There’s a reason why the quote “Paris is always a good idea” is one of the most popular – and overused – of our time. The perennially sought-after capital is a city brimming with art, parks, picnic spots, and panoramic views. At first blush, the metropolis might seem a bit intimidating, and so it’s with the help of Paris natives that we’ve compiled Savoir Flair’s guide to what to do this summer in the City of Lights.
Click through the gallery for where to go next time you’re in Paris, and click here for the city’s best restaurants.
Picnic on the Champ de Mars
Channel your inner Parisian by picking up some cheese, baguettes, and cold cuts and stretching out on a blanket on the Champ de Mars, which faces France’s most iconic monument: The Eiffel Tower. After dark, it sparkles on the hour every hour, which is one of the most magical things you’ll ever see in your life.
Photo: Courtesy of Certainly Her
Visit the Georges Pompidou Center
This architecturally avant-garde masterpiece is equal parts art gallery and cultural hub. It’s a must-visit if you’re interested in architecture and contemporary and experimental art, and the trendy Georges restaurant at the very top of the gallery offers breathtaking views of the city.
From its manicured lawns to its graveled paths, the Jardin des Tuileries is the quintessential spot for a Parisian afternoon stroll. Walking tip: To maximize your experience, begin at the Louvre end and walk towards the Place de la Concorde. If you’re in Paris between June 28th and August 24th, you’re in luck, because the space hosts the annual Fêtes des Tuileries, which features bumper cars, Ferris wheels, local delicacies, and so much more.
Photo: Courtesy of DP Review
Shop in Le Marais
This famous shopping district, which at one time was nothing more than a marsh, has transformed into a treasure chest of artisanal boutiques. Expect to stock up on everything from beautiful knitwear to organic olive oil and bespoke stationary.
Photo: Courtesy of Travel Magazine
Be Amazed at the Musée d’Orsay
The Musée d’Orsay, which is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay railway station, is a piece of art in itself. Highlights of the breathtaking museum include pieces by Monet, Degas, and Van Gogh.
Le Palais de Tokyo is where the elite crowd goes for its art, concert, and trendy bistro fix. This mixed-event space continues to be just as buzz-worthy as when it first opened in 2002. Don’t miss out on the delectable Asian cuisine at Monsieur Bleu (you’ll need to book way ahead of time) or the Instagrammable skateboard scene just outside.
Make your way up to the top of Montmartre to visit the breathtaking Sacré Coeur basilica, which overlooks the entire city. Behind it you’ll find the Place du Tertre, a small square filled with French restaurants, art galleries, caricaturists, artists, old bakeries, and souvenir shops. Stop for a bite and a portrait before continuing your walk down through the charming streets on the other side of the hill.
Enjoy a Coffee in Saint-Germain-des-Prés
A former haunt of artists, philosophers, writers, and movie stars in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, this neighborhood still radiates a certain je ne sais quoi. Shop the area’s many boutiques and concept stores before settling down for a coffee at the Café de Flore, an iconic address that counted many of the most famous thinkers and artists of our time as regulars – including Pablo Picasso.