A Backdrop Guide Through 'Emily In Paris'

A Backdrop Guide Through 'Emily In Paris'

Erioluwadamiloju Shodayo

Emily Cooper (played by Lily Collins) has to move to Paris for work. Because the appointment is mostly impromptu, she touches down in France still filled with American sentiments. Counting the ground floor as the first floor is the least inappropriate — and even illegal — thing she does by accident during the first few months of her stay, but at least it introduces her to Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), arguably her biggest love interest throughout the show.

If you’ve watched the show, you’d know that. But I bet you didn't know Emily’s building (where she makes her first mistake and many others) is a tourist attraction in Paris. In fact, a number of scenes in the movie are shot in Paris hotspots. So, for an Emily In Paris style visit to Paris, here are 10 Backdrops you can spot in the Netflix show:

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1. Place de l’Estrapade

The building Emily lives in is the site of more notable entanglements besides the one with the hot chef. Throughout the show, there’s a jumble of emotions in the building, ranging anywhere from amusement to second-hand embarrassment. Even the lovely fountain in front of the building gets to shine in some episodes, like the one about Emily’s birthday. This place and the restaurant Gabriel works in — Les Deux Compères (now Chez Laveaux) — are all in a wonderful square called Place De l’Estrapade.

Place de I'Estrapade on Backdrop

Place De l’Estrapade is an age-old beauty in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Having no elevators or air conditioning, Emily (almost snidely) dubs her place of residence “ancient” a few times. The resentment is understandable when you register the fact that those circumstances make up her everyday life — and probably will continue to for at least a year. As a visitor, though, it’s easier to appreciate the antiquity of the location. Gabriel might not be a chef off the show, but you can still eat at the restaurant. Chez Laveux is, in real life, an Italian Bistro named Terra Nera. You can still get delicious food here, even if it probably doesn't have a handsome chef staying down the street.

2. The Panthéon

Place De l’Estrapade has a rather grisly long history of use, which is surprising compared to the apparent serenity it maintains on the show. Until the 17th century, it was the torture site of prisoners. One block away from that square, though, is a location of greater (and frankly, less disturbing) fame. The Panthéon is, just like Place De l’Estrapade, a place of great history. But it also has good history — at least to the best of common knowledge.

Panthéon on Backdrop

In season one, Emily gets dumped by her it-feels-like-you-abandoned-me-in-America boyfriend (well, ex). The phone call happens while she’s walking, and she has to stop in her tracks to process what just happened. This is shot in front of the monument. The scene, methinks, is Emily’s first display of stretched unhappiness. The Panthéon is in Place du Panthéon (Panthéon Square), where you’ll also find The Bombardier, a British pub in episode seven of season two. At this pub, Emily grabs a ‘traveler’ drink with Alfie (Lucien Laviscount) and this helps her get a hang of being friends with him. I think she also does better in French class because of the drink? Or Alfie? The ‘traveler’ drink is actually just beer, but it does seem like the Latin Quarter is a great place to generally become a better student of whatever you want in life.

3. Musée du Louvre

Only two blocks away from Musée du Louvre is Savoir, the marketing agency Emily works at. Sometimes, during her morning runs, Emily passes Jardin des Tuileries, a beautiful garden next to this backdrop too. It’s also referenced a few times, one of which is a client proposing that they put a bed in the location for marketing purposes.

Musée du Louvre on Backdrop

The Louvre is the world’s most visited museum, home to the Mona Lisa and other timeless art. A visit here is an incredible experience, yes. But you’re also just a short walk away from two significant spots in Emily’s life — her work and occasional resting spot.

4. L'Ateliers des Lumières

Gabriel is going on a date with his alluring girlfriend, Camille (Camille Razat) when Emily runs into them. They almost beg her to tag along on their date — which I assume is part of the show's advocacy for its concept of French ‘polyamory’. They visit the Van Gogh exhibition at L’Atelier des Lumieres. The night involves some vulnerability from Emily and, to be honest, some fuckboy vibes from Gabriel. (Thank god he’s French, no?). I wonder if the cheating-is-totally-normal-in-paris ideal is a factor or a consequence of their need to remind you that the stars of the show are only humans — in Paris.

L’Atelier des Lumières on Backdrop

L’Atelier des Lumières is a center of digital art, with a name that’s French for The Workshop of Lights. Created by Culturespaces in 2028, it’s the location of digital exhibitions that provide immersive experiences of classic pieces.

