Ah, Paris! The City of Lights, and we can’t forget: love! The quaint streets, the legendary art and the fabulous shopping are only part of what makes Paris such a popular honeymoon destination. From balcony breakfasts with Eiffel Tower views to the finest wine tasting in Europe, one thing is certain—you’ll never forget your first time in Paris. Ready to book? We have all the recs you need from Wilkie’s founder and travel expert, Colin Cowie! Bon voyage!
Where to stay:
You’re going to want to get out and explore the museum-like streets of Paris as much as possible, so centrality is key. Colin highly recommends the luxurious Hôtel Du Crillon, which overlooks the scenic Place de la Concorde and only minutes from the must-see iconic Paris sights. The landmark hotel was erected in 1758 and recently underwent 4 years of renovations to emerge as one of the most extravagant hotels in all of Europe. If you want a true Parisian experience and to walk the historic halls where Marie Antoinette took her piano lessons, Hotel Du Crillon is for you.
Recommendations for the foodies:
*Reservations are an absolute MUST in Paris – service hours are shorter than in the states and the best restaurants book up fast. Even if they aren’t always busy, they still appreciate the reservation to let them know you will be arriving soon! Most accept reservations anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months in advance.
For a fancy date night: L’Ambroisie – If you’re looking for a place to splurge and truly experience Parisian fine dining at it’s best, L’Ambroisie is a must. This three-michelin star restaurant features French cuisine by renowned chef Bernarnd Pacaud. The meals look more like art than food and the interior resembles a luxurious antique French home. Shortly after sitting down, you will understand why many recall their experience at L’Ambroise as “unforgettable for a lifetime”.
For a cute café spot: Ten Belles – Not only is this place super adorable and Pinterest-worthy, but it also takes the art of coffee very seriously. Thomas Lehoux, a star in the Paris barista scene, opened up this little shop in 2012 and it has been a hot-spot ever since! The lines can be long at times because there are only half-a-dozen tiny tables inside the cozy interior. There’s also a narrow staircase that leads up to a mezzanine overlooking the café. It just doesn’t get much cuter than this!
For the vegetarians: Miznon – If you need a quick and casual lunch or dinner spot – pay a visit to Miznon where you will have the best pitta sandwiches in Paris. The decor is nothing crazy, just plain and simple with its own charm to it. The cooks are mostly Israeli natives who know exactly how to prepare this dish to perfection. Grab yourself a cup of free mint tea and enjoy!
For the best croissant of your life: Du Pain et Des Idées – Okay, now we’re getting to the really good stuff – a visit to Du Pain et Des Idées will be the highlight of your trip. This is the spot to eat pastries and bread like you’ve never tasted before. Indulge in a crispy apple turnover or chocolate croissant and contemplate moving to Paris solely for this meal.
For your sweet tooth: Ladurée – There just can’t be a guide to Paris without mentioning a visit to the iconic master of macaroons – Ladurée (if not only for the Instagram pic!) Grab a few bite-sized macaroons in your favorite flavors and take a stroll down Champs Elysées. It just doesn’t get any more “Paris” than that.
For the crepe enthusiasts: Breizh Café – Skip the mediocre street crepes you’ll run into many times and take a seat at Breizh Café for a proper crepe experience. Good luck fighting for the tables because the locals love this place just as much as the tourists – but once you’re finally there, it will all be worth it. Order the buckwheat crepe with smoked herring and Saint-Malo potatoes… you’re welcome.
Picnic spot: Bring a basket of bubbly & baguettes and enjoy a picnic lunch on the grass underneath the Eiffel Tower.
Where to have a drink:
Wine Bar: Freddy’s – If you and your man and total wine enthusiasts – be sure to put Freddy’s at the top of your list and find out why this place is frequently referred to as “the best wine bar in Paris”!
Copper Bay – Our favorite parts about this unique Parisian bar are its prices, expansive space, and easygoing servers. Their cocktails are complex, original, and so incredibly memorable – you will definitely be pulling out your phone to take a pic the minute it lands on your table.
Bar Kléber – The Peninsula – The walls of this luxurious establishment make you feel as if you’re sipping a cocktail inside Versailles. Don a fancy ensemble and sip bubbly like you’re European royalty.
Experimental Cocktail Club – Take one step into this Neo-baroque inspired bar and you’ll feel like you entered into the 19th century. Believe it or not, this is the very place where the new wave of craft cocktails started in France – it’s worth a visit to see what all the fuss is about!
A Parisian classic: Le Bar, Four Seasons George V – You have to clear time in your itinerary to visit the Four Seasons George V for two important reasons. One, to see Jeff Leatham’s famous floral arrangements that attract both tourists and locals to the lobby. Two, to sip on a gourmet cocktail in a classic and cozy setting.
Best rooftop bar: Le Bar, Shangri-La Hotel Paris – The best view in Paris is hands down on the rooftop of Shangri-La Hotel Paris. This is where you’re going to get that “most-liked” honeymoon photo on insta. But don’t forget to take in the views.
Must-Go Art Museums:
The Louvre – It’s a city within a city – you need a full day to tackle the largest and most spectacular museum in the world.
Musée d’Orsay – It was originally a train station and now holds works of the famous Delacroix, Corot, Manet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and more…
Musée Rodin – Auguste Rodin donated his entire collection to France – but under the one condition that his renowned work will forever live at his workshop and showroom, the Hotel Biron. This mansion built in the 1700’s is now the Musée Rodin. Must see pieces: “The Thinker”, “The Gates of Hell”, and “The Kiss”.
Most Romantic Neighborhood:
Montmartre: We’re obsessed with the storybook-inspired streets of Montmartre for so many reasons. It’s charming, it’s historic (Van Gogh and Picasso walked these cobblestones), it’s the home of Sacre-Coeur, and it has the cutest coffee shops in all of Paris. You’ll just have to see for yourself!
Where to shop:
The “5th Ave” of Paris: Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Department Store: Galeries Lafayette
Take A Day Trip To:
Versailles: Take the RER C to the train stop called Versailles-Chateau – Rive Gauche and spend the day experiencing the mesmerizing palaces of Versailles. Trust us when we say you will never see anything like it in your life!
Best Time Of Year To Visit:
June to August: If you don’t mind dealing with the crowds at every attraction and only care about the perfect 70 degree and sunny days, the summer months are the time to go!
September to October: The seasonal foliage in the fall is so stunning and there are significantly less tourists at this time of year! Be sure to keep in mind that Paris Fashion Week at the end of September will make it more difficult to book hotels at decent rates.
Tourist Attractions That Are Worth It:
- Eiffel Tower
- Arc de Triomphe
- Jardin du Luxembourg