When I think of other places I could live, Paris comes to mind almost immediately. It has a charm about it — whether it's views over the Seine or getting endlessly lost in Le Marais amongst boutiques and cafes.
Recently, I've found myself looking for a few new places to add to the rotation in addition to the iconic places like the Louvre, and dining at the historic spots like Cafe Flores.
Take a look at my alternative guide to Paris.
Seen the Louvre? Try...
- Musee National Gustave-Moreau: A museum centered around the life and works of Symbolist painter, Gustave Moreau.
- Palais de Tokyo: a few rooms to visit, this modern museum offers experimental art and a wonderful cafe.
- Villa Savoye: For the architect-lovers, this Corbusier house is located on the outskirts of the city.
- Musée des Arts Décoratifs: A museum right next to the Louvre dedicated to the ins and outs of fashion and design.
A few shops to check out:
- Merci: Redefining the department store, this multi-level destination offers the best of in local designers and more.
- Marche aux Puces de Saint Ouen: A grand flea market ripe for the picking.
Eat here in Paris:
- La Fontaine de Belleville: A traditional brasserie for a quick bite.
- Au Passage: A choice of small or large plates, this hard-to-get-a-reservation restaurant brings a lot to the table. Creativity and French ingredients are staples of the chalkboard menu.
- Les Cocottes: After eating here, it will be on rotation. Each dish is made in a cast-iron — it seems whatever Christian Constant touches turns to gold.
- Papillon: Where innovative cuisine and decoration blend into a fine dining experience.
- Holy Belly: One of the best brunch spots in Le Marais.
- Clamato: Seafood done exceptionally well.
- L'Eclair de Genie: The modern take on eclairs packed with flavor.
- David Toutaine: French food done with a modern twist — be sure to splurge on the truffle menu.
Take a drink at these spots:
- Septime Cave: A beautiful wine bar with charcuterie boards galore.
- Candelaria: Cocktail bar and a Mexican restaurant blended with a lot of flavor.
- La Buvette: A tiny wine bar in with a fine collection.
- Telescope, Boot Cafe, Loustic, Merci Cafe, and Fragments are the go-to coffee spots.
- Le Mary Celeste: A very happening bar with a fresh menu serving small plates to share.
Skip the lines at the Arc de Triomphe and go here for a view:
- La Rooftop Lounge at Shangri-La (open 4pm- 11:30 pm): Grab a glass of wine and take in the view.
- Parc des Buttes Chaumont: On one of the highest hills in the city, the views are stunning from here.
- Printemps: The shopping mall boasts great views over the sprawling city (P.S. it's free).
Seen the Jardin du Luxembourg? Try these gardens:
- Gardens at Albert Kahn
- Parc de Bagatelle
- Parc Monceau
- Places des Vosges
- Les Serres d’Auteuil
- Jardin Saint-Gilles-Grand Veneur