Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Paris - worth getting out of bed for!



This week I have received a lot of lovely emails and I plan to share a couple with you over the next few days.

The first one was from
Jane Guidone, who together with her husband is visiting Paris in October. Paris is one of my favourite cities and it got me thinking about some of my favourite things to do.


I thought that we should help Jane out with a few ideas about what to see and do whilst in what I consider to be one of the most fabulous cities in the world. So here goes........



Viewpoint
Crowded but irresistible, the Eiffel Tower is open 9.30am–11pm (midnight in high season).


Arts and culture
The Louvre (www.louvre.fr) houses some of the world’s most famous art (open late Mondays and Wednesdays; closed Tuesdays and some holidays). The Musée National d’Art Moderne is on level four of the Pompidou Centre (www.centrepompidou.fr); Richard Rogers’ radical architecture is another draw. Musée National Picasso Paris (www.musee-picasso.fr) occupies an old house in the Marais, and is full of the artworks Pablo couldn’t bear to part with; the venue is as alluring as the art itself, also the case for Musée d’Orsay, a converted train station packed with arty treats (www.musee-orsay.fr).

Something for nothing
Follow in the footsteps of Degas, Toulouse Lautrec and Amélie, wandering through Montmartre (the bohemian hill streets that saw the birth of the can-can), and up to the Sacré-Coeur for more resplendent Parisian panoramas.

Shopping
Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré is chock-full of designer boutiques; our favourite is Colette (www.colette.fr), a celebrated lifestyle shop with fashion, books and a café. There are quirky independent shops, cafés and bars plus cutting-edge fashion in the bohemian Marais district (aka the quartier Juif) – also the only area largely open on Sundays. Porte de Clignancourt market is a fleamarket for clothes and antiques, open Monday–Saturday until 7pm. Or arrange to have a selection of Parisian vintage pieces brought to you by Ooh La La! (ring +33 6 84 76 58 65 ahead of your trip for details).



If you’re a sucker for department stores, head to Le Bon Marché on Rue de Sèvres. Splurge with a healthy conscience at Merci (+33 (0)1 42 77 00 33) on Boulevard Beaumarchais. The luxury emporium donates profits from its cut-price Annick Goutal perfumes, Baccarat crystal vases, Stella McCartney and Yves St Laurent glad-rags and hip homeware to a children’s charity in Madagascar.

Daytripper
Live out your Louis XV/Mme de Pompadour/Marie-Antoinette/Sun King fantasies at the incomparable oh so fabulous Château de Versailles, just outside Paris (www.chateauversailles.fr).

Perfect picnic
Grab a bottle of bubbly from the minibar and some pastries, smoked salmon baguettes or tarts from Gérard Mulot at 76 Rue de Seine (43 26 85 77), and enjoy them in the Jardin de Luxembourg on the Left Bank. Another good green grazing spot is the Jardin de Tuileries near the Louvre: get gourmet snacks at Fauchon or Hédiard on Place de la Madeleine.

Walks
When I go to Paris, I always stay in the very chic St Germain, it is a fabulous place to stroll around, with plenty of shops, cafés and culture to keep you occupied; thanks to its university heritage, the area has historically been the haunt of artists, poets and intellectuals, and there are still plenty of great bookshops and galleries to help kick-start your grey matter.

Activities
The Seine’s open-top Bateaux-Mouches riverboats are a popular way to see the sights; most depart from Pont de l’Alma. Stick to a one-hour trip and give the touristy dinner cruises a miss. Ramp things up a notch on a private picnic cruise down the St Martin canal aboard La Coda, a small Dutch barge (www.parislacoda.com).

US-run Fat Tire Bike Tours will whiz you round the sights on Schwinn bikes, Segways or your own two feet; the night-time tours are fun (1 866 614 6218; www.fattirebiketoursparis.com). Rollerskate through town on a Friday night (or just watch the speed-mad crowd wheel past); the city-of-light express leaves Tour Montparnasse at 10pm and rolls back around 1am (www.pari-roller.com).

And...last but by no means least, marvel at Paris’ unique layout from atop the 200-year-old Arc de Triomphe, one of France’s most iconic monuments and the epicentre of bravura city-planner Baron Haussmann’s star of boulevards; it’s worth clambering up its many internal stairs to peer down the Champs Elysées and enjoy photogenic views down to Place de la Concorde and up to La Défense. Open daily, 10am–10.30pm (11pm in summer), excluding 1 January, 1 May and 25 December. Tickets cost €8 and must be bought 30 minutes before closing.

