Where to Stay, What to Do and Where to Eat in Paris, France

With charming cobbled streets and candlelit bistros, it’s easy to fall head over heels with Paris. But the City of Love is more than a romantic playground—throw in hidden museums and kid-friendly activities, and even the most seasoned of travellers will be smitten.
 

Hotels

25hours Hotel Terminus Nord, photograph courtesy of Nicolas Matheus/Axel Schoenert Architects.

If you’re love birds: Grand Pigalle Hotel

Located in a historic Haussmannian building (named for the urban planner who reimagined Paris between 1853 and 1870), the Grand Pigalle Hotel is close to the idyllic Montmartre neighbourhood, but far enough to escape its crowds. Start your day with breakfast in bed and end it with dinner at the on-site wine bar.

If you’re a solo traveller: 25hours Hotel Terminus Nord

No two rooms are the same at the 25hours Hotel Terminus Nord. The decor features African fabrics and bright wallpaper, and the hotel’s atmosphere is lively with two on-site dining options: Sape Bar for cocktails and popular Neni for dishes with Persian, French, German and Middle Eastern influences.

If you’re a budget hunter: Hôtel Habituel

Hôtel Habituel might have a similar price tag to budget hotel chains, but the design-savvy decor and boutique approach puts it in a class of its own. Single and classic rooms come with free Wi-Fi, comfortable beds and Aesop products in the rain-shower bathrooms. Plus, there’s a chic cocktail bar on the main floor.

If you’re family adventurers: Le Meurice

Located opposite the Tuileries Garden, Le Meurice offers a magical world for big and little guests. The iconic hotel is a splurge, but worth it for the spin it puts on five-star luxury. There’s a special kid’s menu, industrial-inspired Philippe Starck high chairs and custom-made toys to play with in the hotel’s gardens.

Things to Do

Bois de Boulogne, photograph courtesy of Roisin Astell.

If you’re love birds: Bois de Boulogne

Skip the Seine River sightseeing cruises and take to the waters of the Bois de Boulogne in a rented row boat instead. Once the hunting ground of French monarchs, this west-side park is home to two artificial lakes and a handful of secluded islands waiting to be explored on a self-guided tour.

If you’re a solo traveller: The École de Cuisine Alain Ducasse

Learn to cook like a pro, and impress your friends back at home, at The École de Cuisine Alain Ducasse. The cooking school runs a variety of day courses, including ones specializing in traditional French cuisine. The cherry on top: all levels of experience are welcome and many classes are offered in English.

If you’re a budget hunter: Petit Palais

Avoid the entrance fees (and the queues) and visit one of Paris’ free museums instead. Lesser-known institutions, such as the Petit Palais, which houses the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts, and Atelier Brancusi— dedicated to the modernist sculptor—are of the same world-class quality as their famed counterparts.

If you’re family adventurers: Parc de La Villette

A favourite among local families, Parc de La Villette is a sprawling city oasis dotted with giant slides, ziplines, cycling lanes and an equestrian centre. After all the outdoor action, head to the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, an interactive science museum for all ages and one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

Places to Eat

Marché des Enfants Rouges, photograph courtesy of Peter Erik Forsberg/Markets/Alamy.

If you’re love birds: Musée de la Vie romantique

The Musée de la Vie romantique—a museum dedicated to Romantic-era art with portraits, furniture and decor—is set in a 19th-century house. After admiring the exhibits, head to the tea salon, located in a wrought-iron and glass conservatory in the courtyard garden, to enjoy a selection of cakes and fresh salads.

If you’re a solo traveller: Le Dauphin

Sister restaurant to Michelin-starred Le Chateaubriand, Le Dauphin is a vibrant eatery, serving small-plate dishes. Take a seat at the marble bar counter, designed by famed Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, and get to know the locals as you dine on zesty ceviches, squid ink risotto and sip on biodynamic tipples.

If you’re a budget hunter: Marché des Enfants Rouges

The oldest food market in Paris, Marché des Enfants Rouges bustles with locals and visitors and is packed with international dining options, from Moroccan tagines and Lebanese flatbreads to Japanese bento boxes and French crêpes. Eat in or enjoy a picnic at the nearby Square du Temple garden.

If you’re family adventurers: Moncoeur Belleville

Moncoeur Belleville boasts some of the most beautiful panoramas of the city, including views of the Eiffel Tower from its outdoor terrace. Head to this café-restaurant hybrid early in the day for coffee and croissants, or in the evening to feast on dishes from its Mediterranean-inspired menu.

[This story appears in the June 2019 edition of WestJet Magazine.]