Paris is known as one of the most photogenic cities in the world. A search of the hashtag ‘Paris’ on Instagram brings up a feed filled with endless shots of the Eiffel Tower, museums, cafes and quaint cobblestoned streets. We’ve put together a guide to some of the most picturesque spots in the city. You can also view these on the map below.
Have you ever seen a Starbucks this fancy? The Boulevard des Capucines location of the coffee chain is housed in a 17th century building which used to be a department store selling fabrics and textiles. When Starbucks took over the space in 2006, they retained the incredibly ornate 19th century ceiling murals which have been restored to their original state.
Located in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, Rue Crémieux is a hidden colourful gem in Paris reminiscent of the streets of Portobello in London. Pastel coloured houses line the cobblestoned street making it a picture perfect spot for fashion bloggers and Instagrammers alike. If you’re visiting this street be respectful of the residents – after all it’s their homes you’re taking pictures in front of.
The Grand Mosque of Paris is a place of tranquility, making it a quiet haven in between the busy streets of the city. Founded after the first World War, the mosque was built as a token of gratitude for the 100,000 or so Muslims from France’s colonial empire who fought for the empire against Germany. It was once used as a refuge for European Jews who were provided shelter, safe passage and fake Muslim birth certificates to protect them from German persecution. The design of the mosque is similar to that found in the mosques of North Africa with intricate designs on the tiles (known as Zileej) common in classic Islamic art and architecture.
Place du Trocadero (Eiffel Tower)
The Eiffel Tower can be viewed from various points and attractions in Paris (view our guide to the best views of Paris here) however there is nothing quite like the feeling of walking out of the Trocadero metro station, taking a left and looking at an unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower. This is one of our favourite spots to watch the Eiffel Tower light up on the hour, every hour, after sunset where it sparkles for a whole five minutes.
The Musee d’Orsay quickly became one of our favourite spots in Paris during our recent trip. Once a railway station, the museum now houses iconic works of art such as Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night over the Rhône’ and Claude Monet’s Blue Water Lilies as well as the works of artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Courbet and more. At one end of the main hall at the Musee d’Orsay is a stunning clock which, from what we understand, has been there since the site house the Gare d’Orsay.
Peonies is a flower and coffee shop in the bustling Faubourg Saint-Denis neighbourhood. Greens and pinks makes up the interior with touches of gold and copper/rose gold. The space is brightly lit and the cafe serves vegetarian food as well as coffee, juice and tea. The cafe takes cash only for any payments under €10.
La Maison Rose
I can’t vouch for the interior of La Maison Rose as it was closed when I visited but the pretty pink house / cafe perched on a hill in Montmartre. The two-storey building has green shutters and can’t be missed given the painted letters on the front of the cafe. Apparently Pablo Picasso used to frequent the place!
A covered passage in the second arrondissement of Paris and a historical monument, Galerie Vivienne is one of the most iconic passages in Paris and is located near the Palais Royal. Mosaics cover the floor of the arcade, shops line the passage and a glass roof lets in lots of light giving it an elegant feel.
Marche aux Fleurs
We stumbled upon a flower market a stones throw from the Saint-Chapelle and Notre Dame in the Île de la Cité. The vibrant market is both covered and open-aired with a selection of seasonal flowers, plants and shrubs. The market is open every day from 8am to 7.30pm.
Le Bon Marché
Le Bon Marché is a department store in Paris and you’re probably wondering why it’s on this list. When we visited, the store had an installation created by Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich who had re-skinned the escalators to make it look like they were tied like a pretzel knot. The roof of the store had been replaced with screens depicting a blue sky with moving clouds.
The inner courtyard of the Palais Royal is home to ‘Les Deux Plateaux’ – an art installation by French artist Daniel Buren. Installed in 1986, the artwork features candy striped black and white columns of various heights which were created on the site of a former car park. It has attracted some controversy for its cost and supposed unsuitability for a historical landmark but we think it makes for a great photo opportunity.
Musée du Louvre
There are few things more majestic than the Louvre at sunset. Perhaps the most famous museum in Paris and home to La Gioconda (also known as Mona Lisa), the Musée du Louvre is beautiful inside and out. Head there before sunset for that golden hour shot from behind the museum.
For the best views of Paris (which are also very ‘grammable, check out this post).