Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Glam spots to stay, eat, shop and party in the Champs-Élysées area.



The first question you should ask yourself is: where will I stay? The most acceptable answer will be anywhere that gives you a great view of the Eiffel Tower. Well, it’s not exactly anywhere, it should be in Champs-Élysées. And a glam spot on top of the list is the Hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres, which will give you just that.

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Standing at the entrance to the Hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

The lounge in Hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres in Paris

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Our delicious welcome gift and our key at Hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres in Paris

This charming hotel will make you feel like you live here. Instead of a giant, bustling lobby filled with tourists, you’ll find a cosy and luxurious lounge that seems like it’s there just for you. From the hallways to the rooms to the elevator, everything feels comfortable and uber-plush.

The hotel has 26 rooms corresponding to the letters of the alphabet. And not just any ordinary alphabet. Each letter represents a celebrated writer wherein which the room is decorated with their work. This boutique hotel is rated 4-stars, but the rooms, beds, breakfast and service is definitely on par with any 5-star hotel. And it doesn’t stop there.

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

With my hubby in the lobby of Hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres in Paris

It’s on a quiet street in the 8th arrondissement (right next to the prime minister’s palace, no less!), so you won’t have to worry about honking cars or tipsy tourists waking you at night (although there is an awesome American-style bar across the street called Bugsy’s that’s worth visiting for a pint or two). Despite feeling tucked away, it’s right next door to Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, which is the only place to be if you want to shop haute couture. It’s also a few steps from Avenue Montaigne, the Palais de L’Elysée, the Place Beauvau, and several great art galleries (like Opera Gallery, which is also in NYC, is my favorite gallery).

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Opera Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in Paris

But before we talk endlessly about what’s surrounding Hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres, I would like to share with you two suites where you can have the best glam vacation in Paris, ever. You’ve probably seen photo shoots and magazine ads featuring a balcony with people having breakfast with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Don’t you always wish it was you in the pictures? Yeah, I always did, too.

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

The exterior of the hotel in the early evening

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Our breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower, from our bed

Several of the suites in Hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres can give you your own picturesque view of the Eiffel Tower. We stayed in two of their best suites, both with incredible views. While having breakfast on the suite’s balcony, or before going to sleep on your fluffy bed, you will be able to see the twinkling tower from the suite called ‘Diderot’ – and go to sleep basking under the magical, twinkling lights of Paris.

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Risqué required reading in the Diderot suite at Hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres in Paris

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

The Diderot suite at Hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres in Paris

Another exceptional suite in this hidden gem of a hotel is the penthouse suite called ‘Andersen’, which also has an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower. The Andersen has a spacious lounging area where you can indulge in the softness of the purple velvet sofa and lounge chairs while sipping your coffee, and enjoying views of the Eiffel Tower at the same time.

Feeling peckish? I was amazed to learn that room service can be ordered 24 hours a day. Yes — that’s right — you can order gourmet food and eat it in bed at 4am, or any other time you’d like! Their menu includes French classics like French foie gras and toast (but please don’t order that — here’s why), a cheese platter, and chocolate fondant (perfect for 4am), to worldwide favorites like grilled salmon fillet and sushi. Yummy!

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

The Andersen suite at Hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres

If you’re also a fan of Denis Diderot or Hans Christian Andersen, then you’ll see passages from their books all over the suite. From the wall on the headboard to the bathroom doors, the passages will be embedded in your head like a last song syndrome. But hey, it’s actually a good thing, it’s your first step to learning French!

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Diderot’s sexy script – the writing on the wall

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Towel warmer = Yes, please!!

The quality of the pillows, mattress, sheets, drapes, and materials used in the suites (especially in the bathrobes!) is something that I can’t stop gushing about. Oh, and the towel warmers! (Note to self: get a towel warmer ASAP.)

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Enjoying the complimentary breakfast on the Diderot suite’s balcony

Breakfast is included in your stay, and you can either get it sent up as room service (breakfast in bed? count me in!) or eat in the posh dining lounge or terrace on the main floor. I loved that everything was so gourmet, from the cheese plate, to the individually packaged La Perruche cane sugar and the perfectly selected Alain Milliat confitures in apricot, raspberry, honey and purple fig.

After breakfast, I loved either taking a bath in the Villeroy & Boch soaking jet tub while looking out the large picture window, or grabbing a bike out front to work off all that buttery pain au chocolat by cruising around the 8th.

