I used to walk down one particular street every day on the way to the metro when I lived in Paris. I’d always find something I’d never noticed before, like a particular curl of a leaf on one of the Haussmann-style buildings, or how the architect’s name was imprinted into the concrete like a painter’s signature. The whole city is like that. It’s filled with undiscovered treasures, like your grandmother’s jewelry box.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Paris, you might want to consider staying an extra day. To find out a little bit more, to experience something new. It could be as simple as taking a different route to a bistro and finding a chocolate shop that you didn’t know about along the way. That’s the beauty of taking a little added-on time to simply “live” in the city for a day. After you’ve seen the must-sees and done the must-dos, these smaller discoveries will round out your Paris experience with intimate connections and memories that you’ll hold onto forever.
Use the extra day to be a flâneur, finding things you didn’t even know you were looking for. Or ask the team at Four Seasons George V, Paris for their recommendations on what to do with an extra hour, afternoon, or entire day. Through its Daily Discoveries program, the team can recommend on- or off-property experiences, and pair you with an expert and an activity based on how much time you’ve got to spend.
You might be whisked away to the wine caves in nearby Champagne, or zip over to the Hotel’s ancient gardens in nearby Versailles with Le George chef Simone Zanoni to pick what’s fresh for a private cooking lesson back at the Hotel. If you’re a runner craving a new route, you could join one of the staff for a brisk morning tour along the Seine.
Read on for some itinerary ideas from the people who call Paris home.
Regional Vice President and General Manager
Morning: I’m very sporty and like to make the most of a morning cycle around the Bois de Boulogne.
Afternoon: On the weekends I like to go enjoy L’Atelier des Lumières with my family. It’s a great place to see works of art and learn about new artists through immersive exhibitions.
Christian Le Squer
Morning: I love going to the Rungis market a few kilometres outside Paris. It’s best to arrive very early, around 5:00 am, to watch vendors set up their stalls, discover products that have just made their way in and soak up the atmosphere and hubbub of the market.
Afternoon: On Sunday afternoons, I enjoy going to the flea market, the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. It’s the best place to hunt down all manner of objects, meet antiques dealers and be inspired by what’s on display.
Chef at Le George
Morning: I have a morning ritual – I head to the vegetable garden of Le George in Versailles to pick fruits and vegetables and come up with new recipes. It’s also a fun experience, as guests can join me to discover this little green world. We leave the Hotel by Porsche, pick our vegetables and take part in a cooking class.
Afternoon: I really like visiting the Quatrehomme cheese shop in Paris’s 6th arrondissement. Popular among Parisians, it offers over 100 cheeses.
Executive Pastry Chef
Morning: In the mornings, I like going to B.O.U.L.O.M., a restaurant and boulangerie in the 18th arrondissement offering a variety of bread. If I have enough time, I take a seat at one of the tables and enjoy one of the brunches on offer throughout the week.
Afternoon: I enjoy visiting the Musée du quai Branly, a museum that’s rich in history and culture where you can discover unknown civilizations. Above all, the museum is a source of inspiration for my creative work.
Evening:When the weather is nice, I like strolling along the banks of the Seine, lined with small restaurants with music and dancing. I particularly like Rosa Bonheur, a floating barge near the Pont Alexandre III where you can enjoy drinks and tapas-style dishes with friends in a very laid-back setting. It’s an unconventional way to make the most of the charm of the Seine.
Restaurant Director and Sommelier
Morning: Whenever I can, I enjoy my usual morning ritual, that is, sitting on the terrace of Les Deux Magots Café in the heart of Saint Germain des Prés, where I sip on my morning coffee. I watch the comings and goings of parents taking their children to school, women and businessmen on their way to meetings, or regulars chatting at nearby tables.
Afternoon: When I can, I take the train to Reims. In only 45 minutes, I find myself in the heart of France’s most renowned Champagne vineyards where I can taste new vintages, meet winegrowers and chat about wine. It’s the perfect getaway – great to disconnect from Paris, and an easy return trip that can be done in an afternoon.
Evening: A stroll around Montmartre is perfect to discover the oldest vineyards in Paris hidden on the hillside. Many don’t even know that it’s there. When the weather is nice, it’s a great spot for amateur wine enthusiasts to witness the harvest and take part in wine tasting sessions.