As some of you may know, Paris is my favorite city in the world. I sleep, eat and now event speak the Parisian life. I try to visit at least once a year and would love to eventually move there for a year. So, I recently made a quick five-day trek to Paris with my mom and one of my girlfriends. For those that have been to Paris before, you may find some itinerary somewhat helpful. For those that have never been, you can add this to your to-do list.
I have done the majority of the touristy things in Paris, and I really wanted to spend this opportunity doing things I have never done before. I had to ensure though that I got all the necessary shopping done and ate plenty of good food. Check out my four-day itinerary below.
I wanted this day to be a slow day, because we had just taken a red-eye flight and arrived to Paris fairly early. Luckily, our hotel (Hyatt Paris Madeleine) was able to check us in and get us into a room so that we could change and freshen up. This was my first time staying in the Madeleine area, and I really enjoyed as it was within walking distance to a lot of things I had planned to do!
Shopping on Saint Honoré- The first thing on our list was shopping on Rue du Saint Honoré. We stepped into the new Louis Vuitton store which houses their new furniture collection that is absolutely stunning. You can get a private tour of the furniture and other collection pieces by invite only. Not sure if it’s because we were very friendly and obviously making a rather large purchase. But it is definitely not open to everyone. I had to soak in this moment for as long as I could. So naturally, I took photos of myself in every mirror that I could find.
Catch a Cabaret: Next we decided to see the infamous Crazy Horse show. This is not your average Moulin Rouge cabaret. This is 98% nude show with the most gorgeous girls you have ever seen. Have you all seen Beyonce’s video, “Partition” where she is swinging around on the chair? She got that idea from Crazy Horse. It’s beautiful, fun, and sexy. This is a must.
Where We Ate & Drank:
Lunch- We ate lunch at the one and only Angelina Café. TIP: make a reservation! Otherwise you will stand in line FOREVER. Also, get the croque madame, the french onion soups (the best I’ve had in Paris) and their famous hot chocolate. Super yummy!
Dinner- Afterwards we topped the night off with dinner at my favorite restaurant, Cafe Constant. The food is always amazing and servers are even better.
Visit Montemarte– I had seen on Instagram, photos of the Montmarte area and the Sacre Couer Duomo. I decided we would spend the day there and explore. Montmarte is easily accessible via train. Or just a short Uber ride away.
Once we arrived, we walked up to Sacre Couer and took in the views of the city of Paris. There were tons of people and pigeons. If you are one of those that really admires Churches, I recommend you go inside. Otherwise, the outside is just enough. To the right of Sacre Couer is the Instagram famous “Sinking House.” Because I am an actual idiot and thought that the building itself looked really cool. I didn’t realize what it was until after I left Montemarte. One of the sole reasons why I wanted to come here! We also got a chance to see the “Love Wall” and Moulin Rouge during the day.
While, I didn’t get to do as much as I wanted to, Montemarte is know for its’ public squares, artists, shopping, and restaurants. TIP: If you have the chance, have dinner at the Maison Rose restaurant and Place du Terte for a caricature drawing.
Visit the Yves Saint Laurent Musee– Not sure how I came across this, but I know that that there is one in Marrakesh which is where YSL spent a lot of his time. But we decided to just show up (big mistake) and purchase our ticket. Of course, there was a long ass line outside and around the corner and it’s pouring rain outside and neither of us have an umbrella. We decided to stick it out and visit the museum. I’ll admit, I wasn’t thrilled with the exhibition, which showed a lot of his collections influenced by the Asian Pacific. The designs were cool to see, but what I enjoyed most was viewing his work space and seeing his drawings. Tickets are 15 euros.
Where We Ate & Drank
Breakfast- We had an amazing breakfast at Holybelly Cafe. I know, it’s totally not French AT ALL. But! The food and the atmosphere is amazing. There was a line out the door to get a seat as they do not take reservations. I recommend that you show up as soon as the doors open.
Dinner- Mom picked this spot and I honestly would have never known about it without her. Kong is fabulous! If you need to step away from the French cuisine, I highly recommend this spot. It has views of the Louis Vuitton show rooms and the Seine river. I could have (and even attempted) ordered everything from the menu. Some highlights were the peking duck egg rolls, grilled octopus and the marinated grill prawns. Supes delicious!
Dranks- Not far from the Champs Elysee is the Buddha Bar. The vibe is very dark and sexy. The crowd is slightly confusing. Some women are in Louboutins and some men are in hoodies. But the drinks are fun!
Day trip to Champagne- I have never been before and I have been dying to go. You can take a short high-speed train from Paris to either Reims or Epernay (two well-known champagne regions) at a low-cost of 20 euros. Depending on where you go, the train will take you about 30-45 minutes to get there.
I had to do some real research on this because I wanted to make sure I did it right. I wanted to visit both towns and visit some of the larger houses as well as the smaller houses that I have never heard of. First things first, how the eff do we get around? There are no Ubers and hardly any taxis. Private cars are crazy expensive. We decided to take our chance with taxis. Which ended up working out fine, but still costly, as taxis will charge you from the distance they are coming from to pick you up and the distance of where they drop you off. Also, hardly any of the taxi drivers speak any English, so you really need to know where you are going.
Champagne House Visits
Chateau Boursalt (my favorite)- This GORGEOUS estate was previous owned by the Cliquot family. It’s about a 10-15 minute drive from the Epernay train station. They best part is that they do complimentary tastings. As of right now, they do not distribute to the United States and can only be found in France. A reservation for the tasting is required. They do not offer tours of the Chateau, but if you’re nice enough they will let you walk the grounds around the Chateau. This tour is highly recommend from other tour guides at champagne houses-well worth it!
