I have been dreaming of my perfect day in Paris for almost a year now. I cannot wait to return to my favorite city as soon as it is safe. If I had one day in Paris, this is what I would do and what I would eat.
My perfect day in Paris would be a sunny spring day in Paris. If I had my choice, I would be renting an apartment in the Marais and wake up to the sun on my balcony. If I was staying at a hotel, it would be Pavillon de la Reine right in the heart of the Marais in Place des Vosges.
I would stroll through the quiet streets of Paris admiring the pops of pink all around the city as the cherry blossoms would be in full bloom. My camera would be with me, and I would capture the blossoms for new additions to The Print Shop.
I love to wake up early when the city is quiet, Fragments is one coffee spot that is open early and is a great spot to get a cup of takeaway coffee.
While finishing my coffee on my walk, I would head towards the Bastille Market. This is always a favorite spot of mine on a Sunday. Arrive early, before the crowds of people. If I have the luxury of a small kitchen in my rental, I will grab a few things. Fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables along with a few kinds of cheese for a picnic in the evening.
As I exit the market, I will stop at 28 Beaumarchais for a baguette and a croissant for breakfast. I always like to walk towards Place des Vosges. This is a great spot to sit on a park bench to people watch or read a book. It is also a great picnic area to meet up with friends.
I would drop off my market purchases at my apartment/hotel and freshen up before heading out again. Sundays in the Marais are something special and the energy is something I wish I could bottle up and save. Au Petit Fer à Cheval on Vieille du Temple is a favorite café. I would pop in and say hi to my friend Didier if he is working. On a warm day, the windows are open and I would sit at the bar for a citron pressé (lemonade) and people watching.
For lunch, around the corner is Miznon. It is Israeli/Middle Eastern food and I still dream about the simple and delicious sandwiches on pita. They also have a local on Canal St Martin where you can picnic with your sandwich on the canal.
I would stroll down Rue de Bretagne, weaving in and out of the side streets towards Palais Royal.
A picnic in Palais Royal or the Seine is a perfect Sunday evening with friends. Pop a bottle of champagne or rosé on a warm spring day.
I am a Right Bank girl, but my evening would end watching the sunset on the Seine as I make my way to the Left Bank at Café de Flore or a different café for more people watching or a catch up with a friend before ending the day.
Boot Café – 19 rue du Pont aux Choux, 75003 Paris
Du Pain et Des Idées – 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris
Boulangerie Utopie – 20 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris
Miznon – 22 Rue des Ecouffes, 75004 Paris
Jardin des Plantes – 57 Rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris
Café de Flore – 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris
Maison Landemaine – 28 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75011 Paris
Place des Vosges
Bastille Marché – Boulevard Beaumarchais
My friend Angie of La Vie Ann Rose shares her favorite spots on the Left Bank of Paris below with her perfect day in Paris.
The perfect location to wake up on the Left Bank is L’Hotel, located on a quiet street in the heart of Saint Germain, The small boutique hotel has 20 beautiful rooms with some of the largest I’ve stayed at in Paris. It’s a bit of a splurge but incredibly special and even perfect for a romantic getaway. The lobby bar is a great locale for a pre-dinner cocktail.
I love to start my mornings on the Left Bank at the Musée Rodin but not without coffee. On our morning walk from L’Hotel, we’ll pick up a cappuccino and breakfast snack at Coutume Café before heading around the corner to the museum and gardens. Finding a quiet bench in the garden to finish our coffee and then head inside the hotel Particulier; which in itself is a masterpiece. The interiors are stunning but the true prize is Rodin’s sculptures. I could spend hours here but alas we have other fun things to do on the Left bank today!!
Leaving Rodin full of inspiration, we head to Le Bon Marché, my favorite department store in Paris. You’ll find luxury labels and a slew of small specialty brands you likely have never shopped before. The home décor floor with a book + stationery shop is a must-shop. La Grande Epicerie is their gourmet grocery and a fantastic place to pick up gifts to bring your foodie friends back home or grab a snack to enjoy later.
