Ha- what better way to kick off my series of posts about planning a wedding in Paris than with Sex in the City ;). I know, I know, they may not relate, but you would be surprised (or not surprised) by the amount of brides who ask about seeing some of the places filmed in the show- especially our most current bride. Therefore, for her, I put together a full day tour of the sights related to Sex in the City and mixed it with some awesome tourist sights to see Paris, and now I figure I will share it with you.
1) Begin your journey at Plaza Athénee, 25 Avenue Montaigne, the hotel where Carrie stays. It is currently undergoing renovations, and should reopen their doors in the summer of 2014.
If you are interested in staying at another hotel that is wonderful in the area, the Shangri-La Hotel Paris is gorgeous, has views of the Eiffel Tower, and is a palace a couple of blocks away from the Plaza Athénée :).
2) The street that the Plaza Athénée is on is the Avenue Montaigne- a street filled with Fendi, Dolce Gabbana, Chanel, Louis Vuitton…you get the point. In any case, walk up the street towards the Champs Elysées and you will see the infamous Dior (on your right), where Carrie has a little mishap with the floor.
3) Continue to walk up Avenue Montaigne towards the Champs Elysées, do your window shopping, and you will run into the Metro stop Franklin D Roosevelt. I suggest taking the metro to our next stop since the walk is a long one…because this is a smaller station there is not a place to buy tickets, make sure that you have metro tickets at your disposal.
Take the metro line 1 (or yellow line) towards Château de Vincennes– and you will get off at the stop “Hotel de Ville.”
Coming out of the metro, you will see the beautiful Hôtel de Ville or City Hall- which houses the Mayor of Paris and local Administration. Plus…it also has grand reception spaces for you wedding couples ;)….
4) Now you have a choice on the direction you want to go….like choose your own adventure books (if you are old enough to remember what these are…).
Choice 1: If you like Vintage Clothing- you must head north on Rue de Renard and then take a right on Rue de la Verrerie. All along this street, on both sides, there are vintage clothing shops, unique, and beautiful- up until your hit Rue du Roi du Sicile (Thanks Chris for your expertise on this). Do not go too early…the shops do not open until 10-11 a.m., some not until after lunch, so pick your time wisely ;).
Choice 2: Want a little historical tour, head south towards the bridge, cross the bridge, and tada….Notre Dame- yup it is on an island! (go inside- it is free to tour the inside of the Cathedral, and there is a price to climb the stairs to see all the gargoyles). If you have a little time, head to the back of Notre Dame and you will see a little secluded park and go a little further and you will run into the Île Saint Louis– the 2nd island in the Seine river. Super quaint and adorable, there are several shops, and you will find many people heading there for the famous Bertillon ice cream.
5) Whichever choice you made, or did not make- maybe you just want to see Sex in the City landmarks- follow the Seine river west. Walk along the Seine, amongst the flower markets, until you hit the Pont de Neuf and take a right at the Rue du Pont Neuf (a 10 minute leisurely walk). Here, at 1 Rue du Pont Neuf, there is the Kong Restaurant on the 5th floor. Go. The food is good, the decor is ultra modern and kitsch, and the view is impeccable. At night, you will most definitely need a reservation- for lunch, which is when I went, I still reserved, but the restaurant was not full. Prices for lunch ran from 35 – 45 euros based on the formule chosen.
6) Now that you have eaten, let’s continue to stroll along the Seine heading west. In 5 minutes you will hit the Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge- the bridge where Carrie and Big share their Parisian kiss. Back in the day, this used to be where you could find people picnicking with baguettes, cheese, and wine on a sunny day- and now what you will find are the “love locks.” Not to worry, if you did not bring a padlock and key, you can buy one from a vendor on the bridge ;).
7) Here’s my favorite part of the tour…from here, head north on the bridge in the opposite direction from the Institut de France (the background in the clip above), and you will be heading into one of the back entrances of the Louvre. Head that way. I love entering from this direction, since you turn a corner, and you find yourself in the middle of the Louvre Museum, the pyramid right in front of you, and the gardens, the Eiffel tower, and the Arc de Triomphe in the distance.
8) The final stop of the tour is at the Musee Jeu de Paume, the museum where Petrovsky holds his exposition. From the Louvre, walk through the Tuileries Gardens towards Place de la Concorde, and at the very end, on the corner of Place de la Concorde and Rue de Rivoli, you will find it.
So, that’s it folks. I hope you enjoy! If there is a place I missed, please do let me know and I will do my best to add it to the tour :).
**Added Bonus** At the end of the day, if you are looking for a place to have dinner, and you’re still in sightseeing mode…the restaurant in the movie, Something’s Gotta Give –yes, the one with Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, and Jack Nicholson- is closeby…
It’s “Le Grand Colbert” on 2 Rue Vivienne. The easiest way to get there is from the front of the Louvre. If you are looking at the Pyramid right in the circle in front of the Louvre, take a left and continue. You will run into the Palais Royal– go through the gardens – all the way through- and it will let out on the Rue Vivienne. And there it is on the right hand side. Be like Diane an order the roast chicken and some wine to go around!
*** Now to relate this to a Parisian Wedding- Plaza Athénée and the Shangri-La Hotel both have wonderful reception options for your wedding! You cannot go wrong with the beauty, the service, and the food at either of these locations. And be sure to check out the Pont des Arts at sunset for your photos… ***