Summer in Paris

By Kate Riley April 20, 2016

It’s official, I’m booked for a trip to Paris in July! I haven’t been to this city in fifteen years and I’m so so excited to return. As of now I’m traveling by myself but my plan is to get one or two friends to come with me!

eiffel tower flower frame


I’ll be brushing up on my French in order to get by and watching a few movies with Paris as the backdrop to get me in the mood. An American in Paris and Midnight in Paris come to mind can you recommend any others?

I’m headed there in July, and I know it will be crowded with tourists, but I’d love to hear some ideas on where I should stay, what I should see, and where I should eat! Will you share your favorites with me?



      • Honetsly, Funny face is just as relevant as “the sound of music” for Austria today! I don’t get why people recommand movies made by foreign directors, they are packed with clichés but have nothing to do with actual life in Paris. What about … french movies, for a start?

        Tout ce qui brille
        dans Paris
        la boum
        Paris je t’aime
        9 mois ferme
        le bal des actrices
        before Sunset
        Mina Tanenbaum
        Le péril jeune
        les femmes du 6ème étage
        le père noel est une ordure
        tout pour plaire
        Connasse princesse des cœurs
        prete moi ta main
        vénus beauté
        on connait la chanson
        tatie danielle
        tout est pardonné

  1. I would recommend a trip to Versailles with enough time to see the Petit Trianon. I went to Paris 6 years ago and we missed the Petit Trianon because we didn’t budget enough time. :-(

    The Marais district is nice, they have an open air market on Sundays (maybe Wednesdays, too?).

    Of course the mainstays: the Eiffel Tower, Laduree, The Louvre, the Tuilleries, Musee d’Orsay, rose wine, l’Orangerie. Have a great time – Paris is so walkable and so lovely. Contrary to their reputation, the Parisians are very nice. Have fun!

    • Kate has a sister named Amelie. She is the greatest gift ever bestowed upon her. She thanks her lucky stars every day for the day Amelie was born which, by the way, was 3 years after Kate. Some false rumors have circulated that she is the older sister. Hard to imagine who started them. Everyone should have a little sister named Amelie.

  2. Please consider using for a place to stay. Same price as a hotel but you get an entire (tiny!) apartment or studio. My husband, son and I stayed in a cute walk up apartment one block from the famous Rue Cler market (fresh croissants every morning!). We were 4 blocks from the Eiffel Tower and close to Metro. Vacationinparis is based in NJ. They sent us instructions and a key the size of a screwdriver!! Check out their website at the very least. We were very happy with our experience.

  3. Bonjour Kate! What a wonderful adventure you are going to have!

    I travel to Paris about every two years. The last time was in 2014. Most of my June 2014 posts were dedicated to the trip. Four alone were just on the Louvre such as the secret fast entrance:
    Napoleon’s apartment:
    The Apollo Gallery and crown jewels:

    Notre Dame

    The gardens of Paris:

    Monet’s Home in Giverny which also links to my Monet garden posts.

    I hope you will have a wonderful time. My posts provide very specific information that hopefully will help you enjoy Paris to the fullest.

    Vive la France!

    • How wonderful Laura thank you for sharing I shall read every post – how kind to share your experiences !

  4. These are comedies but set in Paris…Addicted to Love with Meg Ryan and Mathew Broderick, Forget Paris with Billy Crystal, National Lampoons European Vacation, and there is another one with Meg Ryan and the guy from A Fish Called Wanda (can’t remember his name but he’s married to Phoepe Kate’s) where he has a grape vine he wants to start a vineyard with and she falls for him….(more about Wine Country than Paris), but all are funny and can get you in the mood!
    Can’t help much with the language. The only thing my mom taught me to say is the pen is on the table, and eat sh* !! And Ofcourse the lyracis of Lady Marmalad and an episode of Dexters Laboratory where all he could say Omlet du fraumage

    • The Meg Ryan movie with the vineyard is called French Kiss co-starring Kevin Kline.

  5. Might I suggest taking your sister? I hear she has a milestone birthday coming up in less than a year.

    • Now that’s a really good idea, Miss Kate. She’d add a whole new dimension to your adventures in Paris!!

