“Emily in Paris” Filming Locations: A Tour of Places from the Hit Netflix Show
March 3, 2023
Emily in Paris debuted on Netflix in the lockdown year of 2020, when viewers were more than ready to follow the escapist tale of American in Paris Emily Cooper (Lily Collins, pictured above) having fizzy adventures in the City of Light.
As the series has continued its run, countless fans have felt compelled to turn the vicarious into a real-world experience, flocking to France to carry out a Parisian pilgrimage to the places featured onscreen. While it would take a Hollywood-sized fashion budget and very strong ankles to re-create Emily's entire Paris sojourn during one vacation, most of the show's telegenic filming locations—minus an ultra-exclusive restaurant or three—are accessible to real people trying to keep an eye on their euros.
Even if you aren’t a fan, following in Emily’s high-heeled footsteps will take you to some of the city’s most iconic sights—and some lesser-known wonders, too.
Any Emily in Paris pilgrimage has to start at No. 1 place de l’Estrapade. This is where our heroine lives in a chambre de bonne, the name for what used to be maid’s quarters about a century ago. Emily's place appears to be a good deal larger than most of the broom closet–sized rooms that were designed for domestic staff and today are often repurposed as low-budget rentals for college students.
While you can’t enter Emily's apartment building, you can enjoy the tranquil beauty of the plaza, a leafy, wedge-shaped square that was unfortunately named for a form of torture inflicted on prisoners here until the 17th century. Benches beckon and a fountain trickles. Sit down and admire the classic gold lettering on the storefront of the Boulangerie Moderne, where Emily makes an attempt in mangled French to buy a pain au chocolat in the first episode of the series.
Just next to the bakery is another important Emily in Paris site: Terra Nera, an Italian eatery that masquerades as Les Deux Compères, the restaurant where Emily’s downstairs neighbor and love interest, Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), is chef. Terra Nera has existed for over 40 years, but is currently enjoying new-found success thanks to Netflix.
On the other side of the square sits Café de la Nouvelle Mairie, a favorite hangout for Emily and pal Mindy (Ashley Park). One of the café's sidewalk tables is the ideal place to enjoy a perfectly Parisian demitasse of dark, strong coffee. The establishment is also known for its wines and charcuterie.
Not far from place de l’Estrapade stands the Panthéon, the giant erstwhile church that now serves as a mausoleum for people deemed pivotal to the history of France. It is considered the highest honor to be interred here. The remains of the American-born singer, dancer, activist, and French Resistance fighter Josephine Baker were transferred to the celebrated crypt in 2021.
In the first season of Emily in Paris, the domed, colonnaded building serves as backdrop for another momentous episode in history: Emily’s telephone breakup with her boyfriend back in Chicago.
Continue down rue Soufflot and you’ll end up at the splendid Jardin du Luxembourg, where Emily does her morning run in the second episode. Marie de' Medici, Queen of France between 1600 and 1610 and a noted fashionista in her own right, couldn't take living in the Louvre after her husband Henri IV was assassinated, so she decided to create a Florentine-inspired palace and gardens of her own. The result is the Luxembourg Palace, now the home of the French Senate, and these glamorous gardens. Be sure to stroll by the romantic Medici Fountain and look out for statues of notable women such as George Sand and Anne de Bretagne.
The Palais-Royal is another Emily hub, with several episodes set in the gardens of this rectangular palace. Built in the 17th century to house royalty, the palace was reconfigured in the 18th century by cash-strapped King Louis-Philippe d'Orléans, who had the bright idea of renting out the lower level to gambling dens and cafés. This created the ideal environment for revolutionaries, who gathered here to hatch their own plans for reconfiguring the French government. On the show, Emily and Mindy take videos of themselves dancing around a 1980s-era art installation, the striped Buren Columns.
In another episode, Mindy belts "La Vie en rose" among the flowers and fountains of the Palais-Royal's famed gardens. The Palais is also the home of Le Grand Véfour, one of the oldest, and, until recently, most expensive restaurants in Paris. Colette, Victor Hugo, and even Napoleon dined here—and now so can you. Making up for pandemic losses, the restaurant has lowered prices considerably. Emily brings her colleagues to dine here, only to find she accidentally reserved for a different month.
From the Palais-Royal gardens, pass under an archway to place de Valois, the hidden square where Emily’s fictional workplace, Savoir, is located. The chic Bistrot Valois, where Emily and her colleagues get together for meals and drinks, is also in this square. Though it’s a little pricey, the food is pas mal (or not bad, which in France means good).
