The 7 Most Instagrammable Spots in Paris (and Tips & Tricks to Get There)

Mom in Manolos_Paris_Instagrammable SpotsParis! It is everything you imagined and more. The energy you feel in the city is palpable. Although everyone has their opinions about the City of Light, no one can deny it is stars-in-the-eyes beautiful.

I recently took the high speed 3-hour train to Paris from Geneva for a weekend trip by myself. My husband had spent 5 days the week prior at his best friend’s wedding in the U.S. and I needed a short, quick break from our wonderfully spirited red-head. While we still just have one kid at the moment, my husband and I like to volley parenting duties a few times a year so each of us can reclaim some alone time that all introverts crave. We know that will be near impossible if and when we have a second child but why not enjoy it while you can? 

Here are some of my personal favorite places you can’t miss photographing in Paris. OF COURSE there are so many more “instagrammable” spots but for the sake of character limits and our attention spans, let’s start with these 7:

1. Rue Crémieux

Paris street

Major landmarks close by: Gare de Lyon
Head to this spot if: You love color
Best time of day to capture the shot: Mid-morning or early afternoon

Rue Crémieux is a 5 minute walk from Gare de Lyon and has been dubbed the most colorful street in Paris. This was my first stop after my train arrived around 10 a.m. Except for an unfortunate van parked in front of one of the houses, there were very few people around this unassuming street tucked away in the 12th arrondissement. The colorful houses are too cheerful to miss and each house has something unique and special about it. The cobblestones also add to the ambiance.

I highly recommend this spot when it’s sunny out so the colors pop in your shots. These pictures were taken on a cloudy day but it’s clear this street is always photogenic. 

2. Musée d’Orsay 

Mom in Manolos_Musee d'Orsay_Paris

Major landmarks close by: Across the Seine near the Louvre and Jardin des Tuileries
Head to this spot if: You appreciate architecture, love Impressionism and sculpture, and/or want to dine somewhere with Parisian atmosphere
Best time of day to capture the shot: During daylight hours

I am an art museum lover. An art lover, yes, but I also get weak in the knees for architecture and the space that houses art. The Musée d’Orsay (and the Louvre, read further down) is my kind of heaven. With most things touristy, get to the museum early to avoid long lines! I got in line at 9:30 (when they open) and only waited half an hour.

The Clocks

Mom in Manolos_Musee d'Orsay_Paris_Clocks

If you want the quintessential shot of the iconic clocks, head upstairs first, before you peruse the museum. My best tip is to take a picture in front of the clock that’s in the (gorgeous! of course) cafe. The cafe doesn’t open before noon and visitors are hesitant to ask if they can take pictures in front of the clock. Lucky for me, there was a gaggle of teenage girls who were getting their Instagram on. I patiently waited behind them then got a few shots as they headed out. 

The Art

Mom in Manolos_Musee d'Orsay_Paris_Monet

Mom in Manolos_Musee d'Orsay_Paris_Sculpture

Monet, Manet, Rodin. The most famous paintings and sculpture by these artists are all right here. I don’t know why I do it, but I always feel the need to take pictures of the paintings themselves. Almost as if I want to remember that I stood in front of creative genius. These are conveniently located on the same floor as the clocks mentioned above.

Make your way downstairs to the second floor. The first and second floors are nothing but sculpture and in the vast almost airplane hanger feel of the museum, you can get some beautiful shots, including the eye-catching coffered ceiling. 

The Restaurant du Musée d’Orsay 

Mom in Manolos_Musee d'Orsay_Paris_Restaurant

Mom in Manolos_Musee d'Orsay_Paris_Restaurant 2

I’m not embarrassed to admit I gasped when I saw this restaurant. I don’t know why I don’t remember seeing it before because it can’t be easily forgotten. My pictures don’t do it justice but I was kind of happy the restaurant was closed — the colorful chairs were lit up by the sunlight coming in and they were works of art themselves. It’s Paris so of course the menu is pricey but where besides Paris are you going to dine somewhere like this?

3. Angelina Cafe

Mom in Manolos_Angelina Cafe_Paris

Major landmarks close by: Jardin des Tuileries and Palais Royal
Head to this spot if: You are a chocolate lover
Best time of day to capture the shot: Anytime

Angelina might be slightly on the touristy side but wow. I arrived around 11 a.m. and stood in line for about 20 minutes waiting to be seated. The place is packed but you can see why when you step inside and when your food arrives. I ordered their hot chocolate and was not disappointed. It tasted just as amazing as it looked! Beware though, it’s more like fudge than hot chocolate so skip if chocolate isn’t your thing.

