Sunday, April 13, 2014

10 Things to do in Paris

Paris Travel Tips
                                        Our monthly Paris recommendations

10 things to do in Paris

1. Rent a Vélib bike

To live a true Parisian experience, nothing like renting a Vélib bike to discover the city! Use the bicycle paths wherever possible, and careful with those shared with buses. Most locals don’t stop at red lights or wear helmets, but you need not be THAT local. Instead, enjoy the ride crossing the river Seine, watching monuments from a different angle and be part of the flow. Website

2. Shop at Le Bon Marché @ La grande Epicerie

Le Bon Marché the world’s first department store in the chic left bank. is the most luxurious in Paris and boasts the most amazing fine foods and gourmand grocery department 'La Grande Epicerie' on the bottom floor, you have ever seen. Thousands of rare hard to find ingredients and brands from the world over make this a foodies paradise. Grab some goodies for a picnic in the park, it's Spring!! p.s the building is worth a glimpse also for its architecture. MAP

3. Le Jardin du Luxembourg

Le Jardin du Luxembourg with its gorgeous gardens offers an ideal place for walking in the Spring sun, admiring the colourful fleurs, statues and fountains. Grab a chair and watch the strollers, hiding behind a good book and your shades and/or enjoy yourself a little picnic. See above tip 2. MAP

4. La Butte aux Cailles

One of the less known Paris hills La Butte aux Cailles (quail hill) is definitely worth a visit with its bars and restaurants. Picturesque small streets climbing up and down, graffiti art and student life take you away from the traditional sightseeing tracks. Rue des Cinq Diamants and rue de l’Espérence are my personal favourites. MAP

5. Chinatown

Not far from there, le Quartier chinois (Chinatown) with the exotic supermarkets Paris Store and Tang Frères, colourful streets, authentic Asian restaurants… Grab a Vietnamese sandwich with beef and coriander or sit down on a terrace to enjoy a Tiger beer with a bo-bun noodle salad with fried springrolls. Enter the supermarkets with a huge choice of most peculiar greens and spices but also kitchenware and wacky decoration items MAP

6. Bercy Village

After all these left bank destinations, time to cross the river Seine. Bercy Village and its most well known alley Cour Saint Emilion have replaced the old wine warehouses of Bercy – thus named after the famous wine. This cosy shopping area specializes in restaurants with terraces, cafes and the stunning tranquil Bercy Park is right across the way. MAP

7. Viaduc des Arts

Viaduc des Arts, beneath an abandoned 19th-century railway viaduct. A number of arts and crafts workshops are great for windowshopping and on top of the viaduct you can take a “walk with the trees”, an elevated park of several kilometers with surprising plants and garden decorations. MAP

8. Passages

The covered arcades aka “passages” of Paris were the shopping malls of the 19th century. You can walk through a whole bunch of them, breathe the nostalgic atmosphere and sip a cup of tea away from the noisy traffic. There exist maps of these arcades and you can choose between three different itineraries of “passages et galeries”. MAP

9. Enjoy Canal Saint Martin

Go on a cruise along the Canal Saint Martin or just walk up and down quai de Valmy and quai de Jemmapes. Trendy boutiques and cafés line the banks and on Sundays cars are not allowed alongside the canal and the quay’s invaded by pedestrians, bicycles and rollers, and if you are lucky there’s a flea market or street artists and live music. MAP

10. Sacre Coeur

And to finish with a great view of the city, follow in the wake of Amelie to Montmartre. Avoid the touristic cafés at Place du Tertre and take a walk in the small streets behind. Some of the most charming buildings hiding in the back streets of the hill off the avenue Junot. MAP

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