I’m a Sex and the City junkie. Funnily enough though, I never really saw the series during its original HBO run between 1998 and 2004. I don’t know, I guess I felt a bit “too young” then for the show and couldn’t relate much to Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte. But once I hit my early 30s, a mere couple of years after the series finale, I started watching the reruns and got hooked! I subsequently bought all the DVDs, went to the cinema for the two films, and watched the series over and over again. Even until now, I put on an episode or two every so often once my three-year-old daughter is asleep.
My favorites? They have to be seasons five and six, most especially the American Girl in Paris episodes. Call me a dork but I did hunt and search for the Sex and the City hotspots in the City of Lights. It was kind of like a mother and daughter pastime when we lived in Paris. Anyway, the locations are focused mainly around the 8th, 6th and 1st arrondissements — and here they are: the 10 places to visit on your next girly and fabulous adventure to Paris!
1) Hôtel Plaza Athénée
25 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris
Get ready for some hyperboles: Carrie arrives in Paris and stays at the wonderful, no, magical Hôtel Plaza Athénée. I absolutely love this place and indulged myself on a couple of fabulous overnights here. First with my daughter — I requested a hotel transfer and we were picked up right outside the plane, a normal commercial flight mind you. I thought it was a language problem during my e-mail correspondence with the concierge but no, they confirmed that a receptionist will indeed wait for us outside the plane, help us with our luggage and assist us through immigration and customs. Wow, what service! Later on, I dragged my husband along together with my daughter and we stayed here once again for an amazing Christmas in Paris. Hey, you only live once. Both times were such fantastic experiences that I conclude it’s the best hotel I’ve stayed in. Watch the clip.
For that true Parisian experience, request a room with traditional Louis decor (the other rooms have Art Deco furnishings) along Avenue Montaigne for a peek of the Eiffel Tower right outside your hotel window. Watch the clip.
2) Avenue Montaigne
Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris
Carrie spends her time shopping along Avenue Montaigne where the likes of Dior, Louis Vuitton and Chanel are right outside the doorstep of Plaza Athénée. This elegant street with wide sidewalks is perfect for some luxury shopping. It’s much, I mean much more quieter than Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré and without the hustle and bustle of Galeries Lafayette. Plus, if you don’t fancy waiting in line at the ginormous LV boutique at George V, head over to the store at Avenue Montaigne for a more personalized service. Watch the clip.
41 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris
Walking around Paris alone, Carrie sees four girls having a meal together and enjoying each other’s company. They remind her of Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha back in New York. That’s at L’Avenue, a place to see and be seen with fashionable ladies and gentlemen of all ages strutting their latest designer gear — Birkin bags, Louboutin stilettos, Brioni jackets — including how and what NOT to wear. Well wouldn’t you know it, when we ate here, there were exactly four women having a fabulous time together!
4) Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume
1 Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris
Right in the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries overlooking the Egyptian obelisk at Place de la Concorde is the location where Aleksandr Petrovsky held his exhibition. In reality, it’s a museum of contemporary art and 19th-21st century photography. When I visited in the summer of 2012, works from French artist Laurent Grasso and Hungarian photographer Eva Besnyö were on display. I was fascinated by the architectural and social photographs of Eva Besnyö, which again highlights the importance Hungarians played, Robert Capa and Lászlo Moholy-Nagy just to name a few, in the field of photography.
5) Le Caveau du Palais Restaurant and Place Dauphine
Place Dauphine — Île de la Cité, 75001 Paris
Although Carrie didn’t dine here, the restaurant was a backdrop during her stroll with Aleksandr Petrovsky around Place Dauphine, a charming little square right in the heart of Île de la Cité. My daughter and I spent many afternoons playing here and people watching. It’s off the tourist track and a great place to see everyday Parisian life. We were always tempted to try the restaurant and so we did. I have to say the food was pretty good and very authentic French. It’s best to sit on the terrace so you can people watch but the rustic interior of the restaurant is also quite charming.
6) Place Saint-Sulpice
Place Saint-Sulpice, 75006 Paris
Carrie becomes homesick and makes a sad phone call to Miranda. Well, that is right at Place Saint-Sulpice, a beautiful square with a huge fountain right in the heart of the Saint Germain neighborhood. I also recommend to enter the Church of Saint-Sulpice, the second largest church in Paris, with a fresco painted by Eugene Delacroix inside. On certain weekends, there’s a flea market at the square where you’ll find vintage and antique treasures. Watch the clip.
7) Rue Servandoni and Promenade de l’Allée du Séminaire
Saint Germain neighborhood, 75006 Paris
While you’re at Place Saint-Sulpice, head over to the tiny cobblestoned street of Rue Servandoni and then to Promenade de l’Allée du Séminaire, right at Rue Bonaparte. These are the locations where Carrie steps on dog poop (Rue Servandoni) and subsequently washes it off her red soles at the fountain along Promenade de l’Allée du Séminaire. I actually really enjoy strolling around this area where there are tons of quaint boutiques, art galleries and bookstores. And whenever I need a break, I sit down in one of the many cafés or head to Jardin du Luxembourg just right around the corner. Watch the clip (jump to :50, it’s in Hungarian but you get the point).
8) Seine River
The river crossing Paris, dividing it into the Right Bank and the Left Bank
Continuing on with the clip above, Carrie takes a break from walking, sits on a bench and eats a baguette. Well, that’s somewhere along the Seine River between, let’s say, Pont Neuf and Place de la Concorde. Actually, one of the best ways to discover Paris is by walking the banks of the Seine. It costs absolutely nothing, you see amazing views, and experience a different side of the city. These stone embankments are protected by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites: “From the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower, from the Place de la Concorde to the Grand and Petit Palais, the evolution of Paris and its history can be seen from the River Seine. The Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the Sainte Chapelle are architectural masterpieces while Haussmann’s wide squares and boulevards influenced late 19th- and 20th-century town planning the world over.”
9) KONG Bar and Restaurant
1 Rue du Pont Neuf, 75001 Paris
An amazing view of Pont Neuf, Philippe Starck chairs, and waitresses in sexy clothes walking in sky-high stilettos — trying not to fall over while balancing the trays — await you at Kong, the location where Carrie meets Aleksandr Petrovsky’s ex-wife. But that’s really it. Food is bland and I’ve had better cocktails somewhere else. Nevertheless, it’s still interesting to visit Kong for the view and decor. Simply pretend you’re looking for someone and then leave after you’ve made your round. Watch the clip.
10) Pont des Arts
Quai du Louvre — Place de l’Institut, 75006 Paris
Feel the love at Pont des Arts for the romantic finale in Paris where Big tells Carrie she’s the one. This bridge is absolutely one of my favorite sights in Paris — a lovely view of the Seine, the Left Bank, the Louvre and a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. I just love crossing this pedestrian wooden bridge, looking at the padlocks and reading their engravings. Often, you’ll also find street artists, photographers and painters (just ignore the gypsies who pretend to be mute, trying to get you to sign something). And in the evenings, there are sometimes candlelight picnics! Yes, you read that right. Watch the clip.
There you go, the Sex and the City hotspots in Paris. So go ahead and book that fabulous weekend away with the girls in Paris and have a cosmopolitan on my behalf.
Until my next post … take care!