Paris – 11 Things I Love To See In Paris

Due to popular demand I am reposting this list. One of the most asked questions that pops into my email is ‘what should I see in Paris?’

What is good to do in Paris? Tough question!! It is like asking someone how long is the queue at the local Tabac!! You could live your whole life in Paris and never touch the bottom and of course it depends on your taste, age and interests.

I formulated this list for a lifelong friend who had never visited Paris and I wanted to show her a fun and funky cross section and the things I do in my daily life that still make my heart sing!! 

So here goes these are some of the things I love about Paris:

1. First stop Merci. Merci has become my second home. I love eveything about this shop, the products, the space, the wonderful restaurants and cafe.. But most of all I love that a percentage of profits are donated to charity. I lunch at the canteen downstairs because it has the best ‘girl food’ in Paris and you look out onto a beautiful herb garden. There are lots of lovely fresh salads, soups and organic juices that are hard to find on the menu in Paris..

Merci
111 Boulevard Beaumarchais
Paris 75003

Deyrolle – Carla Coulson

2. One of Paris’s most fabulous shops is found in the elegant 7th.. As you mount the old wooden stairs and enter into animal fantasyland you will be forgiven for the ‘oh my god jaw drop’.. Deyrolle is a taxidermist with a difference.. They proudly state that all animals have died of natural causes. Polar bears and lions, baby elephants and advarks.. Out the back you can have your made to order butterfly or bug selection framed. An exquisite present that has a constant line of Parisians queuing..Only in Paris.

Deyrolle
46 rue du Bac
Paris 75007

Musee Baccarat – Carla Coulson

3. Galerie Musee Baccarat.. There are so many wonderful museums in Paris but I love the small ones. The Louvre is incredible but I get an anxiety attack everytime I go, I leave feeling guilty that I haven’t seen it all. Instead I discovered the small ones. Galerie Musee Baccarat is irresistible. Housed in ancient Hotel Particulier, France’s most glamorous glass is awe inspiring. I also adore Musee Bourdelle, Antoine Bourdelle’s incredible sculpture museum with monumental sculpture and original artist’s atelier. I discovered it whilst seeing the recent Madame Gre’s exhibition in this incredible space.

Galerie Musee Baccarat
Place des Etats-Unis
75116 Paris

Musée Bourdelle
18, rue Antoine Bourdelle
75015 Paris

Cakes – Carla Coulson

4. Cakes……Paris has the best desserts in the world. I can’t get excited about the Beef Bourguignon or the Confit di Canard but put a tarte citron or chocolat chaud in front of my and I am purrrringggg.. I love the atmosphere of Angelina’s on rue du Rivoli and they make the best hot chocolate in Paris. Old world Paris, pure rich hot chocolate in silver pots with whipped cream – it could get a girl into a lot of trouble!! ps. go for morning tea and don’t even think about going on Sundays!!

You all know about Laduree and their to-die-for macaroons but there are so many wonderful local places to try in Paris. I live just around the corner from Patisserie Pain-de-Sucre and these guys take cakes very seriously. Lots of original flavour combinations and they have just opened a new shop with a wonderful bench out the front where you can sit and savour them!! And Terres des Cafe is right next door so you can grab a real coffee to wash them down..

Angelina’s
226 rue du Rivoli
75001 Paris

Patisserie Pain de Sucre
14 rue Rambuteau
75004 Paris

Jardin Du Luxembourg – Carla Coulson

5. Jardin du Luxembourg.. Why?? Because it is an oasis of gorgeousness in urban Paris. In April with a giant case of jetlag I crossed the river and started jogging in Jardin du Luxembourg. Let’s face it I was up so early I had hours to kill. I feel like calling out ‘silence please’ as I enter this garden. For me it is almost a religious experience to walk underneath the chestnut trees in bloom and try and discern one perfume from another. If you want to see the world’s greenest grass, this is the place. French attention for detail in every leaf..

Palais Royale – Carla Coulson

6. Serge Lutens in the Palais Royale.. This is the double whammy.. Whilst all the tourists are circling the Louvre and trying to find space in the Jardin du Tuileries the Palais Royale is left to the locals. Tucked behind the Comedie Francaise it is one of Paris’s most beautiful spaces with a garden to boot and some of Paris’s best shops. If there is one place in Paris you should buy perfume it is in the ultra French space of Serge Lutens in Les Salons du Palais Royale. Oodles of French ambience. This place makes my heart skip!!

