“Paris ne s’est pas fait en un jour“ – Paris was not made in a day. The key to Parisian indulgence is a slow pace and conscious savouring of detail. There are many cities in the world that you can, hypothetically, rush into a short, last-minute itinerary. Paris is not one of these. The city demands patience and investment from visitors, with too many experiences to squeeze into a short itinerary. Immerse yourself fully in atmosphere, cuisine, art, culture, and history when in Paris. Forget the constraints of time and indulge in the luxury of the present mind.
Paris is split into twenty arrondissements – city districts assigned numbers in a clockwise distribution. Each arrondissement has a distinct character. Each area prides itself on a unique identity, attractions, and even certain architectural styles. The effect is a jigsaw city with beautiful individual pieces that slot together entertainingly to create a final, aesthetic piece.
The saying that Paris was not made in a day is quite an understatement. In fact, early records of the city that a group of Celtic fishermen established the French settlement in 259 BC. Over the centuries, Paris was passed to the Romans, Franks, Normans, and, later, Germany during WW11. The French capital has been moulded by multiple centuries of culture, language, and influence – making it one of the most fascinating and revered city destinations worldwide.
While there might be a lifetime of experiences to indulge in from Paris, we’ve compacted the best of the city into a destination guide for you.
PARIS: THINGS TO DO
1. SEE PARIS FROM THE ARC DE TRIOMPHE ROOFTOP
Seen as Paris’ cityscape is easily one of the most famous in the world, it’s only fitting that our first recommendation of things to do involves a panoramic city view.
The Arc de Triomphe is a main monumental attraction in Paris and was initially Napoleon’s idea as a celebration of armies. However, the Arc remained uncompleted in Napoleon’s lifetime and was only finished in 1836 under the rule of King Louis-Philippe. In 1921, the Arc’s ode to the fallen soldiers of WW1 was cemented with the burial of the Unknown Soldier. Now, visitors can visit the grave and memorial fire under the Arc before taking the many steps to the Arc de Triomphe viewing platform.
The interior of the Arc de Triomphe is split across multiple floors, with historic exhibits explaining the inspiration and practicalities behind its construction. The Arc’s floors are only accessible via flights of narrow, stone steps that create a castle-like, medieval atmosphere for those exploring.
Finally, visitors have unlimited time to take in 360-degree views of Paris on the rooftop terrace. The terrace has impressive views of the Eiffel Tower, Sacre-Coeur in the distance, and the full stretch of the Avenue des Champ-Elysees.
2. VISIT THE LOUVRE AT NIGHT
The Louvre may rank highly on most Paris itineraries, but we particularly recommend visiting by night. By taking a nocturnal visit, you can experience Paris’ most popular gallery with fewer tourists – which is undeniably more relaxing and enjoyable. And, you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful view of the gallery’s exterior, with the Louvre pyramid illuminated after dark.
The Louvre is home to some of the world’s most famous artwork, including the Mona Lisa, The Coronation of Napoleon, and the Great Sphinx of Tanis. Regardless of whether you are an art enthusiast, the fame of the pieces on display makes the Louvre an accessibly luxurious cultural experience.
If you are interested in a night-time gallery experience at the Louvre, you’ll need to visit on a Wednesday or Friday and check current restrictions. On these days, the gallery remains open until 9:45 pm, leaving visitors plenty of time to appreciate the renowned artwork after standard hours.
3. WATCH A MOULIN ROUGE PERFORMANCE
When in Paris, attending live entertainment is not a question of if, but when. And the Moulin Rouge is the most well-known and respected performance to consider for your itinerary. With dazzling costumes, multi-nationally cast talent, and unique fine dining options, a visit to the Moulin Rouge is an entire evening affair.
We’d recommend considering the VIP Dinner and Show experience. A VIP ticket sweeps you past the usual queuing and straight into your premium seat, where a complimentary glass of champagne rose prestige and a Moulin Rouge programme awaits. While the show explodes into action on the stage below, you can indulge in four courses of fine dining with the option of additional high calibre refreshments. When the curtains draw, you’ll also receive a thoughtful gift to depart with as a memory of your experience.
If you want to attend a Moulin Rouge performance, we’d recommend booking your tickets in advance – the experience is popular for many good reasons.
4. INDULGE IN A GASTRONOMICAL EXPERIENCE
Like Parisian entertainment, the food and wine culture are further characteristics of the city. Investing in a gastronomical experience is somewhat of a necessity when visiting Paris and definitely not something to compromise on in your itinerary.
You could attend an organised luxury wine and food tastings tour, like Viator’s listing in Montmartre and the Royal Wine Cellar. Alternatively, you could choose an independent experience, visiting one of the recommended venues we list further below.
When it comes to choosing a meal to dine out for, we suggest that you consider breakfast, not just dinner. Breakfast in Paris is an ultimate gastronomical experience and offers a cultural, aesthetic chance to people-watch while enjoying traditional street corner dining.
5. CLIMB THE EIFFEL TOWER
An obvious but deserved addition to our list, the Eiffel Tower is a worthy itinerary addition when visiting Paris.
