Thursday, October 4, 2012

What to do in Paris?


Every once in awhile, it seems as though everyone I know is off to Paris. For some, it’s their regular pilgmriamage. For others, it’s a special occasion or a business trip. For many, it’s their first time.

Ahhh, Paris for the first time.

When two friends, an ex-colleague and a current colleague all approached me recently for some tips and must-dos for their upcoming trips to Paris, I dug out a list that I had assembled while living there. Granted, it’s a couple years old now and hot boites like Le Carmen and restos like Terroir Parisien weren’t yet around. But it's still a trusty little guide.

I first wrote it for a friend's mom who was visiting with her friends. I broke it up into daily tours of specific neighborhoods, always suggesting places to eat. It's by no means meant to be comprehensive or trendy. But re-reading it put a smile on my face and steered my friends in the right direction.

First Arrondissement, A
Lunch at Grand Vefour
Grand Palais: The shops, the garden, the Daniel Buren installation
A tour of the Opera house – beautiful!
Dinner at Le Garde-Robe or Spring

First Arrondissement, B
L’Orangerie
Walk the Seine: bookstalls and bridges
The Tuileries Gardens
Evening cocktails at Le Saut du Loup (beautiful setting outside Museé Arts Decoratifs)
Dinner at Frenchie, La Régalade Saint-Honoré, Au Vieux au Comptoir, Chez Georges or Le Soufflé

Islands
Notre Dame
Boat ride leaving from Pont Neuf
Sweets: Bertillion ice cream
Restaurants: Mon Viel Ami, Chez Julien

Third Arrondissement
Picasso Museum
Place de Vosges
All the charming, little streets: wonderful for exploring and getting lost
Lunch at Chez Janou or the Merci cantine
Sweets: Jacques Genin
Dinner at Glou or Robert et Louise

Sixth Arrondissement
Picnic and stroll in Luxembourg Gardens: pick up yummy goods either on rue Moufftard (fifth) or rue Buci (sixth)
Shop: all the streets – just meander
Sweets: Pierre Hermé, Gerard Mullet, Ladurée
Ladurée would be a nice spot for lunch, too
Coffee at Café la Flore
Dinner at L’Itineraire, L’Avant Comptoir or Fish Boissoinerie

Between Sixth and Seventh/rue du Bac
Musée d’Orsay
Shop: Le Bon Marché, rue du Bac
Sweets: La Patisserie des Reves, Victor et Hugo

Seventh Arrondissement
Eiffel Tower
Rodin Museum
Lunch or tea at Les Deux Abeilles
Markets of Rue Cler
Sweets: Michel Chaudon chocolates
Dinner at Café Constant, Les Cocottes de Christian Constant or Chez l'Ami Jean

For more ideas on Paris for the first time.

7 comments:

  1. I just have to say that I read your book last Spring (before my trip to Paris) and loved it! Then I returned home and read Paris I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down and was struck by the coincidence. Did he work at the same ad agency as you? I swear he even wrote about the same person you did, who's boyfriend worked at Du Pain et Des Idees. Just wondering. By the way, I made it to Du Pain and that chocolate pistachio escargot was divine.

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  2. Excellent list !
    No matter how many times a person has been to Paris, you can go to the same neighbourhoods, walk the same streets and it will still enchant. Besitos, C

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  3. Ah, que faire à Paris -- are there any sweeter words? So glad you snuck in Les Deux Abeilles, my favorite salon de thé!

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  4. Totally stealing this for all those requests! Merci, mon amie! xo

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  5. STILL need to try Robert et Louise! On my must-try-now list. And of course, now there's great coffee in Paris too :)

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  6. My mom's coming to visit me in Paris for the first time in November (her first time in Europe too!) and I can't wait to show her around. Even though I know the places I want to take her, haven't figured out the restaurants yet -- thanks for the suggestions!

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  7. 20 years in Paris and so many places I still need to see and things I need to try!

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