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Paris holidays and city breaks

Paris may be a city of classic sights, but it never stands still. However well you know its streets, there’s always something new to discover, from buzz-worthy restaurant openings to freshly renovated museums. So, whether you’re planning your first ever city break to Paris, you’re going back for another weekend in Paris, or you fancy something a little longer, we’ve got your essentials for planning your next Parisian adventure in our guide to Paris holidays. Make your next Paris break an interesting one and discover what’s new in the city, from hip cafés to street art on the Seine. You can also find out where to stay on your Paris holiday and the best time of year to visit this beautiful city.



 

City or station
City or station

10 new Paris addresses to try

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  • Sip a Greek coffee at Yorgaki

    45 rue des Martyrs, 75009
    This sweet newcomer is a slice of Greek café culture in Paris, dreamt up by designer Yorgo Tloupas. It’s tiny but charming, with a blue-and-white tiled floor and strip of pavement tables, where locals pair iced freddo cappuccinos with syrup-soaked orange cake. Come lunchtime, order the creamy tarama, halloumi and smoked aubergine salad, and imagine you’re summering by the Aegean.
  • Pick a pastry at Cédric Grolet Opéra

    35, avenue de l'Opéra, 75002
    Pâtissier Cédric Grolet made his name at Le Meurice with a series of stellar creations: think edible twisting Rubrik’s Cubes, and ganache-filled, chocolate-shelled lemons. Now, he’s launched a standalone venture, serving viennoiseries until late morning, and Insta-pleasing pastries later on. Prices are high, so choose wisely; you can’t go wrong with a Saint-Honoré, laced with Tahitian vanilla.
  • Dress like a Parisian at Rouje

    11 bis, rue Bachaumont, 75002
    Parisian It-girl Jeanne Damas is behind this need-to-know label, now with a flagship on chic rue Bachaumont. Every piece taps into her signature aesthetic, from high-waisted jeans and quilted mini-bags to silky, puff-sleeved blouses. Next door, meanwhile, is a bijou brasserie, whose thyme-spiked croque-monsieur (renamed the croque Jeanne) is manna for famished fashionistas.
  • Discover the Maison de Balzac

    47, rue Raynouard, 75016
    Welcome to the house where Honoré de Balzac hid out from his creditors, and penned the epic Comédie Humaine. Alongside imposing portraits and bronzes are more domestic relics – like the cafetière that famously fuelled his all-night writing sessions. Following year-long renovations, there’s now a charming café, with a tranquil terrace, Rose Bakery cakes, and views of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Tap into new trends at Dover Street Parfums Market

    11 bis, rue Elzévir, 75003
    Get ahead of the curve at Dover Street’s Parisian beauty emporium, a futuristic space in the Marais designed by Rei Kawakubo. Its stock runs from Japanese eyeliners to white-charcoal shampoo, via men’s cosmetics, niche scents and skincare from LA. Avant-garde brands and cult finds share the shelves with luxury big-hitters – a mix you won’t find on just any beauty counter.
  • Sip sencha tea at Ogata

    16 Rue Debelleyme, 75003
    Set in a 17th-century Marais townhouse, Ogata is a new, four-storey showcase for Japanese culture and crafts. Every detail is exquisitely considered, from the lime- and eggshell-plastered walls to the subtle waft of incense. A serene tearoom serves green teas and dainty wagashi sweets, while the upper levels house a gallery, restaurant and boutique, selling artisan ceramics and homeware.
  • Catch a concert at Le Cabaret Sauvage

    59, boulevard Macdonald, 75019
    The most escapist gig venue in town? This circus-inspired marquee in Parc de la Villette, with its decadent red-velvet drapes and circular dancefloor. Back after a four-month refurb, it’s never looked – or sounded – better, thanks to new soundproofing and a cool canalside terrace. The programming remains gloriously eclectic, spanning punk, pop, trapeze artistes, club nights, cabaret and more.
  • Refuel at Gramme

    86, rue des Archives, 75003
    Marais locals have fallen hard for this easy-going canteen, with its scrawled signage, affable staff and culture-hopping menu. The counter’s laid out with buttery cookies and homemade carrot cake, while drinks run from house-brewed hibiscus iced-tea to velvety Lomi coffee. Breakfast’s all about the creative tartines (ricotta and honey, say); at lunchtime, try the audacious báhn mì dog, stuffed with pulled pork.
  • See art on the Seine at Fluctuart

    2, port du Gros Caillou, 75007
    Welcome to the city’s coolest arts space: a three-level floating glass pavilion, moored on the Left Bank. Its permanent collection’s a whirlwind tour of global street-art greats, from Banksy to Invader, while temporary exhibitions showcase rising talents. Entrance is free, as are the lively guided tours. DJ sets, book signings and laid-back Sunday brunches round out the programme.
  • Dine in style at Caché

    23, Villa Riberolle, 75020
    This aptly named restaurant (caché means ‘hidden’) has an unusual setting: inside a former printing-house, by the Père Lachaise cemetery. Low-slung velvet sofas dot the loft-like dining room, with its marble bar, bare brick walls and soaring central skylight. The seasonal, Italianate menu is just as chic as the surrounds, running from caper-spiked vitello tonnato to truffle-dressed homemade pasta.