Serge Lutens
142 Galerie de Valois
75001 Paris

Didier Ludot – Carla Coulson

7. Didier Ludot. When and if I ever win the lottery one of my first stops will be at Didier Ludot. Didier is the proud owner/curator of the most important vintage haute couture gowns in Paris and possibly the world. They are all here, Madame Gres, Vionnet, Chanel, Thierry Mugler, Paco Rabanne and the list goes on and on….

Didier Ludot
24 Galerie Montpensier
Palais Royale
75001 Paris

Le Petit Fer a Cheval – Carla Coulson

8. Le Petit Fer a Cheval.. Possibly Paris’s smallest cafe. I go just to brace the bar and enjoy the company of the charming staff and the knockout old world Parisian atmosphere. The tourist books will point you to Cafe de Flore and Les deux Magots but there you will be surrounded by tourists. Drop into my local bar for a quick coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice at the bar and here you will be surrounded by a colourful cast of locals. Otherwise they do a delicious lunch in the restaurant hidden behind the bar..

Le Petit Fer a Cheval
30 rue Vieille du Temple
75004 Paris

Canal St Martin – Carla Coulson

9. Canal Saint Martin. I love the canal and the life that has sprung up in the streets around this area. It reminds me of what happened in Sydney around Surry Hills years ago. Daggy and funky mix it up. The canal is where the cult film Amelie was shot so fans will recognise the curvy bridges. So many good local bars and eateries around here with a young sassy crowd.

We meet for apero at Chez Prune
We eat real Italian pizza at Maria Luisa
We eat fresh Cambodian at Le Camboge
We buy art books at artazart
We buy baguettes and warm chausson aux pommes at Du pain et des idees
In winter we eat French at La Marine

Buttes Chaumont – Carla Coulson

10. Buttes Chaumont. When the sun is shining and the birds are singing I join loads of other Parisians for a picnic in Buttes Chaumont in the 19th.. This is one park in Paris where you can stretch out and lie on the grass, bring all your picnic goodies, your guitar, your kids and their balls and bikes. Buttes Chaumont is the Paris park par excellence for a picnic. When the sun is shining their is a carnival atmosphere here and you feel a million miles away from Paris.

Marche Richard Lenoir – Carla Coulson

11. To Market to Market.. And what is a visit to Paris without a visit to a local market?? I would say it is essential!! As important as standing in front of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre!! Real Parisian life revolves around the market and all you need to do is to join the crowd at Paris’s biggest market on sunday at Marche Richard Lenoir and you will see just how important food is still in a Parisian’s daily life. Keep moving otherwise you might experience caddy rage!!

I hope you enjoyed my little tour. If you have anything special that you love doing in Paris let me know..

You might enjoy
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Ines de la Fressange Parisian Chic

 








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52 Responses to Paris – 11 Things I Love To See In Paris

  1. Carla says:

    I loved Paris when i was there for three weeks. You're absolutely lucky to live in such a lively, beautiful city! I never went to those places you mentioned except for Jardin du Luxembourg; I remember it being full of people all afternoon enjoying the sun. :-)

  2. Aesthetic Alterations says:

    Thank you so much for this, Carla. I've been creating lists and lists by arrondissement for my upcoming visit this holiday season, and you've given me a couple of things to add. Merci, merci!

  3. Aesthetic Alterations says:

    PS: I hope your "besty" has a fabulous time.

  4. John says:

    Le Petit Fer is now in my Evernote for whenever I get to Paris.

  5. Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... says:

    Excellent list Carla. Most of your "favorites" would have been on my list too! So interesting you mention Deyrolle (the taxidermy shop.) This is usually not mentioned in travel guides. Did you know the place almost burned down not too long ago? I was sad when I heard about it… I have not been back since. Hope they could save most of their [beautiful and quiet] inventory ;-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  6. this is Belgium says:

    Marvelous and timely !! Greatest post ever because this is what I will bare in mind for my visit to Paris at the end of next week. Glad to discover a few new things !! I will start at Merci and then visit musée Baccarat.
    My favorites include Angelina ! and visiting the markets, rue Mouffetard on Sunday morning but also the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, walking around everywhere but especially in rue des Rosiers, rue Daguerre, rue St Antoine, canal st Martin, visiiting I Puppi on Malar and the Mc Coy cafe on Bosquet (both in 7th) (and both just for memory sake), Caruso restaurant ..
    Your oldest buddy and best friend is a lucky woman to get to go on this personal tour you mapped out..
    but then, like I said, so are your readers.

