Authentic Aimer: The Only Paris Itinerary You’ll Ever Need

By: Jen Smith Actor, comedian and producer Issa Rae has teamed up with American Express Travel to create the perfect

Issa Rae Paris itinerary

By: Jen Smith

Actor, comedian and producer Issa Rae has teamed up with American Express Travel to create the perfect three-day itinerary for her favorite city: Paris, France.

The City of Light was named one of the 2023 Trending Destinations by Amex, alongside Copenhagen, Istanbul, Lisbon and others.

Rae’s itinerary is the perfect blend of luxury and laid-back, incorporating lesser-known local delights and avoiding higher-traffic areas of the city. Rae, who had her wedding in France in summer 2021, has a home base of friends and family in Paris and also speaks the language. She shares her top eateries, activities and can’t-miss sights in this comprehensive lineup of the world’s most romantic city. 


Day 1: Check In and Connect

Every unforgettable trip starts with a hotel visit. Two upscale stays stand out on the list. The historic Hotel de Crillion, a centennial fixture with newly-renovated accommodations, is an affluent choice balancing vintage and vivacious. Meanwhile, the crystalline allure of Bvlgari Hôtel Paris is nestled adjacent to the famed Champs-Élysées and Avenue Montaigne, to reflect the elevated accommodations that accompany the of-the-moment features, such as the spa and nearby attractions.

Next comes a leisurely afternoon of noshing on gourmet fare and famous luxe high-street shopping. Recommended restaurants include Inavoié, a trendy tapas joint that is equal parts contemporary and comfortable, and a traditional “omakase” escape at Michelin-starred Japanese spot Le Restaurant OKUDA. Don’t forget the sweet treat — grab a macaron at Ritz Paris le Comptoir or a unique savory crepe at La Crêperie.

Artisan and austere, Paris is never out of style. To stock up on designer garb and witness the cutting edge of fashion, head to The High Ticket 7th and Avenue Montaigne. A stacked roster of stores awaits, with world-recognized brands like Jimmy Choo, Versace, Balenciaga and beyond.

Jules Verne is the last item for the day. There’s nothing cliché about enjoying the view from the most famous building in the world, accompanied by modern furnishings and thoughtful dishes that elevate any occasion. For a less conspicuous dining experience, Frenchie has all of the trimmings of a high-end “carte blanche” experience in a  rustic setting, featuring styled dilapidated decor in a cozy space.

Day 2: Explore Everything

A jam-packed schedule of activities awaits on day two. Start with a stroll through historic city regions like the Latin Quarter and Palais de Tokyo, with optional stops in the city’s signature museums like Musée l’Orangerie. 

Lunch is the bespoke Margús bistro with its seafood-forward menu. Spanish-inspired dishes are served in a breezy interior with mint-green walls and delicate tile flooring, located just a few steps from Les Halles, one of the original food markets.

Take part in the classic slow pace of a Parisian afternoon at Jardin de Luxembourg. These well-known grounds are unanimously adored by citizens and visitors. Afterwards comes a lively schedule of hopping from afternoon cocktails among the serene patina of Bar Joséphine, selecting handmade porcelain dinnerware from Marin Montagut for a practical souvenir and finishing the evening with a French-Sardinian fusion meal 

Day 3: An Aesthetic Love Affair

The third and final day focuses on falling in love with more succulent sights and romantic flavors of Paris. 

Spend the morning exploring cuisine at its roots, with the most popular food group in France: cheese. Local fromage experts educate future mongers from the comfort of a centuries-old cellar, where samples are tasted and enjoyed for educational purposes. Once inspired, head to Marche de Enfants Rouge to pursue an international palate of food stands for further sustenance. If the day demands a world-class view, ascend to Brasserie Georges atop the Georges Pompidou Center to take in panoramic splendor and gourmet fusion cuisine.

Art presents itself in a variety of settings, none so iconic as The Marais, a contemporary art neighborhood where the creative flavor of Paris comes out to play. Wander through galleries spanning romantic to modern before embarking on a lengthy walking tour of the St. Ouen Flea Market. At the “world’s largest flea market” you’ll witness a hodgepodge of trinkets backed by deep history and a tradition preserved through the merchants and their crafts.

Centered in Charm

If this is the first time you’re hearing these names, thank Issa Rae for her in-depth, intimate connection with Paris and its ever-evolving offerings. This three-day itinerary caters to first-time visitors, seasoned Parisian travelers and everyone in between.