My 15-year-old daughter has a close French friend that has an apartment right outside of Paris proper in a gorgeous, more residential area called Neuilly. We booked adjoining rooms at a little boutique hotel next to her building and stayed four nights. It was so much fun exploring the city with local friends :) Their area is full of 6 foot tall hydrangeas lining all the streets, tons of fresh flower stands and an amazing local farmers market. I wish we could have this type of fresh food nearby. On the first day, we took the subway and visited Cafe Marly near the Louvre and the Tuileries Garden. Mid-June was perfect weather for layers in Paris, a bit chilly to a bit humid, sprinkles but also sunny. I should have packed a light rain jacket. I was glad to have strappy dresses and cardigans. 

On Day 2, we booked a private boat ride on the Seine. Since Paris was getting ready for the Olympics, there were Paris 2024 signs and art installations all over. Olympic rings were installed on the Eiffel Tower. We got to see them up close on the boat. I highly recommend doing a little boat tour with champagne and snacks, as you get to see the Notre Dame as well. It’s both very chill and stunning. 

Later in Neuilly, we went to a great local wine shop called Vivin, where the owner specializes in artful, very small production wines, as well as some very special cured meats, caviar and olive oils. 

On Day 3, we paid a visit to the Paris flea markets. Paul Bert Serpette was my favorite furniture area, but I didn’t go with a consultant and had my teenager. We mostly looked at thrift type stuff for her and stopped in a little bar with live music and a tap dancer on the way back. Upon leaving that area, we drove up to the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre to show the girls the famous view of Paris and the gorgeous residential area of Montmartre. Their climbing ivy and window boxes are so inspiring. 

On the 4th day, we had tickets to Versailles (since my friend has a car), but we ended up skipping so the girls could chill. My friend and I caught the metro to Louis Vuitton’s headquarters where they have a special little pastry shop with tea and coffee. Then we walked around the newly renovated Samaritaine. We bought tickets to Moulin Rouge, which was great fun. We took a long nap, grabbed some baguettes with cured ham and went to the late show. We had yummy crepes afterwards at 1am while waiting for my friend’s friends who were performers in the show. I would get tickets to Crazyhorse if I wasn’t trying to hit the absolute icon with a first timer in Paris. French cancan at Moulin Rouge is a must-see like a Broadway show in NY.    

On Day 5, we walked to meet some friends at the Fondation Louis Vuitton museum in Neuilly. It’s a spectacular Frank Gehry-designed glass building that has the most gorgeous mirrored work by Olafur Eliasson called Inside The Horizon on the lowest level near the fountain. It’s actually my favorite museum in Paris. It’s a little more under the radar and way less crowded. I bought my timed ticket online in advance and got to see two fantastic shows featuring Ellsworth Kelly’s Shapes and Colors and Matisse’s Red Studio. You can see the Eiffel Tower from the rooftop. 

My college-aged son arrived in Paris on our 5th day around 2pm, so we moved to Hotel Lancaster off the Champs Elysees to be in a more touristy area. I have a great driver on my WhatsApp if you need one. We loved the hotel overall. I absolutely loved Eric, the concierge. He was beyond helpful and happy to accommodate. It’s a more boutiquey 5-star hotel. Probably half price compared to George V but right near it. The rooms are beautiful, the beds are comfy and the showers have good hard pressure. It was really nice to be able to walk to the Arc de Triumph and grab classic macarons, my daughter’s favorite. We went to a cool Thai/Vietnamese restaurant called Miss Ko that the concierge recommended a few blocks from our hotel, right next to the huge metal suitcase building that Louis Vuitton is building as a hotel. We walked to the river and over to the base of the Eiffel Tower. 

The next day we went shopping to a bunch of really cool spots my son knew about from some fashion industry people he knows. We went by vintage stores called L’obscur (not open certain days and behind a secret door), The Archivist, Hiervintage (by appointment only). We also visited one of his contact’s apartment vintage shops where he runs his instagram business. Some famous fashion guy had the appointment after us - I guess they curate very specific important vintage pieces focused on twenty-something men but my daughter got some very cool vintage original band t-shirts and they found a cool studded belt for my son’s girlfriend. Later we went to the coolest store I have ever been to Leclaireur. It’s avant-garde and has the most lovely manager, Nathalie. We bought leather shoes and silver jewelry mostly but tried on some very unusual clothes that we loved. They were super pricey though. 

On Day 7, through the Lancaster concierge, we bought VIP one hour Louvre tour tickets (since my two hadn’t been to Paris before). We had lunch at LouLou’s (which I can thank one of my daughter’s best friends for the rec), and it was beautiful. The quick Louvre tour was still too long for my two so we pretty much used the pass to get in without the lines and broke off to see the Mona Lisa among the other Renaissance old masters religious paintings, the Statue of Venus, the mummy of the Louvre and lots of Egyptian art. It was too crowded but we had to do it. Apparently it’s best to go to the late Friday night time to avoid some of the crowds.

We went by Dover Street Market. They had a cool photography collab exhibition by and we bought some of Rei’s clothes and accessories that you can really only find at her Dover stores.

Traffic was crazy, because some bridges and roads were closed due to Olympics setup. The kids didn’t love the crowds on the Metro, so we spent a lot of time in Ubers when we couldn’t walk. 

We had dinner at the famed Girafe overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Food and service were ok/pretty good, view is stunning. Girafe is around back of a dance theater, so it is a little confusing to get there. You go into and through the theater (as opposed to LouLou which is around back of a museum but you go around not through). Google and Apple Maps aren’t that great at showing where exactly an entrance is LOL. I made this reservation myself two weeks in advance via the app I downloaded called Paris Society. Several popular restaurants are on there with credit card guarantees and open up the time slots one or two weeks in advance. 

On the last day before our 1-1.5 hour drive to Beauvais Airport, my son and I walked to a great little Thai place he found on Google after we hopped out of an Uber. I was taking us to Cafe de Flore just to show it to him and the Left Bank, but we definitely didn’t have enough time with all the traffic. My daughter met her friend to go to the aquarium that she loved as a kid. We met back at the Hotel Lancaster and started our trek over to Italy…Au Revoir Paris. I was so happy to be able to be with my son and daughter on their first trip to Paris!