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Bikes are provided by the hotel

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Have a drink from the honor bar

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Books in the hotel’s lounge

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Part of the lounge at Hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres in Paris

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

Have breakfast or a drink in the lounge

Doing the 8th in Paris Like a (Glam) Parisian

The terrace at Hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres in Paris

And if you’re hankering for a 5 o’clock cocktail, mix one up just how you like it using the wide selection of liquor and mixers in the hotel’s honor bar, then flip through one of the many style-focused coffee table books in their impressive library. What more could a glam Parisian ask for?

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A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 107 Comments

  1. Great photos and article!

  2. Jae Medina

    Very useful information, not the same rehashed tips we’ve all heard before … and (refreshingly) written without all of the “ohhhh Americans!” sneering that sometimes seems to be the standard tone of Parisian travel advice for Yanks in the City of Lights. Great read. Merci!

  3. Lena Dzeko

    The French and Italians are appalled by the way the average American and Brit dresses. They think a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers are peasant clothes. They’ll spend an hour polishing their shoes before they go out, while we’re out the door with a tattered, old pair of $20 Chuck Taylor’s. It really offends them. :/

  4. Cassi Braun

    Paris…. London…. and perhaps rome are where they have the most american tourists, I’m not impressed. This is called the bandwagon effect in psychology. One does it and brands the city as “exotic” the other goes. I’ve been to all three places, about 3 years ago. Since then I’ve been looking into places tourists don’t go, like Malmö, Warsaw, Copenhagen, kaiserslautern, and Yorkshire. A vacation or escapism should be free of similar people and surrounding. I get embarrassed when American answer Paris, London, and Rome when they’re for their vacation, it shows simplicity and still xenophobia…

  5. Felicia Stewart

    My family had encountered a pickpocket twice during our three day stay in Paris. What’s worse, I stepped on dog #$%$ twice too… Would never go again.

  6. Matilda Parker

    My tip is not to do all the touristy things. I mean if you REALLY have to, make it a short part of the day. Don’t center it around the trip. The very BEST way to enjoy Paris is just sort of stroll around, relax, hang at a cafe, explore. Eat some cheese, some patisserie, have an espresso, talk to and maybe have sex with locals. I guarantee you will enjoy your trip. You’ll understand the Parisian lifestyle and go home longing to come back. Everyone that I know who does the touristy thing goes home hating Paris.

  7. Hmmm…I really had no trouble in Paris, but the rest of France was a lot nicer. Paris smells TERRIBLE, as well, much worse than NYC, which is also somehwhat “pungent”.
    The countryside, villages, and farm communities were pretty cool.

  8. Anouska Leigh

    So many comments say French are rude but I disagree. If you use excellent manners there, people in France are fine (or anywhere in Europe). Just learn Hello, please, thank you, excuse sir/madam……it will get you very far. Also, lower your voice. You shouldn’t talk loud there. Definitely ask a younger person if you need help. Their English is usually better. And please…NO WHITE SNEAKERS!!! You might as well put a target on your back that screams…American tourist here!!

  9. Kimberley Foulkes

    Interesting! I made an effort to speak French the times I visited–I had transportation language etc. written down on notecards.
    And I took a tour of Notre Dame that included a climb to the top! 🙂
    And rode the Metro.
    Paris is cozy, the tap water tastes great (unlike where I’m from), and I’d love to visit again.

  10. Susanna Milton

    Okay i went there, and would never go back, the city is no better than anywhere else i went to, and here is my rule, be nice to me and i will be nice to you period. No need to be rude at anytime, or make excuses for bad behavior anywhere.

  11. Melissa Princeton

    I love Paris. I am a total francophile, speak French and lived in Paris. I think the problem most tourists have is not understanding that the French do not have the same views of things as Americans. They don’t subscribe to the “customer is right” mentality. So if you get upset with service you receive, yelling and being rude will get you absolutely nothing. Don’t waste your breath. If you just remind yourself that it’s different in France, you will save yourself some aggravation. Also, most Parisians speak English and will not treat you rudely if you speak English to them, with the following caveat – ALWAYS ask first if they speak English. They’ll appreciate the courtesy of you asking, rather than launching into English on the assumption that they understand and will accommodate you. So practice, “Parlez-vous anglais?” If you are a tourist, they know it, so I wouldn’t worry about your shorts and sneakers. Just use common sense – if you were going to a nice restaurant at home, you probably wouldn’t wear shorts/sneakers, so don’t do it just because you’re on vacation. Regarding Chartres, it’s my favorite cathedral in France and I’ve done Miller’s tour. If you’re not a total art history buff, there are probably better things to do with your limited time. It’s a beautiful, wonderful city – so enjoy it!

