Is it worth it to go to Paris if you only have a weekend? We just returned from a quick three day trip and packed so much into each day, we felt like we were away for much longer. Here is a quick cheat sheet for some old time favorites and some newer finds. Click here for a more comprehensive itinerary.
Breakfast: If you are in the Left Bank, Cafe de Flore is a no- brainer, the quintessential French cafe. People-watching and croissants go hand in hand here. If you are positioned in the Right Bank, head to Frenchie To Go or Claus. In the Haute Marais, Ob La Di serves great (and insta-worthy) coffee.
Lunch: Hands down, Mokonuts wins for best lunch. This tiny bakery serves up some of the most delicious Middle Eastern meals we've had. Don't miss their incredible cookies for dessert. In the Marais, go to L'As du Fallafel. The cheeseburger at Ferdi is worth trying as well as the sardines. If you are at the Palais du Tokyo, have lunch at their restaurant, Monsieur Bleu.
Pre-Dinner Cocktails: Don’t be deceived by the plastic curtains, behind lies L’Avant Comptoir – a hidden gem where the bartenders serve wines from small producers to compliment little tapas plates like grilled sardines, hams, and other delicious bites. Another good option for wine and small plate appetizers is La Cave a Michel. Sip cocktails in front of the Louvre at Café Marly. Situated right in the heart of the Rue Saint Honoré fashion district, Hotel Costes is dark and sexy and perfect for enjoying drinks. Begin or end the evening at The Bar Hemingway, an iconic Paris institution.
Dinner: There are several places we would recommend: a hard reservation to get but totally worth the try is Septime. Eat al fresco at the very cool restaurant Lou Lou. (Perfectly combined with drinks at above mentioned cafe Marly as it’s right around the corner.) Balagan is also a difficult reservation to get; we loved our meal there. For tapas style food go to Clamato or Jones. Carbon is another lovely spot. For classic, bistro-style food, head to Clover in the Left Bank.
Museums: There are two museums we fell in love with this trip: Palais de Tokyo and Musee de l'Orangerie. Palais de Tokyo houses the biggest collection of contemporary works in Paris. Musee de l'Orangerie did not always showcase works of art, but was originally built in 1852 to shelter the orange trees that lined the garden of the Tuleries Palace. Now it houses one of the most beautiful collections of Impressionist and Post Impressionist art. In the Marais, The Picasso Museum never disappoints. We are big fans of the Foundation Louis Vuitton - note; the museum is located beyond the city center, allow time for this visit, an afternoon is ideal. We were so happy that we went to the YSL Museum celebrating the genius designer.
Flea Market: If you’re a shopper at heart, you can’t miss the Le Puces Flea Market. Without question, this is the largest flea market in the world. However, there is nothing typical about Le Puces. With hundreds of shops carrying every imaginable specialty, it has become a favorite ‘shopping mall’ for professionals and amateurs, coming from all over the world. Marché Serpette and Marché Paul Bert is held every Saturday and Sunday and one of the largest and most well-known areas of the market. One can find a huge selection of art deco furniture, prints, antiques, vintage clothing, and far more. The dealers are tough negotiators, but the quality of their ware is worth the price.
Late Night: Before you read this, keep an open mind! If you want a late night activity, go see Crazy Horse, an old-time burlesque show. You'll smile through a 90-minute mixture of dance, beauty, talent, and fun. We booked the midnight performance - a perfect end to our few days in Paris. For those not quickly offended by nudity and insinuation, the cabaret show offers a fun night out.