Oh la la, Paris, ses artistes, ses boutiques, ses gourmandises... The city that takes too many lifetimes to see. There is always something to explore in this magical city. So much to discover that it's even hard to know where to start...
Where do I begin? Paris is the city that makes me feel the most inspired. I've lived there for a couple of years -a life punctuated by picnics along the Canal St Martin and Sunday mornings wandering around the Seine banks. Visiting Paris is an experience every traveler should have. Every time I come back in this city, I discover a neighborhood I've never explored before, a new gallery, the latest 'coolest' picnic spot, the trendy bar of the season... There are plenty of things to do in Paris, delicacies to taste and places to visit.
But what makes Paris being... Paris? What will make your stay so special, and where will you find its legendary magic?
1|JOG in the idyllic jardin des tuileries at sunrise
Best way to start your day in Paris? A run in one of France's most historical gardens -then a café-croissant breakfast, obviously! The paths of the Jardin des Tuileries separates the Place de la Concorde and the Louvre -offering views on the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysées, the magnificent Arc de Triomphe and the overwhelming feat of architecture known as the Louvre. Jogs don't get much better than this! Running isn't your thing? The garden is lined with free chairs, some of which are reclined -grab one and enjoy the art of people watching in the park.
Metro: Concorde or Palais Royal Musee du Louvre.
2|explore the hidden COVERED PASSAGES of the city
Paris holds many gems and hidden delights within her city streets. The Covered Passages (Les Passages Couverts) are one of those treasures and are a joy to discover. Glass-roofed and utterly charming, they are atmospheric old covered passages that date from the 18th and 19th centuries. Passage hopping is a perfect alternative to rainy days in Paris. Galerie Vivienne next door to the Palais Royal is one of the most iconic one.
Metro: Bourse or Pyramides
3|eat a FLEUR DE SEL CARAMEL MACARON IN LA DURÉE ST GERMAIN DES PRéS
Now that you are in Paris, it's time to discover the Parisian macaron parlor and icon, La Durée St Germain des Prés. Undoubtedly the most beautiful and elegant La Durée store -in the heart of a lovely and chic neighborhood, St Germain des Prés. Go for the macaron au caramel et à la fleur de sel, you won't regret it... Bon appétit!
Metro: St Germains des Prés
4|roam around the city at your own pace with a bicycle
There is something inexplicably thrilling about exploring Paris on a bicycle. You can’t help but feel completely alive and immersed in the moment. Instead of undergoing the dark side of the metro (subway), you experience and interact with the place in an immediate way. Trust me: you don't want to experience the stress of public transports in Paris. It's the perfect city for cycling, with 300 km of tracks intended for use by cyclists. It's probably the best way to tour the city.
The bike share system in Paris is called Velib. It has great infrastructures and routes. You can rent them pretty much everywhere in Paris.
5|discover what gourmandise means in La Grande Epicerie de Paris
Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche is an institution in Paris -a stunning department store connected with an incredible food hall: la Grande Epicerie de Paris. Imagine 30.000 gourmet products from around the globe culled in one expansive, well-lit space. This food palace is flush with culinary items you have ever dream of -from truffle oils and butter sauce in caviar to pastries and luxury chocolates, cheeses, fresh produce and artisan teas. It's the Haute Couture of food!
Metro: Sèvres-Babylone, Vaneau or Rennes
6|have a wine & cheese PICNIC by the CANAL ST MARTIN
Hands up if you've seen the movie 'Amélie': it was the Canal St Martin's iron footbridges and tree-shaded quays that formed the backdrop for some of the film's most atmospheric scenes. Le Canal St Martin is a very pretty canal where Parisians meet to play pétanque, jog or have wine and cheese picnics by the water. It was our Friday ritual when I used to live in the area -suuuch a great way to slowly drift into the relaxing weekend beat!
Metro: République, Gare de l'Est, Goncourt or Jacques Bonsergent
7|take some retro polaroids at the fotoautomat at Palais de Tokyo
I simply CAN'T go to Paris without a stop a the Fotoautomat. The good old-fashioned photo booth awaits you to take your portrait in a black and white - vintage style. The Palais de Tokyo features some great exhibitions as well as a lovely bookstore. Oh, and while you're there, check out the Eiffel Tower, I've heard the view is pretty cool.
Metro: Iéna, Alma Marceau
8|wander around The Seine banks on a sunday morning
Walking along the Seine to catch all the main sights is undeniably the best way to visit Paris -other great alternative: driving along the banks at night, when the city is all quiet. You'll see Notre Dame, Le Pont des Arts, Le Louvre, the Orsay Museum, the Eiffel Tower... And possibly fall in love with the city wandering on this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fun fact: last time I went there was on my boyfriend's classic French car -we ended up at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower, where he proposed. Who said clichés don't work?
Metro: Assemblée Nationale, Invalides, Alma Marceau
9|Go up to the old paris & let yourself be charmed by Montmartre
You can't come to Paris and not spend a few hours wandering in the streets of Montmartre. It is where you will find the 'old Paris' that time refuses to forget. Avoid the main tourist streets and get lost in the alleys, where you will find colorful cafes, nice restaurants, gorgeous art galleries, vintage shops, amazing views from the Sacré-Coeur, floral draped streets, acoustic live concerts in the streets...
Metro: Anvers or Abbesses
10|grab a bite at Le train bleu while waiting for your train
Now that you've seen and loved Paris, it's time to head down to South France for some action! Like all the train stations in Paris, Gare de Lyon is an architectural masterpiece. Plan some time ahead and grab a bite at the mythical gastronomic restaurant Le Train Bleu before you train arrives. The decor is stunning, with decorated ornate ceilings, picturesque frescoes and gold detailing everywhere. It's not cheap, but this kind of ambiance is really unique.
Metro: Gare de Lyon