Have you ever come away from a long weekend visiting a city, your map torn in half and frayed along the way? That's good old-fashioned map wear and tear, a sign that you've gotten lost many times. Sometimes you get to your original destination, sometimes you don't. Maybe you've found something else along the way, some unexpected discoveries.
That's what makes the weekend, your weekend, interesting.
And so it was with our recent long weekend in Paris for my birthday at the end of August.
It had been almost eight years since our last visit to Paris. It turns out that's just enough time to make the city feel just new and fresh, like a first visit. We took many turns — a few planned, most not — during our walks from Montmartre to Quartier Latin with Belleville, Le Marais, and St. Germain peppered in between.
Through our Instagram photos, we take you on a long late summer weekend in Paris. We thank the clouds for providing a dramatic backdrop during our visit. We thank friends and readers for suggestions. And we thank Paris for being Paris.
We hope you enjoy the photographic stroll.
Note: Dan is the one with the thumbs, the iPhoneography master in the family. All of the Instagram images you see below are his. Yes, I'm a proud wife.
Day 1: Eiffel Tower, Saint German, Île de la Cité, Quartier Latin
Day 2: Belleville, Le Marais, and dinner in Quartier Latin
Day 3: Morning markets, Rive Droite, Montmartre, Le Marais
Day 4: Morning Market, Bastille
What are your favorite spots in Paris? What did we miss? I'm sure we'll be back soon.
Disclosure: Our accommodation in Paris was provided by Shangri-La Hotels in conjunction with its #LovingtheMoment Instagram campaign. As always, the opinions expressed here are entirely our own.
Audrey Scott is a writer, storyteller, speaker and tourism development consultant. She aims to help turn people's fears into curiosity and connection. She harbors an obsession for artichokes and can bake a devastating pan of brownies. You can keep up with her adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And you can learn more about her on the About Page and on LinkedIn.
36 thoughts on “A Long Summer Weekend in Paris, The Instagram Way”
Not a bad place to spend your birthday! I love the feeling of a worn out map — a sure sign of travel well done. Beautiful shots and happy birthday 🙂
@Beth: Definitely have spent my birthday in some places much worse than Paris 🙂 Even with all the technology today, I still love paper maps and notebooks. Kudos for the photos goes to Dan 🙂
Ah, Paris, I can’t get enough of you 🙂
I visited the expo “C’Ã©taient des enfants” last August. What a pitty it was closed the day of your visit. It is a very, very touching and personal exhibition, with a focus on “La rafle du Vel d’Hiv”, when 13.152 Jewish Parisians (of whom 4.115 children) were arrested.
There is also a catalogue, but I don’t know if you can buy it online.
Other quarters I like in Paris:
– 13Ã¨me arrondissement: Chinatown – especially for Chinese New Year/Vietnamese TÃªt and delicious banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich)
– 4Ã¨me arrondissement:
* Jewish Quarter around Rue des Rosiers
* Rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie
* Small streets around St.Merri Church
– 12Ã¨me arrondissement: Cour Saint-Emilion next to Parc de Bercy
– 1Ã¨re arrondissement: Ets. Julien Arouze (featured in Disney’s Ratatouille)
– 9Ã¨me arrondissement: the beautifull OpÃ©ra Garnier
And so much more…
And a good thing to know when in Paris: free wifi in the public parcs, town halls, musea,..
I used to live near Parc Butte Chamont and loved the Asian markets.
I usually have to stop at Aux Amis du Beaujolais (Rue Artois, 8eme) and Brassierie Isle Saint Louis (behind Notre Dame) for a great bistrot lunch and wine.
I miss the world’s best “moveable feast”.
Looks like the quintessential weekend in Paris – beautiful! Love the pic of the Saint Etienne church at night.
Solid captures. Paris is a photogenic city.
Such beautiful photos!! You guys really have a great eye, is all I can say (I am jealous). 🙂
What a beautiful ancient city. I like the photos. Thanks for sharing.
I had to chuckle when you said you stumbled upon St. Etienne-du-Mont after walking around lost after dinner – those are the steps where Owen Wilson gets lost and ends up being picked up in Midnight in Paris 🙂 Looks like you had a lovely birthday weekend in Paris — sorry we couldn’t meet up. Next time!
I was already really looking forward to our own Parisian adventure starting on the 18th! But your (Dan’s) photos make me want to go NOW! Thanks for the fix… And thanks to Suan for the information on free Wi-Fi. Good to know.
These pictures are stunning…and tempting me to make a jaunt over to Paris before life in Prague gets too busy! I adore your blog, and the moments you capture are exceptional. 🙂
Wow, not only did the iPhone take great photos, the composition was right on! Great pictures of a reat city.
These photos were taken with Instagram…really?!? I’m fully loving them. I wonder who the thumbs in my family is, because it definitely isn’t me – I wasn’t blessed with the Instagram gene, although my bf is pretty good at snapping pics on his smartphone.
@Suan: Thank you all the really great Paris suggestions, particularly since they are not on all the Paris Top 10 lists.
