I often get asked for suggestions of where to stay in Paris by readers or by friends of friends. It’s a difficult question to answer as Paris has been my home for the past half dozen years, and I never really vacationed here. However, one tip I always share is to rent an apartment instead of staying in a hotel. Hotels can be lovely, but part of Paris’s charm is experiencing it like a local does. When you rent a little apartment you can have your little kitchen and such and actually feel like a Parisian.
Habitat Parisien offers a variety of different apartments across the city of lights. A few weeks back, Louis and I packed up our weekend bags and spent a few days “away”, in their Monsigny apartment, located in the heart of the 2nd arrondissement.
I’m quite fond of this area because it is so central, situated perfectly between boutiques on the Grands Boulevards, the Opéra, the Palais Royale and not to mention next to one of my favorite streets, rue Sainte Anne. It is an area where most things are walking distance, which is my favorite way to see the city.
This weekend away in the 2nd turned into a Parisian adventure filled with jaw dropping sights and homemade sushi with friends thanks to the neighborhood’s Japanese ambiance.
The Monsigny apartment can comfortably sleep four people, two in a double bed in the mezzanine, and two in the pull-out couch if need be. It would be perfect for a group of four friends, or a family with two kids. The weekend we stayed there was particularly chilly, but the beautiful and spacious patio must be dreamy as can be in the summertime… the perfect place to enjoy a pain au chocolat in the morning.
The apartment, that is located on the ground floor, has such a cozy feeling with its big beige stone walls and large windows opening to the private patio. It’s simple and charming, all you could ever need for your stay in Paris. The little kitchen is equipped with everything you could need to cook a bit, and the bathroom features the highlight in my eyes: a bathtub.
→ Walk up and down rue Saint Anne. If you like Japanese food, stop by Higuma for lunch.
→ Stumble into Ace or K Mart on rue Saint Anne for groceries to make your own Japanese feast back at the apartment.
→ Go down by the Palais Royale, and wander through the gardens and passages couverts. Pop in Serge Lutens and smell their incredible perfumes.
→ Stop for a coffee at Le Nemours in between the Louvre and Palais Royale for a café crème and people watching on the terrace.
→ Take in the view of the Opéra Garnier from afar, walking closer and closer up Avenue de l’Opéra.
→ Wander to the top of Printemps for a breathtaking view of Paris. On your way up stop at Ladurée for a macaroon to munch on while up top.
→ Pop in the Galeries Lafayette to see the stained glass dome. They’ve got a balcony, too.