By far my favourite neighbourhoods in Paris are St. Germain and the Latin Quarter! St. Germain is really posh, full of small galleries – it’s where rich people like Salma Hayek and her baby daddy live. The Latin Quarter is so vibrant, full of affordable ethnic food and cute cafes. I have great memories of sipping on orange juice at an outdoor cafe listening to a travelling live brass band.
And my favourite pharmacy! If you’re into French skincare (like Avene, Bioderma, LaRoche-Posay, Vichy, Nuxe, etc.) you have to stock up in France because it’s way cheaper. The best pharmacy in Paris for this is on 4, rue du Four. That place is HEAVEN and I can spend hours there!
Plus – and this is going to sound crazy, but I recommend it to everyone who asks me about Paris – one of my favourite restaurants in Paris is a Korean one called Han Lim (also in the LQ). Their fried chicken is SO good. Incomparable. I can’t find anything like it in Toronto and we have virtually everything here. The lunch menu option is also very affordable!
The Notre Dame is a given, although beware the gypsies outside. It’s wonderful if you can find a good tour guide to explain all the intricate parts of the church! The Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Montmartre is also beautiful and I think it’s very romantic there – lots of artists walking around offering portraits/caricatures. But watch out for people who will try to tie a string around your wrist and start weaving a bracelet – they will demand payment, so keep your hands in your pockets/close to you. 😛 If you love art, the Louvre of course is a given. And if you have time, Versailles is stunning, especially the gardens, if you go in the spring/summer.
Also, and this may not be super interesting to your FI, but I always hit up my favourite stores when I’m in Paris because I miss them so much and I’d recommend them to you – Etam for lingerie, Morgan de Toi/Pimkie/Stradivarius/Bershka for clothes, Six for accessories, and Kiko for makeup. All of these are on all the major streets. (There are also the famous department stores, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette but I don’t visit those much.)
I’ve heard good things about the falafels at L’As du Falafel in the Marais district, but I’ve never been there. The Marais is also really nice! Great shopping, not astronomical prices.
For photos, the Jardin des Tuileries is beautiful. But honestly, you can take pictures pretty much anywhere and you can’t go wrong.
And I highly recommend hitting up a supermarket for some cheese, cured meat (!), wine, and a baguette, and picnicking somewhere. 😀
There’s also an enormous flea market in Paris on Sundays, I believe – I think it’s the St. Ouen? You’d love it if you’re into that kind of thing.
No need to spend a fortune on wine – anything even 2-3 euros is decent, 4-5 euros is very good. Also, I don’t have any favourite bakeries but when I visit them I always order a chocolate-almond croissant – doubly delicious! But La Duree is totally overrated. *eye roll* The best bakeries IMO are the ones tucked away in the middle of nowhere and are clearly mom and pop family-owned shops.
Have fun!!! And feel free to PM me if you have any questions! 😀