Ok ok. Finally get to write down some of the tips I usually give for Paris if friends ask. I know some of them are pretty obvious but hey, you never know how much people have researched after all.
My FAVORITE MUSEUMS (there are SO many and it is impossible to chose them all):
- Centre Georges Pompidou - just the building is worth the visit but they always have interesting exhibits going on (right now they have Magritte!). If modern, conceptual and abstract is not your thing don't go.
- Musée D'Orsay - again an amazing building. More classic collection and usually pretty cool exhibits going on.
- Musée Rodin - the house, the gardens, the collection (specially Camille Claudel pieces). Everything.
- Musée Picasso - don't think if you have visited one Picasso museum you have seen them all. This Paris location does not disappoint in any way. They just opened a Picasso-Giacometti exhibit I am dying to see.
I won't mention The Louvre but if you haven't been, obvious tip, go.
Going up the Eiffel Tower, a question I always get: yes, totally worth it. But book ahead to avoid disappointment and to try to beat the long lines. You can also walk across the river (to Trocadéro) or arrive via Trocadéro) to get a better view of her!
PLACES I ALWAYS LIKE TO VISIT: Place des Vosges (AND its surrounding neighborhood Le Marais), Jardin des Tuileries just for the walk and Ile Saint-Louis (for sure the place I would love to live at if Paris was an option! And Notre-Dame is just across the river!)
FOR FOOD, COFFEE, TEA, DESSERTS, ICE CREAM:
- Le Relais de l'Entrecôte: the classic Steak&Fries. Love.
- Les Cocottes: so close to the Eiffel Tower, so charming and SO good.
- Le Hangar: amazing little restaurant, typical written by hand menu, tucked in a little alley, about 5-8 minute walk from Georges Pompidou.
- Le Derrière: trendy, different, great food (and not too far from the Picasso Museum or the Georges Pompidou).
- Berthillon: for great ice-cream. But the one on the Ile Saint-Louis. Just check their website for closed days (they have those).
- Sébastien Gaudard: for desserts, yum. Right by the Jardin des Tuileries.
- Café Kousmichoff: super teas and nice brunch.
- Café Marly: an option with great views of the Louvre pyramid (price follows the view of course).
Stores you don't want to miss (special mention to the drugstores in general and the super French beauty brands): Le Colette, Le Bon Marché and Publicis Drugstore for a combo of things (I have left links of the websites so you can see what I mean!).
There are infinite options for hotels and places to stay. The sky is the limit for budget but there are nice cute places where you don't need to spend a ton of money. But it is Paris and usually the hotel will be a detail on your trip. But some people do care enough about hotels so... I like to stay close to Ile Saint-Louis but I am being very particular here. Another thing I check is how far the place I am looking at is from the subway (for convinience). Here are some hotels I like:
- Hôtel Particulier Montmartre > most expensive but maybe for special treat?!
- Hôtel Bel Ami > super location!
- Hôtel Dauphine Saint Germain > another one at a super location!
- Hôtel de l'Abbaye > classic look&feel and nice location!
Something I want to try for a next time: rent a place with A la Parisienne. They seem to have a good selection, all sizes, sometimes more convenient than a hotel (specially for families).