If you’re looking for some of the most fun and instagrammable spots in Paris, you’ve come to the right place. The second half of my “How to Spend 5 Days in Paris” guide is here, and it’s full of fun spots to eat, drink, and see in Paris’ most picturesque neighborhoods (see the first part of the guide here).
How to Spend 5 Days in Paris: Days 4-5
The second half of our stay in Paris contained even more rosé, cheese, and amazing meals than the beginning! Here are some of my favorites that I highly recommend adding into your itinerary if you’re visiting the city.
• Stroll the shops and cafés on Rue Montorgueil: This pedestrian friendly area in the 2nd arrondisement was by far my favorite part of Paris! Rue Motorgueil is foodie heaven, filled with adorable cafés, shops, restaurants and bars that make you feel like a local. We ended up in the area 3(!) times on the trip since we loved it so much. Some of my favorites include: Matamata Coffee Bar (coffee, sandwiches, and tropical wallpaper), Miss Bahn Mi (a pink Vietnamese sandwich shop), Filakia (amazing Greek souvlaki), and La Maison Stohrer (oldest patisserie in Paris). On certain days of the week, the beginning of Rue Montorgeuil also has an open market.
• Get in line for dinner at Ober Mamma: While researching for our trip, I came across several recommendations for this Italian restaurant in the 11th arrondisement. Ober Mamma is extremely popular with the locals (as are the rest of the Big Mamma group’s restaurants), so waiting in line before it opens is standard practice. Since we were spending just 5 days in Paris, we wanted to make sure and get in on our first try, so we showed up at 6:30 (doors opens at 7). The line was already about 30 people deep, but we were able to get in and grab a table in the front bar area. The food was absolutely incredible, and the staff were fluent in Italian which made ordering so much easier for us after studying abroad in Italy! Homemade pasta is served in copper pots, while their tiramisu is scooped right from it’s baking dish table side. This restaurant is not to be missed if you’re looking for an amazing dinner. The group’s newest restaurant Pink Mamma just opened a few weeks ago, and I’m already dying to go back and try it!
• Head out of the city for tropical drinks at Polpo Brasserie: This oasis on the Seine is definitely worth the bit of a trek outside central Paris. To find out more, read my post on it here!
• Have a balcony picnic with finds from the grocery store: While traveling, one of my all time favorite activities is going to the grocery store. It might seem strange, but I have my reasons! Grocery stores are typically for locals and aren’t catering to tourists, which means the prices are great and you get to see what it’s like to be a local. We stopped in at one near our hotel and managed to get tomatoes, cheese, bread, and wine for about $12! After grabbing ice at the hotel bar, we took our spread out onto our balcony and people watched. Whether or not you have a balcony, you can easily grab these items and find any nearby park to sit at.
• Find the flamingos along the Seine at Rosa Bonheur: After visiting the Musee d’Orsay (which I recommend if you love impressionist art, or if you just want to see the gorgeous train station), we walked along the Seine and found a bar on the bank with the cutest pink sign. Naturally we had to go in, and grabbed a bottle of rosé and some patatas bravas to have on the deck. This was my favorite rosé memory of the trip since the prices were fair (I think the bottle of Le Saint Andre was about $18) and the wine was amazing — I just wish they sold it in the US! There’s another floating barge with a bar next to Rosa Bonheur too, and they both turn into Parisian night clubs when the sun goes down. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon break or an evening out, definitely check out this spot.
• Discover the islands in the Seine: If you visit Notre Dame, you might not have known you were actually on an island. The chapel sits on Île de la Cité, one of the two natural islands that are in the Seine. My favorite one, however, is it’s next door neighbor, Île Saint-Louis. This charming little area in the 4th arrondisement is connected to the rest of the city via four bridges, and feels as if it is stuck in time. The calm and historic streets are lined with several local shops, including ones that sell cheese, pastries, and speciality foods (where I found the best French olive oil). We grabbed sandwiches and found a group of benches near the water to have lunch. There was a live band playing in the streets above, and it all felt perfectly Parisian.
• Buy fresh flowers at Marché Bastille: This open market has an incredible array of vendors selling fresh produce, meats, breads, cheeses, and flowers. There are strawberries set in pink tissue paper baskets, endless cheese wheels, and tomatoes in every color — definitely a bit of heaven. I also found a bouquet of coral peonies here for just 6 euro, which was half the price of any other penoies we’d found in Paris! The area around the market is filled with specialty shops and cafés too, so I would really recommend visiting if you’re trying to find a local experience.
• See the colorful houses on Rue Cremieux: Near the Marché Bastille, Rue Cremieux is a narrow street lined with pastel colored houses. It’s incredibly charming, and definitely worth a stop for some vibrant pictures. Get there early if you want the street to yourself since it’s a pretty popular spot to visit!
• Fill a box with macarons at Ladurée: A trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without macarons, and there’s no more iconic spot to get them than at Ladurée. Their Champs-Élysées location makes you feel like a princess, where you can sit and enjoy their signature desserts on a street side patio with a glass of champagne in hand. They also offer a full menu as well, but I prefer to just visit for a box of their perfect macarons.
• Skip the metro at the end of the day and walk home: At any time of day, I prefer to be above ground seeing the beauty of Paris rather than in the metro. This is especially true at night when you get the chance to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle! Since the tower is visible from almost everywhere in Paris, I recommend walking back to your hotel at least one night to see the city light up.
Hope you enjoyed this guide to 5 days in Paris! Still more to come on our final days in London, including the incredible hotel we stayed in!