  12. Sabrina Wellington

    Merci hilary!! On my next visit to the City of Lights, I’ll be sure to try some of your suggestions…I wish you had mentioned the BATEAUX MOUCHES for first-time tourists. I found their tour really delightful.

  13. Molly Twain

    I love your article, however in my opinion there is no special formula for visiting Paris or any other city. Basically, do your homework. Try to learn at few phrases. Follow the local customs, behave as a guest (be humble and polite) and don’t do anything stupid. 😉

  14. Ayla Pennington

    My aunt and uncle accompanied me there, me competing as a figure skater, when I was very young. They were the worst at French, and in a restaurant, if they tried to order and fractured the language, we all got ham and cheese sandwiches, with no apology. I had no Idea then… Now, it’s funny. This was a long time ago!!! lol

  15. Evelyn Sandler

    We have been to Paris on a couple of occassions – My husband proposed to me in Notre Dame Cathedral – and these suggestions are right on ! Thanks for the reminders. We are going back soon.

  16. Amelia Beckons

    Paris is like with every other international city. if Americans travel, please adjust to their culture a little bit or as much as you can. Also the other countries don’t do what we do and don’t have everything we have either, just a thought. in Europe, they don’t put up with a lot of #$%$ they put up here. I don’t know why cant people dress up better when they go out shopping or going somewhere. remember the cleavers? perfect example. (but today there are nicer outfits around). NICER, not sloppier.

  17. Sasha Rosswell

    Also a note of caution for male American tourists – (I noticed Urbanette have some male readers as well. When going to a public pool or beach, the longer “board type” swim trunks will likely not be permitted. It’s that they look too much like shorts which apparently the French seem to despise so much. Be prepared to bring your own bikini type men’s bottoms or purchase a flimsy pair for 35 Euros at a vending machine by the pool….seriously. ahahaha

    • Kim Hartford

      In Vienna Austria, the rules are the same. The stated view is that board shorts bring too much detergent byproduct into, and remove too much water from, the pool.

  18. Jennifer McSween

    Take the funicular up to Sacre Coeur. There are a LOT of steps, and the stairway is a cesspool of pickpockets. While you’re in Montmartre, get the foie gras and coddled egg at Le Jardin d’en Face (29 Rue de Trois Freres). It’s incredible.

  19. Sabrina Grattidge

    Do not fall for the old rumors that the French are rude,be to Paris twice and found very friendly people,most speak English,and very polite,Just be prepared for no ice,and luck warm drinks,always use the water taxis when you can,they are cheap and faster and many attractions are right on the river and you can hop off and hop back on again saving your feet and time,which in July in Paris is great since its dose get very warm,but you do see some Americans that do not get it and dress like they are at Disney ,No,No,No,Paris is my favorite European city,no hands down,

    • You are right, we went to Germany and the Germans are the rude ones. I found the French to be tolerable in Paris, but in South of France they were quite nice. The Germans seemed more “busy” than anything. The real rudies are in Italy. I will never return there after that trip.

  20. Diana Hewitt

    great post, Hilary!!!! All I can say is, go to Paris…and love every minute. it is a beautiful city…second only to San Francisco (I am prejudiced my home town) go to the top of the Eiffel Tower…it is a thrill and it is the Eiffel Tower…go to the Moulin Rouge and Maxim”s and be sure and sit outside at a café and just breathe….the Europeans are much smarter about outdoor cafes than we are. See the catacombs , enjoy Montmartre…don’t get too caught up in this guy’s take on this…of course be polite, but be enthusiastic….Parisians love their city and love to show it off. 🙂

  21. Good advice. I once saw a comment from a Frenchman that said Americans show up looking like they have arrived to cut the grass. I must say this is too often true. My fellow Americans show a little class when visiting our European friends.