Top things to do on a Paris break

    • What to do in Paris?

      If you're on a first visit from London to Paris you'll probably want to cram as many sights into your time as possible, have a look at our 3-day itinerary for inspiration. No trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower, but planning is crucial to make the most of your visit. Buy your tickets online to avoid the queues and look out for the secret apartment on the third floor.

    • Wandering through the Parisian neighbourhoods

      Paris is full of charming neighbourhoods and the trendy Marais is well worth a visit. Known for its gothic architecture and charming cafes, you’ll find plenty of things to explore. Don’t forget to explore Père-Lachaise Cemetery where you’ll see the famous tombs of Oscar Wilde and Frederic Chopin.

    • Must-see museums and attractions

      If you plan on spending a weekend in Paris immersing yourself in some of the world’s most famous museums and attractions you really are spoilt for choice. The world-famous Louvre museum is a feast for the eyes with 350,000 artefacts and of course the Mona Lisa. But there are other spectacular museums too, like the beautiful Rodin museum. Showcasing the sculptures and lifework of French artist Auguste Rodin, it contains nearly 400 pieces of art, including the most famous of Rodin’s sculptures, The Thinker.

    • Places to eat and drink in Paris

      In Paris, there are plenty of food options to suit every taste and budget. With scenic views of the Canal Saint-Martin, the Paname Brewing Company offers a good mixture of beer, burgers and snacks. You can also try brews by Brasserie de la Goutte d'Or, Deck & Donohue and BapBap. If wine and cheese is more your thing, check out La Grande Crèmerie in St Germain.

    • Getting around the city

      It is easy and convenient to get around Paris by metro, RER and bus. The Paris Pass gives you free unlimited travel on the Metro, RER and bus as well as free entry to some of the main museums and attractions. For longer stretches across the city, taking the RER is your best option.


Where to stay in Paris

Paris is simply perfect to be walked – you really don’t want to spend too much of your Paris weekend break, or Paris city break on public transport. So when choosing where to stay in Paris, it’s a nice idea to consider what you want to do on your break and try and choose a hotel or apartment close to your favoured attractions and within walking distance of the places at the top of your Paris wish-list.

Best time to visit Paris

Paris holidays are perfect at any time of the year. Whichever season you choose to wander down the city’s boulevards you’ll find something new – even for seasoned Paris travellers.  

Spring sees the city in full bloom with its stunning parks and gardens promising a fantastic getaway for family picnics and lazy days, while people watching in cafes truly becomes an art form at this time of year. There are always plenty of things to see and do in and around the city during a Parisian summer. To get your sun-fix head down to Paris Plages on the banks of Seine, or simply relax in one of the city’s many fantastic green open spaces. And if you plan to shop till you drop, there’s plenty of bargains to be had in the city’s summer sales.  

As the autumn leaves break out across the city, the pace of Paris begins to slow down from the busy summer season making this an ideal time for a Paris city break. As the temperatures drop, while away a few hours exploring the city’s many districts, head inside to one of the numerous world famous museums or brave the catacombs. 

Wow, Paris in winter really is something else. The Christmas lights will sparkle, Disneyland Paris promises magic and fun for all the family, while the city’s department stores really are a must-see in the run up to Christmas.  

 

Spring breaks in Paris

Paris's parks, gardens and museums come alive in spring. 

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Summer in Paris

All the best things to do in Paris in summer

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Paris in autumn

See Paris in a different light during the autumn season.

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Paris in winter

Hot cocoa and Christmas window displays...there's plenty of reasons to visit Paris in the winter. 

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Best places to eat, shop and stay

Where to eat in Paris

Paris is full of tasty places to eat - but where to go? Check out our handy list.

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Best places to shop in Paris

Paris has no shortage of designer and wallet-friendly shops.

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Finding the best place to stay in Paris

An easy guide by district to help you decide on the best place to stay on your city break.

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Living it up in Paris on a 5-star break

Treat yourself to a bit of Parisian glamour.

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