Rather than dashing around ticking off all the tourist must-sees, a few little gems to enjoy a more relaxing and ‘in the know’ trip to Paris; head to Rue des Martyrs in South Pigalle for a slice of village life, a long road dedicated to specialised food shops and cafés; including Chambre aux Confitures, the very best of French jam, artisanal ice creams and sorbets and of course some boulangeries and chocolatiers. Another quaint area worthy of a visit, across the River Seine and past the Sorbonne University is Rue de Mouffetard, such a lovely location with a really nice vibe, day and night. On your way there, you may stumble upon a swarm of tourists or book enthusiasts outside and in the very famous ‘Shakespeare and company’ book shop, ranging from classics, war novels, fiction, children’s books to travel guides.
When in Paris, do as the parisian’s do, their favourite sweet treat – macaroons! Quite an art!
If your looking for the must-do art galleries, head to the world famous Louvre where you will find the Mona Lisa and 70,000 other pieces of art; from Western art dating back to the medieval period, paintings and sculptures alike to islamic works. Found right on the Louvres doorstep is the Tuileries garden, which is wonderful in the summer when the weather is glorious and the flowers are blooming. You can also find the Musée de l’Orangerie in one corner of the Tuileries, in the other the Jeu de Paume, which focuses on photography and media. If you cross Place de la Concorde you will also find the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais, marvel in their beautiful stone facades, ornate sculpt and beaux-artes architecture.
The Pompidou is quite the contrast, you shall find modern exhibitions there, the four previous photos are an example of what you may find, the use of photography, displays and cinema add to these diverse exhibitions. The exhibitions and events often change, so be sure to check the agenda.
Montmartre, for the artist folk! Climb the steps up to Sacre-Coeur and appreciate the panoramic views of the whole city, on the way up you will come through the wonderful square of talented painters, as pictured below.
Notre-dame and the lover’s bridge!
Day trip to Versailles – definitely worth it, if you have the time! It’s very easy and cheap to get there, and if the weather is nice, the gardens are a glorious get-away from the hustle and bustle of Paris!
Other little discoveries;
Canal St Martin (10th Arron.): Cafe bar chez prune (36 rue beaurepaire), Le comptoir general and Le verre vole!
Party Party!! (Check Resident Advisor for Events/Djs playing)
Wanderlust (near Gare de Lyon) – perfect in the summer months, an open-air dance floor that brings big names! (Saw Gorgon City & Sigma there in July) The drinks are expensive and entry was free before 11.
La Machine du Moulin Rouge – really cool atmosphere, next door to the world- famous Moulin Rouge! – Drinks are relatively expensive, as is entry (might be less/more depending on the DJs) – Saw Bicep and Simian Mobile Disco on the 1s and 2s.
ZigZag – roughly the same layout as La machine, both have elevated stage and balconies! Cool visuals are playing including the Charleston dance! Saw Infinity Ink – it was free before 11:30. Others that have been recommended by friends; Batofar, Showcase,Rex