City Guide: Paris

“To know Paris is to know a great deal.” - Henry Miller. Explore the City of Light with our definitive guide to the capital.

From the Left Bank cafe habitué to the naughty Paris of Pigalle's red-light bars, Paris is all things to all men. One of the great art repositories of the world, Paris harbours a pretty illustrious artistic pedigree, listing Renoir, Picasso, Monet, Rodin and Manet amongst it's most prized. Despite its antiquities, the city's cache of modern and contemporary art is no less fervent and can be found across of scores of smaller museums across the Marais and beyond.

With iconic postcard views and wicker-chair-lined terraces, Paris's cuisine is second to none. Ranging from humble boulangeries, to cosy neighbourhood bistro to a triple-Michelin-starred flavour of the month, the city boasts a varied food scene of tradition and contemporaneity in equal parts.

Shopping is equally scintillating. Browse emerging and established designers in resplendent department stores, scour vintage shops and flea markets, and scan the bankside dark-green bouquiniste stalls for rare editions.

"To know Paris is to know a great deal." - Henry Miller

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Hotel Molitor

Paris, France

If you haven’t seen the pool at Hotel Molitor, shame on you. You’re obviously not following enough design accounts on Instagram. Originally opened in 1929, the Molitor was one of the most fashionable swimming baths in Paris before closing in 1989. The site in the 16th arrondissement was converted into an urban art space before recently reopening as a hotel. The space strikes the perfect balance between the hotel’s art deco past and its modern renovations with original features such as the blue doors on cabins, green railings and the pool’s original glass enclosed ticket booth (which now frames the indoor bar) making the space extra special.

Address

13 Rue Nungesser et Coli 75016

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Hotel Amour

Paris, France

South Pigalle, otherwise known as SoPi, once home to pussy parlours and erotic nightlife, is now the talk of Paris for different reasons with new restaurants, cocktail bars and boutiques opening up every week. Hotel Amour is at the heart of this new activity, bridging the gap between the new and old South Pigalle. Set in a former brothel, its trendy bistro and bar with a large outdoor terrace is the place to be. Upstairs, a black-walled corridor leads to 20 rooms, each designed by a different artist and designer and each with their own nod to the erotic. Ironically however, spending all day in bed isn’t something you’d want to do at the Hotel Amour as the rooms are small and walls are thin – drink downstairs until you don’t care about the noise.

Address

8 Rue de Navarin 75009

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Hotel Thoumiex

Paris, France

This Thierry Costes hotel is a favourite with the fashion elite and buzzes with an exciting atmosphere. Although most famous for its Michelin-starred restaurant and cocktail list (Laura Bailey always has the caipirinha when she’s here) the 15 rooms here deserve the attention they demand. Flamboyant to say the least, leopard print throws clash wonderfully with bold wallpaper and patterned velvet carpets. Located in the 7th arrondissement with views of the Eiffel Tower and steps away from the Louvre, there’s no better location to see Paris’ highlights.

Address

79 Rue Saint-Dominique 75007

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Hôtel du Temps

Paris, France

The palm-print curtains and white-washed floors and walls bring a sophisticated tropical feel to this boutique offering just a hop, skip and a jump from Gare du Nord. The cosy bar, complete with baby grand piano, beckons for a nightcap before bed.

Address

11 Rue de Montholon 75009

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Generator Hostel

Paris, France

Trendy, urban and unbelievably affordable for Paris, this hostel attracts the next generation of travellers who would rather spend their money discovering a city than on a five-star hotel room. Shared rooms start at €25 per person and private rooms at €32.50 per person based on four person occupancy, but large communal spaces such as a rooftop terrace and basement club will keep you out of your quarters for the most part. It’s the amount of space you have in comparison to the low price point that will make a lasting impression here. It doesn’t feel like a hostel, but the barefoot teenagers in the lift will remind you that it is.

Address

11 Place du Colonel Fabien 75010

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Hôtel Henriette

Paris, France

Stepping inside Hotel Henriette is like stepping into the perfect DIY Pinterest board – wooden desks are built into walls, filament lamps hang from rope and headboards are fashioned out of large slabs of leather. Formerly the Hotel Résidence les Gobelins, the new budget boutique hotel stands as proof of what a bit of paint, a keen eye for design (courtesy of Paris designer Vanessa Scoffier) and an abundance of flowers can do for an establishment. With just 32 rooms, a small dining room, an idyllic outdoor courtyard and prices starting at €89 for a single, this is one of the best budget hotels in Paris.

Address

9 Rue des Gobelins 75013

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Hôtel Panache

Paris, France

The second offering from Adrien Gloaguen (he opened Le Paradis in 2012) Hotel Panache is located in the spirited 9th arrondissement and provides a haven from the multitude of crowded theatres, auction houses and restaurants. Designer Dorothée Meilichzon has embraced the geometric shape of the building, injecting touches of modernity into the communal spaces with beautiful mirrors and blown-glass lamps. A romantic stay is guaranteed.

