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Emily in Paris
Unless you’ve been hiding away from everything for the past few weeks then you’ll have undoubtedly heard of Emily in Paris, the glitzy and glamorous new show released in early October 2020 on Netflix.
Emily is a young woman who lives in Chicago and works as a marketing executive in a very important company. When this company is merged with a French luxury agency, Emily receives an offer to lead the social media strategy from Paris. Without hesitation, Emily moves to Paris, a place where she will enjoy new experiences and crazy romances.
The French press (but not only) was not kind to Emily in Paris and the show was roundly criticized, qualifying it as ‘Embarrassing’, with ‘Plenty to feel insulted about’. The show’s ‘proud cultural ignorance’ was a little too much and for many weeks Emily in Paris was mocked and dismissed for perpetuating stereotypes of the French, giving an unrealistic image of Paris, and its absurdist plotlines.
Despite all the critics and memes, this unconventional romantic comedy starring Lily Collins has been so appealing to viewers that it has been ranked as the most viewed on Netflix for weeks to the point that the producers have just announced a second season.
What’s the secret behind Emily in Paris’ success? What did people like about the show? We decided to ask the question in our Facebook Group and the answer was unanimous: PARIS.
During these ‘stay at home, no travel’ times, Emily in Paris was a wonderful reminder of the City of Lights, a city that we all (Parisians under lockdown included) miss every day, and a way to allow us to escape the reality of 2020, as only Paris can. These are some of the comments posted on the Facebook Group:
GINGER: ‘The scenery! The vibe of the city.’
ROSIE: ‘I live in Paris and this show doesn’t represent Paris at all…! But the places are all real, it truly is a beautiful city…’
CANDIE: ‘I was lucky enough to spend several days in Paris last summer .. loved the show to see the sights- the clothes were fun and the characters were a blast! I know this is not the real Paris – it is a rom-com – but ready to binge again!’
JUDITH: ‘The settings, and that glorious bitch who headed the Paris agency.’
ELLIE: ‘Remembering Paris when I was there.’
Where to Find Emily’s Paris
Where to find Emily’s Paris? Where to find this Parisian vibe featured in the show? Most of the places featured in Emily in Paris are real but there are many fancy, exclusive places only accessible to a very select group of people or to people working for luxury brands. For the majority of locals in Paris, a dinner at Le Grand Véfour, a cocktail at Plaza Athénée, or a Paris Fashion Week event do not represent the ‘real Paris’.
In this piece, we are going to tell you where to experience Emily’s Paris, the local side of Paris that Emily also enjoys with her friends, and accessible for everyone visiting Paris — independently of their budget or connections in the city. Here’s the list.
First Things First
@EMILYINPARIS: A LITTLE BONJOUR GOES A LONG WAY!
If you are planning your first trip to Paris, it is a good thing to read about the city and the French before landing in France. Once you arrive in the city you will feel more comfortable and it will avoid many faux pas.
And oh ah! It would be GREAT if you can learn a few French words like bonjour, excusez-moi, or merci. Like @emilyinparis says, A little ‘Bonjour’ goes a long way!
@EMILYINPARIS: ROOM WITH A VIEW 🤩
Many of Paris’ grandest buildings hide a secret. Called Chambres de Bonne— maids’ rooms — these tiny bedsits initially intended for domestics are generally found on the top floor, under the roof, and only accessible by a staircase (sometimes a separate ‘service staircase’).
So Emily’s 50m2 chambre de bonne does not exist in Paris, it is more a 10m2 room + bathroom where the WC and the shower share the same space. Not very chic for your trip to Paris, right?
Just like Emily, we recommend renting a furnished apartment in Paris for a more local experience but look for something better than a (real) chambre de bonne instead.
Emily’s apartment is located at Place de l’Estrapade, near the Panthéon and the Sorbonne in the Latin Quarter (Paris 5). The Latin Quarter is a pretty, lively area to stay in, with many cozy furnished apartments to rent.
Click here to find your apartment in the Latin Quarter of Paris
For an ultimate Parisian experience, raise your accommodation budget a bit and rent an apartment with Eiffel Tower view. Because there is nothing like an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower to say you’re in Paris…
TIP: From traveling from the airport to your apartment in Paris, pre-book the services of Welcome Pickups, a reliable and top-rated transport service. This will avoid the unwanted Paris sightseeing tour courtesy of the taxi driver and the bill that comes with it!
Paris During the Day
@EMILYINPARIS: CHISELED ABS 💪
If you are eating your weight in delicious Paris food or yummy Parisian cakes (who can blame you?), it is a good idea to start your days with a bit of exercise. Parisians like to be fit and in a good shape and activities like jogging in the park, or biking are very popular in Paris.
Emily likes to jog in the Luxembourg Gardens, or along the banks of the Seine River, near her apartment in the Latin Quarter. Just like her, find the closest park to your apartment in Paris for your morning jogging and try to go early before all the tourists arrive!
@EMILYINPARIS: BUTTER + CHOCOLATE=
It was at Boulangerie Moderne (rue des fossés Saint-Jacques in Paris 5) that Emily experienced her first culinary orgasm in Paris. The truth is that there are many good boulangeries in Paris proposing delicious croissants and pains au chocolat but every Parisian has his favorite one, usually close to his home.
Do like the Parisians and spend one morning exploring the boulangeries near your apartment for the best pain au chocolat or Parisian baguette and then adopt it forever!
