Paris… is always a good idea! In fact, the last time I’ve been to Paris was almost two years ago, but my fondness for this place is still as big as it was back then. I am sure many things have changed in the mean-time, shops, bars and bistros have opened while others have closed or are not as resounded throughout the city as they were in 2013; however, I wish to introduce you to “my Paris” and give you some tips and insights about places that are worth a visit when being on a short trip to Paris.
It’s usually like this when visiting an unknown place: One falls in love instantly – or feels an inexplicable animosity straightaway, due to a difficult start in the first way and the result that nothing can clear these dark shadows from the first second away.
With me and Paris it was, somehow, different. After two failed trials (one with my family after visiting Disneyland which turnt out to make none of my family members happy, and another one in the context of a study trip with my French course (the only thing I actually remember is my teacher running hrough the streets, holding her umbrella up high)), I finally fell for Paris when being in town “comme une parisienne” (like a Frenchwoman) for the first time.
It was in 2011, when I spent a couple of days in town during Paris fashion week to end my internship at Stella McCartney. While we were busy throughout the day in the showroom at what felt like 40 degrees, preparing the fashion show, I was on the move through the city with a French friend during the nights. I got to know people and experienced habits, went to parties and visited shops, restaurants and learnt phrases, and somehow became one with the city within only a few days. Back then, I felt like I had been living in Paris for a long time.
Two years later I returned to Paris with the same friend and it instantly felt similar: Paris felt home to me.
Wether it is beautiful Montmartre with Sacré-Coeur, Rue des Martyrs, the many wind mills, the design shop “L’Objet qui parle” and the remarkably good bakery “Sarl Toro” (try the pain au chocolat aux amandes) or the area around Canal Saint Martin: From east to west and north to south I find every arrondissement in Paris very likeable.
Near the aforesaid Canal Saint Martin is the restaurant Wanderlust, for instance, that, in fact, is much more than a restaurant, namely a bar and performance space, too. The schedule changes daily, on the list are open air cinema shows, designer flea markets, workshops and yoga classes.
However, my favourite district is Le Marais, north-east of Rue de Rivoli. I love to stroll along Rue du Temple and Rue des Archives and stop for a bite to eat at Candelaria, a Mexican restaurant at Rue de Saintonge which also features a cosy bar in the back serving delicious cocktails.
If you spend your day in Le Marais I suggest you head to Le Loir dans la Théière for a slice of cake. Prices here are exorbitant (the daily offer of a slice of cake and a teapot for 11 Euros is the cheapest option), anyhow, it is totally worth coming here for the huge cake slices, good tea, nice people and comfy interior.
Finally, worth mentioning is the Quartier Latin and the close-by Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris’ student quarters. Especially along and near Rue Monge life is lived to the full. After a relaxing afternoon at Jardin du Luxembourg we headed fort he Basque restaurant Gladines on Boulevard Saint-Germain with goat’s cheese salads for 9 Euros and pan seared potatoes for 12 Euros – definitely the cheapest, but still very good food I had in Paris so far.
Do you have more tips for me? What is your favourite thing to do in this beautiful city?
I look forward to hearing your recommendations!
Au revoir and bye for now.