Address

1 Rue Geoffroy-Marie 75009

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COQ Hôtel

Paris, France

Set down in the up-and-coming 13ème, the kookily named “Community of Quality” hotel offers beautiful design. Cool bohemian vibes influence the decor of the rooms, by designers Pauline d'Hoop and Delphine Sauvaget of Agence Favorite. Early risers make sure you don't skip on breakfast – two hens are on site to deliver your morning eggs à la coque.

Address

15 Rue Edouard Manet 75013

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OFF Paris Seine

Paris, France

Wake up to river views with a stay at this boutique hotel on a boat. Moored at the foot of the Austerlitz station, OFF is the first hotel and bar on water in Paris. The style is sleek and modern and the effervescent bar is fast becoming a destination in its own right. Choice lodgings for those in search of an unusual experience.

Address

86 Quai d'Austerlitz 75013

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Amastan Paris

Paris, France

There’s a “home-away-from-home” feel to this boutique darling. But a home that happens to have impeccable design and be set just a block back from the Champs Élysées. Those lucky enough to catch a room out of season can stay for as little as £140.

Address

34 Rue Jean Mermoz 75008

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Hôtel Providence

Paris, France

Hotel Providence, crafted by hot hotel and restaurant tycoon of the moment Pierre Moussié, is our top pick when it comes to design. The whole place just oozes sumptuousness, from the toasty fireplace that greets you upon entry to the rich dark wood floors and velour House of Hackney wallpaper. On top of being curated to a tee thanks to Moussié’s unbeatable attention to detail, it is located in the hip Haut Marais neighbourhood, a vibrant area studded with up-and-coming shops, galleries, and restaurants. With its cool surroundings and top-notch design standards, this exquisite boutique hotel is the place to be for a weekend tête-à-tête with your other half or a cool girls’ getaway.

Address

90 Rue René Boulanger 75010

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Hotel L’Antoine

Paris, France

Designed by Christian Lacroix, no two rooms are the same at this little-known jewel. Set on the site of a former 17th-century convent in the popular Bastille neighbourhood, each floor takes a different theme inspired by the area’s history.

Address

12 Rue de Charonne 75011

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Hotel Bienvenue

Paris, France

Pastel-hued walls and luxe, velvet headboards give an almost Sixties feel to this oh-so-pretty hotel in the vibrant So-Pi neighbourhood. Intimate and trendy, Hotel Bienvenue's is riddled with interesting nooks to explore. The outdoor terrace is a green cocoon in the centre of Paris – the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat.

Address

23 Rue Buffault 75009

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MOB Hotel Paris Les Puces

Paris, France

Explore a new part of town with a stay at this design hotel. Set in the north of the city by Paris’ largest flea market, Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, there’s a buzzy communal vibe to this laid-back spot and urban style by the bucketload.

Address

A4-6 Rue Gambetta Saint-Ouen 93400

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Le Pigalle

Paris, France

To feel like you’re waking up in the hippest of Parisian apartments, book a stay at Le Pigalle, our favourite spot for a supercharged local feel. Mismatched framed posters and paintings hang above cloud-like beds juxtaposed with vintage furniture, while knick-knacks and claw-foot bathtubs bring out the space’s young, sexy and creative atmosphere. Spend a long weekend here and soak up the lived-in personality of your room alongside Pigalle’s naughty ambience.

Address

9 Rue Frochot 75009

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Maison Souquet

Paris, France

“Sensual” is the word that instantly comes to mind when thinking of Maison Souquet; rich velvety fabrics, brocade wallpaper and silky quilts make this a place for romantic tête-à-têtes Montmartre-style. Once a belle-époque brothel, the hotel now emanates exotic and erotic chic, from each of the individually designed rooms to the sumptuous spa. Can’t get enough of Souquet’s allure? The hotel is just steps away from the gorgeous Hôtel Particulier that houses the Museum of Romantic Life.

Address

10 Rue de Bruxelles 75009

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Hotel National des Arts et Métiers

Paris, France

While this hotel is set in classic Haussmannian buildings overlooking the Marais, it’s got full-on Scandi vibes. With bleached-wood walls, concrete washbasins and a muted colour scheme, it’s like a Swedish take on Right Bank sophistication. All of the design was dreamt up by Raphael Navot of Paris’ private club, Silencio, which is a favourite among the city’s hip jet-set crowd. When you’re not taking part in one of the hotel’s yoga workshops or catching rays on your terrace, head to the sexy Herbarium bar downstairs to mingle with the local freelance crowd over cocktails come happy hour.

