Love or hate the actual series, there is little argument that it offered escape and soulagement (relief) for many Francophiles who were not able to travel. It didn’t take long for Emily in Paris to become one of the most-watched series of 2020, and it took even less time for it to start being compared to the legendary series Sex and the City. In fact, the comparisons started before it even aired, thanks to Darren Star (the creator of SATC) being the show’s creator.
The show follows twentysomething Emily Cooper (played by Lily Collins) as she explores Paris after landing the job of a lifetime and moving from Chicago. Alone, in a strange land, and not quite the fashionista that Carrie Bradshaw was in SATC, it’s still not hard to fall in love (or at least “like” with the character in the storylines all the same.
No, there’s no Samantha, no Miranda, and no Charlotte to back Emily up – though Mindy is great! – but the show definitely has a very [young] Sex in the City vibe to it. Through the first season, Emily definitely finds her style and it’s not hard to imagine [a young] Carrie wearing some of the same looks herself.
Of course, Paris played a big part in Carrie’s life – at least her love life. And it’s not a stretch to assume this city will have a bigger impact on Emily. Carrie may have loved Paris, but she WAS New York City through and through.
We are already starting to see that while Emily is from Chicago, she’s starting to shed that cocoon and embrace all that Paris brings to the table. And with the announcement of a second season, my guess is that will continue.
Emily in Paris Film Locations You Can Visit Yourself!
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1 Place de l’Estrapade
Situated smack dab in the center of the Latin Quarter, right in the heart of Paris itself, this is the address for Emily’s apartment that sits on the fifth floor. Despite the fact that her apartment looks to be about 2-3x times the size of what an actual apartment on the top floor would look like, we do get a great look at the architecture and design of a typically Parisian building in almost every single episode – but we also get peeks of the Pantheon, the Sorbonne, and Le Jardin du Luxembourg, not necessarily realistic, but nice to see.
Just know that this building that houses Emily’s apartment is an existing actual apartment building, so visits to Paris to see this filming location is unlikely to include a sneak peek behind these doors.
Interior shots of Emily’s place are done on a soundstage, anyway – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t snap photos of the iconic building and imagine spending time on the fifth floor yourself!
Location: 1 Place de l’Estrapade, 5th arrondissement
Place de Valois
Emily decides to leave Chicago in the first place for a chance to work at the world-renowned Savoir organization, a legendary French luxury marketing operation (in the television program, anyway). Another beautiful example of Parisian architecture, the offices that Emily visits every day for work – and inevitably runs afoul with Sylvie over and over again – is a must-visit destination for any fan visiting the city.
The Galerie Patrick Fourtin is a real antique shop that visitors can browse, picking up a memento of their visit to this iconic filming location. Visitors can also walk just two blocks and visit the Louvre, a destination that belongs on every Paris itinerary whether you are visiting as a fan of Emily in Paris or not!
Location: Between Rue de Valois and Rue des Bon Enfants (along Passage Vérité) in the 1st arrondissement.
Pont Alexandre III
Paris is legendary for its bridges over the Seine, but none features more prominently in the show than this one! Connecting the Champs-Elysees Quarter of Paris with both the Invalides and the Eiffel Tower, there’s no more ostentatious, over-the-top, or jaw-droppingly beautiful bridge in the entirety of the city.
This is the setting for the perfume commercial filmed by Savoir in the show. If you’re interested in getting the full effect of this bridge it’s not a bad idea to visit just before dark, watching the golden light of the setting sun bounce around the Seine in the bridge – bringing everything to life! (Of course, my favorite time to visit is at sunrise when there are definitely no crowds!)
Expect to spend more time than you think here, taking more pictures than you ever expected. Be sure to stroll across the bridge and soak in every moment, too.
Location: Bridge over the Seine between Quai d’Orsay and Port des Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement.
Jardin du Palais Royal
Like I mentioned earlier, Emily doesn’t have a tight-knit crew the way that Carrie did in Sex and the City – but she does have a brand-new best friend that she meets on the grounds of this 17th-century palace turned cultural center and café hotspot. This is the location where Emily meets Mindy while they are both on their lunch break, both of them (relatively) new to Paris and both of them from different corners of the globe.
