Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. From its incredible historic architecture to its fine dining and shows, there is nothing chicer than spending time there. Which is why it’s no surprise that Paris is home to many of the most famous design houses and the most exclusive and anticipated fashion week. While attending the coveted shows, be sure to take in the sights of the city and spend a little time perusing the streets.
The Champs Elysees is most recognizable by the Arc de Triomphe situated at its starting point. While iconic in its own right, it is home to one of the most notable flagships: Louis Vuitton’s multi-level flagship location.The windows of this luxury fashion brand, often merchandised with whimsical and seasonal scenes, entice tourists as well as locals. This is no ordinary shopping location: with some of the most gracious associates offering champagne, this store offers an atmosphere that must be experienced. If you’re looking to snag one of the newest limited edition pieces, this store may even have a few in stock.
Avenue Montaigne / Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
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Not too far from the iconic Champs Elysees lies the equally encompassing Avenue Montaigne. With the recognizable red awnings of the Plaza Athenee, Avenue Montaigne is a mecca of the world’s most respected brands including Christian Dior, Chanel, Fendi, Saint Laurent, and Gucci. It is easy to flit from store to store and live out your wildest shopping dreams.
Courtesy of Le Parisien
Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, which runs parallel to the Champs Elysees, is home to the famous flagship stores of Hermes, Bottega Veneta, Prada, and Givenchy. Hermes may be the most appealing to visit, as this is one of the few locations where having a relationship with a sales associate is not needed to obtain a Birkin or Kelly due to their appointment lottery system.
Le Bon Marché
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Touted as the first department store ever, and specializing in “selective retailing”, Le Bon Marche (which literally means “the cheap”) is packed to the brim with some of the most high-end specialty items in the world. Owned by LVMH, Le Bon Marche stays at the top of its proverbial game by collaborating with the world’s top designers and artists to make sure not only your shopping appetite is satiated, but your experiential appetite as well. Its interior has been transformed time and time again by the imagination of various renowned artists, attracting shoppers and art enthusiasts alike.
Courtesy of Lonely Planet
While this is a neighborhood rather than a specific street, Le Marais is famous for the selection of shops tucked away amongst its streets. Some lesser known, but still incredible, designers can be found nestled here. You really never know what you may stumble across, including pop-ups, resale shops, and specialized boutiques.
Morning Coffee: Coutume Café
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Located in the 7th Arrondissement, this cafe is the go-to for those who know a thing or two about coffee. Even if your coffee knowledge is lacking, the baristas here are more than happy to educate you on this particular subject.
Afternoon Tea: Jardin d’Hiver at The Hôtel de Crillon
Courtesy of Financial Times
If you’re looking to experience tea the way it should be served, look no further than the Jardin d’Hiver. Draped in sumptuous fabrics, plush seating, and accented with luxurious details, this tea room is anything but ordinary. Indulge in delicious pastries and savory bites while sipping on sophisticated tea blends. This is a great stop to make between shops on Avenue Montaigne.
Cocktail Hour: The Bar at Hotel Costes
Courtesy of Hotel Costes
There are many a cocktail lounge and bar in the city, but the Hotel Costes exudes an air of exclusivity and privacy that many do not. It is not uncommon to see a well-known face in this hotel, and the bar is no exception. Grab a drink and take in the ambience.
Dinner: Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athenee
Courtesy of Dorchester Collection
Dining in Paris takes elegance to an entirely new level. There are so many types of cuisine to enjoy at countless price points. If you are looking for the 5-star experience, look no further than Alain Ducasse. Newly renovated, this restaurant is resplendently airy with its cool curved lines and modern color palette of white and silver, while offering a Michelin-rated fare.
Originally built as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, the Eiffel Tower is one of those bucket list items that you must do at least once in your life. With three levels to visit, there is no shortage of experience whether you decide to visit the restaurant, the observation deck, or the top deck with the champagne bar.
Housing some of the world’s most priceless pieces of art history, the Louvre requires a visit from anyone who enjoys or respects art. Meander through the endless maze of tunnels, halls, and chambers to view the most breathtaking sculptures, paintings, and various artifacts. The Louvre will deeply connect you to history in an unexpected way.
Louis Vuitton Foundation and The Jardin d'Acclimatation
Courtesy of The San Diego Union-Tribune
Designed by Frank Gehry, the Louis Vuitton Foundation is a bit off the beaten path. This building houses an incredible curation of the best art installations from all over the world. Inside these walls are not what you expect; while there are some nods to previous collections they’ve collaborated with various artists on, most of the exhibitions and installations highlight the work of others rather than the achievements and history of the luxury fashion house. If you decide to visit, be sure to exit the opposite way you came in. It’s not advertised but taking this exit gives the unexpected treat of placing you inside the adjacent amusement park, Jardin d'Acclimatation, and saves you the cost of an admission ticket.
Paris, the city of love, has so much to offer; from spotting your next handbag love in the boutique window of your most beloved designer, to delicious foods, rich historical architecture, and fantastical sights that must be beheld. Take full advantage of everything Paris has to offer. There is so much more to do in this city, but these starting points will not disappoint!