5. La Maison Rosé

In the same episode we see L’Ateliers des Lumières, Emily gets even more vulnerable. She grabs dinner with her friend at La Maison Rosé to sulk about the consequences of her whimsical actions. Mindy Chen (Ashley Park) is, in my opinion, more flamboyant than Emily is, but somehow classier. It’s delightful to see her become one of the closest friends Emily makes in Paris, not just because I like her in the show but also because she’s important. For example, Mindy has been in Paris for longer, so it makes sense that most of the recommendations for when they go out are hers; therefore, this cute pink restaurant was probably her idea. I’m obviously kidding. (Or not. Maybe I’m a Sinophile. Maybe I’m just gay. Maybe she’s perfect.) Anyway, Mindy’s also a great friend and we see this in how she eulogises Emily’s Instagram account which has to be deleted. She’s also a noteworthy performer (on stage and on the streets of Paris).

La Maison Rosé on Backdrop

La Maison Rosé is famed among lovers of Parisian backdrops as an Instagram-worthy pink building on the corner of Paris’s most photogenic street. This street, named Rue de l’Abreuvoir, is also the location of Savoir’s marketing campaign for Hästen’s Luxury Beds. Yes, the ones that wanted to use the Louvre. Hence, this backdrop puts you in two scenes with one visit.

6. Palais Garnier

We only see Thomas (Julien Floreancig) in one episode, and he is, like many other pretentiously charming people, a little bit of un bite. Emily realises this when he gets a little bitchy about Swan Lake AT the Opéra Garnier, the venue of their date. She ditches him and instead spends her night there speaking with Pierre Cadault (Jean-Christophe Bouvet). With the right company — and an American level of commitment to work — Gossip Girl is a great topic of discussion, even when your boss’ fuck buddy is trying to flirt with you in one of the main box seats of such an iconic place.

Opéra Garnier on Backdrop

The Palais Garnier is an opera house with almost 2000 seats. It’s so magnificent, even the cast and crew of the show took a tour of the basement of this filming location. Here, they saw the glass-covered floors right above a reservoir of swimming fish. Beneath the monumental opera house is a water tank, the home of the legendary Phantom of The Opera and the swimming fish they saw. In more ways than one, this backdrop is magnificent, mostly for the eyes and ears.

7. La Monnaie de Paris

The Grey Space/Pierre Cadault fashion show is held in the interior courtyard of Monnaie De Paris. The exterior of the building is seen in other episodes throughout the show, but we never get a look further than that courtyard.

La Monnaie de paris on Backdrop

Since the show doesn't take us inside the French Mint, it’s exciting to find out that a museum, some exhibitions and a restaurant with a three Michelin star chef — Guy Savoy — are all in that building. And it's open to most people with a wallet. One backdrop, three different options.

8. Père Lachaise Cemetery

While she’s still very American at the end of the latest season, Emily is certainly adapting to French culture. One of the biggest lessons she’s learning is the fact that in Paris, she's not a slave to capitalism — even if she's only there because of her job. A harbinger of many parts of Emily’s transformation (especially the don't-go-and-kill-yourself gospel) is Luc (Bruno Gouery). He is punchable but light-hearted, and he brings Emily to Père Lachaise Cemetery on her birthday. It went great, actually. Existential, but great!

Père Lachaise Cemetery on Backdrop

Père Lachaise Cemetery is the resting place of cultural icons like Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde, Frédéric Chopin and Honoré de Balzac who's specific grave Luc took Emily. A total of 110 acres, it’s the biggest cemetery and park in the city.

9. Place des Vosges

Mindy’s first kiss with Benoît, her bandmate and new love interest in the show, happens at Place des Vosges. It makes me unsure whether or not she’ll be getting more screen time. You never really know with these writers. However, I hope so and maybe for some steamy scenes of her and her hot-enough-to-be-gay lover.

Place des Vosges on Backdrop

Place des Vosges is Paris’ oldest planned square. Originally called Place Royale, strolling under its incredible arches has become a popular activity for its visitors. You can also spend some time on the grass like Mindy and Benoît. Maybe your daydreams will come alive too.

10. La Samaritaine

It’s safe to say this backdrop was a bit of a star in the show. La Samaritaine pops up in quite a few scenes during the show. In one scene, Emily goes shopping here, luxury style. All those flights of stairs makes me believe she now understands how to count the floors in a building in Paris.

La Samaritaine on Backdrop

The French department store called La Samaritaine is recognised as a great travel destination for those looking to be mesmerised by its incredible architecture. It was closed for 16 years, and the Netflix crew filmed its revival.