  6. How exciting! It has been a long time since I have been to Paris. (10 years for me) My favorite things that I remember from when I was in Paris was the yummy fresh croissants, the amazing french onion soup ( I have yet to make it like I had it there) and the tasty escargot. For things to do/see my favorites were Le Marais, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower (during the day and night) and a Siene river cruise. How long will you be staying in Paris for? I have been wanting to go back, so I can’t wait to see the pictures from your trip!
    – Jaclyn

  7. So many great movie suggestions! Here are a couple more:

    La Vie en Rose (2007)
    Coco Before Chanel
    The Tango Lesson

    The last time I was in Paris was 15 years ago too! What stands out in my mind was exploring the Latin Quarter. There are so many things to see in that neighborhood. Also, make sure to plan a visit to Luxembourg Garden. Have fun!

    • I completely forgot about suggesting the Loire Valley. If you have a couple days to get out of the city, I highly recommend it. The chateaux and the region’s wine are reason enough to go!

  8. I too was going to mention the movie Amelie. I remember know that you have a sister named Amelie; my granddaughter is also named Amelie – after the movie. Have a wonderful time!

  9. I can’t remember if it’s set in Paris, but French Kiss is one of my favorites. Have a fabulous time!

  10. Others have mentioned “Charade,” and that’s one of my favorite movies, too. But don’t forget “Love in the Afternoon” (another Audrey Hepburn classic, with Gary Cooper and Maurice Chevalier) — it’s the most charming and romantic tale, and if it doesn’t put you in the mood for Paris, nothing will. Enjoy!

  11. Julie and Julia is wonderful for getting your tummy in the mood for France!

    I also love Sabrina, the original and the remake.

  12. A few years ago my daughter and I stayed at a small hotel called Hotel Relais Bosquet on a side street near Rue Cler and the Eiffel Tower which I found it in Rick Steves Paris book.

  13. I lived in Paris a few years ago – it’s definitely my spiritual home.
    Stay in the Marais – near Place Des Voges if possible.
    Do not miss Saint Chapelle and the Pantheon is my favourite building in Paris.
    Chateau Briand is a fabulous restaurant.
    Buy a Jamin Puech handbag.
    Shop at APC.
    Read Almost French by Sarah Turnbull – it explains a lot about how the French think…
    Say a camp Bonjour to every shop assistant you meet and you’ll have a great time.
    Buy some Peonies from a street corner.
    I could go on and on….
    Enjoy !

  14. If you haven’t read ‘Tongue in Cheek’ blog, you must. The author is an American who married a Frenchman and lives in Provence. Corey is the queen of brocante, can advise on all flea markets. Corey renovated a tiny flat in Paris and rents it out. Now she is renovated a 700 square foot in Cassis, in the south of France. My dream is to rent her Paris flat.

  15. I am going to Paris in July as well!!
    We are staying at the Westin Vendome.
    Can wait to read all of the ideas from your readers.
    Maybe I will bump in to you buying a baguette.

  16. contact the blogger from habitually chic – she goes once or twice a year! she writes about it all the time!

  17. I was there Last May. Each time we go we take different tours with Context tours. this company does walking tours in groups no larger than 6. We did their chocolate tour and it was fantastic. In previous visits to Paris we’ve done their tour of Montmartre, The Louvre, the Gardens of Versailles and so many others I can’t even list them all. A friend recommended this company to us and we now use them on every trip to Europe at least three tours per trip. Most of the tours we’ve taken have been lead by someone with a masters or PHD in the topic of the tour. For example the Vatican tour was led by a woman with degrees in Art history and philosophy. The Architecture tour was led by a masters in Architecture. This company offers a chef led pastry lesson and cooking class in Paris as well. Check out Their website. I will tell you that we have even taken tours with them of places we’ve already visited and have never been disappointed. Their knowledgeable staff is amazing and will answer your questions and recommend their favorite haunts if you ask at the end of the tour. Consider going to Rouen (where Joan of Arc was killed), Monet’s garden in Givenchy, and St Michel. I can’t recommend this company highly enough. I do not get paid, I don’t even get free tours from them.

    • Thank you SO much Ilene, I’m so excited by that suggestion especially a cooking class, WOW!

