My Top Favourite Places in Paris

The best places to go in Paris

my heart years for this city. Of the beauty, the wonder, je ne sais quoi of the City of Lights
Paris. Is there anything like it? If I could, I’d spend close to half the year whiling away the hours in Paris, sitting in cafes, people-watching, shopping, reading by the Seine, writing in the Tuileries. The city is magical and there’s no shortage of places you should visit while exploring this great town. My top favourite places in Paris are a mixture of touristy attractions and spots mixed with those that people either forget about, or don’t know. Here are my top favourite places in Paris:
top paris places in Paris
Obviously. This is my number one favourite spot to leisurely walk the gardens, sit in a cafe drinking a moderate to delicious cafe au lait, read a book by the carousel, or scribble down thoughts in a metal green chair, pointed away from people and the world. On my last trip to Paris, I ended up in this park nearly every morning, sitting in the hard metal iconic chairs, gazing at the gardeners and locals wandering the park, waiting for the rush of tourists to fill up all the good spots.
The Eiffel Tower
But, not actually the Eiffel Tower. There’s a market just behind (or in front, depending on where you’re coming from) the Tower that has never failed me. Soaps, jewelry, cognac, delicious crepes, everything is there for you to explore and buy. While there are many markets that pop up around Paris (my favourite string of pearls and large pearl ring is from a market that popped up just outside of Deux Magots years ago), it’s hard to be in the right place at the right time. If you’re looking for some hand-made items at reasonable prices, make your way to this wonderfully – but touristy – market.
My Top Favourite Places in Paris
Marche aux Fleurs et aux Oiseau
This beautiful flower market is one of my favourites because of its beauty and calming atmosphere that can take any terrible day and turn it right side up. I mentioned this place in the Perfect Morning, which also includes a morning in the Tuileries. Located in Ile de la Cite, this market is easy to access once you’ve finished touring the great spots like the Notre Dame, Pont Neuf, or the Tuileries. Buy some flowers for your hotel room or apartment and feel the afterglow of being in a wonderful Parisienne marche aux fleurs.
Honestly, this adorable breakfast nook is something my friend found for us while we were staying in the 2nd arrondissement. They speak English and have the best breakfast sandwiches. Annoying to find as Google barely recognizes it (it’s basically in an adorable alleyway that feels as if you’ve been transported back in time), but so worth it, this cramped little shop is one of my absolute favourites and a place that I have frequented more than once on a single trip.
My Top Favourite Places in Paris
Les Halles
Both the street/market and the mall, itself. Les Halles used to feed all of Paris, claiming fame to being the central fresh food market of the town. Forum des Halles is the new shopping mall that houses all kinds of wonderful goodies for you to choose from. While this isn’t the most Parisienne of shopping experiences, sometimes, heading out to a mall to get the basics and for a cultural rest can do you good. There’s also a large movie theatre in the mall, but I still recommend viewing a film at Grand Rex for a fun movie-going experience.
While the street is lined with modern day boutiques, shops and restaurants (think Franprix and thai food mixed with old-school patisseries and boulangeries), it feels quaint and classic with an archway indicating your arrival into the market, and what feels like, an old era.
Les Deux Magots

Ah, les Deux Magots. Les Deux Magots and Cafe de Flore go together with those who are looking to spend a little time where literary and artistic greats once drank, sat, and thought of famous works. While I’ve never actually stepped foot in Cafe de Flore, it’s on my list to do so. My Hemingway-esque cafe go-to is les Deux Magots. A great space to people-watch, Saint-Germain-des-Pres never fails in wonderful things to see. Sit outside on the terrace and you can gaze out into the square and people for days. Inside is still steeped in rich history with red booths and gilted decor and mirrored walls taking you back to the glory days. No matter where you sit, you’ll still get a delicious Croque Monsieur (my absolute favourite).

Top Favourite Places in Paris

The Banks of the Seine
Yes, the entirety of the banks of the Seine River. Why? Because it feels so wonderfully calming just to sit with a book, a coffee, or some wine (shhh) and stare out into the water. Often quiet (if you find the right spots), you can daydream for hours, letting the lapping of the water and dull noise of faraway boats lull you into a happy state. One of the busier sections, and perhaps my favourite as a pick-me-up Banks-of-the-Seine-kind-of-day, is right in front of Shakespeare & Co. If you don’t mind high traffic areas, or waiting in line, you can find a delicious assortment of smoothies and delightful brownies in the cafe. Bonus: if you’re out of a good read, you can pop in (and by pop in, I mean wait in line to get into the damn store) to grab a book or two.

I know, I know, Versailles isn’t in Paris. BUT it is a must-see and on every tourists’ list, and for good reason. The palace is breathtakingly beautiful. I could spend days wandering the grounds and peeking into grand rooms. Strolling the grounds, you can feel the history, the romance and horrors that took place in that VERY spot you stood. History is so fascinating to me, and history of grandeur? That’s even better. Make sure you book a tour with plenty of time to tour around (either by yourself or with a guide – although, I’d recommend splitting off at the end to allow yourself more time in the places you enjoyed) and take in the entire estate. The Chateau Versailles is a large place and you need ample time to explore it all.

As you may have noticed, wandering around is my favourite thing to do when I’m in the Paris region. Why? Because there is just so much to take in all at once. My favourites for Paris are mostly general areas because it doesn’t matter where you are, you’ll fall in love.

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