  7. rosanna says:

    Thank you for the tips. I usually go to paris, thrice a year but always in a rush this meaning that I have seen a lot but not truly deep.
    May be this is why london is my all time favourite city … I lived there and I know it well.
    Next time I'll try to stay in Paris a bit longer, at least to try a couple of your suggestions.
    Thank you for sharing, buona notte , Rosanna

  8. Marrianna says:

    Have never been to Paris and you make it sound so inviting. And where are the vintage resale shops in Paris? Are there any? Okay, so I'm not planning a shopping trip just for vintage Paris supplies, but I can dream, right? The photography is excellent, as always. Keep up your great work.

  9. peggy braswell says:

    How I loved this list. I will be in London 6-20Nov. this will be a working trip,but any chance to travel is Grand. Ever in UK? Love your pictures + your blog. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  10. Rachel says:

    Thank you for sharing. I love Paris and would love to go there more often.

  11. studioJudith says:

    A glorious guide, dear Carla !
    Some old favs (Deyrolle) and some great new thoughts.
    Your blog is looking tres fab … .

    jjjj

  12. à la parisienne says:

    Oh, this post made me heart-sick for Paris…
    Thank you for sharing your Paris favorites. One of these days when I return to Paris, I will be sure to use your list.
    (Oh, and the Louvre also stresses me a bit-too many tourists and too much to see and never enough time.)
    Mandy

  13. Corrina says:

    We have my hubby's brother and wife from London coming to Australia to visit us in early december. They haven't been here to our place for 4.5 years just after my last bub was born. You got me to thinking… what and where would I show them in our local area? We have three days to squeeze in. You've challenged me to record pictorially those places.. stay tuned to my blog for upcoming pics- my new pet project. I am forming an itinery for my visit to France and you've given me lots of ideas- hopefully we'll be there next year! xxCorrina.

  14. Lauren says:

    I love this list! Thank you so much for taking the time to make it! Oh someday…someday..

  15. Anonymous says:

    perfect timing pour moi aussi! i too will be in paris next weekend and while time is tight will do my best to try at least o couple of these fab recommendations – esp Le Petit Fer a Cheval – cant wait – trust its easy to find – can you let me know closest landmark pls! also any very special little hotels/maisons there to stay???
    thanks for all the fab posts Carla – keep it up
    kate Hong kong
    - your new books sounds heavenly – love to share notes sometime as written a number myself

  16. Anonymous says:

    love this Carla and perfect timing pour moi aussi! I will be in paris next weekend and cant wait to try a couple of these although time is tight – esp Le Petit Fer a Cheval – hope its easy to find – any iconic landmarks close by – and any fab (not too expensive) little gems to stay at???
    keep up the great blog Carla and all the best with the latest book
    kate – Hong kong

  17. Anonymous says:

    Love this Carla and perfect timing pour moi aussi! I will be in paris next weekend and cant wait to try a couple of these although time is tight – esp Le Petit Fer a Cheval – hope its easy to find – any iconic landmarks close by – and any fab (not too expensive) little gems to stay at???
    keep up the great blog Carla and all the best with the latest book
    kate – Hong kong

  18. james nel says:

    I must visit Paris again…

  19. Looking Glass says:

    Ooohhhh! Thanks for this list, Carla. I will keep it filed away until the next time I get to see Paris!!

    ~ Clare x

  20. Will @ Bright.Bazaar says:

    I love, love, love Merci! Their soup kitchen is really good, too. Thanks for this round up of Paris places. Can't wait to visit there soon! :)

  21. My Castle in Spain says:

    L love your Paris, Carla ! I used to live rue Vieille du Temple and Le Petit Fer à cheval was my headquarters :-)
    I've never visited the Musée Baccarat – it looks absolutely wonderful…
    I wanted to try the new pizzeria opened by Julien Cohen (son of Merci's owner) next to Merci but unfortunately it was full..next time !
    Bonne journée….
    Lala

  22. Frenchicandshabby says:

    I've so enjoyed reading this post and will read it again and again. I feel as if I have eaten the cakes, drunk the hot chocolate and visted the different places. I have promised myself that one day I shall do just that.

