Paris is a city I not only fell in love with the first time I went, the second time I fell even harder.
The city of love (as its better known) is a destination not only for touristy Eiffel Tower shots and the traditional croissants for breakfast, it has so many little gems I knew nothing about the first time I went, and really wish I did.
Although its not long since I’ve been back from Paris, I could definitely go back again in a minute. It’s probably my favourite city I’ve ever been to and could go back again and again without getting bored. There’s so much to do, to see and I take in, I already have a list of things I must do next time I visit.
My first visit to Paris a few years back was all about visiting the Parisian touristy spots such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre-Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées and all the rest of its beautiful sights. The second time did consist of some of those still (they’re just too pretty to say no to) but we found ourselves becoming flâneurs and getting lost in the city. We just strolled around endlessly until we came across somewhere we wanted to look in, photograph or do. On that note, here are my top hidden Parisian gems that I really think are worth the visit (aside from its tourist spots that are an obvious must-do).
n. flâneur – “someone who saunters and strolls around observing society”.
A lover of all things brunch? Then Claus Paris will win your heart. Not only does this hidden gem serve the tastiest food, you get a lot of it (so get ready to unbuckle your belt) and its pretty interior AND exterior is to die for.
After searching endlessly for the best brunch in Paris and sieving through 100’s of recommendations we chose this one and it was everything I could’ve wanted and more. I wanted something truly Parisian and this was just it. We were served three courses from a set menu of our choice as well as two drinks, including mini French baguettes, selections of bread and traditional French pastries.
We queued for a little over 20 minutes, which is something I don’t usually do but after hearing how amazing the food is I didn’t want to miss out. Hand on heart, it was worth the wait. Claus Paris is located close to the Louvre and Palais-Royal so once eating all you possibly can, I’d say take a walk like we did, maybe to over to get some photos or simply take in the sights (and also to walk off that food baby).
I have a full review of Claus Paris, the food, its brunch menu and more here.
1st Arrondissement of Paris
Better known as the liveliest district of Paris and home to the Louvre, the beautiful Tuileries parks and the Palais Royal, and my favourite area of the city as a whole. It’s also the district home to designer boutiques and luxury chic shops along Rue Honoré and Place Vendôme.
As I mentioned, this area is just a short walk from the best brunch spot we found, the Louvre and Palais-Royal and definitely spots you can’t miss. This part of Paris is home to little hidden spots that are amazing for photos or to sit and take in the view.
If you have time I would say to spend a morning and afternoon exploring this district, as you’ll come across so many spots you may have never imagined seeing.
One thing I didn’t think I’d be doing in Paris is drinking a hot chocolate in Angelina. I hadn’t heard of this before and once I was in Paris this place was all over the local Instagram story. Its home to the “best hot chocolate in Paris”, I say that in inverted commas as I think its true but you’ll just have to try it for yourself.
When exploring the Louvre Museum we saw a sign to the café so of course I had to go. It’s a little pricey for a hot choc but definitely worth trying. The cakes and patisseries looked dreamy to.
On the theme of tasty French delicacies, I think its time to mention Pierre Hermé, a.k.a. the home to the most drool-worthy macaroons. My first visit to Paris had to include a visit to the most famous Laudrée but this time around I thought it was right to try something different and it was so worth it.
We visited the Pierre Hermé boutique on the Champs-Élysées and treated ourselves to a big box of them. My favourite had to be the pistachio macaroons; my mouth is watering thinking about them now. They’re definitely a little treat and I just couldn’t leave Paris without getting some macaroons.
Chez Francis on Avenue Montaigne
If you’re looking to relax with an incredible view of the prettiest sight in Paris, the Eiffel Tower, and food and wine in true Parisian style, Chez Francis is the answer.
This is French brasserie is located on the end of Avenue Montaigne and seems like a stones throw away from the Eiffel Tower, although its actually across the River Seine. We sat outside in the early evening under the heaters with blankets and French white wine, and this was probably my favourite moment of our trip. It was so romantic and something you have to fit in for a little down time. They also serve food and hot drinks if you’re after something a little more suited to an afternoon.
That’s a wrap for my top picks of hidden gems in Paris.
Do you have any hot spots you’d recommend?