They say it’s the most beautiful city in the world, sophisticated, well heeled and filled with intriguing locals. Visiting Paris for work without a chance to explore the city would be cruel. If you’re in town on business, with an hour or a day spare, we’ve got your covered for where to find decent coffee, where to meet a client, and where to explore the city’s cultural highlights after hours.
Where to Eat
Coffee: Cafe Kitsune, Palais Royale
There are plenty of excellent boutique cafes serving a decent flat white in Paris these days. In fact if you stroll down a street in the Marais district, you’re bound to stumble upon one. Not all of them however, have the beautiful surroundings that Cafe Kitsune does. Set inside the Palais Royale garden, you can perch yourself on the terrace and watch locals wander as you sip your morning coffee.
Address: 51 Galerie Montpensier, 75001
Brekkie to go: Du Pain et des Idees
Traditionally in France, a boulanger bakes with bread, a patisser with pastry. Today however, most have diversified into both. One boulangerie (bakery) that’s preserving traditions though, is Du Pain et des Idees, run by baker Chrisophe Vasseur. Focusing on hand-hewn and stone baked traditions you can expect organic sourdough, seasonal fruit tarts and some of the best croissants in town.
Address: 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010
Business lunch: Maison Sauvage, Saint Germain
This restaurant is one of the Left Bank’s hottest eateries thanks to its rustic refurbishment, refined cocktails and simple yet suave menu. Open from brunch through to dinner, pop in for a casual lunch or linger over an afternoon aperitif.
Address: 5, Rue de Buci, 75006
Dinner date: Cafe de la Nouvelle Marie, Latin Quartier
A classic neighbourhood bistro, this restaurant does a roaring trade all day and night, serving traditional French fair, with produce sourced from within France exclusively. The wines are worth a taste too, as they only serve natural wines, some 30-years old!
Address : 19 Rue des Fosses Saint-Jacques, 75005
Where to Drink
Cave a Michel, Belleville
There’s nothing more Parisian than an intimate standing-room-only wine bar where the chef dishes up small plates from his neighbouring bistro while the sommelier serves wine from a 300-bottle collection. This neighbourhood local will take you on a delicious journey around France’s different regions, with wine to match, of course.
Address: 36 Rue Sainte-Marthe, 75010
A Dose of Culture
A city of museums and galleries, there are more cultural highlights in Paris than could ever be mentioned here. If nothing else, do save an hour or two to explore at least one institution, be it the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay or a street of small galleries on the Left Bank. Here are three worth a look-in:
Palais Garnier Opera House
It’s in all of the guide books yet seems somehow still underrated. Paris’ original opera house is a building worth seeing – think ornate gilded gold walls and a fresco by Chagall on the roof. It rivals Versailles but is right in the heart of the city.
Address: 8 Rue Scribe, 75009
Musee de l’Orangerie
You won’t find multiple artworks here, but rather one memorable series: none other than Monet’s Waterlillies. Covering 91 metres of walls, the space is bright, airy and beautiful. When you’re done, head outside and stroll through the Tuileries Gardens to the Louvre or along the Seine.
Address: Jardin Tuileries, 75001
Shopping in Paris
When you come to Paris you should always leave room in your suitcase for a new garment or two, a new book or a trinket you just can’t depart without, because if we’re honest, you will come across plenty in Paris. Our favourite picks for shopping are:
Arguably Paris’s most famous concept store, Merci combines the best of cosy cafe and library with tailored outfits, Danish designed objects, food and furniture. You won’t regret a visit.
Address : 11 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003
Le Bon Marche
A Paris institution, Le Bon Marche was built in 1852 as the city’s first department store. Today it’s home to everything you could possibly want to buy, from designer shoes and luggage to the Grand Epicerie, displaying gourmet goods from right around the globe.
Address: 24 Rue de Sevres, 75007
Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen
Covering no less than seven hectares with more than 2,000 stores, this market is a treasure trove of antique furniture, clothes, jewellery, and trinkets. Give yourself a few hours to browse, but remember it’s only open weekends and Mondays.
Address: 93400 Saint-Ouen