La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa
- 8th Arrondissement
It’s been a trying moment for Paris, but if the tragedies that have befallen the French capital recently have shown anything it’s the resilience of Parisians who refuse to be ruled by fear. While tourism may have slumped slightly, the cafes are still bustling, the department stores still team with shoppers, and the restaurant and hotel landscape continues to change and improve at a breakneck pace. The year 2016 saw the much anticipated reopening of the Ritz Paris and over the last few years virtually all of the city's grand dames, from the Plaza Athénée to Le Bristol, have undergone major renovations and upgrades in order to achieve Palace distinction, the above five-star status developed by the French Tourism Agency that is only awarded to the country’s most exceptional hotels. Francophiles are still making their way to Paris for fashion, fine food, and an unparalleled arts and culture scene. Here we share where to go, what to see, and how to get behind some rarefied walls in the world’s most beautiful city.
Paris is beautiful in every season but there is something about springtime that makes the city feel extra special. In June temperatures are typically balmy, it stays light until nearly 10 p.m., and the Paulownia trees are blooming. Events like the Fête de la Musique, when free live music performances take place throughout the city on the summer solstice, bring a special energy to the city.
The world’s ninth busiest airport, Charles de Gaulle is a hub for Air France and the European hub for Delta Air Lines. It’s about 16 miles northeast of Paris, but depending on traffic, getting to and from the airport can take up to an hour.
Cleanliness aside, the Paris Metro is widely considered one of the most efficient and user-friendly underground systems in the world. To use the ticket machines in each station, make sure your credit card has a chip. You can buy metro cards in packs of ten. All single rides in central Paris are the same price and it’s possible to purchase a Navigo Week pass, valid in central Paris and Zones 1-5.
1. Visiting an outdoor market like the Marché Biologique Raspail in the 6th arrondissement, a true hallmark of life in Paris. (Sundays 9-2, Bld. Raspail)
2. Taking a leisurely stroll across the Ile de la Cité and the Ile Saint Louis at night when Notre Dame is lit up.
3. Indulging in the city’s best croissant at Blé Sucré in the 12th. (7 Rue Antoine Vollon; 33-1/43-40-77-73)
After the French Revolution and the Seige of Paris, it’s remarkable that the fragile Saint-Chapelle chapel, built by King Louis IX to house Christ’s Crown of Thorns, still stands. The way the light floods through the 13th-century stained glass windows coupled with the vaulted blue and gold ceiling makes visitors feel like they’re standing inside a jewelry box. (8 Bld. du Palais; 33/1-53-40-60-80; sainte-chapelle.fr)
Steak frites is a must in Paris. Le Bistro Paul Bert’s perfectly marbled bone-in côte de boeuf comes served with a heaping pile of golden frites may be the best possible version—plus, it can easily serve two or more. (18 Rue Paul Bert; 33-1/43-72-24-01)
Natural wine is all the rage in Paris. Septime la Cave carries all the country’s best producers like L’Anglore, Domaine Mosse, and Julien Guilot. While wine is offered by the glass, if a bottle sparks your interest don’t hesitate to snag it: You can take it with you when you leave, and even bring it to dinner at the Michelin one-star restaurant Septime across the street—if you’re lucky enough to have a reservation. (2 Rue Basfroi; 33/1-43-67-14-87)
WINTER: When the weather can be sour, shop the covered arcades in the 2nd and First arrondissement, like Galerie Vivienne (4 Rue des Petits Champs; galerie-vivienne.com) and Galerie Véro-Dodat (8 Galerie Véro-Dodat; 33/1-53-00-20-59; us.christianlouboutin.com), home to Christian Louboutin’s first beauty boutique.
SPRING: Sip rosé and picnic in Place des Vosges or the Luxembourg Gardens.
SUMMER: Venture outside the city to Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicompte. Every Saturday evening during the summer months the chateau is illuminated by 2,000 candles and flutes of Champagne and macarons are sold. (33/1-64-14-41-90; vaux-le-vicomte.com)
FALL: Spend the afternoon strolling the winding streets of Montmartre when the ivy on the buildings and the vines in Clos Montmartre, the last remaining working vineyard in Paris, start to turn. Try to schedule your visit during Fête des Vendanges, the wine harvest festival that takes place on the butte each October.