@EMILYINPARIS: J’AIME BEAUCOUP 🤩
Despite she is always very busy at work, Emily always finds the time for a walk along the Seine or for some sightseeing.
Just like Emily, it is good to find a good balance between Paris’ top sights and more local activities, especially if you are visiting Paris for the first time. If you need some inspiration, here’s a list of Paris things to tick off your Travel Bucket List and a longer list with the most iconic things to do in Paris.
If you prefer strolling around the city rather than visiting monuments and museums, here’s the list of best views of Paris, perfect for fun selfies alone or with your best friends.
‘How about you do you, and I’ll do me?’
A PICNIC IN THE PARK 🌷
At lunchtime, when the weather is good, many locals like to swap the office’s cantine or nearby restaurants for a quick picnic out in the fresh air in one of the parks of Paris.
Some people like to bring food from home but you can also buy a sandwich or a quick eat in one of the boulangeries of Paris like Emily does.
Check out the list of favorite quick, cheap eats in Paris, easy to find anywhere, and choose your favorite park or square in Paris for a picnic in the sun.
MONTMARTRE MON AMOUR 🍷
Montmartre is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods of Paris and Emily and Mindy definitely know how to get the most out of it, day and night.
Take this self-guided Walking Tour of Montmartre to learn about the history (and legends) of the top sights like the Sacré Coeur, Maison Rose, Place Dalida, or check out our Secret Map of Montmartre if you prefer to explore beyond the main sights.
Of course, you can have some drinks and food at La Maison Rose as Emily and Mindy did but for a much more local experience, we recommend one of these top restaurants of Montmartre with good food and a local vibe.
A BOAD RIDE ON THE SEINE 🌊
Honestly, I don’t know anybody who sails along the Seine on his private boat when he has a problem and needs a fresh perspective (I am not saying that they don’t exist though..) but a boat ride on the Seine during your trip to Paris is possible and highly recommended.
There are different Seine River experiences and it mostly depends on your budget.
>> Seine River cruise, with or without meal – the most touristy
>> The Batobus (hop on, hop off boat tour) – the most local
>> Private River Cruise with skipper (4pax max) – the most similar to Mathieu and Emily’s experience
All the options come with champagne except the Batobus.
A STARRY NIGHT ⭐️
Everybody can enjoy a Starry Night (or a magical night) combining art and new technologies like Emily, Camille and Gabriel did. Here, we are at Atelier des Lumières and you just need to purchase a ticket to enjoy one of their temporary exhibitions.
Unlike their Starry Night, the Atelier des Lumières is usually more crowded so for a more relaxing experience, we recommend visiting on weekdays and at lunchtime (the time slots between 1 pm to 2.30 pm are the less crowded).
Paris at Night
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA 🎵
Having a private box at the Opéra de Garnier like Pierre Cadault is not for all the pockets but anyone can enjoy a night at the opera at Palais Garnier as Emily did.
Even if it’s in this soirée at the Opéra when Emily realizes that the man she is dating is too snob, this does not mean that she cannot enjoy this awesome show offered to her gaze: the Palais Garnier in all its magnificence.
Usually, Opéra de Garnier performs classic ballets. If this is not your cup of tea, you can always enjoy Palais Garnier’s magnificent architecture with a guided tour or a self-guided tour with an audio guide.
@EMILYINPARIS: BON APPÉTIT 🥩
‘It’s Paris, everyone’s serious about dinner.’ – Mindy
Food is a serious thing in Paris and locals love meeting for dinner to enjoy good food in good company.
Parisian bistros are popular places to enjoy local food in Paris and despite we like to try new places, we always have a favorite bistro in the neighborhood where we like to go from time to time. Just like Emily!
Les Deux Compères, Gabriel’s bistro where Emily likes to bring her friends, is a real place named Ristorante Terra Nera (18 Rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques, Paris 5) and it usually works as an Italian restaurant.
For a more local culinary experience, we recommend reading our piece about the Parisian Bistros – what is it, what to eat, and where to find the best bistros in Paris – so you can also find your favorite bistro in Paris.
You can also have a look at our series of Paris Restaurants by district, where we recommend good restaurants in Paris for all budgets proposing great French food.
A DRINK WITH A VIEW 🍸
The show pictures many glamourous events in places with magnificent Eiffel Tower views. Thanks to its monumental size, however, the Eiffel Tower can be seen from almost every corner of the city so you don’t need any special invitation to enjoy a drink with Eiffel Tower view.
There are many rooftop bars in Paris with awesome views of the Eiffel Tower. Some of these rooftop bars belong to exclusive hotels but they are open also to non-gests. Click here for the full list of rooftop bars in Paris, for an apéritif with a view.
It’s the Weekend!
@EMILYINPARIS: DRINKING CHAMPAGNE IN CHAMPAGNE 🥂
You don’t need a French friend with a château to enjoy a weekend getaway to Champagne, actually a weekend in the region of Champagne is very easy to organize!
If you only have time for a day trip, check out this post with all the ways – guided and self-guided – to do a Champagne day trip from Paris.
If you can spend the whole weekend in Champagne, there are many Champagne domaines that also propose accommodation with restaurant and they usually provide on-site activities like champagne tours with tastings.
Amongst the most beautiful chateau-hotels in Champagne, Le Château d’Etoge and Domaine Les Crayères are always the best rated but there are many more.
And there you have it, where to find Emily’s Paris, the Paris for everybody, and some tips to get that Paris vibe