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Emily in Paris – Places to Visit (Season 1)
Unless you’ve been hiding away from everything for the past few months, then you’ll have undoubtedly heard of Emily in Paris, the glitzy and glamorous new show released in early October 2020 on Netflix.
Emily Cooper 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, where she will enjoy new experiences and crazy adventures.
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 was ranked as the most viewed on Netflix for weeks to the point that a second season is coming soon.
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 Light, a city that we all (Parisians under lockdown included) missed 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 our 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.’
READ MORE: Why is Paris always a good idea.
Best Emily in Paris Filming Locations (Season 1)
Where to find Emily’s Paris? Where to find this Parisian vibe featured in the show?
We’ve put together a list of iconic locations where the shooting took place so you can see Paris through Emily’s eyes. Most of the Emily in Paris filming locations are real. Still, many fancy, exclusive sites are only accessible to a select group of people or people working for luxury brands.
In this piece, we will forget the most exclusive places – only accessible to a few of us – and focus on the local side of Paris that Emily enjoys with her friends. Here’s the list of main filming locations in Emily in Paris, places to visit in Paris independently of your budget or connections in the city.
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 it would be GREAT if you could learn some 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. A chamber de bonne is not bigger than a 10m2 room + bathroom where the WC and the shower share the same space. Not very chic for your trip to Paris, right?
Emily and her friend Gabriel live at 1 Place de l’Estrapade, in the Latin Quarter (Paris 5). It is a picturesque Parisian square, with a fountain and a few benches on which to sit.
The Latin Quarter is a pretty, lively area to stay in, with many bars, restaurants, and cinémas d’auteur. Here, you are never far from the Seine River, the Panthéon of Paris, or the Luxembourg Gardens. Check out this list of best hotels in the Latin Quarter for all budgets.
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!
A Perfect Day in Paris
@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 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 hotel in Paris for your morning jogging and try to go early before all the tourists arrive!
@EMILYINPARIS: BUTTER + CHOCOLATE=
At Boulangerie Moderne (rue des fossés Saint-Jacques in Paris 5), 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 chocolate, but every Parisian has his favorite one, usually close to 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 being always very busy at work, Emily always finds the time for a walk along the Seine or for some sightseeing.
To get the full picture of Paris, try to find a good balance between Paris’ top sights and more local activities. If you need some inspiration, here’s a Paris checklist (for first-timers and second visits to Paris), and a longer list of the most iconic things to do in Paris. This list of hidden gems in Paris is also well worth considering.
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.
Here’s the list of best picnic spots in Paris, in addition to the gardens of Palais Royal. 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.
WHEN WORKING IS FUN 💄
In Episode 7 (season 1), the Fourtier party takes place in the fairytale Musée des Arts Forains (Pavillons de Bercy – 53 avenue des Terroirs de France, Paris 12). This fantastic museum dedicated to fairground arts and theater may sound familiar to some of you because it is also featured in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.
For a unique trip to Paris, don’t miss this fascinating museum, great for kids and adults, with carousels and funfair games more than 100 years old! Usually, the museum is open to the general public only during the European Heritage Days and the Christmas holidays (when it hosts the Festival du Merveilleux or Festival of Wonder). However, now it is also possible to book a guided tour out of these events.
Paris at Night
A STARRY NIGHT ⭐️
Just like Emily, Camille, and Gabriel, everybody can enjoy a Starry Night (or a magical night) combining art and new technologies. Here, we are at Atelier des Lumières, and you only need to purchase a ticket to enjoy one of their temporary exhibitions.
Unlike their Starry Night, the Atelier des Lumières usually sees the crowds. 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).
@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 although 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). 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 look at our series of Paris Restaurants by district, where we recommend good restaurants in Paris for all budgets proposing great French food.
Fancy Soirées in Paris
FRENCH APÉRITIFS 🍹
A French apéritif (pre-dinner drinks) is not exclusive of fancy soirées in Paris unless you decide to take it in a fancy place like Café de Flore.
Café de Flore (172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris 6) is the place where Emily meets Thomas. He will tell her the story of this legendary spot, once frequented by famous people like Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, Brigitte Bardot, and Yves Saint-Laurent.
Café de Flore and the neighboring café Les Deux Magots (6 Place Saint-Germain-des-Près) are two iconic cafés in Paris not to be missed for a coffee or an aperitif during your wanderings in the Saint-Germain-des-Près district.
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 incredible 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.
A DRINK WITH A VIEW 🍸
The show pictures many glamourous events in places with magnificent Eiffel Tower views. The party for the release of the Maison Lavaux’s new fragrance was shot at Café de l’Homme (17 place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, Paris 16), a stunning place located inside the Palais Chaillot in Trocadéro.
However, thanks to its monumental size, the Eiffel Tower can be seen from almost every corner of the city, so you don’t need any particular invitation to enjoy a drink with the Eiffel Tower view.
There are many rooftop bars in Paris with incredible views of the Eiffel Tower. Some of these rooftop bars belong to exclusive hotels, but they are also open to non-gests. Click here for the complete list of rooftop bars in Paris for a drink with a view.
It’s the Weekend!
A BOAD RIDE ON THE SEINE 🌊
A boat trip through the Seine River on a sunny day is one of the favorite activities in Paris for visitors. There are different Seine River experiences, from top experiences like in Emily in Paris to hop-on-hop-off boats for the most modest budgets.
>> Illuminations River Cruise – the most touristy
>> Evening Cruise with Dinner – a good option for a night out in Paris
>> The Batobus (hop-on, hop-off boat tour) – the most local (years ago, it was included in the metro card)
>> Private River Cruise with skipper (4pax max) – the most similar to Mathieu and Emily’s experience
All the options come with a glass of champagne except on the Batobus.
MONTMARTRE MON AMOUR 🍷
Montmartre is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods of Paris, and Emily and Mindy 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, the Maison Rose, or Place Dalida. If this is not your first time in Paris, check out our secret map of Montmartre to explore Montmartre beyond the main sights.
Just like Emily and Mindy, you can have some drinks and food at La Maison Rose, but for a much more local experience, we recommend one of these restaurants of Montmartre with good food and a local vibe. And why not end the soirée in the Moulin Rouge, the most famous cabaret in Paris?
@EMILYINPARIS: DRINKING CHAMPAGNE IN CHAMPAGNE 🥂
If you have a couple of spare days in Paris, a day trip or weekend getaway to the Champagne region is 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 take a Champagne day trip from Paris.
You don’t need a French friend with a château to enjoy a weekend getaway to Champagne. Actually, there are many châteaux in the region offering accommodation with a restaurant, and they usually provide on-site activities like champagne tours with tastings.
Amongst the most beautiful chateau-hotels in Champagne, Le Château d’Etoges and Domaine Les Crayères are always the best rated but there are many more – check out the best château-hotels in the Champagne region. You can combine a Champagne road trip with a stay in one of these unique château-hotels.
And there you have it, the best Emily in Paris filming locations, and some tips to get that Paris vibe.