Ask just about anyone at The International Kitchen, and we’ll tell you that one of our favorite cities is Paris. It’s not just that it’s a great place for a culinary tour and cooking classes featuring French cuisine. And it’s not just that there’s so much to see and do (and eat!). But there’s a certain magic to this city wherever you go. Here are just a few of our many favorite places to see in Paris, ones that we don’t mind visiting time and time again during our foodie tours in Paris.
Peg Kern, vice president
“The Louvre!” Peg says. “Sounds obvious, but really, the Louvre!” There’s a reason, after all that the art museum is the most visited in the world. Spread across over 200,000 square meters, you could literally spend a whole day there and still not see all the famous artwork that there is to see. Plus, “the building alone is amazing, as it was once a royal palace.”
Peg’s other favorites include the sculpture gardens of the Musee Rodin, where you can see Rodin’s famous “Thinker” statue. “It’s such a beautiful place to enjoy a café,” she says. “The Pere Lachaise cemetery too is unlike any other cemetery, with some fascinating grave stones.” Last but certainly not least, she loves St Chapelle on a sunny morning.
Enjoy a tour of the Louvre on our Best of Paris Culinary Tour.
Richard Davis, president
Richard agrees with St. Chapelle. “The Gothic chapel is small and intimate, but it also has some of the most remarkable stain glass windows.” And those windows are particularly dazzling on a sunny day!
Not as well known, the Chapelle Expiatoire is another one of his favorites. “It may be small in size, but it makes up for it in its history.” Dating back to the 1800s, the chapel is the site where many from the French Revolution were buried — including Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, although they were later moved — and today there are two charming Neoclassical buildings as well as a courtyard.
Another favorite: Place des Vosges, an architectural gem that is one of the oldest squares in Paris. “Access the square by walking through the door to the Hotel de Sully gardens, and you’re in for another treat. The intimate garden is a hidden gem.”
Karen Herbst, founder
Karen couldn’t pick just one site, but a whole neighborhood. “The Marais!” she said. “It is very eclectic and filled with cafes, bistros, boutiques and great people watching.”
Adrian Hall, tour coordinator
Adrian’s pick really needs no explanation. “The Eiffel Tower,” he says. “Even though you see it a million times in photos, when you see it in person, it’s still incredibly impressive.”
Visit Paris on our Parisian Rendezvous Cooking Vacation.
Liz Hall, web coordinator
Ask my husband, and he’ll say one of his favorite spots is E Dehillerin, a popular kitchen store. We inevitably always come home with a few new kitchen gadgets (and once a copper pot!) It truly is unlike any kitchen store that we have in the states, and when you’re in Paris for a cooking vacation, it’s a great place to get a couple souvenirs that you know you’re going to use when you go home.
But I also love finding amazing views of the city. Go people watching and enjoy the sun while relaxing in the Luxembourg gardens. When it’s approaching sunset, head up the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the Champ-Élysées and you’ll have one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower when there’s a light show. The Eiffel shimmers, it sparkles, and it’s absolutely stunning. Another breathtaking view of the city can be see from Montmartre, from the steps of the impressive Sacre Coeur basilica. After taking in the view, walk around the corner to the Place du Tertre, where you’ll find the artists who’ve set up shop to sell their artwork and paint portraits. Every time I’ve gone to Paris, I’ve come home with some new landscape paintings to remember all the amazing places I’ve seen!
What’s your favorite place to see in Paris?
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