In a city filled with infinite sites to enjoy, it takes a lot for a Parisian hotel room to make you want to stay in—especially one located in Le Marais. Yet that's exactly what Les Bains has accomplished after a five-year transformation. The luxury hotel pays homage to its past lives as a late 19th century bathhouse and banging '70s night club in its new look—all cloaked in the appropriate veil of intimacy and privacy. And for non-guests: cocktails and dishes at La Salle-à-Manger—where you'll find Philippe Starck's black-and-white-chequered dance floor carefully restored—are as indulgent as the awe-inspiring interior.
Day or night, any time of the year, the large bay windows (surrounding a fairly nondescript door) offer the Marais' Le Mary Celeste a bright breathability. Owned by the team behind Candelaria and Glass, this oyster bar stays open late and features some of the best signature cocktails in Paris. They're supported by an impressive and reasonably priced wine lists (with superb natural wines)—and a solid beer selection. The crowd tends to be an international one, but Parisians themselves are also present, snacking on a substantial and creative bar snacks menu. It's best to arrive early, because it can get busy—but also because their happy hour is chill and cheap.
A destination of uncommon imagination and authenticity, the five-bedroom, family-owned Hotel Particulier remains hidden off a side-street in one of Paris' most historic neighborhoods: Montmartre. Its name directly translates to "private mansion" and that's exactly what visitors can expect: something homelike, and yet entirely peculiar and graced with Wes Anderson-like design nuances. Their recently opened Le Très Particulier bar—an animated wonderland of signature cocktails and whimsical decor—delightfully complements the outdoor seating of its garden-situated restaurant which is open all year.
Paris may be home to some remarkable and historic art, but it’s not all about the Louvre and the old masters. Contemporary art and creativity center Palais de Tokyo, located in a spectacular building from 1937 in the 16th arrondissement, describes itself as an “anti-museum par excellence,” and holds exhibitions from some of the most exciting names in art, both French and international. When visiting, don’t miss its Instagram-friendly, quirky restaurant Tokyo Eat, or second restaurant Monsieur Bleu’s beautiful terrace, which is open from May through to September. Just steps away—at Marché Ave du Président Wilson—are some of the best crepes in the city. Grab one on the go and wander to Trocadéro for that unmissable view of the Eiffel Tower.
Located in the 2nd, Lockwood Cafe has something for all visitors and locals—being open from 8AM to 2AM every day except Sundays. From a breakfast coffee and banana bread in the morning to lunch, dinner and aperitivo, Lockwood isn't just convenient, it's great quality. On the ground level you'll find the cafe and restaurant, but it's underground where the party starts. In a cavernous, bare brick labyrinth, talented bartenders serve up tasty cocktails while all your favorite jams (from Kendrick Lamar to Bowie) play.
At the cutting-edge of contemporary art, Paris' Galerie Perrotin has continued to keep artists like JR, Daniel Arsham and Maurizio Cattelan atop cultural consciousness. Their magnificent two-floor space in the Marais would be an architectural destination on its own, even if it weren't populated by the works of Takashi Murakami and KAWS. Whether or not you're familiar with the artist on display, the programming is guaranteed to be a conversation starter.
Just a 10-minute walk from Place de la Bastille is Dune, a sun-drenched restaurant whose menu is updated daily—thanks to their reliance on market-fresh produce. With plenty of options for carnivores (try the pork sandwich), this restaurant doesn't forget about vegetarians—in fact, there's an entirely vegan menu on Tuesday evenings. Most impressive perhaps, is the wine list, which offers some 80 wines—including lots of natural and biodynamic options.
Paris' semi-seedy Pigalle neighborhood is known for being lively—with plenty of new craft cocktail offerings and quality restaurants cropping up between strip clubs and hostess bars—and Glass fits in perfectly, thanks in part to it remaining open until 4AM or 5AM every night. Located right next to a sex shop, this venue is not for the claustrophobic (you have to wait in a tiny vestibule before entering the bar itself) but its retro light-up dance floor, cocktails and late-night hot dogs are sure to please. If you're still feeling jazzy, head directly across the street to Dirty Dick—a tiki bar—for a ridiculous and tropical nightcap. The Experimental Group's first-ever boutique hotel project, The Grand Pigalle, is also located down the street, adding more reason to hightail it for SoPi (South Pigalle).
