Issa Rae offers the only Paris itinerary you’ll ever need

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

Issa Ray's trip program in Paris

by: Gene Smith

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

The City of Light has been selected as one of the Trending Destinations for 2023 by Amex, along with Copenhagen, Istanbul, and Lisbon among others.

Incorporating lesser-known local fare and avoiding the high-traffic areas of the city, Ray’s itinerary is the perfect blend of luxury and relaxation. Ray, whose wedding took place in France in the summer of 2021, has a base of friends and family in Paris and also speaks the language. She shares her best restaurants, activities, and unmissable attractions in this comprehensive selection of the world’s most romantic cities.

See: going on vacation is stressful enough not to make it a burden on your bank account, either

Day 1: Check-in and connection

Every unforgettable trip begins with a hotel visit. Two high-end stays stand out on the list. A centenary venue with newly renovated accommodations, the historic Hotel de Crillion is an opulent choice that balances vintage and vibe. Meanwhile, the attractive Bvlgari Hôtel Paris crystallized next to the famous Champs-Elysées and Avenue Montaigne, reflecting the elevated accommodations that accompany the highlights of the moment, such as the spa and nearby attractions.

After that, come a lazy afternoon enjoying gourmet food and the famous luxury shopping on Main Street. Recommended restaurants include Inavoié, a modern tapas restaurant that is equal parts contemporary and laid-back, and the traditional ‘omakase’ haven at Michelin-starred Le Restaurant OKUDA. Don’t forget the delicious dessert – get a macaron at Ritz Paris le Comptoir or a one-of-a-kind crepe at La Crêperie.

Literally and strictly, Paris is never old-fashioned. To stock up on designer clothes and see the latest in fashion, head to The High Ticket 7th and Avenue Montaigne. A stacked list of stores awaits you, with world-famous brands such as Jimmy Choo, Versace, Balenciaga and more.

Jules Verne is the last item of the day. There’s nothing cliche about enjoying the view from the world’s most famous building, accompanied by modern furnishings and thoughtful dishes that elevate any occasion. For a less obvious dining experience, Frenchie’s has all the trimmings of an upscale “Blanche” experience in a rustic setting, featuring dilapidated style decor in a cozy space.

Day 2: Find out everything

A busy schedule of activities awaits you on the second day. Start with a stroll through the city’s historic districts like the Latin Quarter and Palais de Tokyo, with an optional stop at the city’s iconic museums like the Musée l’Orangerie.

Lunch is Margús Bistro with a seafood menu. Spanish-inspired dishes are served in fresh interiors with mint green walls and delicate tile floors, and are just a few steps away 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 places are unanimously adored by citizens and visitors. Afterwards, comes a lively schedule to navigate from afternoon cocktails among the laid-back decor of Josephine’s Bar, selection of hand-crafted Marine Montagut porcelain dinnerware for a practical souvenir and ending the evening with a French-Sardinian fusion meal.

The third day: an aesthetic love affair

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

Spend the morning exploring the cuisine at its roots, with France’s most popular food group: cheese. Sweetened cheese Experts educate future pioneers from the comfort of a centuries-old cellar, where samples are tasted and enjoyed for educational purposes. Once inspired, head to the Marche de Enfants Rouge to follow an international tasting of food for some more sustenance. If the day calls for a world-class view, climb up to Brasserie George above the Center Georges Pompidou for panoramic splendor and gourmet fusion cuisine.

Art presents itself in a variety of venues, none as iconic as The Marais, a neighborhood of contemporary art where the creative flavor of Paris comes out to play. Wander through galleries that range from romantic to modern before embarking on a long walking tour of St. Ouen Flea Market. In the “world’s largest flea market” you will see a mixture of trinkets backed by a deep history and traditions preserved through the tradesmen and their craftsmanship.

centered on charm

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


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