For the ultimate experience, purchase lift access tickets to the top floor in advance and champagne on arrival. The squeaking rise in the scenic elevator provides both adrenaline excitement and saved legs, optimising your time spent on the tower floors rather than the stairs.
The first level offers open-air 360-degree views over Paris, while the second level has an indoor section with a bar to order refreshments and your promised champagne. On both floors, visitors can use the informative boards to identify major landmarks and telescopes to get a closer look at parts of Paris.
“Paris ne s’est pas fait en un jour”
PARIS: WHERE TO STAY
1. FOUR SEASONS HOTEL GEORGE V
The Four Seasons hardly needs an introduction. The Four Seasons George V is sat a five-minute walk from luxury shopping on the Champ-Elysees and directly between the iconic structures of the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.
The hotel’s location means guests can take advantage of stunning views, and the hotel offers suites featuring Eiffel Tower views for the ultimate splash of luxury.
In terms of fine dining, guests can opt between three supreme quality in-house restaurants, all holding Michelin stars. Visitors can also enjoy complimentary access to Le Spa and a fully-equipped fitness centre.
The Four Seasons Hotel George V is a great accommodation choice for those prioritising Eiffel Tower views, doorstep designer shopping, and convenient Michelin dining.
Website: Luxury Hotel Paris | 5-Star | Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
Address: 31, Avenue George V, 75008 Paris, France
2. HOTEL PLAZA ATHENEE
The Hotel Plaza Athenee is instantly recognisable on Avenue Montaigne by its exterior decorations of over 1,900 red geraniums.
Like the Four Seasons George V, Hotel Plaza Athenee is located between the Champ-Elysees and Eiffel Tower, creating the perfect sightseeing and shopping base. And, with a floral façade and art deco interior, the hotel provides a classy, aesthetically pleasing accommodation choice in Paris.
All guests receive complimentary access to the in-house Dior Spa and the choice to dine in at one of the hotel’s restaurants. In terms of room choices, guests can choose from three suites with Eiffel Tower views and some with Avenue Montaigne views.
The Hotel Plaza Athenee is perfect for those who prioritise beautiful accommodation and want scenic room views and indulgent spa access.
Website: Hôtel Plaza Athénée – 5-star luxury hotel | Dorchester Collection
Address: Hôtel Plaza Athénée, 25 avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris, France
3. RITZ PARIS
Another respected name in the luxury hotel industry, the Ritz Paris is a deserved addition to our list. Situated in Paris 1st arrondissement, the Ritz is only a ten-minute walk from the Louvre Museum and Seine, making it great for art enthusiasts and those wanting to sightsee.
Guests receive full spa and gym access, which features a jacuzzi, sauna, and indoor pool. The Ritz Paris also welcomes at the in-house restaurant, L’Espadon, and bar, Bistronomique Ritz.
While the Ritz’s name speaks for itself, the Ritz Paris is ideally situated for convenient sightseeing and is great for health and fitness-conscious visitors.
Website: RITZ PARIS (parishotelsfr.com)
Address: 15 Place Vendôme, 75001 Paris, France
4. MAISON MERE
In Paris’ 9th arrondissement, Maison Mere is only a twenty-minute walk from Montmartre, making it a great choice for those exploring Northern city districts.
With Parisian balcony rooms, an in-house restaurant, and bar, plus complimentary tablets and smart TVs in each room, Maison Mere provides luxury comforts throughout the premises. However, the hotel is perfect for guests on business trips or working remotely. It features a trendy co-working space, envelopes, and specialised high-speed WI-FI.
If you want to balance sightseeing access and proximity to Montmartre, Maison Mere is a great choice. Business travellers will especially appreciate the designated work facilities, and all guests will enjoy the spaciousness and comforts of the rooms on offer.
Website: Maison Mère | Hotel, Restaurant, Bar | Paris 9th (maisonmere.co)
Address: 7 Rue Mayran, 75009 Paris, France
5. THE PENINSULA PARIS
Another hospitality venue near the Arc de Triomphe and Champ-Elysees, The Peninsula Paris, boasts a selection of room choices, including the Rooftop Garden Suite. The Rooftop Garden Suite features a private terrace with views over the Eiffel Tower and is well worth booking in advance should you wish to lock in a special view.
Speaking of views, guests can take advantage of the convenient in-house restaurant L’oiusau Blanc. The Michelin-starred venue treats diners to views over Paris alongside a suspended aircraft replica of the first plane to attempt a non-stop transatlantic crossing. A unique introduction to French gastronomy, the restaurant is a definite draw to those who appreciate quality in-house dining.
Guests all receive complimentary access to The Peninsula Spa. Here, you can book a treatment, work out in two different fitness rooms, take a dip in the indoor swimming pool, or relax in one of two jacuzzis.
The Peninsula Paris is fantastic for unique in-house dining and guests prioritising Eiffel Tower views.
Website: 5 Star Hotel Paris, France – Luxury Hotel | The Peninsula Paris
Address: The Peninsula Paris, 19 Avenue Kléber Paris, France, 75116
“Paris may not have been made in a day, but it has instilled luxury at every corner.”