Address

243 Rue Saint-Martin 75003

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Hotel Récamier

Paris, France

Set smack in between the Bon Marché, Jardins du Luxembourg and Delacroix museum, Hotel Récamier is one of our favourite jumping-off points for a Left Bank extravaganza. St-Germain elegance at its best, it’s got 24 unique chocolate-box bedrooms and a leafy candlelit terrace decked out with tree-trunk based coffee tables. Every detail is done to perfection, including the adorable Petit Prince toiletries that you might just have to tuck into your carry-on at the end of your stay.

Address

3B Place Saint-Sulpice 75006

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Hotel d’Aubusson

Paris, France

Left-bank chic at its best, D’Aubusson is one of the more sizeable Parisian hotels that won’t cost you an arm and a leg for a night’s stay. The old manor maintains much of its 17th-century charm, with a lavish tapestried parlour and roaring fireplace to greet you upon entry. The bedrooms are done in rich shades of burgundy and dove grey, and are perfect for cosy nights nestled under feathery duvets. The hotel’s Café Laurent is one of the city’s oldest cafés and is a buzzing spot for post-dinner cocktails and live jazz.

Address

33 Rue Dauphine 75006

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La Chambre du Marais

Paris, France

This homely stay, just across the street from the lush Square du Temple park and a few minutes’ walk from the Picasso Museum, will make you feel as though you’re crashing your interior designer friend’s pad rather than a hotel. The guest room-style suites have French windows opening out onto the park, so you can take in the morning breeze as you lean back against your bed’s velvet headboard and sip your first (of many) café au lait.

Address

87 Rue des Archives 75003

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Hotel Parister

Paris, France

For stylish luxury at affordable prices, it’s hard to beat Hotel Parister with its debonair furniture, a sleek swimming pool lined with oversized potted plants and an incredible cocktail bar. Many of the Parister’s rooms have emblematic Parisian terraces, meaning lazy morning cups of coffee overlooking the rooftops of the ninth arrondissement and bang-on Instagram opportunities come sunset (with a glass of red wine in hand, bien sûr). Unlike most stays in the French capital, this one also pays extra attention to fitness. The gym, which has total Soul Cycle vibes, is fully equipped with boxing, yoga, Pilates and cross-training workshops.

Address

19 Rue Saulnier 75009

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Hotel Fabric

Paris, France

Set in an old textile factory, this hotel is located just off Rue Oberkampf, which is rapidly transforming from rough-around-the-edges to cool stretch packed with pretty young things. The hotel maintains much of its industrial history with exposed-brick walls and iron window frames, while adding in colourful modern touches in each of the rooms. The Marais and its plentiful boutiques are just a stone’s throw from the hotel, but we recommend venturing further up Oberkampf to experience cool local bars and restaurants including PNY, Ober Mamma and Chez Justine.

Address

31 Rue de la Folie Méricourt 75011

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Hidden Hotel

Paris, France

The aptly named Hidden Hotel is ideal for a low-key escape. Tucked away just off the étoile of the Arc de Triomphe, its wooden façade dripping with ivy is an adorable welcome to this chic hideaway. Each room is a cosy cocoon, with ethereal canopy curtains draped around the beds. Despite the hotel’s discreet ambience, the bar and cigar room are spacious and fun for a nightcap after an evening out at nearby clubs Cartel and Titty Twister, just down the Champs Élysées.

Address

28 Rue de l'Arc de Triomphe, 75017

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Hôtel Particulier Montmartre

Paris, France

The beautiful Hôtel Particulier is unlike any other stay in the city. Hidden away in a garden that feels more Jungle Book than Jardins du Luxembourg lies an all-white house with huge shuttered windows, each of which encloses one of five sweeping suites. The towering yet inviting building is reminiscent of the iconic townhouse in Bemelmans’ Madeline book series, and feels like a private home in the countryside despite its proximity to all that Montmartre has to offer. Check in with your other half for a luxurious weekend of lie-ins and long lunches on the terrace.

Address

Pavillon D, 23 Avenue Junot 75018

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Hôtel Madame Rêve

Maybe the most exciting opening Paris has seen in quite some time, Madame Rêve's magnificence lies in her points of difference from the French capital's other grand dames. Located in the heart of the 1st arrondissement, the property doesn't feature the usual Louis XVII opulence or cool minimalism. Instead, interiors are all about rich, warm wood, wall-to-wall glass windows and, interestingly, stamps. Nestled inside the former Louvre Post Office and dating back to the 19th century, Madame Rêve pays homage to her past with over 800 works of post-related art (including the aforementioned stamps), with much of the original architecture, including the old pillars in the former postal dispatch room (now a café), perfectly preserved. The whole property smacks of sleek, sexy modernity, Parisian chic and convenient proximity to the capital's notable sights.

Address

48 Rue du Louvre, Paris, 75001