Paris is always magic and our recent trip was no exception.  Like a creature of habit, I hit some of my all-time favorite restaurants and shops, and because the weather was irresistible, I hopped on a boat and viewed the city from the Seine.

DO

Nothing like the EIFFEL TOWER at night!  I’ve seen it a hundred times and visited the top for the views, but seeing that sparkle on the top of the hour always gets me. http://www.eiffel-tower.com/

Take a boat tour along the Seine and get on and off to see the sites.  Better than a taxi and more beautiful than the Metro. . .

Paris feels so much more accessible when discovered on a bike.  You can easily get to know the city and feel like a local by renting from any of the bike kiosks stationed around the city.

LOUVRE.  Mona Lisa.  Do I need to say more? http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home.jsp?bmLocale=en

STAY

The COSTES K is a longtime favorite.  Boasting some of the bigger rooms in Paris with clean white walls and sheets to match, I love a swim in their indoor pool to cure jet lag, and you can’t beat the view of the Eiffel Tour from your room.  Alas, they are undergoing a major renovation this fall so I’m not sure what the future will bring, but be sure I’ll have to find out! http://www.hotelcostes.com/

I stumbled upon HOTEL VILLA MADAME while walking through Saint Germaine des Pres. Unbeatable location and looks fabulous. http://www.hotelvillamadameparis.com

EAT

Ok, so L’ENTRECOTE DE VENISE now has an American outpost.  It hasn’t made this classic spot for steak frites any less desirable, and it’s still worth the lines to get in.  Steak. Frites. There is no menu; that is all they offer, with a small green salad to start.  I prefer lunch, and I prefer the Malbeuf location.  Oh, and don’t forget the profiteroles for dessert.  Yummy with a capital Y. http://www.relaisentrecote.fr/uk/index.html

Joel Robuchon’s L’ATELIER is an extravagant treat that’s hard to beat.  Try going for lunch and sitting at the bar.  Start with champagne and ask the staff to recommend their favorites.  A truly perfect dining experience. http://www.joel-robuchon.net/

VOLTAIRE is another favorite for a classic Parisian dining experience.  Be sure to have the deviled egg and ask to sit in the dining room.  Definitely look glamorous and keep an eye out for Sarkozy and his bride.

SHOP

I have to buy macaroons from LADUREE for everyone at home.  These pastel treats are so delish and the box (costs more!) is gorgeous.  And I hear they have recently found the perfect spot to open their first United States shop on Madison Avenue, so maybe you won’t have to travel as far as France to find them. http://www.laduree.fr/

BARBARA BUI is my Paris staple.  I swear I could just pop in and order off the mannequin in the window.  Head to toe, I love her designs and find them a refreshing departure from the expected.  On this trip I splurged and bought the most stunning pair of stilettos.  Sexy, classic, and the best part….no one back home will have them! http://www.barbarabui.fr

COLETTE is like shopping an art installation.  A perfectly edited collection of the season’s best along with great music and gift ideas.  Go there for inspiration. http://www.colette.fr

Stroll through the Palais Royal gardens and stop into CORTO MOLTEDO for a cassette laptop clutch, and into PIERRE HARDY for shoes as art. http://www.corto.com/   http://www.pierrehardy.com/

Can’t get enough Paris?  Check out my Destination Paris collection on ThisNext: http://bit.ly/dFOTCf  As an added bonus, I’m also sharing some packing tips with you!