Moët Chandon– I love this champagne and always guzzle as much as I can whenever it’s around. I’m sure you’re asking why do a tasting if you’ve already had it. I wanted to see the grounds and how it was produced. Moet has the largest underground layers of champagne. It is the most expensive champagne house in the entire region. Learning about the production, really was fascinating. I now know the difference between a grand vintage and the imperial and also grand cru. Cost of the tasting is 30 euros for the Imperial tour.
Ruinart: I have always heard about Ruinart but had never tasted it. My mom recently brought me back a bottle from a previous trip to Paris and I thought that the packaging was just beautiful. So, why not visit their house. I read a lot on the internet that this is a must-visit. The grounds are beautiful and the champagne is even better. We missed the tour due to a very long lunch. But the tasting was well worth it. It is quite pricey to visit, but it is the oldest champagne house in the entire region. Cost of the tasting is 70 euros.
Where we Ate & Drank
Lunch- Domaine Les Crayeres– Okay, heads up. This place is EXPENSIVE! I knew it going in, but once they handed me the menu, I knew I was going to be living off of saltine crackers for a while. Now that is out-of-the-way. This is a two star Michelin restaurant, so you get what you pay for. Les Crayeres is known for their impeccable service. The way they move in sync with one another really is fun to watch. This beautiful chateau reminds of some place a royal would live. From the vaulted ceilings and water paintings brings you back in time. For the menu, if you can spend 140 euros on pumpkin risotto, by all means, go ahead. We went with the pre-fixed menu set at 70 euros per person. It comes with four courses and very small portions. This seemed like the most bang for your buck and in the end, the food was really tasty.
Dinner- After we got back from Champange, my girlfriend and I met up with another friend of mine that was also in town for dinner at Le Derrière. I LOVED everything about this place. From the crazy decor, to our server and of course the food. It was absolutely fabulous.
Dranks- Next door to Le Derriere is Andy Wahloo. Not to be mistaken for Andy Warhol (oops). This is a super fun spot with good disco music and disco floor.
Visit the LV Foundation– The artist Jean-Michel Basquiat who is from New York and collaborated with friend, Andy Warhol had an exhibition at this museum. This is the first his artwork has been displayed in Paris. The exhibition was beautiful and yet mystifying. You learned about the racial disparities he came across while living in New York and how it affected his life. The cost of the museum is 16 euros.
Shakespeare & Company Bookstore– This is kind of a tourist trap, but it is still cool to see. Grab a book and pop a squat upstairs and escape reality for an hour. If you purchase a book, you can ask them to stamp the inside of your book as a keepsake.
After Hours Tour of Palais Garnier– I spotted this on Revolve’s Instagram account and thought that it looked stunning inside. I always ride past the grand opera house during my stay in Paris, but have never been inside. Why not, this time around? I read that you can do day time tours or after hours. I recommend the after hours because there’s fewer people around and you can get better pictures. If you’re a history buff, this tour is for you. If you’re lucky and there isn’t a show going on, you might be able to see the auditorium which has a grand ceiling mural of several French artists.
Where we Ate & Drank
Lunch- Jen Atkin who I am obsessed with, listed this as one of her favorite places to dine in Paris. Cafe de Flore is in the beautiful Saint Germain area. This is a classic Parisian restaurant with some of the chic patrons around. Grab your berets and sunnies ladies and snap some picks.
Dinner-Another place I spot on my Instagram feed via Revolve. I wanted to go because it looked pretty. That’s pretty much it. People said the food was good at Le Train Bleu, which it was. It’s located inside the Paris Gare de Lyon train station on the second level. The area outside of the train station is a little seedy, but I didn’t feel uncomfortable. Dinner was somewhat expensive, but overall the presentation and the food was good. Not in a rush to go back anytime soon!
Dranks- L’Avenue is a celebrity hot spot. From Kendall Jenner to Rihanna. You are almost guaranteed to spot someone. This of course means it comes with a hefty price tag. We popped in for drinks and the upstairs bar was completely empty. We grabbed two seats chatted with the bartender and the DJ and got hammered. The bartender served us and himself numerous shots. He then spread the joy to the DJ and one of the servers. We all sat there and had a glorious time.
Visit Palais Royal– As I am writing this blog, I have to fully admit that clearly this whole trip was based on what I’ve seen on Instagram. Either I have a serious problem and need help or the “influencers” are damn good at their jobs. I spotted this place on someone’s feed and fell in love with the black and white columns. They come in all different shapes and heights. This has to be a photographer’s dream, right? It’s just so cool. I am sure there is a cool story behind the Palace, but for now, let’s just enjoy the views.
Where we Ate & Drank
Dinner- I was so surprised when my mom recommended this place. Again, straying away from your typical French restaurants. This Thai restaurant is out of this world. Bambou has a dark ambiance that almost crosses the line of bohemian. We were seated in a small dining room area with velvet settes and large paintings with gold frames. I had a hard time selecting from the menu as I loved it all. We ordered the pad thai (my favorite), fried shrimp and lime sauce, sauteed broccoli and yellow bean sauce, and the cashew nut sauteed chicken. So tasty, I would absolutely go back again. Maybe when it’s warm so we can enjoy their gorgeous patio.
I truly feel like that if you follow some of these things to do, you’ll have a fabulous time in Paris. Don’t forget to remember to do something that is out of you comfort zone. Explore, open your eyes, taste new foods because what is life without new experiences? Until next time..xoxo!