Like most Millennial-Gen Z cuspers on the internet, I no longer go to Google first when I need to find information — I go to TikTok. So when the opportunity to take a spontaneous girls’ trip to Paris with one of my best friends presented itself earlier this year, it was only natural for me to tap on that little multicolored music note icon and turn TikTok into my virtual travel agent.
When I say this trip was inspired by TikTok, I don’t just mean I used the app to research hotels, restaurants, and neighborhoods. TikTok is actually the reason we went to Paris in the first place. It happened one night as I was scrolling the app (as one does), saw a relatable video, and sent it to my friend Sarah (also as one does). The video in question showed a group of women hanging out on vacation, with the caption reading in part, “When the trip actually makes it out of the group chat.” Considering Sarah and I had been daydreaming about taking a girls’ trip for months, I thought it was a cute reminder for us to start actually planning a trip of our own — although probably to a much more NYC-accessible destination like the Hamptons or upstate instead of a glamorous international city.
Her response? “What if we just… went to Paris?” A week later, we booked our flights.
With about a month to plan and three days to fill with eating, shopping, and gallivanting around the City of Light, I knew TikTok would provide the content we needed to ensure we’d do Paris right. We’d both been to the city before, so we opted to skip a bunch of the standard attractions — the Louvre, Moulin Rouge, and everything else you’d find on a standard “Top 10 Things To Do In Paris” list. Instead, we scoured foodies’ feeds for the most exciting restaurants, travel influencers’ posts for the most picturesque locales, and Parisians’ “day in my life” vlogs to see what the locals were loving. What resulted was an itinerary with our ideal mix of culture, adventure, and leisure. I couldn’t have dreamt of a better vacation — and I had TikTok all (fine, mostly) to thank.
If you’re considering a girls’ trip to Paris, here’s your complete guide to a TikTok-perfect Paris trip, broken down by where to stay, shop, shoot great pics, and eat.
Where to Stay in Paris: The Chouchou Hotel
After coming across a TikTok singing the praises of the Chouchou Hotel, we knew we had to book it. Situated in the Opera district, the stunning four-star boutique hotel is blocks away from the Palais Garnier and walking distance to the luxury shopping mecca Galeries Lafayette. For three nights, our stay in a room with a king bed came to roughly $1,500, which we split, to pay about $750 per person.
It was worth every penny. In addition to the chic and colorful decor and spotlessly clean guest room, the staff were welcoming and helpful at every step, even offering complimentary coffee drinks delivered to our room whenever we called down for it. The hotel is attached to Bar Guignette, a bright and airy space where you can grab breakfast in the daylight hours or enjoy a lively social scene in the evenings, when DJs and live musicians grace the space’s stage. My only regret is not having time to grab a meal at the hotel’s Food Market or take a dip in one of Chouchou’s three private baths.
Where to Shop in Paris: Galeries Lafayette
What’s a girls’ trip to Paris without at least a little shopping? Like I mentioned, our hotel was a 10-minute walk to Galeries Lafayette, which is basically a giant designer department store housed in a seven-story, domed art deco building that’s worth a visit even for non-shoppers. We started here on our first day as a way to beat the jet lag after a red-eye from New York.
As a couple of designer-loving girlies who built our 10-year friendship on enabling each other’s guilty pleasures, we of course had to hit up a few of the famed designer shops. We visited the multi-level Hermès location in Saint Germain and two Saint Laurents near the Louvre — the latter of which had a chic café with Saint Laurent branding on the cups, which, yes, TikTok told us about.
We also stopped by a couple vintage shops selling pre-loved luxury (and sometimes super rare) items, including Les Trois Marches de Catherine B, a tiny, standing-room-only boutique with an astonishing collection of Chanel and Hermès; and the appointment-only Collector Square, where you request the items you want to see in advance and a dedicated associate brings them out for you to view.
Tip: If you’re paying by credit card anywhere in Paris, you should be given the option to pay in Euros or the U.S. Dollar — to avoid extra transaction fees, always opt for the local currency. Also, if you’re spending over $100 in one store, ask them for a VAT tax form so you can get a refund on some of the taxes you’re paying; just be sure to follow the proper protocol so you can get that money!
Where to Shoot Pics in Paris: The LV Dream Exhibit
Listen, we went to Paris for the culture, not the content. However, when you’re in a city as beautiful as this one, it’s impossible not to snag stunning pics and vids, even if you’re not really trying to.
We started with the LV Dream exhibit, a free showcase of both historical and modern works from famed French fashion house Louis Vuitton. We strolled through nine rooms of immersive installations before ending up in the gift shop and a deliciously luxurious chocolate shop and café.
Shoot: The Eiffel Tower
Next up was the most touristy stop on our must-visit list, the Eiffel Tower. While we didn’t go into the tower this time (been there, done that), we did stage a little amateur photo shoot, even working up the courage to ask multiple people to take our photo together until we got a shot we loved.
Shoot: The Veuve Clicquot House
To find another place that could rival the Eiffel Tower in picturesqueness, we actually had to travel outside of the city. It’s less than a hour on the train to the famed Champagne region, where we spent an afternoon at the Veuve Clicquot house. We opted for the $160 “Art of Aging” tour, which included a walk through the caves to see the aging process and a tasting of four iconic vintages — the 2015, the 2012 rosé, the 2002, and the 1989 — paired with scrumptious French cheeses.
Where to Eat in Paris
There’s not a world in which I would go to Paris and not have a transcendent dining experience. Our game plan was to make dinner reservations well in advance, but leave breakfast and lunch mostly open so we could have some flexibility in our schedules and hopefully stumble upon some gems (spoiler: we did). Here were our favorites from the trip:
Pink Mamma ($$)
One of the most TikTok-famous restaurants in Paris that truly earned its reputation, this spot in the hip Montmartre neighborhood did not disappoint with its four stories of colorful, eclectic decor and delicious, homemade Italian dishes. I know, I know: Italian food in Paris? Trust me, take just one bite of the truffle tagliatelle and you’ll see why it’s worth it.
Brasserie Lipp ($$$)
This was our first dinner of the trip, and it certainly did not disappoint. The Saint Germain eatery was extremely French, with lots of locals and no-nonsense waiters slinging classic French dishes such as escargots, beef tartare, and pavé de bœuf grillé.
Clover Grill ($$$$)
Meat-eaters, this one’s for you. After a long day of exploring, we loved cozying up at a little table in this elegant dining room and ordering a juicy steak to share alongside a platter of briny langoustines.
Les Deux Magots ($$)
For our final official meal in Paris, we lucked out with no wait time and got a prime outdoor spot at the TikTok-beloved Les Deux Magots in Saint Germain. As we watched chic Parisians out and about, we enjoyed fresh-baked croissants and creamy French omelettes.
Tip: While most restaurant staff will understand English, try learning some common French phrases to get you by in a restaurant setting. Not only is it considered polite and attempts to speak the native language are often appreciated, but also, if you’re going to a less touristy spot, English might not be the norm, so you may need to be able to order in French. Amusez-vous bien!