Thursday, 24 January 2013

{Travel} My 10 favourite things to do in Paris

Once upon a time, I lived in Paris for a year. A friend recently asked me for tips and I could not think of a single one on the spot. So this is for you J.

{Private collection} My 10 favourite things to do in Paris

1. Rue Montorgeuil
This is a great place to spend the day. It is a pedestrian street where you can eat well, sit in a sunny café, shop for kitchenware, and buy phenomenal breads, chocolates, cheeses, and pastries... I can also recommend it as a great neighbourhood to stay in when in Paris. Very central and still reasonable. If you are planning a visit David Leibowitz has a lot of great recommendations.

2. Hit the market
Every day in Paris, except on Mondays, there’s an outdoor market somewhere taking place. The Marché d’Aligre is a daily market, and has a small flea market in the center. If you are like me, you will love looking around for that special something that you need for your place. You can find a market no matter where you are on the complete list of Paris Markets.

3. Jardin des plantes

This is the one that made my kids happiest last time I was there. A wonderful botanical garden with a small zoo. I particularly like the Evolution gallery: beautiful displays of animals, very inspiring and educational.

4. Mosquée de Paris
I love sipping a glass of mint tea and eat Moroccan cornes de gazelles in the courtyard. If I am feeling more indulgent, I would spend half a day at the hammam. It is a lovely building and I feel transported back home. There are specific days for men and women, so I always check online before I go.

5. Use a Velib
If I could choose anyway to get around Paris, I would most definitely choose the bicycle. It is the original Boris Bike! Self hire bicycles on docking stations dotted around the city. the first half hour is free and you pay for what you use. Choose your route and enjoy. Be careful though!

6. Montmartre
Not much of a discovery there... But I can't help but have it in my favourites. I like seeing the view and the getting lost in the streets at the south-west of the sacré coeur. I can also indulge my fabric buying impulses in the shops below the sacré coeur.

7. Picnic on the pont des arts
Du pain, du vin, du boursin! Beautiful views of Paris.

8. L'Ile Saint Louis
I love to have a Bertillon ice cream l'ile Saint Louis followed by a stroll around Notre Dame. Favourite flavour: pain d'épice.

9. Macarons La Durée
I can't resist them! My favourite treat: a box of 18 macarons au caramel salé.

10. Le Bon Marché
There is more to this grand department store than great fashion. La grande épicerie de Paris is just magical: I usually raid the cheese counter, the sweets aisle and the charcuterie counter.

So this is my Paris. I notice it mostly involves getting somewhere to eat something...

Share your favourite things to do in Paris?
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