  22. The bad comments I see here, I take with a grain of salt! Those people must have insulted the French when they went there! I absolutely love France and found the people there to be very kind and POLITE. Even if you only know how to say hello and good bye, do it! They will love you for your attempt. I have adopted a wonderful family in Paris and they are so wonderful. I could never collectively say that a people in itself is bad. Go visiting with an open mind and a kind heart. By the way, all these tips are right on target! Wear long pants, don’t wear sandals with socks, don’t wear loud t shirts; don’t wear stupid looking hats and always be polite where ever you go. also black is a good color to wear and ladies, wear a scarf!

  23. Lynn Hayes

    What i remember about Paris. Was there about 5 years ago. Went out for a walk on Sunday morning and the smell of #$%$ was everywhere and you could see where people had been going on the sides of buildings. Thats what i remember about Paris. Normandy on the other hand was charming.

  24. Roberta Bennett

    Been to Paris twice, Both times were great, I am fluent in French. Brought gifts of Louisiana hot sauce and Maple Syrup from Quebec.which we gave to small hotel keepers and restaurant owners when we toured the Loire valley. Do yourself a favor after seeing Paris’s monuments head down to Orleans, or Normandy, or Bordeaux. All are close to Paris, and the charm of the French country and hospitality and warmness of it’s people will be evident. 🙂

  25. Amanda Roberts

    Not just in Paris but traveling abroad anywhere everyone needs to be more considerate of the host country, at the bare minimum learn a couple of useful phrases and find out what the tipping norm is.

  26. Kimberly Thompson

    If your vacation time, kids out of school time is August-September and you are planning on France, then go. You’ll be fine. I usually go in July thru August. All the relatives in the Paris-area are on vacation. So have a whole month to get to other places. They usually plan about 7 days for the family at countries outside of France. Last trip went to a beach resort, on the “Med” sea, coast of Sicily. August this year going to Spain, near Barcelona. But if all the time, money you have is Paris, then it’s a great place, take it all in as much time as you have time. In Paris, WALK, it’s a beautiful, historic city. The city of Marseilles, Versailles, the coast of Normandy,etc,etc. Take a train if you can. Ride the local trains, buses if you can, especially if you are traveling with a “local” or someone who speaks French. The French are usually very friendly, courteous, especially the Police, Gendarme. The most rude, unfriendly people are the Middle Easterners, especially if they hear you speaking English . “Looks that could kill”. 🙂 Have a good time.

  27. When and if I visit Paris it is likely to be part of a guided bicycling tour (an awesome way to see a country by the way). And I will be wearing cycling shorts. I walked into the famous Dom cathedral in Cologne, Germany last summer in bike shorts and cycling jersey. A bit strangely dressed for that setting, perhaps. But the priests were only concerned that I remove my cycling helmet from my head. So the French will just have to accept and deal with my not wearing long pants in all cases LOL

    • Emma Blackwood

      They don’t have to accept anything and that is why they label you as rude tourists. Get a grip. You don’t walk into any religious place dressed like that. Go ahead try it at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul- I dare you!!

    • I think the operative phrase to both of you is “bite me”. You get a grip. This isn’t the 40’s anymore, people don’t dress up in shirts and ties for dinner at home. There are standards of decency but being on vacation and having to dress up is NOT on my list. I won’t break any laws, but if I offend your sensibilities, well, too bad.

      • Emma Blackwood

        You are are not offending my sensibilities but the people whose country you visit. But your response just shows how uncouth you are and hopefully they will excuse you for being a weirdo and not use that broadbrush for the rest of us travelers to their countries. On your left and passing quickly!!

        • Calling me uncouth and a weirdo in the same sentence. Who here is really uncouth? Yeah, on your left, most likely on a big old Harley. You probably couldn’t pedal a bicycle a mile if you had to. I’m done with this, it’s a waste of time.

    • Frances Seifert

      i have heard so many times about Americans are so loud and make scenes when french people don’t understand them. Sadly most Americans don’t know common sense. who would wear shorts and a tank top to a church or nice restaurant. i think a lot of other countries think we are boorish and unrefined,which is sad,but true.

  28. Everyone saying that French people are rude need to be more specific. Parisians can be rude but it is mostly cultural differences and not really worse than other major cities. However, French people outside of Paris are absolutely lovely and as nice as you will find anywhere (in fact, they hate Parisians too)

  29. When you go into stores ladies, don’t start man-handling everything. ?? Ask if you may hold it/touch it before you do. I’ve seen shop keepers get annoyed when people start touching everything they see. It’s common courtesy there, different from here in the states. Also, don’t be so loud in restaurants. Keep your purse solidly under your arm anywhere in Europe, especially big cities. Guys don’t go around with your wallet in your back pocket. Americans are easy pickings (especially in Rome).