PARIS: WINING AND DINING
1. LE GABRIEL
On the edge of the Jardin des Champs-Elysees, Le Gabriel is masterminded by Michel Reybier and double Michelin-starred Jérôme Banctel. Le Gabriel pioneers a modern French fine dining concept, with three tasting menus to select from, including Escales, Virée, and Périples. Escales consists of three courses, Virée of five and Périples of a grand eight.
The restaurant interior was styled impressively by Jacques Garcia in fitting with Napoleon 111 designs. The dining room is large and airy, with a classy gold and black furnishing scheme. For an upscale French dining experience, Le Gabriel provides memorably elegant surroundings.
Website: Restaurant Le Gabriel | Michelin Star Restaurant in Paris (lareserve-paris.com)
Address: 42 avenue Gabriel, Hôtel La Réserve, 75008 Paris, France
2. LA MAISON ROSE
La Maison Rose is as much a landmark as a restaurant. The little pink corner restaurant is a beloved building in Montmartre, and its cursive, hand-painted sign and green shutters paint a picture that’s rapidly spreading across social media platforms.
La Maison Rose’s roots began as a house. A Catalan painter, Ramon Pichot, purchased the property in 1905 and thanks, to his extensive network of artist friends, the likes of Picasso have passed its threshold. A little later, in 1908, Pichot and his wide Germaine opened La Maison Rose. And, over a century later, the restaurant remains a success and hospitality icon.
Diners can expect a short but sweet lunch and dinner menu at La Maison Rose. The restaurant offers vegan dishes such as pasta gratin with chestnut pumpkin and sage or meat dishes like roasted veal with rosemary tomato sauce. Wine is served by the glass, carafe, or bottle – leaving plenty of choices for a sociable drink al fresco on a Parisian evening.
Address: 2 Rue de l’Abreuvoir, 75018 Paris, France
3. LE BUSTRONOME
Le Bustronome is an excellent culinary option to combine sightseeing and fine dining. Seated on a luxury double-decker bus with a glass ceiling for panoramic views of Paris, you make your way through the city on a scenic dining trip.
The route passes Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Grand Palace, Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower (of course). While you savour a choice of four to six courses, you can experience the luxury of one of the world’s most famous cities as a backdrop.
Diners have three ticket options, including two offering dinner without a drinks package, with one offering inclusive tickets to the Arc de Triomphe. The final option entitles diners to a full wine pairing package. Here, guests receive a glass of wine per course, as matched by a specialist sommelier to the dish’s ingredients and tasting notes.
Website: Paris | Bustronome | Restaurant gastronomique original à Paris & Londres
Address: 2 avenue Kléber 75116 Paris, France
4. LE CIEL DE PARIS RESTAURANT
Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance designed Le Ciel de Paris to be architecturally ‘timeless’ and aesthetically and materially ‘fluid’ – a resounding success in our opinion. The restaurant has a sleek look, with metal seating and smooth tables. However, the most timeless aspect, we believe, is the panoramic view of Paris below.
When planning a city trip, taking an aerial view of the cityscape is a solid addition to any itinerary. But, at Le Ciel de Paris, diners can combine Parisian views with upscale fine dining.
Chef Christophe Marchais has curated a stellar menu of beautiful concoctions, including dishes like the Pumpkin Riso, Heart of Beef Fillet, and Spiny Lobster Salad. Diners have plenty to choose from, with entrees, various main types, and a tempting selection of desserts.
Website: Restaurant Ciel de Paris I official website | cieldeparis.com
Address: 33 avenue du Maine, 56th Floor, 75015 Paris, France
5. LE TRAIN BLEU
Finally, to feel like a Prince or Princess for the evening, we recommend Le Train Bleu. The restaurant is situated inside the main train station, Gare de Lyon, and is an art deco replica of a vintage train carriage.
In terms of interior design, extravagance is a severe understatement. The tables are arranged into ornate booths, with high-back wooden seating with gold details and blue leather cushioning. True to its station surroundings, Le Train Bleu has classic, high ceiling arches, decorated in sections with wall paintings and centrally illuminated by a golden chandelier.
Diners can expect a wide selection of dishes, such as Monkfish Medallions, Quince and Squash Gnocchi, and Salers Beef Tartare. There are also a series of tasting menus to tempt diners. You may wish to try the Pairs Lyon Mediterranean Menu, Traveller’s Menu, the Train Bleu Menu, or the special Children’s Menu – a tasting menu tailored especially to the younger guests and their fine dining experience.
Website: ⇒ Le Train Bleu | Gourmet Restaurant Gare de Lyon | Paris 12 (le-train-bleu.com)
Address: Place Louis Armand, Gare de Lyon, 75012 Paris, France
Paris may not have been made in a day, but it has instilled luxury at every corner. If you want to indulge in all things art, history, and culture, there is hardly a better choice for you amongst city breaks. Take your trip slowly and savour every moment of your Parisian experience – the capital has a lot planned for you.
I was excited to discover this website. I want to to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every part of it and i also have you book-marked to look at new things on your website.