Plenty of cafés are located in this part of Paris (essentially the center of the city), so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to grab some coffee and a bit to eat. Including the Grand Vefour where Emily tried to make last-minute dinner reservations (I personally love this spot for lunch).
You’ll also have no trouble finding the Louvre from this filming location, either – it’s located nearby! If your visit to Paris doesn’t have a tremendous amount of time carved out to visit filming locations, do try to combine this one, the Savoir offices, and Emily’s apartment all in one block of time. These three are located so close to one another that you can save time without missing anything important!
Location: 43 Rue de Valois in the 1st arrondissement.
La Maison Rose
Another great place to grab something to eat (and one of the most Instagrammable locations you can visit in person), this restaurant located in the Montmartre, is where Emily and Mindy go for dinner on the show. The green and pink architecture is about as iconic as it gets, world-famous even before Emily in Paris was streamed, and some consider it to be one of the most photographed buildings in the whole city.
That’s saying something considering just how many internationally famous buildings and landmarks Paris calls its own! Expect a bit of a wait if you decide to “pop in” for a bite. If you have the luxury of planning a visit in advance, make sure to put in a reservation, grab a glass of wine, and soak the whole experience in.
Location: 2 Rue de l’Abreuvoir in the 18th arrondissement.
L’Atelier des Lumières
A visit to this art space in Paris gives you the unique opportunity to see Parisian art and life through Emily’s eyes directly. While Emily visits this art space (opened in 2018) with her neighbor Gabriel and his then-girlfriend Camille, you’ll be able to explore it all on your own and see the exact same exhibits they did – works from Renoir, Monet, and so many other famous artists on display right now.
Do call ahead or check out their website, though, as you’ll want to be sure that the exhibits you’re most interested in seeing are still running and haven’t been rotated out.
Location: 38 Rue Saint-Maur in the 11th arrondissement.
Café de Flore
One of the coolest things about this show is that it doesn’t beat you over the head with the touristy parts of Paris the way that others might, instead of showing you the “real Paris” that Emily herself would have been immersed in, too.
There is one touristy spot in the 6th arrondissement that gets a lot of attention on the show, though, and that’s the world-famous café – a hotspot that Hemingway and other legendary writers, thinkers, and artists frequented in their heyday. This is the location where Emily meets Thomas (sparking a short-lived romance), and while it is a little bit overcrowded because it is so well known you’ll still want to pop in for some pictures – and espresso – if you have the time.
Location: 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain in the 6th arrondissement.
Though Emily gets a lot of comparisons to Carrie Bradshaw, the actress that plays her – Lily Collins – in certain scenes, she is the spitting image of Aubrey Hepburn. In one episode, Emily visits this world-renowned opera house for a production of Swan Lake in a custom design created for Lily Collins that makes her look like a mirror image of screen-legend Hepburn.
The building is incredibly ornate, looks the same way it did when it was built in the 1800s, and is filled top to bottom with the history of Paris opera house for sure. If you’re a big theater buff you might know it as the setting for The Phantom of the Opera. Tickets to shows can be hard to get (no surprise there) but you can visit on the first Sunday of every month for free!
Location: Place de l’Opéra in the 9th arrondissement.
Monnaie de Paris
In the show, this location is used to host a fashion week for a Parisian designer, but in real life, this is home to the Paris Mint and a museum. This building has housed the minting operation for all French coinage since the 800s (yes, you read that correctly) and is another of the most frequently photographed buildings in the city.
You don’t get quite as much of the architecture of this building on the show as it deserves. But you have plenty of time to soak that in when you visit during your trip to these filming locations in Paris.
Location: 11 Quai de Conti in the 6th arrondissement.
A constant in the backdrop of the show, and starring big-time in Episode Two during a very important moment in Emily’s new life in Paris, visitors to the city would have to be a little bit crazy to leave a trip to the Pantheon off their itinerary. Big, bold, and swimming in French history, this building is impossible to miss and offers a 360-degree view of the city from the roof/cupola. Expect large crowds if you go (try to be there when they open), though you should still be able to get some great photos with just a little bit of patience.
Location: Place du Panthéon in the 5th arrondissement.
Illustration commissioned from Linden Eller.
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