Wow, 2 group trips in less than 5 months! When I told my girls Danielle, Jenee, Kéla and Rose that I’d definitely be doing Paris Fashion Week this year, they all were down for the ride. We recently went to Tulum, Mexico together and you can read all about that here. Mind you we did way more eating, shopping and laughing than we did attending showroom visits and fashion shows. But I definitely wanted to put the Guide to Paris together for you all with all the tips on where to stay, eat, shop and buy in Paris.
WHERE TO STAY
If you want to be where all the action is it’s best to stay in the 1st or 2nd Arrondissement simply because that’s where are the people and a lot of the shows and events will be for Paris Fashion Week. It’s also a very central area close to the best shops, restaurants and sights. You can find the Tuileries, the Louvre, Place Vendome and tons of the high end designer stores along Rue Saint-Honore. Hotels in this area can be very expensive but if you got it like that go for La Meurice, The Westin Paris Vendome, Grand Hotel du Palais Royal or Hotel de Castiglione.
Otherwise I go for Airbnbs located in the 1st, 2nd or 8th Arrondissements. My Airbnb was located in the 2nd Arrondissement and was perfect for the 6 of us who came on this trip. There was also a Monoprix really close to the apartment for buying inexpensive groceries and toiletries.
WHERE TO EAT
Chez Prune 36 Rue Beaurepaire
My all time favorite place to eat in Paris right on the bank of Canal Saint Martin is Chez Prune. It’s an unassuming, no frills, place with a menu that changes daily based on what’s purchased from the market that morning. They only serve hot food from 12-3pm, so get there on time! The menu usually consist of 5 entres and they are all always super delicious and so is the dessert. I love how affordable this place is and the service is always stellar.
Le Colibri 8 Place de la Madeleine
We had one of the best meals here in the Madeleine area after a day of shooting in the Tuileries and shopping along Rue Saint-Honore. What I loved about this place was the service. Every whim was attended to. Please get the Truffle Pizza because it is delicious. I got the steak and fries with pepper sauce on the side and it was the best pepper sauce I’ve ever tasted. We got more for the table to dip our french fries into. Also get the Saint Germaine if you’re in the mood for a cocktail. They are delicious and deadly in the best way possible. Beware though, smokers love sitting out in front and it can waft into the restaurant.
Angélina Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann
I love this location because it’s already in one of the best shopping malls in Paris. The service at this location is great too. Angelina is known for their delicious pastries and hot chocolate which is by far the best I’ve ever had in my entire life. There is another location at 226 Rue de Rivoli that I have yet to check out but I heard it was equally as good. In addition to their amazing desserts I loved their food. I had a 3 Cheese Mushroom Ravioli that was life changing. It’s also pretty affordable.
Pink Mamma 20bis Rue de Douai
Rose and I visited this restaurant the last time we were in Paris and fell in love with it. It has amazing Italian food and the decor is an instagrammers dream. I planned a lovely black girl magic dinner here on one of our last nights up on the top floor. For a group of 10, who drank copious delicious cocktails, pizzas (get the Regina) and lobster, the bill came up to just $50 a person. It’s such a great price! Definitely plan to eat dinner here but do make a reservation. It’s one of the hot spots in Paris especially during fashion week.
WHERE TO SHOP
Reciproque 95 Rue de la Pompe Luxury Consignment
This is one of my go-to’s every time I visit Paris. They literally have the best collection of bags, shoes and designer labels for consignment prices. We found a pair of camel Chanel boots for $200. Beautiful Chanel brooches, bags and belts that were in pristine condition. It’s a must for those who love designer and are willing to pay a little more for pristine vintage.
Zara 2 Rue Halévu Opera Region
This was by far the biggest and best Zara we found during our trip and trust us we went to at least 4 of them! Everything I wanted to find was found at this Zara. It is massive with 3-4 floors and everything is impeccably styled and easy to find.
