pexels-jose-d´alessandro-9510772

How to have an Emily-approved city break in the French capital

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article

Care to see Paris through Emily’s eyes? Following the news that season four of Emily in Paris has just been greenlit, we’ve found 10 amazing experiences to try in the City of Light to follow in the footsteps of Paris’s most stylish expat, Emily Cooper.

Even if you haven’t watched Darren Star’s super-popular Emily in Paris series on Netflix, you’ll surely have noticed the picture-perfect stills of its main character, bubbly marketing executive Emily, navigating life in Paris, while dressed in impeccable outfits and hanging out at the prettiest spots in town.

 

The show has made such an impression that recent Google search data by New Casinos revealed that searches for ‘Paris holidays’ skyrocketed 161% in the UK in January 2023 alone, just after the release of its third season on 21 December. If you’re among those longing for an extra-glittery city break in the French capital, check out these marvellous things to see and do in Paris, which will have you feeling as excited as Emily — fine restaurants and chocolate-box alleys included.

 





Wander around Place de l’Estrapade and grab a bite at Terra Nera

Place de l’Estrapade in Paris’s 5th arrondissement is where Emily’s adventure begins. Found on the edge of the Val-de-Grâce and Sorbonne districts, this lovely square with a fountain in the middle is Emily’s home once she relocates here from Chicago.

Take a stroll around the area, try a chocolate-filled tigré almond cake from Boulangerie Moderne —the bakery where Emily bought her first pain au chocolat — and enjoy lunch at Terra Nera. This charming restaurant is known in the show as Les Deux Compères, the French bistro and workplace of Emily’s neighbour and Parisian crush, Gabriel. Terra Nera is in fact Italian, so you won’t get the same culinary experience as that in the series, but the interiors are pretty much as they appeared on screen and the menu includes delicious Italian dishes such as linguine alle vongole, so it’s still a must.

Enjoy a picnic at the Place des Vosges or the Jardin du Palais Royal

Lying in the Marais district, between the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of Paris, Place des Vosges is the city’s oldest planned square, built by Henri IV in the early 17th century. The square makes for an idyllic picnic spot, especially on a warm day — after all, it’s where Emily’s friend Mindy and her bandmate Benoît share their first kiss. Be sure to pick up some falafel from L’As du Fallafel on your way here.





If you’re looking for an al fresco lunch spot with a little more glamour, how about picnicking on the grounds of a former palace? Home to kings from before the French Revolution, Jardin du Palais Royal, the stunning inner garden of the Palais-Royal building (dating to 1639), is open to visitors for picnics and park strolls. This is where Emily meets Mindy and where the pair subsequently return to for lunch several times.

Read more: The 5 best things to see and do in Lapland this winter

 

Pamper yourselves at les Cent Ciels hammam

Looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? Hammam les Cent Ciels in the 11th arrondissement boasts saunas, pools and tearooms, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon. Settle in for a Turkish bath or enjoy a swim in the indoor pool, followed by a body wrap, as enjoyed by Emily and Camille in episode three of season one. That scene was shot at les Cent Ciels’s Boulogne location just outside the city, but the Paris facilities are just as spectacular, all golden sinks and mosaic floors.

Shop for local produce at Marché d’Aligre

There are quite a few outdoor food markets in Paris, but if you feel like taking a page out of Emily’s book, then the 12th arrondissement’s Beauvau covered market, also known as Marché d’Aligre, is a good place to start. This is where Gabriel takes Emily to pick up fresh ingredients for her birthday dinner in season one. On the show, the market is referenced as Marché Bastille; that one, however, is a different (also real) market close to Marché d’Aligre.

The latter is held six days a week and sells everything from fruit and vegetables to meat, fish and cheese. On the premises, you’ll also find flower stalls, as well as a separate mini flea market with antiques, collectibles, clothing, used books and an impressive selection of shoes.

 

Catch an opera show at Palais Garnier

Probably one of the most iconic Paris venues to be seen on the show, Palais Garnier was commissioned by Napoleon III and built for the Paris Opera from 1861 to 1875. Emily comes here in season one, to see the Swan Lake Ballet with a potential client.

The 1,979-seat opera house at the Place de l’Opéra in the 9th arrondissement is renowned for its stunning interior and imposing facade, with its lavish golden staircase practically made for your Instagram feed. Fun fact: acclaimed novel The Phantom of the Opera was inspired by Palais Garnier and is primarily set here. Book tickets to the opera or ballet or take a self-guided or guided tour to learn all about its history.

Go shopping at La Samaritaine

Fashion is at the centre of Emily in Paris, with its protagonist donning one stylish outfit after another. So, it’s only natural that La Samaritaine, a glitzy department store from the 1870s that was closed for 15 years before eventually reopening in 2021, was featured in season two. Inside, you’ll find streetwear and luxury brands, as well as restaurants, exhibitions, a beauty studio and spa.

Read more: Wonderful weekends: 48 hours in Cambridge

 

Tuck into delicious seafood at Tortuga

In season one, Emily and Camille are seen lunching atop the iconic Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann (in the 9th arrondissement), in the elegant interiors of Tortuga, the centre’s rooftop restaurant. Book a table and settle in for chef Julien Sebbag’s Peruvian-meets-Japanese seafood menu while enjoying incredible views of the city, including Palais Garnier and the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

Ride a carousel from the 1900s

If you’re looking for a museum that’s off the beaten path, the Musée des Arts Forains with its vintage funfair attractions is just the place to go. This whimsical site is where Emily’s marketing agency hosts a party for the Fourtier watch campaign in season one.

The museum is in the 12th arrondissement and hosts a collection of extraordinary objects from the performing arts of the 19th and 20th centuries. You’ll find everything from carousels sourced from belle époque funfairs to giant puppets and optical illusions. A 90-minute tour will allow you to take in the exhibits in all their quirky glory. Prior booking is necessary for admission.

Read more: The European theme parks to visit for a thrilling winter getaway

 

Stroll around Montmartre

Few places are more Instagrammable than Montmartre, in Paris’s 18th arrondissement. The area is known as the home of artists and all kinds of creatives who’ve been frequenting its streets for centuries.

Walk down the candy-coloured Rue de l’Abreuvoir, which Mindy rightfully calls ‘the prettiest street in Paris’ and taste the most heavenly cheesecake (which changes flavour according to season) at La Maison Rose; this is where Emily and Mindy enjoy wine and pastries in season one, but it’s been a magnet for world-famous creatives for decades (this was a popular hangout spot for the likes of Picasso, Edith Piaf and Albert Camus). Follow the cobblestone streets all the way to the top of Montmartre hill and marvel at the illuminated city at night from the enchanting Sacré-Coeur Basilica.

Catch a film at Cinéma Le Champo

Housed in a magnificent art deco building in Quartier Latin, Cinéma Le Champo was recognised as a historic monument in 2000. The cinema was frequented by New Wave directors in the 1960s and, as Luc tells Emily in season one, it was French director François Truffaut’s favourite cinema.

Today, it retains its sophisticated, romantic charm, inviting you to watch classic or more recent indie gems. Don’t miss its Nuits du Champo event, where you can watch three films from midnight until morning — it’ll cost you €18 (£15.75) and includes breakfast. The next Nuits du Champo takes place on 21 January 2023.

Share this article

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
Email