Channeling Audrey Hepburn in an hourglass-shaped black dress, Emily attends a performance at the Palais Garnier, the sumptuous 19th-century opera house and home of the Paris Opera Ballet. Her snobby date snubs Swan Lake, but you know better. If you don’t buy tickets for a performance ahead of your trip, and you are under 28 or over 65, check the special deals for same-day tickets. If you don’t have the time or inclination to attend a performance, you can still visit the fabulous lobby and other areas on a tour (either self-guided or with a guide).
Emily and her pals also frequent the hilltop neighborhood of Montmartre, where she engineers a publicity campaign for a mattress company that involves placing a bed in place Dalida. The tranquil square was named after a much-loved French singer-actress who tragically committed suicide in her nearby house on rue d'Orchampt. A bronze bust of Dalida presides over the square. People rub the chest for good luck, which accounts for the shininess of the bust's bust.
Place Dalida lies at the bottom of rue de l'Abreuvoir, about the most picture-perfect street in the city with its view of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica. In the show's fifth episode, Emily and Mindy eat at historic La Maison Rose at the top of the hill, which they later drunkenly stumble down after a wild night.
As the series progresses, Emily ventures a bit farther from the city center. In season two, her colleague Luc (Bruno Gouery) invites her for a picnic lunch at the gravesite of Honoré de Balzac in the Père Lachaise Cemetery. The 19th-century novelist is in good company: Composer Frédéric Chopin, playwright Oscar Wilde, writer Gertrude Stein, dancer Isadora Duncan, and rock icon Jim Morrison are among the hundreds of notables buried in the lush, parklike cemetery, which cascades down the side of a hill shaded by huge trees and filled with monuments, statues, and tiny tomb-sized chapels.
In another part of northeasterly Paris, Emily has yet another picnic, this time with British beau Alfie (Lucien Laviscount), at the Parc des Buttes Chaumont in the third episode of season three. What was once a gypsum quarry was transformed in the 19th century into a romantic wonderland complete with a grotto, waterfall, and island topped with a Greek temple. There are plenty of sloping lawns where you can set up a picnic of your own.
It’s a 15-minute walk from Buttes Chaumont to the Parc de la Villette, a vast stretch of greenery on the northeastern edge of the city. The site encompasses performance spaces, restaurants, and a museum or two. In the seventh episode of season three, Emily and her friends watch a film at the open-air cinema here (screenings take place in summer only) and wander around the Grande Halle de la Villette, a concert venue.
Follow the canal that runs through the Parc de la Villette southward and you’ll eventually end up along the Canal Saint-Martin, a recurring background for Emily in Paris, especially when the title character is snapping Instagram photos. The result of a 19th-century plan to improve access to drinking water, the tree-lined canal has a series of arched pedestrian bridges that make it easy to duck into the cafés and restaurants on either side. Clubs, concert venues, and quirky boutiques can be found in the nearby streets—an ideal area for a lazy afternoon or a late-night pub crawl.
The first episode of season three provides a unique take on the ultimate Parisian icon, the Eiffel Tower. No long lines and overcrowded elevators in this episode. Emily visits the tower at night, when the throngs thin out and the city looks even more elegant from above, dressed in black and sequins. Naturally, being a figment of our collective imaginations, Emily has a business dinner at Le Jules Verne, the award-winning restaurant on the tower’s second floor. If you (and your wallet) are up for a real splurge, be sure to reserve a table months in advance for a meal you won't forget.
Not all of Emily’s adventures unfold in Paris. Just as Louis XIV moved his entire court to Versailles in the 17th century, Emily in Paris relocates to the Sun King's royal residence for a wild fashion show staged in the palace's spectacular Hall of Mirrors (pictured above) during the season two finale. Huge crystal chandeliers, fantastic ceiling murals, and 357 mirrored panels decorate this immense gallery, which measures some 240 feet long. Designed to impress when built in 1684, the hall continues to knock 'em dead today. Fashion shows are not the norm, but other earth-shaking events have taken place here, in particular the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I.
In the second season, Emily flits around the French Riviera, making stops in Saint-Tropez (pictured above), Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and Villefranche-sur-Mer. In the third, she makes her way to Provence, traipsing through the lavender fields of the Luberon and sampling gourmet delicacies in Gordes. Sounds to us like a good excuse to venture beyond the capital and explore other regions of France on your next visit. Go ahead and follow Emily in Paris out of Paris.