      • I would love to hear what you think of any tours you take through Context we go to Europe about every two years and they are always adding new tours.
        First Chocolate shop in France is still located in Paris and is a historical building.
        Debauve and Gallais
        It was originally a Pharmacy that figured out that if he put the medicine on Chocolate wafers Marie Antoinette would eat it.
        If you see Crepes St. Helen on a menu give it a is a specialty of the Normandy region (crepe containing pear sorbet, topped with chocolate syrup and sliced almonds)

  18. French Kiss with Kevin Kline! That movie always makes me laugh! Have an awesome time!

  19. About ten years ago, my then boyfriend (now husband) took me to Paris for my birthday. I had been before but wanted to go back. A delightful surprise happened when we were fighting jet lag on our first day there and as evening was setting in, we decided to go to St. Chapelle. The setting sun shone through the stained glass windows and the effect was like being inside a jewel. We both still talk about that wonderful discovery (we weren’t going to go at all).

    Also, we ate our way through Paris (how can you not?) and there was a chocolate shop called Geoff du Bruges (sp) that was amazing! And Fodor’s restaurant recommendations were excellent. I could go on and on! Have so much fun. I’m so jealous!

  20. We stayed in Paris for a few days during our honeymoon and stayed in the Latin Quarter at the Hotel Dauphine Saint-Germain. It was fantastic! It’s in an amazing location, walk-able to the Louvre, Musee de’Orsay, Ile St Louie (Notre Dame), Luxembourg gardens and tons of amazing shopping and cafes in St Germain (including a Lauderee). It’s a perfect quintessential Parisian hotel! And the continental breakfast was perfect each morning! And there are multiple metro stops nearby which take you right to the Eiffel Tower.

    Definitely see the Luxembourg gardens and Musee de’ Orsay. And get yourself some french onion soup from a sidewalk cafe while you’re there. You won’t be disappointed! Oh and check out Sergent Recruiters one night for a fun, unique dining experience. It’s on Ile St. Louis. Enjoy! You’ll love Paris!!

  21. “Paris Je T’aime” and “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” (with Catherine Deneuve!!). Definitely! No way you can’t watch them!

  22. Read “A Year in the Merde” about a Brit who lives in Paris. Hysterical!

    I used to live by Invalides. I highly recommend the Rodin Gardens and, of course, the Musee D’Orsay (get there when it opens). A tour of the catacombs is creepy, but cool. And if you want the best view in Paris, it’s from the restaurant at the top of Montparnasse (go for cocktails), not from the top of the Eiffel Tower. You can’t see the Eiffel Tower if you’re in it! Finally, window shopping and exploring the artistic displays at Le Bon Marche and the food across the street at La Grande Epicerie. Amazing!

  23. The forums on are an invaluable source of information. The members really know their stuff and give great advice.

    We are taking our kids for the first time at the end of June. In the midst of planning everything and can’t wait!

  24. Try for the best places to eat in Paris. Its the real deal.

  25. Ahhh, my favorite place to travel to. I travelled alone to Paris twice last year (single female). Both times I stayed at the Observatoire Luxembourg, across from Luxembourg Gardens. Always felt safe walking late at night back to my hotel. Trendy boutique hotel, with a luxurious bed, an elevator (not common) buses and rails right outside, wonderful staff, free wifi, a great shower with hot water on demand (request a shower if that’s your preference, because not sure all rooms have a shower).

    I’m not a foodie, but if you like falafels, L’as du Fallafel in Marais (yummy). Also, Relais de l’Entrocote for steak and fries (amazing) in the 6th.

    Museums: Take the guided tour at the Louvre…if I recall correctly, its no more than 2 hours, and takes you to the most famous and viewed pieces. The Musee D’orsay and Rodin are awesome. Espace Dali in Montmartre was a treat.

    Montmartre: On a clear evening, take a bottle of wine, sit at the steps in front of Sacre Couer, watch the sunset and the city light up.

    Versailles: Go when the fountains are turned on (not a daily occurrence).

    As a native New Yorker, I enjoyed visiting the mini Statue of Liberty on the Seine, Pont de Grenelle.

    And lastly, for great and inexpensive skincare, visit City Pharma in the 6th (26 rue de four).

