Group Getaway Guide: Spending a Lazy Day in Paris with Friends
It starts innocently enough. A few screenshots, a few Pinterest boards, a couple of texts sent back and forth between friends - then suddenly wham! You have over a hundred notes on where to go and what to do for your upcoming trip...
by Cortnie Fausner

It starts innocently enough. A few screenshots, a few Pinterest boards, a couple of texts sent back and forth between friends - then suddenly wham! You have over a hundred notes on where to go and what to do for your upcoming trip to Paris with friends. We suggest taking the less is more approach, at least for one day. 

Our team's Venue Reporter, Alessandra Brontsema, recently visited the "City of Light." As someone who works in the event industry, she understands that group travel can get complicated. One trick of the trade to make a vacation with friends easier is to ease up on the plans (it can be tempting to fill your itinerary with a ton of activities in a bustling city like Paris). For a more relaxed and fun travel experience with your group, it's best to explore within the confines of a smaller area and visit spots that are less crowded. To help you make the most of your group adventure, we have created a casual one-day itinerary for you and your pals to leisurely explore the lamp-lit streets of Paris, while enjoying delicious food, drinks and each other's company. This guide is centered within the borders of the 7th and 8th arrondissements and is perfect for those who want to enjoy the city at their own pace. It does not cover popular tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre museum, or the Arc de Triomphe. Instead, you will find a laid-back approach, focusing on lesser-known spots, allowing plenty of time to relish the journey.

When traveling with a group, it can become overwhelming as you try to satisfy a multitude of opinons and tastes, but in a city like Paris, there are options galore for everyone. It's almost like a choose-your-own-adventure kind of day, where each person can choose what they want to do. 


Pictured Above: Carette Cafe 


Breakfast or Bust   

First things first, breakfast or bust. To kick off your laid-back day in Paris, you should wake your group up early. Head out around 7 am when the streets are quiet, as locals tend to venture out after lunch. Arrive at your first stop, cafe Carette, close to the 7:30 am opening time to avoid waiting in line. This is the only spot on the itinerary that does not take reservations, so it will require your group to have a little extra pep in their step. Make sure to head to the (4 Pl. du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016 Paris, France) location, as it is the closest to your next lunch stop, Bambini. Thanks to TikTok, the century-old pastry shop has become quite popular, but it's still less busy than the super-famous Café de Flore and Café aux Deux Magots.  Arriving bright and early also means that you will have extra time to enjoy a nice little convo with your crew over coffee, their famous hot chocolate with whipped cream, and handmade macarons while soaking up classic Parisian decor. Don't worry about the rest of the day, you can plan ahead and make reservations for restaurants, museum entrances, and river tours to make it as easy-breezy as possible.  



Now that you've fueled up on chocolate, croissants, and caffeine it's time to get your steps in. This is the part of the day where you can divide and conquer for a few hours before lunch. If some members of your group are interested in history, art, or fashion, you'll find less crowded museums scattered throughout the area that cater to every taste. We suggest purchasing tickets for museum tours in advance to avoid any hassle.

  • For the antique lovers: Guimet Museum6 Pl. d'Iéna, 75116 Paris, France; Hours 10am-6pm, closed Tuesday 
  • For the art lovers: The Museum of Modern Art Paris11 Av. du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France; Hours 10am-6pm, closed Monday
  • For the Yves Saint Laurent lovers: Musée Yves Saint Laurent5 Av. Marceau, 75116 Paris, France;  Hours 11am-6pm, closed Monday. 
  • For the photography and historical fashion lovers: Palais Galliera10 Av. Pierre 1er de Serbie, 75116 Paris, France; Hours 10am-6pm, closed Monday


If you have members in your group who prefer to take a break and enjoy the sights of Paris,  Square du Palais-Galliera at 10 Av. Pierre 1er de Serbie, is a great little spot located on the grounds of the Palais Galliera Museum. This lovely park near the breathtaking Beaux-arts building is the ideal place for peace and quiet to relax. The palace is surrounded by stunning grounds adorned with fountains and benches, making it an ideal place for people-watching.  



A View-tiful Place for Photos Before Lunch 

After exploring the museums, reunite with your group for some fun photos on your way to Bambini Paris for a late lunch. Avenue de Camoens is a hidden gem that offers spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower in the background. This charming cobbled street is less crowded compared to other popular spots, which means you can take great group photos without any other tourists in the frame.

Reserve a table at Bambini Paris for up to six people online. If your group is larger than six, contact them directly ( and they will set up a larger table for you. 


