"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below."
Though Paris is infamously quiet—and devoid of actual French people—during the month of August, there is truly no better time of year to visit the city than during the summer. And with the sun setting well past 9 p.m., the day is stretched to maximize darting around town, tasting all the most delectable food the city has to offer, seeing the finest of the arts and culture offerings, and of course, taking in the sights as only a flâneur could. With so much to do, it's a wonder anyone ever sleeps at all on a trip to Paris—though, when the time calls for it, we have a list of fabulous places for you to stay too. The spiral of arrondissements offers something for everyone—you just need to know where to go. From the must-visit restaurants, exhibits, shops, and more, to the finest accommodations imaginable, here's the T&C Travel Guide to Paris in the Summer.
Where to Stay
Tucked away on the Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honoré is the elegant and storied Le Bristol, with its 190 renovated rooms and suites. It's been a favorite of the fashion set for many decades—and for good reason. Not only does the hotel have a spectacularly manicured interior garden, a spa, and three restaurants (Epicure, 114 Faubourg, and Cafe Antonia), but it is also home to Le Bar Bristol—the perfect cozy-yet-glamorous venue to start, or end, a night out in Paris. And the indoor pool modeled after a sail boat on the Riviera? It's a sight to behold. But the most beyond touch: Le Bristol has its own épicerie, and its own flour mill and chocolaterie for the ingredients they use to create their own pastries and delectable chocolate treats in house. It's luxury from top to bottom.
Hotel Madame Reve
Located in the Louvre Post Office nestled in the bustling and oh-so historic first arrondissement, the Hotel Madame Reve offers an escape from the quotidian. Not only do the hotel suites and rooms boast modern finishings and excellent views to match (with mail and postage references) —it's quite literally a hotel in a post office, but the moment you step into the hotel, you really feel as though you're passing through the eras. On the first floor, classic French savoir-faire, but by the time you reach the third floor, where the restaurant La Plume is situated, or head up to Roof (the outdoor lounge at the top floor), you're in a sleek and shi-shi hotspot meant to spend the evening in only a way a bon vivant can.
The Ritz Paris
The Ritz Paris's reputation precedes itself. After-all, everyone from kings and queens to cultural figures such as Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel have stayed here. The scene can only described as lavish with an elegant decor of rich brocades and pastel hues. This is a must-visit for a hotel lover, and at risk of stating the obvious, even with many restaurants to choose from on site (some with Michelin stars), one should always make time to visit the perennially packed Bar Hemingway, as well. It would be wrong not to.
The sixteenth can carry a reputation for an atmosphere that is staid and stuffy—to which we say, to each their own. However, if in search of something a little more off-the-beaten path, you stumble upon the Hotel Brach, it is the warm and eclectic answer to the aforementioned reputation of the neighborhood it is situated. Think: a meeting of 1930s architecture, modernism, Bauhaus, Dada, and a touch of Surrealism. The effect: warm and eclectic accommodations that have made this hotel a go-to recommendation from local Parisians. Need we say more? If we must, we would be remiss to skip mentioning the rooftop garden which not only supplies berries, vegetables, and herbs to the hotel's restaurants, but also houses the chicken coop, with three hens to supply the hotel with eggs. Also on site, a Norwegian bath available to guests, and a rave-worthy sports club (which channels a 1930s boxing club) that offers memberships.
The Chateau Voltaire is a bit of a best kept secret—the kind backed up by unpretentious hospitality that truly earns its reputation as a stealth luxury stay. Guests continually remark that in spite of the fact that the hotel is located in the very busy second arrondissement, they find their stays to be remarkably quiet. Rooms are spacious and sleek with refined finishings, and replete with sumptuous details that only serve to underscore that the Chateau Voltaire (with its three buildings and 32 rooms) is a sultry sanctuary that deserves its reputation as a hidden gem.
What to Eat
If you can get a reservation at Septime—emphasis on the 'if'— by all means move mountains to make it work for your itinerary. Coveted reservations open up three weeks to the day in advance, and if dinner isn't possible, making a trip for lunch is highly suggested. And yes, lunch should come with the wine pairing. You are in France! The farm-fresh and local food is innovative and splashy, but the vibe is unpretentious. It's a meal to write home about.
L'Ami Jean is an institution among food-loving travelers and locals who know what they're talking about. The bistro first opened almost 100 years ago as a Basque pub and has evolved into a mainstay of classic French dining. It's not gimmicky, and absolutely one of those joints that you always make a point to stop by when you're in town.
In old French 'vantre' referred to the belly, all of which to say... come to Vantre hungry. With creative pairings of wine and inventive renditions of French classics that will leave you wanting to lick your plate, you'll inevitably become a return customer.
There's only one word to describe 114 Faubourg: chic. Well, actually two, the other word is delicious. The setting is glittering and modern, with floral prints on the walls and bright gold columns—and the food? It's decadent and savory and the service is in a class of its own. It will be one of the best meals of your trip, if not the best. And, yes, even if you are going for lunch, the wine pairing is highly suggested.
An old school French brasserie in the best sense of the expression. Chez Denise is in the middle of the bustling Les Halles neighborhood—but rest assured it is just as buzzing once you walk into the premises. Wine flows by the carafe, and truthfully, if you're not getting a steak, then you are missing out. This is not one of those places where you have a light meal, which is intended entirely as a compliment.
The panoramic views are spectacular, but the Japanese-stroke-French-fare at the oh-so-sexy Plume makes for a great complement. Dress to impress, as you'll notice everyone there is too. It's not typically Parisian, but it's great for a romantic night out.
What to Do
There are rooftop lounges and then there is ROOF at Hotel Madame Reve. Located on... you guessed it, the roof, the new outdoor space is the perfect place to grab an aperitif (or a few) and nosh on appetizers while you watch the sunset. It has a gorgeous suspended garden and the crowd is young and fashionable. And the view? It's so good you just won't want to leave.
La Grand Epicerie
If you're not going to take my word for it... at least then heed the advice of Ina Garten, who also suggests travelers pop in to the breathtaking Grand Epicerie. It is, without an ounce of hyperbole, the best specialty food store in the world.
30 Avenue Montaigne
Earlier this year, Dior re-opened its breathtaking flagship in Paris complete with an archival gallery, cafe, haute couture and jewelry atelier, as well as a restaurant, a patisserie, three gardens, and a boutique. It is well worth a visit if you love fashion, but even if you don't, it's a great experience from top to bottom.
Yes, Huitrerie Regis is listed here as a thing to do. Because it is an experience. Grab your travel buddy—and some friends, even if you have to make them—and order muscadet with your oysters. It's a grand old time.
The historic French Department store in the first arrondissement reopened last year, and even if you aren't going to shop, it's worth a visit because of the breathtaking renovation. Also, Le Cheval Blanc is a hop, skip, and a jump away.
If you know, you know. And now you do. Skincare junkies and beauty lovers have long held City Pharma as an essential Paris stop. Because in a world of exquisite French pharmacies, City Pharma is a beauty outlet where you can get the best of luxury French beauty for less. Do yourself a favor and buy some Bioderma in bulk, ok?
You Might Also Like