The Perfect Weekend in Paris
Collected by AFAR Editors, AFAR Staff
If you only have three days in the City of Light, you at least need to watch the world go by from a street café, relax in one of the many parks and gardens, and explore world-famous art museums. Savor pastries and discover local restaurants for moments that will leave you craving a taste of Paris for years to come.
Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
This former royal palace is one of the largest museums in the world, and its art collection is considered one of the most comprehensive. It contains around 400,000 works, although—mercifully, perhaps—not all are on display at any one...
5 Rue Daunou, 75002 Paris, France
In 1911, American star jockey Tod Sloan took a bar in Manhattan, dismantled it, and shipped it to Paris. At the time, American tourists and members of the artistic and literary communities were beginning to visit the City of Light in...
Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris, France
75009 Paris, France
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is worth a visit if only to stand under its magnificent glass dome. The family business has survived as a one-stop-shopping hub for five generations, thanks to steady innovation and an emphasis on high fashion and...
8 Rue des Plantes, 75014 Paris, France
Taxi drivers know where they’re going when clients ask for the Rue des Plantes around lunch or dinner time. The destination? Le Severo, a simple bistro tucked in a quiet neighborhood in the 14th arrondissement, set with vintage...
72 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, France
The great macaron debate may forever wage on but from the first time I tucked into a small box of Pierre Hermé's dimunitive cookies, perfectly crisp on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth soft on the inside, I knew I'd remain loyal to his...
8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France
Sainte Chapelle is a true Gothic masterpiece located on Île de la Cité. Sainte Chapelle was founded by King Louis IX as a chapel for the royal palace. Sainte Chapelle houses a small chapel downstairs that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The...
6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, 75006 Paris, France
One part tourist trap, one part beloved café, Les Deux Magots is a legendary spot that everyone should visit at least once when in Paris. Most famous as the place where the likes of Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre and Ernest Hemingway...
35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
At the summit of Montmartre, the highest point in the city, you'll find the Basilica de Sacré-Cœur. Contrasting with the Gothic churches like Notre-Dame, the Romano-Byzantine architecture is both beautiful inside and out. While...
Rue Intérieure, 75008 Paris, France
For Michelin-starred chef Eric Frechon, opening a 110-seat restaurant in the heart of Paris's busiest train station (Gare St.-Lazare) was effectively a way to reconnect with his democratic, bistro past. The Bristol Hotel chef is an avowed...
Monnaie de Paris, 11 Quai de Conti, 75006 Paris, France
This 18th-century building that used to be the mint still holds treasure: It now houses the three-Michelin-starred Guy Savoy. Dark-colored walls set off the contemporary art and large windows frame views of the Seine, setting the stage for an...
6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
For a first-time visitor to Notre Dame, investing in the audio guide is essential to immerse in and understand this overwhelmingly significant Paris icon. There's a lot to see and absorb—history, architecture, artifacts,...
8 Place de la Concorde, 75005 Paris, France
Paris is a wonderful city to explore on one’s own, but sometimes it can be nice to have a guide to bring the city and its history to life in a special way. Group tours aren’t for everyone, though—get the personal touch...
Port de la Rapée, 75012 Paris, France
Board an elegant 1930s Venetian taxi boat for the most romantic Seine River tour on the waters of Paris. Champagne is chilling in the ice bucket and a few snacks are served as well, but the real show is life on the river, up-close and more...
Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France
Located at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe was inspired by Rome's Arch of Titus and commissioned by Napoleon in 1806. It was inaugurated in 1836 by King Louis-Philippe, who dedicated it to the armies of the revolution...
75006 Paris, France
Located in the 6th arrondissement, the Jardin du Luxembourg is the second largest park in Paris. It is teeming with blooming flower gardens, flowing fountains, historical buildings, a few smoking teenagers and yes, enormous sculptures of horses.
Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Nothing is a more powerful symbol of the City of Light than the Eiffel Tower. Designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Paris Exposition, it's one of the world's most-visited monuments, with nearly 7 million people ascending the 1,062-foot...
52 Boulevard de Vaugirard, 75015 Paris, France
Galettes—savory crepes made from buckwheat flour—and regular crepes are specialties of Brittany. Trains from that region arrive in Paris at the Gare Montparnasse, which explains why there are so many Breton restaurants in the...
113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Before the French Revolution, this park used to be the site of the Royal Palace. Today, the garden, which separates the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, is a place where Parisians and tourists stroll amid Rodin and Maillol statues or relax...
10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010 Paris, France
If the coffee scene in Paris is as robust as it is today, it's thanks in large part to Thomas Lehoux, one of the city's star baristas and co-owner of Ten Belles, just off the Canal Saint-Martin. He collaborated with two Englishwomen, Anna Trattles...
34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, France
Situated a block from the Canal St.-Martin in the 10th arrondissement, Du Pain et des Idées is your favorite corner bakery—only better. The owner, Christophe Vasseur, was named best boulanger in Paris in 2008, and for good reason....
37 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002 Paris, France
The Experimental Cocktail Club was one of the first to bring the craft cocktail scene to Paris, landing here in a dark and moody room with stone walls. This once-simple bar has become the flagship of an international empire with...
24 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris, France
A five-level emporium specializing in French luxury brands (Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel), Le Bon Marché traces its origins to a stall run by a hatmaker’s son and his wife in 1852. The beauty department is under an Art Deco glass ceiling; the third...
3 Rue Victor Massé, 75009 Paris, France
Le Pantruche—the name is an old slang term for Paris—uses its excellent food to lure Parisians out of their flats and across the Seine. The ambience here is bright yet cozy and nostalgic, with brown leather banquettes, wood...
1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France
Small enough to get around without being overwhelmed, the Musée d'Orsay is a favorite stop in Paris not just for its size but for its collection of impressionist, postimpressionist, and art nouveau art. Perfectly set in the center of the...
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