It’s time for an early lunch at Le Recamier where we shall dine on the most delicious soufflés in Paris. Tucked away on a quiet street, I requested an outdoor table when making the reservation (which is a must). I’ll order the champignon (mushroom), I suggest you get the Fromage (cheese). For dessert, we should order caramel salé and chocolate noir to share. A major perk, you won’t leave with a food coma and can enjoy the rest of your afternoon on the Left Bank.
We’re now smack in the middle of shopping heaven with every designer boutique imaginable so you can shop till you drop or join me for a leisurely walk to one of my favorite hidden gems in Paris, with a few special stops along the way. Starting our walk down the Rue d’Assas, our first stop is Jean-Charles Rouchex, with the most magically sculpted chocolates reminding us of our morning at Musée Rodin. I don’t ever leave his shop without some chocolates and a seasonal sweet spread.
On Rue Madame is a brand new flagship boutique from one of my favorite Paris-based Illustrators, Marin Montagut. I have been obsessed with his art since he first made neighborhood maps of Paris (which I still have) and I cannot wait till I can finally step foot in his new boutique full of the most beautiful housewares and home décor. I am packing an extra suitcase just for this!
Next, we’ll stroll through the Jardin du Luxembourg stopping for a little break at the Fontaine Medicis and continuing on through the Latin Quarter. Wandering down Rue Lacépède,, take a right onto Rue de Quatrefages. We’ll soon be walking alongside a very special place, La Grande Mosquée de Paris. We’ll walk through the gardens and head around the corner to the café, where we will sip mint tea amongst colorful mosaics, fig-trees, and delight in North African pastries. Yes, we are ordering another dessert.
Our final stop before heading back to L’Hotel is Pharmacie Monge, just a few blocks from the Mosqée. It’s my favorite French pharmacie in Paris and I’ve saved it for our last stop since carrying around a bag of beauty products is not on my agenda. You’ll find almost every French skin and hair care brand in a range of sizes. It’s time to hop in an uber back to the hotel (we’ve walked all day and deserve it).
After a nice break at the hotel, we’re off to dinner, a short walk away to Fish la Boissonerie. One of my most frequented restaurants in Paris, the eclectic menu is always a crowd-pleaser. It’s been a fun-filled day and before heading back to the hotel, there’s nothing more I’d rather do than get a table outside and a bottle of wine at Café des Flores or Les Deux Magots. People watch the night away. If you’re in the mood for cocktails, then a table upstairs at the speakeasy-style Prescription Cocktail Club will be our spot. L’hotel is just a short walk from the bar or cafes.
Merci beaucoup for joining me for a day on the Left Bank. I hope you find some new favorite locales on your next trip to Paris.
Lunch: Treize Bakery Paris, Clover Green Paris, Mariage Freres
Treats: Circus Bakery, Odette, Laduree
Dinner: Semilla, Le Comptoir du Relais, Sauvage
Shopping: Cire Trudon candles, Sabbia Rosa Lingerie, Repetto ballet flats
L’Hotel – 13 Rue des Beaux Arts
Coutume – 47 Rue de Babylone
Musee Rodin – 77 Rue de Varenne
Le Bon Marche – 24 Rue de Sèvres
Le Recamier – 4 rue Juliette Recamier
Jean-Charles Rouchex – 16, rue d’Assas
Marin Montagut – 48 rue Madame
La Grande Mosquee – 2bis Place du Puits de l’Ermite
Parapharmacie Monge – 1 Place Monge
Fish La Boissonerie – 69 rue de Seine
Café des Flores – 172, Blvd Saint-Germain
Les Deux Magots – 6, Place Saint-Germain des Pres
Prescription Cocktail Club – 23, rue Mazarine
A Forever Francophile, Angie is the author of BRIGHT LIGHTS PARIS and lifestyle site LaVieAnnRose.com where you can also shop exclusive illustrated prints from her book. Find her on Instagram @LaVieAnnRose + @AdultsAtDisney.