini and a delicious sauce, on a cold November day, I was in heaven.
But the best was the surprising warm clementines on the dessert plate. I had never thought it would be THAT good. And the prices are very fair for Paris: less than 20 euros for entrée + dessert + coffee, for that quality of food. It’s a bargain!
Paris, France: where to go for some culture?
Grand Palais – 8th arrondissement
Just like so many buildings in Paris, the Grand Palais is a beautiful piece of architecture. Many artistic and lifestyle exhibits, but also special events, are taking place all year long in the different areas of the monument. Located right next to the Place de la Concorde, at the bottom of Champs-Elysées, it’s very easy to access.
You’ll have to shell between 10 and 15 euros for a ticket to the exhibits. Some of them are huge, so plan on taking your time. Of course, audio-guides are available in English, and all the copy on the wall is translated in English as well.
You’ll find the program here: http://grandpalais.fr