    • Yes indeed, that goes for food stores as well as clothing. One time at a small grocery (not the supermarché), I picked up a peach and was politely admonished by the fruitier, who told me that he would pick the best fruit for me, all of was ripe and perfectly ready to eat.

  30. I was in Paris in 2005 and loved it. Since I know some French, I was able to get information from locals, where many spoke perfect English. The one place I urge everyone to see other than the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, is go over to the Military Museum on the Left Bank. Not as crowded, but just as inspiring as all of the other attractions in Paris. The Musee D’orsay is awesome and you can be in there for several hours if you get inside before the big crowds show up in the morning. Yes, I had dinner at Moulin Rouge, which was a big highlight of my time in Paris. I wanted to go out to Versailles, but did not have enough time. The Cathedral of Notre Dame was breathtaking and was my favorite location in Paris.
    The best way to get around Paris? Get on the Metro or RER, because you will get around very quickly. Sure the double decker buses are great, but often you will end up in a Parisian traffic jam. Getting out of Paris? Take the TGV and make a day trip to Lyon or get on the EuroStar for the trip to London (Better than flying!!).

  31. In connecting to the city from the airport, how could you leave out the Roissybus? lol It’s quite inexpensive, I think 11 Euros last time I was there, leaves every half hour or so, and it drops you in front of l’Opera.

  32. Catherine White

    Paris in August is the BEST time to visit the city for a tourist. The Parisian are away and the car traffic is quite low. So, wandering in the streets is a lovely experience in August.

  33. Pearl Nguyen

    I’ve been to Paris many times and I still continue to love it LOL!
    My tip, if you’re going to visit Paris then budget for it. It would be a shame if people were in France and all they could afford were raw tomatoes and a bit of stinky cheese! Also, travellers should try to dress up a little when visiting places so that they won’t stick out as “American!”
    Lastly, travellers and visitors shouldn’t feel intimidated by snooty staff. Walk in there like you own the place and even though one might speak hardly any French at all, attempt to do so anyway LOL!

    • Nicky Bryan

      I agree. It IS possible to do Paris on a budget, but you can have SO MUCH MORE FUN if you set aside more money for it!

  34. Leslie Williams

    I love this post! I have a tip for those who are going to visit; Bring enough small notes. I couldn’t use my 500 euro note anywhere, not even for my hotel bill.

  35. Emily Wentz

    What an amazing post, thank you so much! I’m going to Paris this August. I must have read 100 articles, and you still managed to have a bunch of things I hadn’t heard of yet. Can’t wait!

  36. Ariana Rhyder

    I must confess that the blog title seemed like it would possibly be overflowing with too much information. Yet the more I read, the more I was impressed with how organized your travel tips were. Will definitely take a further look at your blog to learn more suggestions. Hope to return to Europe again someday.

  37. Janet Roper

    Thank You for sharing all that amazing information with us. So much to consider for one of the world’s premier destinations! Very comprehensive, Hilary! 🙂

  38. Bethany Miles

    Thanks for all the great advice! I have to say going to Paris as a vegan has greatly improved in the last few years. I usually go once or twice a year to visit a friend, but I haven’t tried Pousse-Pousse or heard of Macéo! Places for my next trip. ? I wasn’t a huge fan of Le Potager du Marais, although I know it’s popular. My personal favourite is Gentle Gourmet, it’s definitely worth a visit and my non-vegan friend loves it there! Another favourite – not the most exciting food ever, but if any vegans want to experience a typical brasserie, vegan-style, I recommend Brasserie Lola in the 15th.

  39. Monica Collins

    gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!! i lived there when i was 21 – such a romantic, whimsical city. great tips, Hilary!

  40. Nancy Musselman

    I have been to Paris couple of times before, but never saw Paris the way you have explained here. Time to pack my bags for Paris, these tips will come handy.

