Dreaming of Paris? Here are the best books set in Paris that will take you there!
Even if you can’t physically travel to Paris right now, these captivating and atmospheric books will transport you to the City of Light right from your own living room.
Paris has always been a special place for me. It was the first international trip I ever took when I was five years old, and I later went back several times in high school. Then in college, I spent a semester abroad in Paris living in the heart of the Left Bank in Saint-Germain-des-PrÃ©s.
No matter how much time I spent in Paris, it never gets old. There’s always something new and wonderful to discover around every cobblestoned corner. I never get tired of catching a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night, or strolling along the Seine.
If you are looking for the best books set in Paris that will satisfy your wanderlust, look no further! Below you’ll find a list of the best books set in Paris, spanning various genres.
For books that take place outside of Paris, I have a separate list of the best books set in France.
Here are the best books set in Paris that will have you falling in love with the City of Love:
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Best Books Set in Paris
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
Monsieur Perdu can prescribe the perfect book for a broken heart. But can he fix his own? This charming novel follows the owner of a floating bookshop on the Seine.
He says “A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books”.
Enjoy even more books set in bookshops.
The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
Inspired by true events, this historical fiction novel follows the lives of brave women who worked as couriers and radio operators for the Resistance in Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Translated by Alison Anderson
In an elegant hotel Particulier in Paris, Renée is the building’s shrewd concierge who hides her true self from the world. Similarly, a suicidal twelve-year-old girl living in the building masks her own genius and secretly schemes to end her life on her thirteenth birthday.
The two characters are pulled together and develop an unlikely friendship in this engaging novel.
P.S. From Paris by Marc Levy
Translated by Sam Taylor
In this novel by an acclaimed French author, a famous actress hiding out in Paris encounters a struggling writer and the two of them fall in love in the City of Light.
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
If you are looking for a historical fiction novel set in 1920s Paris, The Paris Wife is one you should pick up next.
Told from the perspective of Ernest Hemingway’s wife Hadley, this story deals with ambition, betrayal, and the volatility of Paris during the Jazz Age.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Young adult readers will love this romance novel about an American teenager who is sent to boarding school in Paris. Reluctant about her new surroundings at first, she soon finds herself making new friends and falling for one of her classmates in the City of Love.
This book has quickly become a classic young adult romance that’s popular with teens and adults alike.
Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod
In this memoir set in Paris, the author shares her story of saving up, quitting her exhausting job, and moving to Paris for two years. There, she unexpectedly falls in love and has to find a way to make her life in Paris work so she can pursue true love and happiness.
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
This fast-paced thriller is partially set in Paris. World-renowned Harvard researcher Robert Langdon is sent to Paris to investigate a strange killing at the Louvre where a number of mysterious symbols were left behind.
This sets him off on a whirlwind journey through France and England with a young Parisian cryptographer in search of answers.
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
This gripping historical fiction novel based on true events centers on the heroic women of the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis invade during World War II, the women make a daring choice to join the Resistance and risk their lives for what they believe in.
A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable
When April Vogt, a furniture specialist at Sotheby’s, is sent to Paris for a job, she’s thrilled. An old apartment that was shuttered away for seventy years has been discovered, and soon April realizes that the apartment contains more secrets and treasures than anyone imagined.
Three Hours in Paris by Cara Black
This historical fiction set during World War II is about a young American markswoman who is sent on a high-stakes mission to Paris, where Nazis have just occupied the city.
An American in Paris by Siobhan Curham
Another World War II-era historical fiction novel, An American in Paris follows an American journalist who is determined to save her adopted city and the man she loves.
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
If you are looking for a classic novel to read about Paris, this is one of the most famous ones. Published posthumously in 1964, this is Hemingway’s memoir of Paris in the 1920s. It gives an insider look at the people and places of the storied Lost Generation in Paris.
Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes
This is a novella and a collection of short stories set in Paris. The main novella follows a young woman who is stood up by her boyfriend for a weekend getaway to Paris.
She ends up exploring the City of Love solo and learning more about herself as she explores Paris.
The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel
There are quite a few historical fiction books set in Paris during World War II and this is another! This story is about an American woman, a British RAF pilot, and a young Jewish teenager whose lives intersect in occupied Paris during the tumultuous days of World War II.
The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
This memoir from pastry chef and cookbook author David Lebovitz offers a deliciously funny and irreverent look at life in Paris. Part memoir and part cookbook (containing more than fifty original recipes) this is a must-read for any food-loving Francophile.
Paris Is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay
This delightful novel follows a thirty-year-old woman retracing the steps of her post-college gap year through Ireland, France, and Italy. Nothing goes as planned, but through the journey, she reconnects with herself and finds love in the very last place she expected.
The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester
Set between Paris and New York, this historical fiction novel spans from World War II to the present day. It follows the stories of two women, a seamstress forced to flee Paris during the Nazi occupation, and her granddaughter trying to learn more about her many years later.
The Seine by Elaine Sciolino
Blending memoir, travelogue, and history, this book is a love letter to Paris and the river that determined its destiny. The author explores the Seine through lively characters like a bargewoman, a riverbank bookseller, a houseboat dweller, and a famous cinematographer.
Paris by Edward Rutherford
This historical fiction novel is like an engrossing textbook of the history of Paris, spanning from ancient Roman times to the post-World War II era. It follows characters from fascinating time periods in the city’s history, like the French Revolution and the Belle Epoque.
Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley
In this feel-good novel from a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a prize racehorse escapes from the stables of a racetrack in Paris and embarks on a journey throughout the City of Light. Meeting other animals along the way, Perestroika the horse goes on a delightful exploration of Paris.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
Translated by Walter J. Cobb
Adapted many times over the years, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a resounding classic. Set in Paris at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, this sweeping melodrama has been translated from French and continues to resonate with readers centuries after it was originally published.
The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain
Translated by Jane Aitken and Emily Boyce
When a Parisian bookseller finds an abandoned handbag containing an intriguing little red notebook, he embarks on a quest to find the notebook’s owner.
Seven Ages of Paris by Alistair Horne
This is a nonfiction history book about Paris. Dividing the city’s history into seven key ages, this book provides a comprehensive look at the City of Light.
Murder in the Marais by Cara Black
If you are looking for a fast-paced crime novel set in Paris, pick this up. It follows Aimée Leduc, a smart, stylish Parisian private investigator as she tries to track down a murderer.
What Are Some Of Your Favorite Books In Paris?
Have you read any of these books set in Paris? Do you have any favorite books set in Paris that I should add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!
More Great Books
Start with our list of the very best travel adventure books. It includes great reads that will fuel your wanderlust and have you staying up late to finish them. Or check out these books set in other parts of Europe:
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