It’s cliché, but I’m in love with Paris.
It didn’t take much to enchant me, just two long weekends away, and now Nick and I are both ready to spend every remaining weekend of our year in Europe wandering the streets in Montmarte, boutique shopping in the Marais and lounging in the Tuileries while eating pastry. I blame the spring weather, with the tulips and trees blooming and couples of all ages kissing next to the Seine.
Really, why would we go anywhere else?
I’m sure some folks will read this — folks who’ve lived in Paris and speak fluent French and know much more about French culture than I ever will – and they’ll think that I can’t possibly love Paris because I don’t know the real Paris. And they’d be right. I don’t know Real Paris, and I probably never will.
But I do love Weekend Paris, Spring Paris, Getaway Paris. I adore her. And because I am a visitor and never a resident, she will never grow old and tedious and dull.
Here’s to a lifelong love affair with Weekend Paris.
And here are a few of my favorites that made me fall in love.
Café des Musees (49, rue de Turenne): Tucked away in the Marais, this small traditional café makes all the French favorites – frites, steak, béarnaise sauce, duck and delicious desserts – without charging a fortune.
Breizh Café (109, rue Vieille du Temple): This restaurant only does galettes and crepes, and they do it extremely well with local, high-quality ingredients. I ate lunch there and then dragged Nick back for dinner and dessert.
Shopping in the Marais: Best boutique shopping in Paris, according to my friend Sunny who lived there (and who recommended the two restaurants listed above too). Just wander a few key streets – Rue des Franc-Bourgeois, Rue Vieille due Temple and Rue de Turenne – and you’ll easily fill an entire day ducking into one adorable shop after another.
Claire Naa (45 Rue de Turenne or 9 Rue Saint-Sulpice): French jewelry designer who makes delicate but modern pieces, including unique pendants and bracelets made of woven fabric and gold.
Bastille Farmers Market (Rue Richard Lenoir): Every Sunday, right off the roundabout where the July Column stands with the winged golden Spirit of Freedom on top. Vendors sell fruits, vegetables, roasted chickens, Italian specialties and North African street food.
The Tuileries: These gardens outside the Louvre are beautiful in the spring and a great place to lounge away the afternoon.
Angelina’s inside the Louvre: Angelina’s is touristy, but that doesn’t mean its hot chocolate and pastries aren’t amazing. Skip the lines at the Rue de Rivoli location and instead duck into the one inside the Louvre. It’s a serene place to rest and refuel after wandering through the Louvre’s endless galleries. Angelina’s is tucked next to the Napoleon Apartments.
Miss Manon (87 rue St-Antoine): Our favorite pastry shop. By far. And it seems like other folks agree. There’s always a line (but it moves fast!). The pain au chocolat is delicious, but be sure to try the chaussons aux pomme too.
Sacre Coeur (35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre): This church sits on Paris’ highest point. And while the church is lovely, we enjoyed the view most of all. We sat on the steps of the church, listened to the street musician play his violin and saw Paris rolled out beneath us. It was the perfect end to our Weekend Paris visit.