Travel Spotlight

The Shortlist: Paris Spring/Summer 2024

On a recent trip to Paris in pre-Olympics thrall, Indagare’s Simone Girner revisited some favorites and made new discoveries during a fabulous three-day itinerary that spanned from Montmartre to Montparnasse (read: Paris Revisited). Here’s what made her shortlist.

Hotel That Should be On Your Radar

Earlier this year, Chapitre Six Hotels (a collection of eight 4- and 5-star hotels across Paris and the South of France) made a splash with the Japanese-inspired Hotel Hana in the 2nd. Older brother Monsieur George is a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées and was designed by Anouska Hempel, making for a fabulous mash-up of Morocco meets Belle Epoque Paris. For style-aficionados, both are fabulous additions to the scene (even if you’re not staying, both have bars worth a visit). Also: read an Indagare Insider Q&A with Nicolas Saltiel, the young owner of Chapitre Six, about his favorite Paris spots.

Favorite Casual Meal

Comptoir des Petit Champs, a bistro on the northern side of the Palais Royal that serves delicious and focused “bistronomy” (reinvented French fare with a lighter touch) but in a petite dining room that could only be found in Paris (not Brooklyn)

Favorite High-End Meal

Hanabi, in the new Hotel Hana, is an inspired fusion of Japanese and French cuisine. Tip: reserve at the counter to watch the chefs at work.

Still Great

Café Charlot (Right Bank) for people-watching near Les Enfants Rouges in the Haut Marais; La Palette (Left Bank) for a traditional lunch and Café du Marche (Left Bank) for strolling around lovely Rue Cler after.

Favorite Wine Bar

Francophiles who are young (or young at heart) will love Le Pinardier, a wine bar where you’re made to feel like you are part of the family. It’s the kind of place where the waiter will sit next to you and talk through the wine options with passion and knowledge, not resting until the perfect glass has been procured. If you fall in love (as I did, with a Grenache Blanc from a female winemaker), the bar is also a shop and chances are you’ll walk out with that evening’s trove. The narrow dining room fills up quickly; in the end, you feel like you’re drinking with the neighbors. A fun time if you’re staying in the neighborhood.

Reserve Before You Go

Parcelles. Opened in 2021 and going strong for a great combination of modern bistro fare – beautiful, focused, approachable – an excellent wine list by the glass (and friendly service to match) and scene that still manages to draw locals, though do not expect to be the only English speaker. Books weeks in advance.

Fave New Shop

When your name is Ketzia Chétrite (also known as the daughter of Sandro founder Evelyne Chétrite), you can’t help but end up in fashion, but Tressé, a bright corner shop in the Marais, features a unique concept. Ketzia’s passion for travel is translated here often-changing collections, each a curated “valise” (suitcase), featuring just 20 or so pieces, and always focused on a single location the young designer knows and loves. There’s fashion but also accessories and some home goods. Best of all, the fashion is made in Paris with environmentally sustainable materials.

Lesser-Known Museum Gem

Embarrassing for a fan of Camille Claudel and frequent return visitor of the Musée Rodin, I was not aware that one of Rodin’s students, the amazing Antoine Bourdelle, has a Left Bank museum as well. The location is more afield (in the shadow of the horrid Tour Montparnasse) but Musée Bourdelle occupies the sculptor’s former home and workshop, and his large-scale works in the gardens are incredible. Plus: a vegetable-forward restaurant named after Bourdelle’s daughter Rhodia, with a terrace. It’s a perfect little find.

Time-Sensitive Culture Tips

If you’re visiting between now and July, reserve tickets for the Brancusi retrospective at the Centre Pompidou (through early July) and while you’re seeing the massive Impressionist show at the Musée d’Orsay, don’t miss the show of French-Israeli artist Nathanaëlle Herbelin (through June 30) whose sharply observed domestic scenes and dreamy moments of intimacy are striking, especially in a museum where, it occurs, these types of scenes have mostly been interpreted by men.

Listen

The New Paris podcast, hosted by food writer Lindsey Tramuta, has some great episodes for anyone craving a finger on the pulse of current city topics (episode 128 with urbanist Brent Longley explains a lot about mayor Anne Hidalgo’s ambitious urban renewal projects.

Good to Remember

...for foodies: Like the top museums, a lot of restaurants closed either Monday or Tuesday, or both days. If your heart is set on one, be sure to plan ahead. For families: The top of the Centre Pompidou offers not only one of the best views of Paris, it’s also great fun to take kids up the pipe-clad escalators and after, to the Galerie des Enfants.

Over It

The construction across town that has reached epic proportions pre-Olympics. Plan in extra time if you’re taking taxis; many streets are also starting to be closed off in anticipation.

Loving It

The ongoing greening of Paris, which now has some six hundred miles of bike paths, many of them fully protected from the street, which makes getting around en Velib a great choice.

Published onMay 14, 2024

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