  41. Sibel Jenkinson

    Great tips – definitely keeping these in mind for when I visit!! And can’t wait even more so now. 🙂

  42. Pamela Sanabria

    Such a useful post, I’m definitely saving this for future reference! I’ve been to Paris once and that was a few years ago with my family. I’d most prefer to go back with a lover and have a real Paris experience but hey, you can’t have everything…

  43. Delilah Peyton

    I lived in Paris for 9 months (study abroad) and there were many things on this list that I wouldn’t have thought of! I’ll have to check them out when I go back to Paris. One thing I would add to shopping: If you want to go to a department store that has literally just about everything you can think of, go to the BHV (Bazaar de l’Hotel de Ville) in the 1st. You can spend so much time there just looking around.

  44. Kaitlyn Barrett

    Enjoyed your article very much! A small tip but one that we enjoyed: If it’s your first trip take the bus instead of the metro, you’ll appreciate the sights and sounds of the neighborhoods, districts (arrondissements) and how they interface with each other. We spent two weeks in Paris and purchased 6 carnet (10 rides) for the bus; they also have them for the metro so be specific.

  45. Camila Hilhorst

    Hi Hilary, This is such an inspiring and very informative post. Bookmarked for my upcoming Paris trip. Love your blog. Keep up the great work. ?

  46. Deborah Henry

    Beautiful post, Hilary! I’ve only been to Paris once for a few days, but found it lovely and inspiring. I can’t wait to get back there, hopefully next Autumn, and this time with my hubby!! I will definitely be referring to this list for tips of where to go—especially for dining!!

    Merci beaucoup!

  47. Brenda Nelson

    Amazing article, Hilary. REALLY love this!! Would love to see one on London. Going there in October. 🙂

  48. Christina Cavanaugh

    Great list!! I will admit I haven’t loved Paris both times I’ve gone but I think it had to do with my lack of knowledge about the city and how to dig a bit deeper. Maybe third time’s the charm?

  49. Lauren Gilson

    Thank you for this wonderful post! I have been following you on the social media and I have to say you have inspired me to plan for much more travel in years to come. I have been to Paris with family but I have been discussing my boyfriend and I going during the summer (he has never been). My family played it safe.. visiting the main attractions, staying in a chain hotel and even going as far to only eat in the hotel. I will definitely be using your post as a guide for my boyfriend and I! Thanks again ?

    • Christina Cavanaugh

      OMG. Eating only in the hotel?! I am flabbergasted at reading that. Just flabbergasted. I hope you and your boyfriend have a great time!

  50. Helena Stevens

    BRAVO on putting together this comprehensive post of Paris tips! I adore Paris and, since I am a full time blogger and freelance writer, I am going to be staying a month in Paris in this fall! Will absolutely need to refer to these tips!

  51. Olivia Peterson

    Oh, I’m so nostalgic for Paris now! or great views in Paris, I would also recommend Parc Buttes-Chaumont, near Belleville. It’s the most incredible hodgepodge of park-itecture, and right in the middle there’s a crag with a gazebo at the top–you can see Sacre Coeur from there! It is kind of a haul, but it’s a phenomenal view.

  52. Sydney Nowak

    Wonderful tips! I have a tip too… this is for really adventurous ones – sneak into private club Cercle de l’Union Interalliée. If you’re a member of a “sister club”, then you can experience the most historic and beautiful palace-like ambiance.. and maybe bump into a couple of royals. I was fortunate to be able to spend sometime there, because my man is a member of a “sister-club” in LA. But I think I would have for sure crashed some party there, if he wasn’t : )

    • Andrea Mitchell

      Now THAT sounds like an adventure! I hope I get to do it one day.

  53. Shannon Bradley

    Thank you for the great tips! I will be in Paris next week and am so excited I can hardly wait but I also want to visit as many places as I can and be a gracious tourist! 🙂

  54. Leah Helms

    Fantastic Paris run down! I see some comments talking about Parisians being rude… Which I find weird. I have visited France on eight different occasions, two of which were to Paris, and I have honestly only had one person be rude to me, a waiter in Paris. I found France to be an extremely friendly country if you make an effort and have had people go out of their way to help me on numerous occasions. I actually found the Italians much ruder, even when speaking basic Italian.

  55. Loraine Aguilar

    Love this post. I have been dreaming of going to Paris one day and this will definitely come in handy.

  56. Teresa Tanner

    Pour yourself a nice glass of wine and put your feet up, lady! Epic post, truly. It made me want to head back to Paris right now ?
    I benefited a lot from Rick Steves’ app that has free audio guides and walking tours of Paris, the Louvre, Orsay, Versailles and others. It’s downloadable that you don’t even need wifi to listen to them.