    Enjoy your trip!!! I can’t wait to go back!

  26. It’s been years since I’ve been to paris but my favorite cafe was Le Flore en Ile. It is on the Ile de Saint Louis and looks out over the back of Notre Dame. Their hot chocolate (Chocolat chaud) was to die for. They served a little pitcher of chocolate sauce and a pitcher of hot and frothy milk and you mixed them together yourself. Their crepes de maison were also terrific served with the same chocolate sauce. Hope it is still there!

  27. I highly recommend Rick Steve’s guide book. When he says be in at the Louvre at 8:30 am. because there is no lines..guess what? no lines…and stay at the Champ de Mar Hotel, just like he says! to cute and right off Rue Cler. Bon Voyage!

    • Lucy I remember having his book with me when I was last in Paris and it was a GREAT guide, thanks for the reminder, I love Rick!

  28. How exciting Kate! I’ll be there in June and I can’t wait to be back. Last time I went in winter so I’m really looking forward to seeing a Paris springtime.

    We used for our accommodation – a self-contained apartment rather than a hotel. There were great last time so we’ve done the same again this trip. Probably best to stick to either the Marais (we’ve chosen that option) but my first pick was this gorgeous old apartment on Ile Saint Louis: Sadly it was already booked for our dates but you might have better luck. It’s also close to one of my fave restaurants, Cafe St Regis – the best omelette I’ve ever tasted! And I’ll second the hot chocolate at Le Flore en Ile – sensational.

    I’m sure you’ve had a hundred recommendations, but one other thing that might interest you is cosmetics and skin care. City Pharma on Rue du Four is a treasure-trove of skincare at a fraction of the regular price. Just in case that interests you!

    Have a great trip!

    • Thank you so much Kerri! I spied a few one bedroom apartments on that site and put in a request for availability, thank you so much!

  29. Read “Is Paris Burning?” It is about how Paris was almost destroyed in WWII but for the act of a German officer in charge of the city. I read it last spring before visiting Paris, and it is an amazing piece of history.
    Monet’s gardens at Giverney are absolutely exquisite. It was horribly hot and horribly crowded but those gardens are every bit as amazing as I had always heard.

    • Giverney is on my list Celestial and thanks for the book recommendation, I’ll add it to my list!

  30. You should watch the PBS series “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having”…completely charming and funny travel and food series from the creator of “Everyone Loves Raymond.” He did a whole episode on Paris which was fabulous and made me want to go immediately.

    Eat as many pain du chocolat as you can and visit the Musee D’Orsay. Love it there!

  31. We loved staying at the Hotel Britannique – walking distance to Notre Dame and the Louvre and a block away from the Seine.

  32. My husband and I have been to Paris several times but last September instead of staying in a hotel we rented an apartment through Air B&B in the 16th Arrondissement . It was great having a place to cook meals from the terrific farmers markets all around town. Not to mention going to the patisserie on the corner to get fresh croissant and coffee in the morning.
    Even though you’ll be there in July don’t miss the hot chocolate at Angelina’s on Rue de Rivoli. Our favorite museum for Impressionism is Musee Marmottan Monet on rue Louis Boilly. You won’t be sorry. Enjoy and I’m jealous.

  33. Why French Kiss of course. I’ve been twice to Paris, loved or, loved the food. Enjoy

  34. What a great resource for all things “Paris”! The last time I visited, 2 years ago, one of my favorite things to do was attend the “4 Seasons” violin concert at Sainte-Chapelle, an old chapel, built of stunning (1113) stained glass windows. Sit and enjoy the concert, during sunset, with the light changing. Really wonderful. Must get tickets in advance and first come, first seated.

  35. Sounds like a great trip!
    Be sure to download David Lebovitz’s “Paris Pastry” app for his favorite pastry, chocolate & sweet shops.
    Also, the free Rick Steves audio guides are fantastic to download. You can get them for all the major attractions.

    • Thank you Katy! We are staying in a boutique hotel for 4 days and an apartment in Le Marais for 5 days – can’t wait!! Thanks for the link I’ll check it out !

  36. Great timely and fresh info, ladies. I’m going for the first time in September so I much appreciate all the tips.

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