  23. parisapartment says:

    Love these! Now i want to do it too…we all should!

  24. A Gift Wrapped Life says:

    What a fabulous post Carla. I was dying to explore Deyrolle both times but it was always closed. Next time……..along with your great list. Happy weekend. XO

  25. Katherine says:

    paris is magical! i haven't been in a few years and am dying to go back. i can't imagine how amazing your life must be living there!

  26. Anna says:

    What a fantastic top 10! I lived in the 3rd not long ago and am disappointed never came across Merci so I am putting that on my list for the day I move back!
    One of my favourites is Ile-St-Louis, not just for Berthillon ice cream, but for a great little resto called Les Fous d'Ile!
    I also just love sitting in the park outside Musee Picasso. Or strolling down Rue Montorgueil to the markets around Eglise St Eustache. Parfait.

  27. Lost in Provence says:

    Carla! Truly? I am just seeing this now but it is the BEST LIST I have ever seen for Paris. It is really the essence of it–well, as close as you can get for such a mysterious town. :) Oh my gosh, it makes me want to hop on the TGV right this second!!

  28. miss flibbertigibbet says:

    I am so excited because I have just found you and was told I MUST read your blog for my first ever trip to Paris in May. I can't wait to read everything you have to say!
    Gorgeous pics!
    Lorraine

  29. Carolyn Menadue says:

    That was a trip down memory lane with quite a few new things to add to my To Do list when next I visit! Great list, thanks Carla xx.

  30. C’est top!
    I love all those places. Just discovered the Musée Bourdelle last week on a photo shoot!

  31. Parisbreakfast says:

    Super Fab collection Wonderful places!
    So many must do’s waiting
    Big Merci Carla!
    Xxcarolg

  32. jann says:

    I love love love this post, Carla. Chez Prune has been my favorite breakfast spot for years when I’m in Paris, and the first time I ate at Le Camboge was like a religious experience. I also adore the Palais Royale and can’t wait to explore some of the other places on your list next visit.

  33. Sivan says:

    Love it!
    Makes me want to book a flight to Paris right now.
    I love Merci, Angelina, Luxenburg but so many more on your list to discover
    xox

  34. Katie says:

    What timing! I travel to Paris again in March for another cooking class with Patricia Wells and your suggestions will help fill our afternoons. I especially look forward to visiting Deyrolles. (I read that, after the fire, a group of loyal supporters gathered the funds to help rebuild the shop.)
    The Canal St. Martin is a must as well. xx

  35. I love a list Carla…I am printing as I type. Thank you so much..it is going right into my Paris travel book…until next time!
    Jeanne xx
    PS…many thanks again for letting me share a few of my Saigon favourites..I hope you will come and explore one day. :)

  36. La Contessa says:

    Been to TWO spots on your list!The Taxidermy shop In fact my gardening aprons are from there I bought two!Plus, the LUX gardens as my little hotel was just a stones toss away!I’ll be back!YOU CAN COUNT ON THAT!
    XXX

  37. loved the list then and love it now! + It just gets better with age. xxpeggybraswlldesign.com

  38. Ditto to all your recommendations Carla…have been to many of them too….and a few others may be Books…Shakespeare & Co; Impressionist Art…Musée de l’Orangerie; Drawing and Painting Workshops in Paris…Pauline Fraisse; Photography…MEP; Fab clothes…Lilith; Fab shoes…Fausto Santini; Posh Cocktails…Dali Bar, Hotel Le Meurice; I’ve Died and Gone to Heaven Lunch…Le Meurice; Hidden Passages….in 2nd and 9th arrondissements. Oh….I could go on and on!! A bientot Carla.

  39. Thanks so much for the fabulous additions Robyn xx Carla

  40. Judith Sydneysider says:

    With my daughter and a friend, am arriving in Paris via Hanoi mid-April. We will enjoy making good use of this list. Merci beaucoup!

  41. I agree with your choice! living between Merci and marché Richard lenoir I’m very very lucky to enjoy those places.
    chris

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