Thanks also for the report on the Vel d’Hiv exhibit. I’m really sorry we missed it. I’d just read Sarah’s Key (a novel about the subject) and we were really interested to find the exhibit.
We had no idea about the free wifi in Paris. Great to know!
@Michael: Thanks for the suggestions. A Paris bistrot for lunch sounds like a requirement for any visit to the city.
Moveable feastâ€¦love that fitting phrase.
@Callie: Glad you liked it. St. Etienne was a nice unexpected evening surprise.
@Kurt: Thanks. It is indeed one of the easier cities to shoot.
@Edna: Ha! We’d seen that film, but didn’t make the connection. Figures we’d follow in the footsteps of Owen Wilson in Paris.
Next time, absolutely!
@Kathie: Glad this thread was helpful. Looking forward to hearing about your Paris adventures when you return from your trip.
@nicole: Ah Prague. We lived there for five yearsâ€¦Paris always served as a great getaway, a change of pace.
@Tom: Yes, all these photos are Instagram-only with the iPhone. Glad you enjoyed them!
@Gene: For me, the instagram square is a compositional aid. A lot of fun.
Dan has an eye in photography. I do like the framing of every photos. Has he had a lesson in basic photography?
You have really piqued my interest in instagram, may have to give it a go. Your pictures are beautifully composed and the colors so vibrant. Happy Birthday!
Love these photos! I’m longing to be back in Paris now. So many magical places…I don’t think I could pick one favorite. Thanks for this fantastic photo summary!!
Well it was after heaving read “Sarah’s Key” too, that I wanted to know more about what happened at the Rafle du Vel d’Hiv. It’s in that book that I read about the Rue des Rosiers where you still find the Jewish quarter.
I read that you are living in Berlin. While being on a citytrip there a few years ago, I was very very touched by what is to be found in the sidewalk at the height of Neue SchÃ¶nhauser Strasse 15. If you are in the neighboorhoud, you can maybe have a look…
Beautiful photos! Very impressive that they were taken with instagram. It looks like you had a wonderful birthday weekend! (And I hope that rumor about not lighting the Eiffel Tower at night isn’t true!)
@Michael: He does have a great eye, doesn’t he? Dan took a basic photography class in San Francisco many years ago and he also took an art photography class in Prague before we left. Then, all the experience on the road certainly helps.
@Locavorista: Instagram is a lot of fun, not only for the photos produced but also for the community. We’ve gotten great recommendations from locals when we’ve posted pics in their hometown.
@Suan: Thanks for letting us know about Neue SchÃ¶nhauser Strasse 15 – we will definitely check it out. We really like the “stumbling blocks” in Berlin that show the names of the people who used to live in a building and what happened to them during/after World War II. Thanks for sharing!
@cosmoHallitan: Instagram is a fun tool, and with a good Smartphone camera the photos can be really great…especially with Dan’s eye 🙂
Gorgeous photos that bring back happy memories of my last weekend in Paris (I can almost smell that cheese!)
I’m glad there’s no smell-o-vision for that stinky cheese! =P
@Kathryn: Glad these pics brought back good memories! That cheese does have a rather special smell, doesn’t it? Easy for it to come back to mind 🙂
@Gerard: Really? The smellier the better when it comes to French cheeses!
Gorgeous pics 🙂 I’m going there for the first time this New Year and can’t wait!!
@Jane: We spent New Year’s in Paris many years ago – such a fun place to be to celebrate! Have a wonderful trip!
Fabulous photos…The shot of Notre Dame reminded me of the predawn morning I awaited sunrise over the Cathedral’s spire. Unfortunately, once passersby began raising their umbrellas, I had to add that to my bucket list.
@Elizabeth: Thank you. Yes, Notre Dame is one of those sights that gets a lot of press, but once you are there, you begin to understand why.
I wonder what you did to get the photos looking so good. I don’t have an instagram account so I guess you pumped up the contrast at least. Excellent composition.
@Lucien: Thanks! No major tweaks to the photos, but I did use the contrast feature from time to time.
Lovely weekend and great photos! The facade at the Institut du Monde Arabe looks stunning. Paris is such a magical city! I can’t wait to visit it again.
Thanks, Milena. Paris’ Institut du Monde Arabe was a recommendation from a friend. Not on the average itinerary for Paris. Beautiful structure and also impressive view from the top. Next time you visit Paris!
wow did you take all of those pictures in one weekend? and wow can you actually eat that cheese.
i was a tour guide in paris for a few years and many of these were on my rout however i dont know what the country garden house is. i will have to check it out!
Yes, just a three-day weekend in Paris. And yes, I could eat all that cheese, if given enough time.
I’m curious Megan, when you were a tour guide, what were the most unusual or atypical Paris locations you showed your clients?
It looks like a great birthday weekend in Paris! Happy to see that you combined some Paris’ main sights with off the beaten path areas like Belleville! Memorable strolls and a cool hotel in Paris to start / end your Parisian explorations is always a perfect combination. Well done!
Thanks, Elisa. Paris is definitely a city to be strolled, and also explored for new (at least to us) and different neighborhoods. Cities like Paris are always changing, too. So each time we return, the city has evolved some more, and certain neighborhoods take on a different texture.