J’adore Paris

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Oh Paris, how I love thee.  I’ve been planning a Paris travel guide for some time, but it always seems daunting to distill my favorite city into a single post, as I could wax poetic for hours.  I’ve been several times now, and with every return trip it feels more and more like my heart-home.  This guide is far from comprehensive, but here are a few of my very favorite places to eat and visit in the City of Light.

Visit

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Orangerie

Huge panels of Claude Monet’s Waterlilies are housed here, which themselves are worth the price of admission.  They also have an excellently curated selection of 19th-century French art.

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Musee Rodin

Masterworks of sculpture in a beautiful garden setting, including The Thinker and a host of other amazing pieces.  The cafe is also quite good.

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Musee d’Orsay

One of my favorite places in Paris, this museum “picks up” where the Louvre leaves off, in terms of art history.  Stunning Impressionist art and more in a converted train station that will leave you breathless.

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Père Lachaise cemetery

Perhaps strolling around a cemetery is not the first thing you might want to do on vacation, but hear me out!  Père Lachaise is a park made of of 110 acres, and is the most-visited necropolis in the world.  Beautiful mausoleums and grave markers, serene tree-lined avenues, and the likes of Honoré de Balzac, Frédéric Chopin, Colette, Jean-François Champollion, Molière, Jim Morrison, Alfred de Musset, Edith Piaf, and Oscar Wilde? Give it a go.

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Sainte-Chapelle

If you have ever wondered what it would feel like to walk around inside a jewel box, the 1,113 stained glass windows at Sainte-Chapelle will get you close.  This Gothic royal chapel will take your breath away.

 

Eat

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Ellsworth

Some of the best fried chicken I have ever had — seriously!  Seasonal produce positively glowed in their desserts.  Purely a delight.

Frenchie

Delightfully inventive dishes in a tasting menu that shines, all served in a cozy-yet-modern casual-yet-refined setting.  Excellent service, and food that is as fun as it is delicious.

L’As du Falafel

Perhaps the best falafel I have ever had, tucked in the Jewish quarter like a (not so) well-kept secret.  Bustling, homey, and delicious.  Know that there will be a line.  Also know it will be worth the wait.

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Creperie Genia

Tiny hole-in-the-wall crepes spot that serves my favorite panini trois fromage in the city.  There is no more lovely an afternoon than a visit to Genia eating lunch upstairs, a stroll around the 5 arr., and a stop into Shakespeare and Co.

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Café du Commerce

Open since 1921, stop in here for delicious steak frites and a thoroughly enjoyable 1920s Paris vibe.  You won’t be sorry.

Stay

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Hotel Henriette

One of my very favorite places to stay!  Hotel Henriette is a boutique hotel on a quiet street boasting 32 individually-designed bedrooms and the sweetest breakfast spot you’ve ever seen.  Chic, cozy, eclectic, and undeniably Parisian, I’ve found their staff to be nothing but kind and accommodating.  It’s the perfect spot to land at the end of a busy day, complete with convenient metro access.  Did I mention their rates are very reasonable?  And their tiny pains au chocolate at breakfast are delicious?

Tips

If you’re like me and love visiting museums, save yourself a bit of money and get a museum pass.  Also, plan your visits ahead of time.  Museums in Paris are not necessarily all open on the same days, so it is helpful to plan out your visits before hand to avoid showing up on a day something is closed.  Many of the major museums are included with the pass, and if you are strategic about what you visit when, you can get in to see a TON of amazing exhibits at a significantly reduced cost.  Often you can buy tickets online for special exhibits as well, so you can avoid lines or potential sold-out situations.

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The metro makes Paris extremely easy to get around.  Buy a metro pass and travel around the city like a local — you’ll get the hang of it in no time.  There are maps in every metro station, so you’ll never get lost!  Also the metro app can be quite helpful to help you plan your routes.

Walk everywhere you can, you never know what you’ll stumble onto!  Bakeries full of treats, tiny lovely gardens, historic buildings, statues and monuments and quaint little streets… Paris is magical like that.  There is nothing quite like the sense of discovery that comes with exploring Paris.

Amusez-vous à Paris!

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