    Off topic: I just got back from Malta and enjoyed it immensely! Thanks for the tips!

  57. Carolyn Robertson

    Wow, Hilary, what a post! I was just in Paris two weeks ago (my first time!!!) and I was surprised how different the city feels with so many restaurants and bakeries closed — but by avoiding the islands and getting up rather early I barely encountered any tourist crowds at all. And I finally managed to spent hours sitting by the Seine just reading by myself, which was magical, might still be the best thing I ever did in Paris ?

  58. Gerry Carlton

    I do have a question! I did read somewhere once that the French use their thumb to indicate “one”. So if you want to order 1 item, you stick your thumb up. For two items, it’s your thumb and first finger. Is this true? My friend did it once and they looked at her like she was crazy.

  59. Anna Kaplan

    Excellent post!! A couple of things I wanted to add (you might have an opinion on it, would love to hear it!). I’ve only been to Paris twice but both times I got the Museum pass. It saved us some money plus we didn’t have to stand in line forever. Loved using it at Versailles! Another tip is, we bought our tickets to the Eiffel Tower before we went. We got to avoid the two hour long wait and went straight to the elevator. We also bought the metro passes as well but I do warn people to be careful. Several times we had teens “crowd” right behind us as we were going through the gate to get in for free and tried to steal our ticket. Just a word of caution. ?

  60. Celine Carter

    Great compilation! I love Paris too and it’s one of my favorite destinations. Have you ever used a Sanisette? The “self-cleaning” public toilets? What an experience! Also, I loved going on hunts for the beautiful Wallace Fountains all over the city.

    • Julia MacLean

      OMG!!! So long as you know not to enter during a cleaning cycle, the public toilets are LIFE SAVERS. And they’re all over the city! They have spared me from embarrassing pee dances many a time, in many an arrondissement…

    • Betty O'Leary

      I so wish we could “like” comments on here. Yours definitely deserves a thumbs up! Thanks for the laugh! ?

  61. Dorothy Harris

    Amazing piece! Also worth pointing out that the rooftop terraces of Printemps and Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann are free of charge and offer great views of the city. Also, escalators. 🙂

  62. Carol Warren

    Love this post! Paris was my first trip abroad and was only a short trip! But I’m hoping to visit it again sometime in the future as there is always much more to see!

  63. Irene Morales

    Knowing that they generally don’t talk to strangers much, how would you say does that apply in meeting new people? Can you not just approach people on the streets, museums, etc. or is this a taboo?

    • Franny Pimms

      I’ve never once found Parisians to be rude, my experience was quite the opposite. This is nothing more than a stereotype that I’ve found to have no merit. I’ve read that there was a push by the government years ago to help teach Parisians to be more friendly to tourists. I don’t know if this is true and/or helped, but I’ve found them to be pleasant and willing to help. Yes, attempt to speak French as a courtesy and if they don’t understand or can’t speak English, this isn’t a sign of being rude. I only encountered one man that I had a complete language barrier with and we worked through it with gestures. Paris is an amazing city!

  64. Gwen Keaton

    Very comprehensive! Great tips. I just spent a year living close to Paris and I loved being able to get to know the city ?

  65. Daisy Clarke

    I lived in Paris and I couldn’t have written a better guide myself. This is straight up brilliant. Amazing work, Hilary. 🙂

  66. Lana Urie

    Ahhh Paris. This was my first overseas trip- I spent 3 months on exchange in the North of France when I was 16 and I lived for the weekends I’d be going to Paris. Montmarte is still my favourite part of Paris, I had the most perfect night there once.

    Paris is also my first stop when I leave for 10 months. There is something about the familiar that wanted me to make it my first destination, well that and I have to activate my French working holiday visa! 🙂

  67. Monica Conover

    Great set of tips! I have a love/hate relationship with Paris – though I think in recent years it’s veered more towards the ‘love’ side. It’s such a beautiful, interesting city. I love how much history and culture there is there – though I still think my favourite Paris pass-time might be people watching, both tourists and locals! ?

