From Paris’ new restaurants and shops to art spaces and hotels, these are the latest attractions you have to enjoy in the city of love
While the evergreen sights of Paris remain firm favourites with new and repeat visitors, the city has not been sitting idle over the last few years. Instead, it has been busy adding a few new hotspots that ought to make it on everybody’s to-do list.
Typically Parisian, there are new art venues to check out, fabulous restaurants and bars to enjoy, new places to stay at, and green spaces perfect for a picnic. Plus, there are new green ways to get around the city, sustainably by public transport, putting the city well on the way of becoming Europe’s greenest capital.
The Pinault Collection can be found in the Bourse de Commerce. Credit: Bretwa
Housed in the round Bourse de Commerce—the former grain and commodities exchange opened back in 1767—the new Pinault Collection lies next to Les Halles, the former market halls. This latest offering is not only for art lovers but ticks the architectural and historic boxes as well. And the contemporary art set against the historic backdrop works perfectly.
Right next to Gare Saint-Lazare, steps from the famous department stores of Boulevard Haussmann, stands the new and modern Pernod Ricard Foundation, dedicated to emerging arts, ranging from performance to poetry, with one-off events, visiting exhibitions, readings, and discussions.
"Gallerie Dior is a feast for the eyes, with Christian Dior's artful couture displayed in a way that you walk around like you're in a dream"
For a fashionable visit, there is no better than Gallerie Dior, a feast for the eyes. Christian Dior's artful couture is displayed in a way that you walk around like you're in a dream—there is a profusion of light, and the minimalist architecture and white backdrop is interspersed with truly stunning pieces of fashion from across the decades.
Shop ‘til you drop
The refurbished La Samaritaine finally opened in late 2021. Credit: Urbaninsider.com
La Samaritaine, the Art Nouveau department store right by the Seine, finally opened its door in late 2021 after a 15-year, £650-million restoration. It was worth the wait! The building is a time capsule of Art Nouveau, with much gold décor, curlicued metalwork, grand staircases, and elevators. Under the glass and metal roof, luxury labels sit next to wonderful little souvenirs, themed along the Samaritaine look and style, and easier on the pocket than the designer brands all around. There is also a café and art gallery, all making for a perfectly rounded visit.
Walk the train line
The Petite Ceinture is an old train track turned into a nature walk
Did you know that Paris has an old railroad track encircling it? The Petite Ceinture (meaning “little belt”) was a busy railway connecting the suburbs and industrial areas of Paris with the centre in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but it eventually fell foul of the metro and lay abandoned for decades, with nature reclaiming it.
Over the years, more and more stretches have been opened to the public, with parks and trails making for an unusual and very atmospheric place to get some fresh air among nature. Recent stretches that have opened include the 20th arrondissement, just off Cour de Vincennes, connecting with the 19th, where you can cross a bridge over Canal L’Ourcq, famous for its street art and many cafes.
The TOO Tac Tac Skybar has incredible views of the city. Credit: Jerome Galland
You are never short of a good restaurant or bar in Paris, but occasionally something new and hip comes along that needs to be tried. For example, the TOO Tac Tac Skybar on the 27th floor of one of the Jean Nouvel-designed Tours Duo skyscrapers in the 13th arrondissement. The views are incredible.
"The TOO Tac Tac Skybar on the 27th floor of one of the Jean Nouvel-designed Tours Duo skyscrapers has incredible views"
Afterward, try and get a table at Le Shack, a hidden restaurant near Palais Garnier. The building designed by none other than Gustave Eiffel, it’s hidden away and is stunningly gorgeous, set over several floors. But it’s very popular, so book early.
Not necessarily brand-new but recently renovated, the Cedric Grolet Opera Café simply has the best pastries and enormous sandwiches, which are big enough for two. Not cheap, but definitely worth it.
The Batobus is a great way to travel the Seine and get around Paris. Credit: JLPC
Paris is working on making the Seine swimmable in time for the Olympics, and part of that (and its other green commitments) is making the Batobus—the hop-on hop-off waterbuses—more environmentally friendly.
Nearly all the fleet are now converted to hybrid, and the remainder will be by 2024. They offer a perfect way to enjoy the river views between sights for less than €20 all day long.
And so, to sleep
Some of the Cheval Blanc's terraces provide views of the Eiffel Tower. Credit: Alexandre Tabaste
Paris has added to its stock of high-end hotels—perfect for that special occasion. One, the Cheval Blanc, lies right in the heart of the city, within La Samaritaine’s landmark building. The hotel commands superb views, and you are within walking distance of absolutely everything.
"Paris has added to its stock of high-end hotels, perfect for that special occasion, with the Cheval Blanc, in the heart of the city"
Not fancy enough? Try the Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle, backing right onto what is probably the world’s grandest château, the Palace of Versailles. Inside it is sumptuous and luxurious. Pack your finest.
Too fancy? Try Chouchou Hotel, a young mix of boutique hotel, food market, and bar with live music under a glass roof decked with fairy lights. And it’s within steps from Opéra and the department stores.
Banner photo credit: Alexandre Tabaste
Read more: 12 Secret places for romantics in Paris
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