Chanel Original Store 31 Rue Cambon
We frequented this Chanel so many times they knew us by name. I was Mademoiselle Steele. I finally bought my dream Chanel Mules here after searching for them for 2 years. They were also $300 cheaper than in the states. Kela walked away with a new Chanel wallet and Danielle with a pair of Chanel loafers. Rose and I got the same pair of mules and we love them. The great thing about this Chanel is that it’s the only one that will give you the 13% discount off the product instead of you filing the tax at the airport and waiting up to a month for the 13% refund. It’s pretty amazing. We were also treated like royalty, consuming countless coffees, champagnes and Coca-Colas. We also got a tour of the famed Coco Chanel Stairs.
La Vallée Village Parisian Outlet 3 Cours de la Garonne
If you have a day, grab your girls and split an Uber 30 minutes away from Paris to La Vallée Village. It’s an amazing outlet with all the designer brands where you can find current pieces for up to 75% Off. It’s a dream and definitely worth it if you’re looking for designer for less.
Pharmacie Rue de Mogador
Paris is known for amazing beauty products. Skip Sephora and head to the best Pharmacie I’ve found in Paris. It’s right across the street from Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann. You’ll notice a green plus sign outside. It’s simply amazing. I’d recommend getting some Embryolisse which is an amazing moisturizer and some Caudalie Thé des Vignes products including the Body & Hair Nourishing Oil, Perfume and lotion.
Luxury Shopping at Galeries Lafayette
The Galeries Lafayette stores are so beautiful and well curated and if you want a luxury shopping experience I’d frequent them both. Galeries Lafayette Champs Elysses currently has a Fenty popup which we visited. I’d say this Galeries is a little more young and hip. They even had a restaurant curated by Jaquemus and everything was delicious. They have tons of up and coming designer brands. I even found Miaou pieces there! For a more upscale feel I’d head to Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussaman. It is absolutely stunning with it’s stunningg dome glass ceiling and rooftop restaurant.
As a Black woman traveling in Paris with a group of other Black women, I must mention that we experienced more than a few instances of blatant racism. Things I haven’t experienced previously during my 5 visits here. We were kicked out of Jardin du Palais Royale for taking photos. Mind you, this place in KNOWN for people taking photos and there were atleast 30 people within a 100 ft radius also taking photos. It was a very traumatic experience and I will go in-depth soon and share exactly what happened in the Paris Vlog 2. We also had an issue getting into VIP night club. I honestly can’t believe that it happened. It feels like those things happened to someone else and I was outside my body watching. Racism does exist here and it’s way more blatant than it is even in the states but at least in America you have a say. Here in a foreign country you don’t. A grown man literally lunged at me and tried to take my phone from my hand for recording the situation at the Jardin.
Don’t pack too much. I’d say 3-4 all weather outfits if you plan on visiting in September/October. The weather can be warm, rainy or cold. You will do a ton of shopping and trust me you don’t want your suitcase to be overweight. Oh and go ahead and buy an umbrella the first day of your trip. You’ll definitely need it at some point. Here’s what I Packed for Paris.
Shopping + Tax Refunds
Don’t forget when shopping to take your passport with you. For larger purchases it is required to get your tax documents back. When you get to the airport you files that tax paperwork to get your refund. Taxes are included in the price of products and since you’re not a Parisian citizen you aren’t required to pay taxes. That’s why you get money back.
Paris Fashion Week Information
We didn’t attend many shows, or any for that matter. We went to one showroom visit. We did have a few invitations to shows but just didn’t make it to many. It was more about the trip and content creation for us than shows. But if you’re interested in how to get invitations it’s the exact same process as New York. They even give you all the press contacts on the PFW website. Or you can just buy my Pitch Template on Pitching for Fashion Weeks for in depth information.
Look out for the first Paris Vlog to go live soon on my Youtube Channel. Until then, here’s a look at what I Packed for Paris and a few things I wore that I bought while in Paris as well. You can also check out all of my previous Paris blog posts and content here. If you have any other questions pertaining to where to Stay, where to Eat or where to Shop drop them below in the comments.