Forget the Louvre—This Is What It Girls Actually Do in Paris
Paris tends to attract two types of tourists: the kind who treat their itinerary like a to-do list and traipse between attractions with purpose, and the kind who know you can never see everything Paris has to offer in one trip. Rather than march from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre and Ladurée, those in the latter group understand that every visit is a chance to peel back another layer of the romantic city rather than tick an item off their bucket list.
Few know this better than the fashion set, who jet to the City of Light every season to sit by the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week. Even though they aren't locals these editors, models, stylists, and bloggers have honed their list of French attractions and are privy to what's new and noteworthy in the ever-evolving city.
Curious to know how they traverse Paris? Here, we've gone in search of the coolest places to eat, sleep, and see that have garnered the attention of It girls and editors alike. If you've visited Paris before, take note of the aspects you loved most, like the designer suites at Hotel Vernet or people watching at Café de Flore, and use our tips to guide your next trip.
Add these locales to your little black book to experience France's capital like those in the know.
If You Liked: Hotel Vernet
Try: Hotel Panache
If you love the design-focused suites at Hotel Vernet, consider Hotel Panache, another quirky establishment that is fast becoming the go-to hotel for the fashion-obsessed. Located in the vibrant 10th arrondissement, Panache boasts 40 unique rooms by up-and-coming interior decorator Dorothée Meilichzon. Geometric wallpaper, woven headboards, and jewel-like mirrors make their suites a mecca for bloggers.
If You Liked: Le Meurice Hotel
Try: Le Royal Monceau
Love the über-luxurious rooms at the famous Le Meurice Hotel? Consider Le Royal Monceau, a Raffles hotel that marries five-star amenities with plush, Parisian décor. Be warned: Their lavish suites appeal to the editor in chiefs of the fashion world, rather than those on an assistant's budget. If you're willing to splurge, opt for one of their rooms with a floor-to-ceiling mirrored bathroom and standalone tub—it's worth it for the pictures alone.
If You Liked: Airbnb
Traveling on a budget? Renting an apartment is a great way to experience Paris like a local and avoid costly hotel rooms. If you're looking for stunning, authentic apartments, expand your search to include Onefinestay properties. The company visits and vets each home in person before agreeing to list a rental on its site, and it has an unmatched collection of stunning apartments in Paris.
If You Liked: Plaza Athénée
Try: Maison Lautrec
The legendary Plaza Athénée attracts celebrities, royals, and first-time visitors to Paris, but if you've visited the acclaimed Michelin-star restaurant, set your sights on Maison Lautrec. Adorned with orb-like pendant lights and citrus-colored velvet bar stools, this new "patch-to-plate" eatery is the place to be seen, according to Vogue Paris. Reserve your table in advance—rave reviews suggest this hot spot will be the first place editors flock to when they arrive for fashion week.
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If You Liked: Café de Flore
Iconic Café de Flore is a must-see on your first trip to Paris, but if you're looking for the perfect latte without bustling crowds, insiders recommend Ob-La-Di. Travel and design blogger Pauline Egge of Petit Passport says it's the number one coffee spot to visit in Le Marais. "It’s all about the coffee—they work together with Parisian roastery Lomi—and they do Aeropress, filter and regular coffees," she says. Bonus: It's across the street from Isabel Marant's store, making it the perfect place to refuel after a long day of shopping.
If You Liked: Ladurée
Try: Yann Couvreur
Ladurée often steals the limelight as the most recognizable macaron store, but Paris is home to a host of world-class patisseries. Add Yann Couvreur to your next trip itinerary; Vogue Paris dubbed him a "prodigal pastry chef" known for his unparalleled "couture creations." Visit his store in the 10th arrondissement for glossy éclairs, lemon and lime tarts, and his signature mille-feuille infused with Madagascan vanilla.
If You Liked: The Eiffel Tower
You'll never tire of seeing the city from the tip of the glittering Eiffel Tower, but if you're looking for a fresh vantage point, venture to the steps of Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Perched atop a hill in picturesque Montmartre, thousands of people gather on the stairs to watch the sinking sun cast a dusty glow over the City of Light. This is one view you'll never forget.
If You Liked: The Seine
Try: Canal Saint-Martin
If you've visited Paris before, it's highly likely you've wandered the famous banks of the Seine, the main river that dissects the city. Next time, visit Canal Saint-Martin, a smaller waterway beloved by locals. Pack a baguette, a bottle of wine, and a wheel of cheese for your own picnic on the water's edge.
If You Liked: The Louvre
Try: Centre Pompidou
It's almost impossible to see every iconic artwork in Louvre in one visit, but once you've exhausted yourself in the winding gallery, head to Centre Pompidou. The modern art museum celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2017, with a host of special exhibitions and celebrations.
What's your favorite thing to do in Paris? Share your insider tips for the best hotels, bars, and attractions in the comments below.