Mom in Manolos_Angelina Cafe_Paris_Macarons

There is also a small store at the front that sells beautiful macarons and other pastries that will no doubt cure you of that hangry feeling, if it hasn’t been quelled already. A gorgeous place to eat some beautiful Parisian food. And don’t be self conscious about snapping a few pictures of your meal — there were about four other people doing the same when I took a few.

Mom in Manolos_Angelina Cafe_Paris_Hot Chocolate

4. The Louvre

Mom in Manolos_Louvre_Paris

Major landmarks close by: Jardin des Tuileries
Head to this spot if: You appreciate architecture, love art — all the art, can block off at least 2 hours in your day
Best time of day to capture the shot: During daylight hours

Need I say, well, anything? I understand art museums aren’t appealing to everyone. However, you can’t go to Paris and skip this iconic place. I.M. Pei’s pyramids are masterpieces. 

Mom in Manolos_Louvre_Paris_IM Pei

After taking a few thousand shots of the exterior, DO NOT wait in line by those pyramids. I have a secret to skipping that 2-hour line! Adjacent to the Louvre and underground is a shopping mall called the Carrousel du Louvre. Get past all the shopping (or take a break) and you’ll see a small security line just before the entrance into the museum. I almost jumped up and down after it only took me 10 minutes to get through! 

Before you get your art on, take a moment to grab a croissant or coffee at Paul cafe in the center of the museum. The staircases alone are something to admire and the people watching is epic. 

5. Pont Alexander III

Mom in Manolos_Pont Alexandre_Paris

Major landmarks close by: Between Esplande des Invalides and Grand Palais
Head to this spot if: You’d like to see the Eiffel Tower away from the tourists
Best time of day to capture the shot: Anytime

Is there any bridge in Paris that is unphotogenic? No. However, the Pont Alexander III is one of the more beautiful ones. It is the perfect place on your way back from the Musée d’Orsay to stop and see the Eiffel, far away from throngs of tourists. It’s also a short walk to the Champs Élysées after. 

6. Île Saint-Louis

Mom in Manolos_Ile Saint-Louis_Paris

Major landmarks close by: Notre Dame
Head to this spot if: You like flowers, chocolate and boutiques
Best time of day to capture the shot: Mid-afternoon

Did you know there’s another little island that sits next to Île de la Cité on the Seine? I didn’t! 

Île Saint-Louis is a short walk from Notre Dame. It’s a must if you like colorful doors, flower shops and chocolate. I found all three, and beautiful cafe’s, on my random walk through the island. If you head to the back of Notre Dame and keep walking, you’ll find yourself crossing a small bridge onto this little island. There was accordion music playing on the bridge as I made my way. It was a beautifully French moment!

Mom in Manolos_Ile Saint-Louis_Paris_Doorway

The island is pedestrian-heavy around sunset so I recommend going closer to mid-afternoon. Stop by Chocolat de Neuville for some great macarons and of course, chocolate. Make sure you get a few shots of the intricate doorways, too. Rest your feet at one of the charming and warmly lit cafe’s near the bridge back to Notre Dame. 

7. Jardins des Tuileres

Mom in Manolos_Jardin_Paris

Major landmarks close by: The Louvre
Head to this spot if: You like nature and people watching
Best time of day to capture the shot: Morning and late afternoon

I should’ve titled this one “Gardens. Any garden, anywhere.” Every garden in Paris is perfectly manicured. The trees are lined up, begging you to take their picture and the seating is plentiful, begging you to take a load off and soak up the fact that you are in the center of it all. I was hoping to make it to the Luxembourg Gardens but Jardins des Tuilleres was convenient to where I was staying and to all of my “must’s” for this trip. There are so many photo opps here, too. Grab a cappuccino, walk around and enjoy. 

Mom in Manolos_Jardin_Paris_2

 

I hope you enjoyed these suggestions and are inspired to book your trip! Always eager to hear your favorite spots as well. 

Mom in Manolos, Washington D.C.

Comments

  1. Rue Crémieux is beautiful and its surreal because there are always Instagrammers there 🙂 Rue Thermopyles in the 14th in another beautiful street (mostly for its cobbled road and greenery. thanks for the list of locations.

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