Whether you’re a Left Bank afficionado or prefer the raffish Right Bank, whichever side of the river Seine you chose Paris is filled with hot options. While each arrondissement or neighbourhood has its unique character, many have the same elements from daily markets and corner cafes to stylish shopping. Riding the Metro that links them all, musicians of all persuasions give free concerts while from early July to mid-September, the seaside comes to the Seine when the annual summer celebration ‘Paris Plage’ transforms the river bank.
With so much to enjoy, here are a few hot options to add to your trip notes…..
Take a stroll through the Tuilleries Gardens where chic children float wooden boats at the fountain, then call into Musee de l’Orangerie to view Monet’s celebrated Waterlilly paintings housed in a unique, oval space.
Detour off the Champs Elysees and visit the stunning Petit Palais and Grand Palais, turn-of-the-20th century architectural marvels of iron and glass before ascending the celebrated Arc and soak up views of Paris spanning below like the spokes of a wheel.
Enjoy a rich reward with a creamy cup of hot chocolate at Angelina on the Rue de Rivoli.
Wander le Marais, the only arrondissement open 7 days, join the locals in leafy Place des Voges where Victor Hugo once lived before an elegant dinner at Le Dome.
Descend a small staircase in front of the Madeleine church and step back in time into Paris’s most beautiful Belle Epoque public toilets!.
Browse and buy from an impressive collection of vintage magazines at Les Archives de la Presse at 51 rue des Archives.
Bonjour calories! For pain au chocolat and croissants made with traditional artisan methods, don’t miss Du Pain et des Idees at 34 rue Yves Toudic.
With stores on both the Left and Right Banks as well as at Printemps department store, Laudree is code for macarons. Selling around 12 million a year, we not only love the delectable flavours but also the waitresses’s polka-dot pinafores designed by Chantal Thomas.
Watch a pink dawn break over the city from Sacre Coeur Montmatre, the city’s highest point, before taking a petit dejeuner at one of the many cafes. Montmatre is also dress-makers heaven where stores heave with retro fabrics, cottons and laces, serges and silks plus vintage stores.
Originally built for English tourists coming off the night train from London, Le Train Bleu at the Gare de Lyon combines a divinely opulent rococco interior with classic French fare. Unforgettable for breakfast, magical for dinner.
Sip a kir or coffee with the chic crowd at Café Marly facing the Louvre’s glass pyramid
Take a tour of Opera Garnier, the theatre that inspired the setting for ‘Phantom of the Opera’ before a martini in Le Martini Bar
Shop branded boutiques along rue Etienne Marcel behind Les Halles before eating on rue Montegeuille, one of Paris’s fabulous foodie streets.
Check out the neighbours while strolling La Promenade Plantee, a former train line between Bastille and Parc de Vincennes. Now a 4.7km walk, it’s summer’s new cool place to be.
Taste food of historic proportions at atmospheric Auberge Nicolas Flamel, a restaurant housed in Paris’s oldest stone house at 54 rue de Montmorency.
In the 19e, Le Centquatre has transformed an old undertaker’s into a cultural and artistic centre for exhibitions, concerts, dance-offs and a brilliant kids play space.
Drop into Le Carnivalet, the free Museum of Paris where the city’s history unfolds in a beautiful grand mansion in le Marais
Join literary types who sit and read at Shakespeare bookshop on the riverbank.
Queue at Berthillon on the Ile Saint-Louis for one of their celebratory ice creams. The sublime blackcurrant and rhubarb combination is totally worth the wait!
It takes just 38 seconds and 18 Euros to zoom to the top of Tour Montparnasse in Europe’s fastest lift. Once on the observation deck, take your time scoping the best view of Paris at any time of the day. tourmontparnasse56.com
Take the Metro to Trocadero for unforgettable sunset views of the Eiffel Tower and watch it light up
Sit in the peace and tranquility of the Luxembourg Gardens and the Jardin des Plantes.
Pick up bread and pastries from Poilane on rue du Cherche Midi, the best boulangerie in Paris, and picnic on the riverbank.
Queue early to view unique collections housed at the award-winning Musee Branly and Musee d’Orsay
Instead of dining at the Eiffel Tower, eat at Firmin le Barbier and enjoy a direct view of Gustav Eiffel’s masterpiece.Enjoy the cool interior of l’Eglise Saint Germaine des Pres, the oldest church in Paris, and check out their summer concert program.
Sandwiched between the celebrated cafes, Aux Deux Magots and Café de Flore in Saint-Germain des Pres, Librairie La Hune at 170 boulevard Saint-Germain is a literary treasure trove.
Decorated with recently revealed Art Deco masterpieces, cocktails or dinner at the fabled La Coupole in Montparnasse is a must-do.
For a different cultural view, take afternoon tea in the tearoom of the ornate Paris Grand Mosque at 39 rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire in the 5e.
Take a tour of the impregnable Concergerie. Once the seat of French power, it’s where the terrors of the Revolution and stories of its famous prisoners are recounted.
Discover hidden treats along Paris passageways such as Galerie Vivienne, Passage du Grand Cerf, Passage Joffroy, Verdeau and Poliere.
Take in one more Paris sunset panorama on level 33 at Hyatt Regency, 3 place du General Koenig before boarding a classic Bateau Mouche and watch the City of Lights’ shimmering reflection glide by.
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