Although I live in Paris, many of my favorite Instagram accounts feature the City of Light. As a Francophile and lover of pretty pictures, a stream teeming with shots of Sacré-Coeur, Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Île Saint-Louis never gets old. My feed is like a modern-day diary, and scrolling through it is a glimpse into my everyday life. I’m rarely without my Nikon or iPhone, and I love to share new discoveries and old favorites. Thus, here are some of my most-loved places in Paris as pictured on my Instagram account.
Place de la Concorde
From the northeast corner of Place de la Concorde, walk up few steps into the edge of the Tuileries and you’ll see a massive lion statue. Climb up on the concrete edge for a fantastic vantage point of some of Paris’ most iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Grand Palais and Luxor Obelisk.
Foundation Louis Vuitton
The newest major museum in the city comes from one of the names synonymous with the city. Foundation Louis Vuitton is located in Bois de Boulogne, next to Jardin d’Acclimatation. This architectural marvel was designed by Frank Gehry and is home to rotating exhibitions of modern art. I find the building and the views from its massive tiered terraces to be just as appealing as the artwork.
In the 1st arrondissement is Place Vendôme, which is home to world-renowned jewelry houses, as well as the soon-to-be-reopened Ritz Hotel. This picturesque square’s most prominent feature is the Vendôme Column. Made using cannons seized from the Austrians and Russians after France’s victory at the Battle of Austerlitz, the column has been covered in scaffolding for nearly a year while it was being cleaned. Financed by the Ritz to a reported tune of €1.5 million, the Vendôme Column has been restored to its original glory.
'The city of Paris has a great mast, made entirely of bronze, with sculpted victories and Napoleon as its lookout.' –Balzac on the Vendôme Column, which was made using cannons seized from the Austrians and Russians after France's victory at the Battle of Austerlitz ???????? The column has been covered in scaffolding for nearly a year while it was being cleaned. I saw it for the first time today and it looks fantastic. ???? #Paris #France #parisjetaime #placevendome
Cardinal Richelieu once called what’s now Palais Royal home, before leaving it to Louis XIII after his death. Just north of the Louvre, the gardens and palace became the stomping grounds of French royalty until upgrading to the Palace of Versailles. Now, the 17th century arcades house designer boutiques and modern striped columns by Daniel Buren.
Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen
By far, my favorite place to treasure hunt is Marche aux Puces in Saint-Ouen. Just north of Paris and reachable by metro, the flea market, as it’s often referred to, has over 1,500 vendors selling everything from antique crystal chandeliers to vintage Chanel jewelry. It’s only open Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so you’ll need to get there early to avoid the crowds, especially on a pretty day.
Entrances to Paris’ many passages can easily go unnoticed. These covered shopping galleries date to the 18th and 19th centuries and are a precursor to the modern-day mall. Many of the passages can be found in the 2nd and 9th arrondissements and are a must-see, even if you’re not a shopper. The atmosphere is a step back in time. One of the prettiest is Galerie Vivienne, with its wrought iron and carved wood details, mosaic floor and plant-lined corridor.
Starting in the 1st arrondissement, I made my way through perhaps eight passages throughout the 2nd and 9th arrondissements. I love that some go completely unnoticed by those passing by on the streets. Inside these covered walkways are shops, cafes, and even small theaters. The signage, ceilings, and especially the floors are well worth seeing. #Paris #France #parisjetaime
Rue de Lévis
There are a few well-known food streets in Paris, and rue de Lévis is one of them. Located on the edge of the 8th and 17th arrondissements by the Villiers metro, rue de Lévis is about 150 meters of deliciousness. Multiple boulangeries, patisseries, fromageries, butchers, fruit, vegetable, and flower stands dot the street. Intermixed are specialty stores featuring merengue, chocolate, tea, cookies and coffee. Go hungry and leave satisfied.
Banks of the Seine
Spring is upon us, and the place to be on a warm day is definitely along the Seine. If the sun is out, so are the Parisians in droves near Pont Alexander III. The atmosphere is lively, with music coming from péniches-turned-bars such as Rosa Bonheur sur Seine.
In the 12th arrondissement near Gare de Lyon is the most colorful, and possibly the cutest street in Paris. The charming rainbow hued homes are reminiscent of London’s Portobello Road. Dating to 1865, this pedestrian only street features plenty of plants, wrought iron lamps, patrolling cats and photo opportunities.
The oldest quarter in Paris is the Marais. Stretching over the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, you’ll find plenty of people-watching, boutique shopping and hip restaurants. On Sundays, the area is overflowing with locals and visitors alike.
Top of Printemps
Give your wallet a rest on Boulevard Haussmann by heading to the top of Printemps beauty and home store. The rooftop observation area provides a pretty panoramic view of Paris. Palais Garnier, the Eiffel Tower, L’église de la Madeleine, Sacré-Cœur and La Défense are just a few of the notable sights viewed from this vantage point.
While everyone else is swarming the Trocadéro, all is quiet and calm inside the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine. For less than €10, you get this picturesque view of Madame Eiffel, along with over 1,000 years of architectural history.
Pont des Arts
Once covered in dreadful lovelocks, Pont des Arts is back to its original glory. As the first iron bridge in Paris dating to the early 1800s, Pont des Arts is located between Pont Royal and Pont Neuf and reserved for pedestrians.
For my first year in Paris, Parc Monceau was my backyard. Although I’ve since moved to the Rive Gauche, it remains my favorite green space in the city. Constructed at the wishes of the Duke of Chartres in the 17th century, the park’s multiple entrances are easily identified by the ornate iron gates embellished with gold. Fitting of the chic 8th arrondissement, Parc Monceau’s statue-filled grounds are meticulous, yet visitors are actually allowed to sit on the grass.
Created at the wishes of Napoleon I with money from wine taxation, Canal Saint-Martin links Port de l’Arsenal to La Villette canal. What was once a working class area in the 10th arrondissement is now bustling with university students and bohemian types hanging out along the canal and in the funky cafes and boutiques. On Sundays, the two streets running parallel alongside the canal are reserved for pedestrians and cyclists.
When asked for itinerary advice, Montmartre is always one of the first places out of my mouth. I lived in this quaint area in the 18th arrondissement and will always remember it fondly. Much more than Sacré-Coeur and Place du Tertre, Montmartre is full of unique flavor and history. Dig deeper than the trodden tourist trail and get inside the heart of Montmartre.
Père Lachaise Cemetery
In the 20th arrondissement is possibly the world’s most famous cemetery. Famous eternal residents include Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Frédéric Chopin and Honoré de Balzac. At 44 hectares and approximately 70,000 burial plots, Père Lachaise is like a little city. Not just for the morbidly curious, the grounds and architecture are worth an afternoon, especially when weather turns crisp and the trees explode with autumn’s warm colors.