Now its over to you, I am sure that you all have a favourites place in Paris, so do not be mean and keep it to your self, let Jane and the rest of us into your secret world....

A bientot,
L x

19 comments:

  1. I love Paris and am lucky that I live in England and can even pop over for the day. I don't think that there is anything to add to your list...was going to mention Porte de Clignancourt but you mentioned it!!!! Near the Louvre at 2, Place du Palais Royal is the Louvre des Antiquaires with 220 shops.
    Wishing Jane a fabulous trip. Bon Voyage XXXX

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  2. Great Image
    Yes even I would get out of bed for Paris. Well I am about to have a week off but don't think I will make it that far. Thanks for the dream though. x Julie

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  3. If you like flea markets, I would add the Porte de Vanves flea market in the Southern edge of Paris, and even the Porte de Montreuil marche on the East edge. I always liked visiting the Rue Mouffetard food market in the fifth arrondissement. And I enjoyed getting roasted chestnuts (only fall and winter) after seeing a movie in the Montparnasse area.

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  4. Don´t miss the market at Port de Clignancourt. And bring a truck with you!!

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  5. Hello, I had to leave a comment for you because you have such an incredible blog with an eye-catching and creative header shot! Beautiful pictures and writing; I've been really absorbed reading your posts. Thank you for sharing them and best wishes....

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  6. Great list! I have to agree!

    This is the first half of my favorite Parisian things: http://katielavieenparis.blogspot.com/2009/08/few-of-my-favorite-things.html

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  7. My tip would be to pop in at the Meurice just next to the Tuileries garden and treat themselves to some of their fine delicacies or just have a drink and absorb the elegant athmosphere. I have written a detailed post today about this fabulous Paris hotel that I can't help being so madly in love with:
    http://greenandstylish.blogspot.com

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  8. Leeann-A lovely list. I have a friend about to leave on his first visit to Paris and I have sent him this post.

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  9. I am that friend of Style Redux! A few of these things were already on our list but going up to the arc de triomphe sounds like a great suggestion I hadn't heard yet!

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  10. I just happened to post on our hidden treasure find at the Marche aux Puces! And we love the Palais de Royal in the 2nd for afternoon Sunday strolls.

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  11. Hi L
    Lovely photo!!!
    I am thinking that you will make a great Tour guide(smile), perhaps write a book about what to do. I wish I could visit Paris and your beautiful place but I am travelled out at the moment. Still recorvering from the recent trip.

    Julie xx

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  12. Hi Leeann,

    All great things to do in Paris.
    We found riding around on the double decker tour bus was a great way to see around and you could get off at places you wanted to visit.
    I would say about the Louvre, it is such a big museum and so much to see there, so allow a lot of time there.
    Have fun with a picnic, wine, cheese and a baguette, in one of the many parks.
    Just shopping at the boutiques and eating out at the restaurants is a really fun thing to do!
    Taking in all the smells and sights!
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  13. We went to the famed cemetary where Jim Morrison is buried (forgot the name) early one morning and it was very quiet and peaceful. The carved stones and sculptures were quite beautiful. I really liked this place.

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  14. Ooooh, I wish I could visit Paris! An impossible dream, I know. But a girl can dream. Hugs, Cindy S.

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  15. Ooooh I love how you speak of things to do in Paris.. I will take your advice!!!
    Bon week-end!
    Fifi

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  16. Love everything you mentioned- excellent- also loved the Musee de Monmarte- love your blog..
    Karen

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  17. Well I am catching up on some missed posts.
    This is great although It will most likely be along time before I visit Paris again. I would say my favourite was Montmartre and generally just walking around soaking up the atmosphere.
    Great post. Julie

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  18. There is a little gem of a cabaret type restaurant called Chez Louisette. It is at the corner of the Allees of Vernaison in Clignancourt.They are open at the end of the week only and are usually packed with people.Once you enter you think they FORGOT to take down the xmas decorations but they are up all year long!There is a band and fabulous chanteuses singing Piaf and some of the bartenders will do Jacques Brel... They pass the hat after they sing and it is so much fun!! We have spent hours there on a Sat afternoon, sipping a carafe of "Chateau Chez Louisette"...The last time we went there we ran into France's version of the "Fab Five" with a pomeranian in sunglasses and a beret....

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  19. Lovely post. I shall be saving it for when I visit

    x

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