France is opening today to vaccinated tourists from the UE, Israel, and other Green Countries, and Paris is finally getting back to normal. So, we’ve asked Adi Ben Arosh, an Israeli ex-pat living in the city with her family and taking beautiful pictures for her Instagram account, to give us a glimpse of her favorite places. Here are some of her recommendations.
The Iron Lady
Any visitor looking for an iconic photo of Paris will search for the most inspiring view of the Eiffel Tower. Many tourists opt for the well-known Trocadero Gardens terrace, but there are many marvelous glimpses of the tower from various vantage points all over the city. Check out some of the hidden streets in the surrounding neighborhoods, or you can go for a rooftop overlooking the tower. One of my favorite places to watch the Eiffel is Pont de Bir-Hakeim, a beautiful bridge spanning the river Seine, where you can photograph the Eiffel in all its glory.
Another must-do in Paris is sitting at one of the many café terraces spilling out into the sidewalks, watching people passing by. Some of the best-known cafés are the former haunts of writers and philosophers, like Café de Flore. But you can find some exquisite cafés all over the city, especially in the Marais (4th arr), high up in Montmartre or Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th arr).
One of my favorite cafés in Paris is Carette, close to the Trocadero Gardens, a fabulous place to enjoy a cup of coffee and brioche before moving on to the Gardens to have a closer look at Eiffel Tower (with a second branch in the Marais, near the elegant Place des Vosges).
Galerie Vivienne, built in 1823 and paved with mosaic floors, is arguably the most beautiful of the many covered passages sprinkled around the city – mainly in the 2nd arr. This historical monument from the 19th century predates today’s malls and department stores and is perfect on a rainy day but gorgeous on any given day. You can peek into period boutiques, sip a drink at a café, browse the bookstores, and feel like you’ve been transported back in time.
Romance on the Seine
Take a walk on Pont Alexandre III – definitely the most romantic bridge in Paris. You might even meet a bride and groom being photographed for their wedding. The bridge, one of the most ornate you will ever see, is clad in gold and was built in the Beaux-Arts style at the turn of the 20th century. The beautiful landmark is another excellent vantage point overlooking Eiffel Tower, and if you reach it at sunset, this is one of the most Instagrammable places in Paris.
An Italian Mamma
Part of a chain of Italian restaurants, Pink Mamma, is one of my favorite eateries in Paris. It has loads of ambiance, and there’s even a secret wine bar in the cellar (ask the hostess, and she will accompany you there).
The menu boasts quality and authentic Italian food. Everything is freshly made of the best ingredients imported straight from Italy several times a week. The restaurant’s flagship dish is Fiorentina, a large and juicy T-bone steak, but do not miss the truffle pasta!
Fine food aside, the design is gorgeous, from the staircase decorated with retro mirrors and artwork to the decorated dishes. And if that’s not enough, the rooftop is stunning, boasting a fantastic view of Paris. Word of advice: Don’t forget to book in advance.
A roof with a view
My favorite view in all of Paris is seen from the roof of the Galeries Lafayette. You can’t beat the panoramic vistas over the skyline (with the Eiffel Tower in the background). The huge 6-story flagship department store on Boulevard Haussmann is another Parisian institution not to be missed, and not just for the fabulous shopping. You should come here also to see the stunning art nouveau dome, and of course to go up on the roof for an unforgettable view. Admission is free.
And for dessert
Last but not least, make sure to visit Patisserie Cédric Grolet Opera (2nd arr). Awarded with numerous awards and titles, Grolet never ceases to amaze his clientele with exceptional desserts, which you can eat on the spot or takeaway. You’ll be sure to come back for more.
For more beautiful pictures of Paris, check out Adi’s Instagram account.