Photography: Bambini Paris + Alessandra Brontsema 


So Many Booths, So Good for Groups

"Not only is Bambini Paris a delicious italian eatery, but it’s also designed to the nines with some of the most fun patterns and textures we’ve ever seen! They describe their vibe as “theatrical polychromatic decor”. We'll let our photos speak for themselves. Located in Palais De Tokyo in Paris, Bambini is a place of heart warming, homely italian cuisine with a family friendly menu featuring Mediterranean favorites. 

Inside is decorated with giant hanging fringe chandeliers, high and low tables with shapes and curves, perfect for sharing with a group. Outside, when the weather is warm, they have an incredible La Terrazza, shielded under fabric parasols and seating with Parisian summer prints, perfect for an italian aperitivo with a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. 

A few of our menu favorites: arrancini, crispy on the outside and all gooey with stringy cheese on the inside. The Polpette, also known as Italian meatballs are the perfect plate for sharing before diving into the pastas and pizzas. The menu is chock-full of homemade pastas galore- our favorite is the carbonara, but how can you go wrong with homemade pasta? Or why not both pasta and a pizza or two? Don’t forget to end the meal with their giant Italian tiramisu, the most delectable dessert that must be shared with a group. 

Bambini Paris is the ideal spot for evenings with friends, family brunches or lunch with a side of business." - Venue Reporter, Alessandra Brontsema 


Photo 1: Tim Wildsmith  


Life Advice: Go on a Picnic with Friends

After two meals, it's time to continue the food crawl with a walking and talking expedition. Burn off some calories as you load your picnic basket up with even more. We're not ones to generalize, but everybody loves a picnic. They are usually a crowd pleaser because they require minimal planning and everyone can stick to their own budget. The city of Paris gets particularly busy as the day progresses, so by opting to picnic instead of dining in a restaurant you will have a more relaxed, crowd-free evening. Your mission? Hit the cute cobblestone market streets of Rue Cler to work off your lunch. Assign each person in your group to grab two food items and one drink to share.

Rue Cler is a well-known market street located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. The street is dotted with cafés, butchers, delicatessens, cheese specialists, chocolate shops, and boulangeries, making it a perfect destination to gather all the necessities for a picturesque picnic on the nearby Seine River. 

Opening Hours: Weekdays, all day Saturday and Sunday mornings. Many of the stores are closed on Mondays. 

Notable Picnic-Friendly Places on Rue Cler: 

  • A La Mere de Famille - this sweet little shop sells chocolate in all shapes, sizes and flavors. Their claim to fame is that they are the first chocolatier in Paris, established in 1761! Upon entering your nostrils will be filled with the most delightful smell to rival Willy Wonka. Inside Tip: They often give out free samples.
  • Charcuterie Jeusselin - discover French specialties including prepared casseroles, award-winning sausages. 
  • Famille Mary - Miel et Nature  - a natural store, specializing in honeys, specialty breads made with honey and fabulous regional specialties. 
  • Le Repaire de Bacchus  - this wine shop does a fantastic job of recommending pairing varietals with food. 
  • Boucheries - Roger Billebault  - a high quality gourmet  butcher store.  
  • Halles Bosquet  - one of the largest fruit and vegetable stands on Rue Cler. The competition among the fruit and vegetable merchants means prices are fairly competitive. Inside Tip: Always shop for the produce specials. 
  • Cantin - this speciality cheese store is set on one of the smaller streets off Rue Cler. There are many other fantastic stores that are in the area. 



Top image:  Svetlana Kuznetsova  / Bottom Image: Alessandra Brontsema


Sunset on the Seine + Late Night Sightseeing

Your taste buds are tingling for a glass of rosé. Now that you've packed your picnic basket with the best that Rue Cler has to offer, it's time to break out the baguettes. The best setting for an Eiffel Tower-filled picnic is at Avenue de New York, where you will head down the stairs to the Seine river bank to secure your spot. 

Pro Tip: If you and your group still have a burst of energy you can opt for nighttime sightseeing. Book a reservation for an evening Seine River cruise or visit the popular Museums in Paris. After dark, the crowds at the more well-known museums and attractions gradually decrease. During this time, called "nocturnes," museums stay open late, and according to Paris tour guides, these are the periods when crowds are most manageable. Some museums with nocturnes are Louvre (Fridays until 9:45 p.m.),  Musée d'Orsay (Thursdays until 9:45 p.m.), and Musée Rodin (Thursdays to Saturdays in summer until 9:30 p.m.), all of which close later than usual. 


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