With seemingly endless days, Paris is in full bloom during the spring and summer months. In addition to visiting classic sights like the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum, there are many new things to do in Paris this season, including a secret rooftop restaurant in the Marais, a brand-new floating art center and a chic milliner. Here’s our guide for the best things to do in Paris this spring and summer.
The Best New Hotels in Paris
One of the most exclusive new suites in Paris occupies the top floor of famed French jeweler Boucheron’s recently renovated flagship on the Place Vendôme. The exquisite, multi-level boutique is worth a visit on its own and VIP clients can spend a night in the exclusive penthouse apartment, which has views of the Eiffel Tower and a private butler from the neighboring Ritz Paris (the accommodation can be booked on a case-by-case basis; contact us to inquire about booking). Another Right Bank newcomer, the Philippe Starck–designed Hotel 9Confidentiel, is located in a six-story building on a small street in the Marais. With pastel colors, gold accents and mirrors, this 29-room property is Starck’s surrealist fantasy of an Art Deco boudoir.
The Best New Restaurants in Paris
On balmy evenings, tables at Paris’s sidewalk cafés are in high demand. To escape the crowds (and the traffic), reserve a table at Au Top—a new clandestine open-air restaurant perched on top of the eternally popular Marais bar, Café la Perle. Fabulous unobstructed views provide a magical backdrop for refined Mediterranean cuisine and festive cocktails. Sure to satisfy warm-weather carnivorous cravings, Riccardo Giraudi’s latest outpost—Beefbar Paris—serves Kobe beef tacos or Wagyu bone-in filet in a lavish Art Deco-style dining room under a gorgeous 19th-century stained-glass ceiling. For a different take on upscale barbecue, RAN is known for its Japanese robata-style grilled dishes. Located in a hôtel particulier decorated by Tristan Auer (who also outfitted the nearby Hôtel de Crillon), Ran has a discreet side entrance that gives it a fun speakeasy vibe.
Meanwhile, on the Left Bank, chef and restauranteur Pierre Gagnaire has expanded his mini-empire by turning the original site of his beloved seafood restaurant Gaya (which, thankfully, has re-opened on rue Saint-Simon) into a convivial Italian trattoria. Glamorous without being fussy, Piero TT’s bi-level bistro-style dining room is a must for Italian specialties like bucatini cacio e pepe and squid carpaccio. And perhaps the most anticipated restaurant re-opening of the season, the Brasserie du Lutetia has been getting rave reviews from hotel guests and Left Bank locals alike. Michelin-starred chef Gérald Passedat’s revamped menu features delectable Mediterranean-inspired dishes like a three-course Bouillabaisse tasting menu—best savored in the brasserie’s new courtyard garden. Across town, Chef Frédéric Duca’s latest project, Rooster, is a welcome new addition to the bobo-chic enclave of Batignolles, in the 17th arrondissement. The menu features seasonal French fare, but the décor—concrete walls, distressed brick floors, and Scandinavian modern furniture—is pure Brooklyn.
The Best New Shops in Paris
Iced coffee is still somewhat of a novelty in Paris, but now when temperatures rise, you can turn to none other than Alain Ducasse for this refreshing pick-me-up. Following the success of his chocolate factory (La Manufacture de Chocolat), Ducasse’s La Manufacture de Café is a coffee shop and boutique that sells coffee (by the cup or bag) made with beans hailing from Panama, Yemen and the French island of La Reunion, all roasted to perfection on site.
Although the warm weather may not have you thinking about knitwear, Swiss brand Molli’s new boutique near the Tuileries is worth a visit any time of year. Past the façade decorated with giant embroidered flowers, the maison’s iconic layette sets and smart womenswear designed by Charlotte de Fayet are always in style. Those looking for a more seasonal Parisian accessory, like a sun hat, should head to upscale millinery Courtois Paris’s new Marais outpost. And for très français leather goods, the recently relaunched luxury handbag brand Létrange’s 750-square foot flagship offers a VIP lounge on the second floor. Art and fashion merge at at Celine’s revamped rue de Grenelle location. The boutique, which has been outfitted with steel, marble, concrete and mirrors, provides a gallery-like setting for American artist Oscar Tuazon’s sculptures, which are displayed alongside Hedi Slimane’s latest fashions.
The Best New Exhibits in Paris
This season Paris, which is home to well over 100 museums, will open a brand-new art center. Docked on the Seine just below Les Invalides, Fluctuart, is an 11,000-square-foot tri-level exhibition space dedicated to “street art” with a rooftop terrace offering panoramic water views.
Here are some of the other highly anticipated exhibitions for the spring/summer season:
Black models: from Géricault to Matisse
This exhibition (an expanded version a show that was on view at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery earlier this year) explores the representation of black models in paintings and photographs from 1794 (the year slavery was abolished in France) to the present day. The show also makes trans-Atlantic connections by linking the work of Henri Matisse with the culture of Harlem. Through July 21, Musée d’Orsay
This spring and summer the Dutch designer, who is known for creations that combine high-tech production and craft traditions, will transform the exhibition space of Lafayette Anticipations into a giant textile mill. The ever-changing exhibition is part of Jongerlus’s ongoing experimental research on colors and materials. June 7-September 8; Lafayette Anticipations
Inspired by Monet’s famous Nymphéas (on permanent view at the Musée de l’Orangerie) the American artist will be showing a new series of large-scale paintings depicting waterlilies observed near his home in Maine. May-August, Musée de l’Orangerie
Known for his large and colorful abstract paintings, the French artist is being honored this spring with a retrospective at the Pompidou Center and a concurrent solo show of new paintings at Galerie Perrotin, in the Marais. May 29–August 26, Pompidou Center; May 18-August 10, Galerie Perrotin
The Collection of the Foundation. A Vision for Painting
The Louis Vuitton Foundation is showing off the jewels of its collection with an exhibition that features entire rooms dedicated to painters like Joan Mitchell, Alex Katz, Gerhard Richter and Ettore Spalletti. Also on view: a selfie-ready “Infinity Mirror Room” by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Through August 26, Fondation Louis Vuitton
Electro – from Kraftwerk to Daft Punk
Fans of electronic music should head to the Paris Philharmonic for this immersive show exploring the genre’s innovations and mythologies. A program of concerts for all ages accompanies the exhibition. April 9-August 11; Philharmonie de Paris