A Local’s Guide to the Most Magnifique Things to Do in Paris

Things to do in Paris

Deborah Levy, co-founder of beauty brand Biotyspa, knows Paris. She was raised in the Parisian suburb of Versailles and spent eight years studying and working in the heart of the city before moving again and spending six years in the 16th arrondissement, a 15-minute walk from the Trocadero, which she says offers the best view of the Eiffel Tower.

As such, Levy, now Sydney-based, is who you’d ask for recommendations for the best things to do in Paris. Ahead, we’ve picked Levy’s brain on the best spots to eat, stay, and play in the French capital city. From the museums that are actually worth the hype, to her recommendation for the best day trip, these are Levy’s picks to experience the best of Paris.

Things to do in Paris
Image: Unsplash

Best Accommodation in Paris

“For a quintessential Parisian experience, I’d say the Ritz Paris and Le Meurice are iconic. I’ve been to both many times for work. Another favourite is Le Royal Monceau. They’re all centrally located and exude that Parisian flair.”

Best Restaurants in Paris

“In terms of cafés in Paris, I adore Cafe de Flore in St Germain des Pres and Patisserie Carette in Trocadero. My go-to order is always ‘le cafe gourmand’. It’s a delightful experience you really can’t find anywhere else in the world. It’s an espresso served alongside mini desserts — usually three. it’s in between a dessert and a coffee, and the best way to finish your meal while in Paris.

Gigi Restaurant is a top choice for me. It’s an Italo-French fusion spot with a great vibe, perfect for dining and partying. However, I also have a soft spot for the many Parisian brasseries, especially in the Marais or Place du Marche St Honore. I can’t pick just one — they’re all fantastic. My typical order is a ‘salade de chèvre chaud’. You have to try it to understand the hype.”

Best Things to Do in Paris

“The Louvre holds a special place in my heart. I’m passionate about art history, and I even took night courses there while studying. Also, the underground Carrousel du Louvre is a little gem, tucked away beneath the Louvre. It’s a unique spot for exhibitions and shopping, and has a lovely cafe. It’s located in the heart of my favourite garden in Paris, Jardin des Tuileries.

“Strolling through Paris’ gardens is also must. My favourites are the Palais Royal and Jardin des Tuileries. Also, shopping in the Marais, especially in the small boutiques or historic arcades like Passage du Grand Cerf is wonderful. I used to work in this Passage when I was a student — working for my talented friend Cecile Boccara. Her atelier is still there.

Things to do in Paris
Image: Unsplash

“Plus, stopping at a small cafe for terrace seating to meet friends or enjoy some solo time is a treat. On sunny days, a walk along La Seine with a quick bite is perfect.”

Best Local’s Secret When Visiting Paris

“A little secret of mine is to visit my hometown, Versailles. You can explore its castle and Jardins de Versailles. Taking a boat ride on the canal, followed by a warm gaufre and chocolat chaud is my standard recommendation to anyone visiting Versailles. It’s a little slice of heaven just outside the city, with a nice historic understanding of the ‘old Paris’.”

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