  68. Colleen Frasier

    Wow that is a seriously impressive piece! Must have taken you so long to put together, so helpful thank you 🙂 I’d add one extra tip to this… if you’re visiting at New Year, try and resist the urge to see in midnight by the Eiffel Tower. As romantic as it sounds, I hate to say that it was a bit of an anti-climax! No fireworks and only a bit of sparkle on the tower itself. From the sounds of it, the Champs Elysees is a much better bet!

    Great post Hilary!

    • Marina Henderson

      I agree! It was beautiful to see the Eiffel Tower be all sparkly, but it did that on every half hour (if I remember correctly). I also was expecting something more robust for a welcoming into 2012 – that’s when I visited. I’m glad that I got to experience it regardless to the anti-climatic ending!

  69. Danielle Wilson

    That’s a pretty great collection of tips! Thank you so much for this post! I’m traveling to Paris in two weeks and these tips couldn’t have come at a better time!!

  70. Hannah S

    Believe it or not, I’ve never been to Paris! Thanks for the guide though — I’m going to plan a trip there for two months from now and retrace your steps. I’m excited to experience what you experienced 🙂

  71. I go to Paris at least twice a year, and one time I worked there on a consulting gig for four months. I seriously love that city — I miss it every time I leave. Next time I’ll stay at the hotel you recommended.. It looks fab ♥

  72. Paris is my favorite city, next to NYC. I’m planning a trip next month, so I’ll make sure to bookmark your suggestions and check them out while I’m there. That hotel looks great too… I’ll stay there this time. 🙂

  73. Danielle Wilson

    I’m obsessed with Paris. I go there a lot to shop. I’ll check out some of these spots… the night spots you mentioned look like a lot of fun!

  74. Wendy Hearn

    Wow!!!! Such a beautiful place and your photos too :)It seems that hotel was so wonderful and comfortable !!!!! I am sure this had been your fantastic journey 🙂

  75. My god – it looks like you had the most fabulous trip! I’m so jealous. No – not jealous – inspired. I’m going to go on this. exact. trip. It’s in my datebook.

  76. I *love love love* Paris! I’m always looking for new spots in Paris to check out — a bunch of these I haven’t been to yet. Great tips! I’ll bring this with me the next time I visit. Please write more about Paris??!!

  77. Wow – the hotel you stayed at looks so charming! I try to only stay at boutique hotels because I find the service is just impeccable, and you don’t feel like a tourist… at least not as much. I adore those purple velvet sofas!! I want them for my apartment!

    • Yeah, it was super charming. Really made us feel at home in Paris, as opposed to like tourists. It was cosy and comfortable.

  78. Trish Potter

    WOW, such great photos and SO MANY of them, I also feel like I just was in Paris! Hilary Rowland’s thorough report does remind me that it’s been way too long since I have visited Paris. And her hotel review of Diderot suite at Hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres in Paris makes me REALLY want to stay there – and in that gorgeous suite with the view of the Eiffel Tower.

  79. That hotel looks perfect for keeping a low profile. I’ll stay there the next time I’m in town. You always teach me about the coolest hidden spots!

  80. Melani Kalev

    Oh, Paris, je t’aime! It was great to read about one of my fave cities! Also, I liked the personal touch with your own pictures 🙂

    • Thanks! I’ll be adding more personal photos to future articles, based on reader feedback. 🙂

  81. Courtney Watson

    The hotel is very, very interesting and innovative. 26 rooms that correspond to the letters of the alphabet, isn’t that amazing?!

  82. Buddha Bar is one of my fave joints. Can’t forget the time I bumped my head on one of the feet of the humongous Buddha. Must have been really tipsy.

  83. Gabby Williams

    If only I can take the kids with me. I’m wondering if there are kid friendly places there? Aside from Disneyland?

    • Arabella Clarington

      Nice article, Hilary! you made me want to book a trip to Paris. But same with Gab, I also wonder if there are kid-friendly places for my children…

  84. I have visited all of the Chanel shops over there. My husband was bored to death. But I was feeling “all glammed up” like a true Parisian.

  85. Hannah Mayers

    That hotel looks fab! Thanks for sharing, Hilary 😀

  86. Francis Woods

    PARIS = <3

    I wonder when will I ever get to visit…

  87. I love that you made this article really personal by adding photos of yourself. You should do that more! Great tips, too. Those restaurants look incredible – I’ll definitely bring this list the next time I’m in Paris 🙂

    • Francis Woods

      Is it possible that you can bring me, too? 😀

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