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Coordinates: Paris

One of the best ways to enjoy this city full of rich history, culture, and fashion is to visit for a short stay that forces you to carefully curate your experience. Instead of visiting as many Parisian tourist traps as possible, take time to plan and enjoy a few sights each day; if you don’t find time to check everything off your list, know you’ll be back. Remember–Paris is always a good idea.

Upon Arrival: Take a moment to unwind and relax. Centering yourself after a long flight with a cool shower or bath will improve circulation and boost your mood. A quick visit to any of Paris’ famed patisseries also helps. We love Claus, especially for afternoon tea, right near the Palais-Royal, and Angelina opposite the Tuileries Gardens for something a little more indulgent such as hot chocolate or Millefeuille.

Stay: For a typical Parisian experience stay at Jules et Jim, an intimate boutique hotel conveniently located in the heart of the Marais. For those looking to treat themselves we suggest the Plaza Athénée, where suites include balconies with incomparable views of the Eiffel Tower and priority access to the iconic Dior Institut.

Explore: Paris is bustling with beauty and energy, most of which is best observed at street level. Getting around is incredibly easy, whether by Metro, cab or on foot. Walk along the banks of the Seine near Notre Dame, then venture north, away from the Louvre and toward the Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton (48.8766° N, 2.2634°E) in the Bois de Boulogne. A quick cab ride past L’Arc du Triomph and down the Champs Élysée will drop you near the Musée de l’Orangerie, which shouldn’t be missed, especially if you’re a fan of Monet. Museums aside, why not venture across the river and get lost in the charm of the Left Bank? From flea markets filled with vintage treasures to street scenes typical only to Paris, the Left Bank oozes with activity and inspiration. Be sure to stop by Serge Gainsbourg‘s old home, which includes tribute murals to the late singer and Jane Birkin.

Caffeine Fix: Paris has a vibrant café culture, which includes a variety of traditional and contemporary options. We love Ob-La-Di in the Marais, which is famed for its special roast, healthy breakfast bites and lite fare.

Shop: Paris offers extensive retail therapy, especially where high-end luxury is concerned. Spend time pacing Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, or explore the old-world charm of the Palais Royal, which is home to some incredible vintage finds. Also find time to visit Galerie Vivienne, which houses one of the city’s finest bookshops.

Dine: For typical French fare including steak tartare and Croque Madame try Les Deux Magots or Café de Flore, two iconic cafés set in prime position at the heart of Saint-Germain. For the best people watching be sure to visit L’Avenue on Avenue Montaigne, especially at lunch. Choose old world charm and surround yourself with the best of Art Deco and Belle Époque design at Julien, where waiters work to freshly prepare Crêpes Suzette directly at your table. 

Relax: Nothing beats enjoying peace and quiet, except when you can do it in a stunning setting. We adore afternooning in the library at La Réserve, if only for their impressive collection of books, prints and first editions.

Photographs by @MrEssentialist

Inner Courtyard at The Plaza Athénée © Instagram / @MrEssentialist
The Library at La Réserve © Instagram / @MrEssentialist
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