Like many major fashion houses, Louis Vuitton is a keen supporter of the arts. Its Fondation Louis Vuitton, in Paris' Neuilly-sur-Seine neighborhood, is an impressive building designed by Frank Gehry that rises like a white spaceship out of the Bois de Boulogne. It’s a fascinating space, and often houses works that interact with the building itself for a truly immersive experience. Previous exhibitions include Olafur Eliasson’s “Contact” and a showcase of contemporary Chinese artists. Fondation Louis Vuitton also features “Le Frank,” a restaurant serving French-inspired cuisine by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Louis Nomicos.
Seasonal flowers, sprawling fields and a lavish 17th century palace are just some of the elements that make Luxembourg Garden so appealing. A lush reprieve in the midst of the 6th arrondissement, the park stretches for 23 hectares, offering tree-lined walkways and plenty of outdoor seating. If that's not enough, there are plenty of sculptural monuments within, as well as a large reflecting pool, all of which make for a peaceful place to lounge and watch the passers-by.
For a visitor, Les Parigots (right near Republique) feels incredibly French. The restaurant has a long line of classic bistro chairs and tables—all facing the street, of course—and inside is an undeniably warm and comfortably bustling atmosphere. Take a seat in one of the booths and order wine and a charcuterie board, or if you're really hungry, the cote de boeuf is classic and ultimately satisfying French fare.
For those who wear glasses daily, finding that signature pair to complement your personality and energy can be a weary search. Independent French eyewear brand Anne et Valentin—still led by Anne herself—creates eclectic, conversation-starting frames that don't mask, but rather reveal what's beneath the surface. Our favorite aspect of their Paris boutique experience is the one-on-one experience, as a knowledgeable team member sits you down, brings over a cup of espresso and a selection of frames to change your whole outlook.
If you tire of eating French food in Paris, look no further than Candelaria—but don't forget to look behind it, either. While the façade is a taqueria—with superb food served in a super-tiny seated area, right beside the grill—a secret door on the back wall gives way to one of the best cocktail bars in the city (visible from the street but seemingly impossible to enter). The margaritas up front are strong and the specialty tacos and tostadas delight. And the speakeasy vibes, along with the friendly and informed staff and the the back room's experimental drink combinations, make it something truly special.
Thousands of posters and student IDs cover the walls of Le Piano Vache, a pub with an ancient piano that feels like it may have haunted the 5th arrondissement for decades. The charming venue hosts a younger crowd (and not a touristy one) and a relaxed atmosphere infuses the air—along with the scent of beer. There's a lengthy happy hour and weekly themed nights, from jazz to '80s, altogether making it a vast but dark venue where it's OK to be a little boisterous.
Starting the morning with a swim in the beautiful pool (your choice of indoor or outdoor) at Hotel Molitor is the best part of a resort-ish experience that has plenty of really good ones. The abundance of breakfast choices served in the light and elegant restaurant, and the attractive design of the rooms—modern with just the right touch of retro—are among others. Molitor was a communal pool for 60 years after it first opened in 1929 and closed down in 1989, to be reborn in 2014 as the hotel it is today. The lobby is decorated with modern art, and Molitor also runs a program to support the artistic community in Paris.
Entering Silencio is exactly what any David Lynch fan would imagine: it's dark, cavernous and moody, with lots of hallways leading off to different rooms—each with a spirit of its own. The structure was built back in 1883 and despite its undoubtedly modern-day decor (with plenty of gold hues and touchable textures) there is a historical or even ghostly vibe—perhaps that's what happens when a Parisian publishing house turns Lynchian. Closed on Mondays, but open until 6AM all other nights, Silencio is certainly for night owls and is a nightclub unlike any other.