Last week as a part of my OuiPlease Instagram takeover I shared my idea of a perfect day on the Left Bank. This day was shopping-centric and I included a mini Rue du Bac guide with some of my favorite shops and what to buy. I wanted to focus on this part of Paris because I think it’s a great area to consider staying in whether at a hotel or in an apartment to get a taste of real life in Paris.
OuiPlease is a French luxury subscription box that works with unique brands to deliver a taste of France directly to your home. I was thrilled when they asked me to do an Instagram takeover as I love sharing bits of my life in Paris and I know their customers are all Francophiles.
A Perfect Day on the Left Bank…Starts on the Right Bank
My favorite way to start the day is with a walk or a run in the morning to get some fresh air and clear my head. Mornings are generally pretty calm in Paris so I try to take advantage of that and use it for a little “me time.”
I change my route every so often, but right now I love running in the Tuileries. The leaves are just starting to change and fall but the flower beds still feel very much like summer. I really love the views of Paris from the elevated sections along the perimeter. After this little mini outing on the Right Bank I generally spend my days on the other side of the river.
Rue du Bac Guide
Rue du Bac is one of my favorite streets in Paris because it has everything – great cafés, excellent food shops, flowers, and of course shopping. If you’re renting an apartment in Paris for a visit this is a great area to consider. This list is by no means exhaustive, but includes the places I mentioned during my takeover.
Le Saint Germain
Le Saint Germain is one of my favorite cafés to go for a coffee or a drink on the terrasse. On the weekends it’s also a go-to for a coffee and croissant au bar!
Le Saint Germain 62 Rue du Bac
Just down the street from Le Saint Germain is Le Gévaudan, another great typically Parisian café. It’s warm and friendly with great music and great coffee.
Le Gévaudan 67 Rue du Bac
Boucherie du Bac
Boucherie du Bac is my local butcher. They’ve won numerous awards and have really high quality products. They also sell pre-made sides, wines, and amazing chips – perfect for putting together a picnic or apéro!
82 Rue du Bac
Poissonnerie du Bac
If you’re looking for fish in the area, Poissonnerie du Bac is the place to go. They have a really nice and wide selection of fish and it’s always fresh. You can also stop by and place your order to pick up later which can come in handy!
Poissonnerie du Bac 69 Rue du Bac
Olivier de Sercey
For anything paper on the Left Bank you need to check out Olivier de Sercey. Every time I need a card for a birthday, the holidays, or a special occasion I go here. I really think their cards are pretty enough to be framed. It’s also a great place to order stationary or business cards.
Olivier de Sercey 96 Rue du Bac
Aoyama Flower Market
I’m always tempted by the mini arrangements that Aoyama Flower Market displays. They change seasonally and are so gorgeous. Plus, they’re easy to carry so it’s really easy to justify.
Aoyama Flower Market 96 Rue du Bac
Café Varenne is a great neighborhood standby café where the food is always good and the service is always friendly. It’s a place that I find myself returning to often.
Café Varenne 36 Rue de Varenne
The chocolates at Jacques Genin aren’t just delicious, but they’re also pretty and make great gifts. They’re packaged in metal boxes – perfect for travel and super chic!
Jacques Genin 27 Rue de Varenne
Sometimes (most of the time) it’s hard for me to find the perfect guy gift. Magna Carta always has something whether it’s a cool accessory, printed poster, or something for a bar. The also have things for women!
Magna Carta 101 Rue du Bac
Le Bac à Glaces
In between all of the shopping sometimes you just need a break. Le Bac à Glaces has homemade ice creams and sorbets as well as crêpes. Just walk buy and smell the incredible aroma and I’m pretty sure you’ll want to stop.
Le Bac à Glaces 109 Rue du Bac
Le Bon Marché and La Grande Epicerie
No Rue du Bac guide would be complete without a trip to Le Bon Marché and La Grande Epicerie. These are two of my favorite stores in Paris. Le Bon Marché has the coolest brands and the best selection of products from skincare to clothes, shoes, and more. La Grande Epicerie is absolute food heaven and a great spot to buy gifts to bring home.
An Afternoon Walk on the Left Bank
After a big morning of shopping on Rue du Bac I’m either going back to Café Varenne for lunch or picking up something from La Grande Epicerie to eat on a bench in a park. Afterwards I think an afternoon walk along the Seine is the perfect plan. Start near Pont des Arts where you can browse the selection of treasures at Les Bouquinistes.
It’s about time for another coffee – two favorite spots to stop are either at La Palette (43 Rue de Seine) or Le Bonaparte (42 Rue Bonaparte). I could spend the rest of the afternoon at either spot just people-watching.
The Perfect Left Bank Evening
The only way to finish off the perfect day on the Left Bank is with the perfect evening. For me, that means Le Voltaire for a margarita or any of their delicious cocktails on the terrasse overlooking the Louvre. The food is great – no matter what I order I always get a side of frites – they’re the best in Paris.
Restaurant Le Voltaire 27 Quai Voltaire
I wanted to show as many spots as possible, so on this particular evening dinner was just down the street at Le Bistrot de Paris. It’s a wonderful classic Paris bistrot with great service and food. You have to save room for the profiteroles at dessert!
Le Bistrot de Paris 33 Rue de Lille
I hope my perfect day on the Left Bank will be helpful for an upcoming trip to Paris. If you need any additional bespoke travel planning help or suggestions, feel free to contact me!