Paris is often called the city of lights or the city of love, but I refer to it as the city of hotspots. Almost every corner has a cosy bar or a delicious restaurant, but there are also many “free” places where you can enjoy a good glass of wine. I will show you some of my favorites!
Let’s start with the more exquisite but sometimes expensive places. An absolute favourite of mine is the rooftop restaurant at the Terrass Hotel, located in Montmartre. Summer and winter the view will mesmerize you and the food is outstanding. There is a beautiful terrace with a few tables to eat but there is also a bar with some comfortable chairs and a sort of sofa-swing. I would recommend this place for lunch on weekdays because they have a lunch menu for a very reasonable price. If the weather would fall short, there is no need to be sorry because the restaurant inside is just as nice and the big windows allow for an amazing panorama.
Another great rooftop in Paris is that of Hotel Raphael, not far from the Champs-Elysées. But beware, this one is quite pricy. The cheapest drinks start at a price of €15, and I am talking about sodas. It is however a very enjoyable place with a fantastic view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower. You do get some macarons with special tastes alongside your drink.
Looking for a cheap lunch? Le Relais Gascon in Montmartre is the perfect place. If you type in ‘salad restaurant Paris’ on the Google search machine, TripAdvisor immediately recommends this place. This is because the salads are exceptional and I am not exaggerating. The most expensive one on the menu is around €15 (yes the contrast with the Raphael Hotel is overwhelming) and contains salmon, shrimp, avocado, olives, tomatoes, lettuce and potatoes with garlic. The salad is by the way so big, they call it ‘salad géantes’. Even when I am starving, I cannot consume the whole dish. (Tip: share the salad and get a side dish like garlic bread)
If this isn’t cheap enough, what do you think about a self-composed picnic? Paris is a city full of surprisingly cosy and amazing places. Champ de Mars right under the Eiffel Tower is a big stretch of grass where a lot of people eat their lunch, where they meet up with friends or where sunbathers come to get a tan in the summer. This is definitely an enjoyable place but there are always a lot of people. If you like it more quiet, try alongside the Seine (with the Eiffel Tower behind you, to the right). There are a bunch of special (walled) gardens. In the summer it is common to bring a bottle of wine, French bread and cheese. With hammocks, benches, lawns to sit on or just private places between small trees, these places offer an enchanting experience with a nice panorama of the Seine.
And for those who don’t want the trouble of making their own picnic, there is always “Paris Picnic” (www.parispicnic.com). Choose the perfect place and get your picnic basket delivered. It will contain a bottle of wine, a baguette, an assortment of cheeses, cured meats, fresh salad, mineral water, a seasonal dessert and of course a picnic blanket and cutlery. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the view and your picnic.
What are your favourite hotspots in Paris?