a parisian holiday part one: where to stay, what to see.
by victoria comment

8/16/22

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

as promised, i’ve rounded up some of my favorite finds from my recent holiday in paris. this trip was a little different than other visits i’ve made because, for one, it was the longest stay i’ve ever had — at ten full days when usually I’ve been there just a couple of nights en route to some other destination via train for business. this was pure pleasure, and i wasn’t alone, as i often am there. i had several groups of friends all there at the exact time as me, so it was really fun to have company and to get a fresh perspective and discover some new favorites through them. i discovered whole new neighborhoods, like the up-and-coming 10th Arrondissement, which I found to be really charming and less touristy than some parts of the city. and it’s where you’ll find Canal St-Martin, a waterway cutting through the arrondissement from Parc de la Villette in the north to the Seine River in the south. more on that shortly! there’s so much to share with you, i think it’s best I break this guide up into a couple of posts so as not to overwhelm you. i’m going to start with where i stayed and what we saw — so much to see when you’re clocking an average of six miles a day on foot. i’ll follow up with all our favorite shopping and dining destinations next week. otherwise, i’ll never get this post to you — there were just that many new and very sharable discoveries. also, I’ve added some of these images to my print shop, and if you see anything else you might like a print of or a different size print, just post a comment, and I’ll get back to you very soon.

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

we’ll start with the Jardin des Tuileries. somehow I’ve never ventured here before, and i can only truly describe it as delightful. the minute i saw the rides, i knew i had to take a spin, quite literally (see my video on Instagram). i was on my own this day, and i had such a blast embracing my inner child as the ride rose higher and higher in the sky and gave me incredible views of the city, the louvre, and the Eiffel tower. I’m telling you — please do not skip this. it was pure joy! afterward, i explored the extraordinary gardens, and it was a very hot day, so a perfect spot to sit and people-watch on a park bench with a nice ice-cold beer. i strolled further towards the louvre and ran into a popsicle stand and tasted the best melon cucumber mint popsicle ever. it’s a lovely spot for a picnic, and lots of food stands as well, so you really can make an afternoon of it.

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

my absolute favorite thing to do in paris is probably just to wander aimlessly with no real destination in mind. i don’t usually take the metros because you simply miss so much underground, and i like to walk off everything i’m devouring — which is a lot! baguettes, croissants, pastries, wine, frites  — i ate it all, but without any remorse, because i just walked and walked. and in the end, it all balanced out — i only gained one pound (lesson learned — walk more at home). and i love taking ‘in the moment’ snapshots of random things i find beauty in. so walking and wandering is all a win-win situation.  and you discover so many objects of interest that you might otherwise have missed — hidden parks and courtyards, beautiful old doors, old signage, even random accordion players and the booksellers along the seine. so that’s my biggest recommendation — forget the ubers, just stroll as much as you can. there are also the Vélib’ city bike rentals (both regular ‘mechanical’ and e-bikes) that you can ride all over the city and drop off at your next destination. they’re located all over the city and easy to find.

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

another great area to stroll is the palais royal located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris near the louvre. the beautiful park around the former palace is a calming green space with beautifully manicured rows of tall linden trees and gracious gardens — a lovely spot to sit and rest and find a bit of tranquillity in the middle of the big bustling city. The gardens are surrounded by a shopping complex with an unusual array of shops — from high-end vintage couture (pas de photos!), art galleries, and hair salons to patisseries and cafes. we really loved wandering this whole area. don’t forget to pose in the Les Deux Plateau, nicknamed the Colonnes de Buren, a controversial black and white striped art installation by the conceptual artist Daniel Buren. i thought it was super cool, but some don’t care for the modern art installation in relation to the historic elegance of the palais royal. quelle catastrophe!

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

and last but certainly not least, is a place to rest your pretty head at night, and my favorite hotel to do that is the hoxton paris. I’ve stayed here three times, and it’s incredibly beautiful, spotlessly clean and boasts a really friendly staff. and it may not look it, but it is very affordable. i checked endlessly for other options just to try staying in another part of the city for a change, and i also compared pricing to airbnb’s, and the hoxton could not be beaten. it also has three cocktail areas and two restaurants, room service, and breakfast service if you choose, and their food is delicious with lots of healthy options (if you don’t want to eat a croissant and drink a latte every day in bed like i did). every one of my friends that came to visit me there to have a drink or dinner could not believe what a find it is. and it’s fully air-conditioned, which with this heatwave crossing the continents, you really want to have after walking all day endlessly. their rooms are so stylish and comfortable — i relaxed and rested quite a bit before and after my excursions around the city not wanting to leave too soon. it’s also quite close to many walkable places around the city, which makes it a good choice, too. and that, as they say, is fini of part one. part deux will post next week. i can’t wait to share the rest — where to shop and eat your way around paris.

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

a parisian holiday part une: where to stay, what to see / sfgirlbybay

• all photography by victoria smith for sfgirlbybay.

11 responses to “a parisian holiday part one: where to stay, what to see.”

  1. Love the color palettes of these photos. So beautiful. Hopefully some prints will be available in your shop!?

    • Thanks CeCe! Yes, I’ve added a few to the shop and if you see anything in particular you like I can add it, or change the size for you as well. Thanks!!

  2. Thank you for this and for sharing all you know! I loved following virtually — it looked like a wonderful trip!

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