Paris Tips?

February 1, 2010

A contact of mine on Facebook, Caroline Panico, has asked for a favor and since you are all quite the well-traveled bunch I’m sure many of you have some great travel tips. Here is her question…

Paris Tips?

Hi Holly, I am going to Paris in March with my husbands band, Montage Populaire, do you or any of your readers know of places to go/shop/eat/visit which wouldn’t be in the tourist guides? I would be really grateful and I know you and your readership are just the right sort of people to ask!!!

Paris Tips?

Well first of all Caroline, Mon Pop sounds great – I’m so glad to know of your husband’s band. And secondly, I don’t think that you can really go wrong in Paris no matter where you go but sure… I’ll bet lots of decor8 readers can help you so I’ll leave it to them. And they’ll also be helping me and my husband as we plan to take the train over in the Spring.

Any good tips to share?

(image: top: Alicia Bock and bottom: Little Brown Pen)


  • Reply Lydia, Clueless Crafter February 1, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Holly, I just bought a book called “Paris: Made by Hand” by Pia Jane Bijkerk. She has uncovered gorgeous shops full of handmade works from hats to umbrellas to bags to housewares. It’s a faboulous purse-sized guide. Would this be of help?
    .-= Lydia, Clueless Crafter´s last blog ..Nighttime Knitting Leads to Pillow Talk =-.

    • Reply decor8 February 1, 2010 at 7:44 am

      Lydia – Oh that is a cute book and may be of help — I think Caroline is looking also for very personal experiences and reflections though — like when you were in Paris what out of the way place did you find, or perhaps something that isn’t commonly found in a book or on the travel channel and such. But yes, a travel guide and a book like handmade paris are also very helpful so thank you for that suggestion!!!

  • Reply Lydia, Clueless Crafter February 1, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Hmm, I see more what she wants now. I will put my mind to it and enlist my sister who lives Paris-side for some true off-the-map finds. Hopefully, a slew of sources from books to blogs to a small regional paper will give some delightful insider information.

    Ugh, now I wish I were going to Paris again. Equally exciting, though, I’ll be heading to craft markets and fleas in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay early March. If you have come across any insider information on that, I’ll be a happy traveler;-) Regards, Lydia
    .-= Lydia, Clueless Crafter´s last blog ..Nighttime Knitting Leads to Pillow Talk =-.

  • Reply Nilo February 1, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Hey, you can also check, sure you will love it;) Cheers;)
    .-= Nilo´s last blog .. =-.

  • Reply Shilpy February 1, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Hey, I remember visiting this beautiful small Italian restaurant near Notre dam church by the Seine (on the back side of the church facing the river, on the corner of a lane). It served the best thin crust pizza (almost home made kind of place). U may like to explore it. It was raining and beautifuly romantic:-). u may like to explore it…have fun!

  • Reply Ivy style33 February 1, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Hmmm, seems that quite a few of us will be in Paris in Spring!

    …well, as you said, you can’t really go wrong in Paris, but I must say that I discovered the most lovely to me places, by chance, just walking around and following my senses….
    I really enjoyed everything about Monmartre though, from Sacre Couer to the second hand shops, where mostly less wealthy people ( not only though – as it’s a quite artistic area!) go to shop at. I adored the liveness of the hustle and bustle of people and the excitement of finding lovely vintage clothes or more contemporary ones, from French brands like Naf Naf, for quite low prices.

    There is also a chain of shops called “La Chaise Longue” selling lovely things for the home and gadgets. I visited the shop close to Monmartre. Their wedsite is http://www.lachaiselongue .com and the adresses are availialbe.

    I ‘ll have to go through my photos and notes of my trip, to possibly come back with more information later during the week.
    .-= Ivy style33´s last blog ..Happy wishes : ) =-.

  • Reply Sylwia Dziuba February 1, 2010 at 8:05 am

    I think it pays to find someone (already there), who is also a tourist but has been there just a little bit longer, they are usually the best people to show you (and come with you) some cool and interesting places.
    When I first arrived in Paris, I was lucky enough to meet this Canadian girl, who has been to Paris many times and worked there as well, we happened to be staying at the same hotel, so she offered to take me around town, I accepted;
    she took me to a great restaurant and cafe, then some shops, and when it became dark, she knew exactly when the Eiffel Tower light show would come on, so we came on time, and it was beautiful.
    Just a great experience, I hope you have fun!!!
    .-= Sylwia Dziuba´s last blog ..My work… =-.

  • Reply pruh February 1, 2010 at 8:07 am

    This section of my blog is about holidays.There are a few posts about Paris
    There is a translation button at the right.

  • Reply Sabina February 1, 2010 at 8:07 am

    This is not an off the beaten path thing, but it was SO key to our Eiffel Tower experience. Eat at the Eiffel Tower … it’s on the first level, I believe. That way you get to by-pass the initial line that could take you hours! I suggest dining close to sunset, so that by the time you are done eating you are heading up to the top at sunset. Then, when you come down, you get to see the Tower at night. It was a great experience, and the kids loved it.

  • Reply Ivy style33 February 1, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Oh!..there are also amazing flea – markets as I’ve heard, but didn’t have the chance to visit them during my previous trip there. How about asking lovely and very talented Piou (, who actually is form France?
    .-= Ivy style33´s last blog ..Happy wishes : ) =-.

  • Reply Lizzy February 1, 2010 at 8:12 am

    This is obscure, but I always love to go to Rue Daguerre in the 14th Arrondissement. (It’s named after the man who invented the daguerrotype.) It’s a long pedestrian street with cute shops, including all the regulars of daily Parisian life: butcher, baker, cafe, etc. My favorite is the enormous shop that sells only accordians! I like to eat at the Cafe du Chope (great salade berger) even though the waiters there are cranky.
    Also, you must eat ice cream/sorbet at Berthillion on Ile St. Louis. Light a candle for your favorite saint in Notre Dame or another church. Have the delicious (even though it’s too expensive) hot chocolates at Les Deux Magots on St. Germain de Pres, one of my favorite areas. Visit Place des Vosges and explore the Marais.
    Lucky you for visiting Paris!
    .-= Lizzy´s last blog travels – mexico =-.

  • Reply Alice February 1, 2010 at 8:17 am

    The Polish-Jewish bakery, La boutique Jaune, is a vibrant bakery in the fabulous Marais district. As the name suggests, it is bright yellow which makes it easy to find on the historic Rue des Roisiers (no 27). Great range of sandwiches and patisserie, relatively inexpensive, perfect place to re-fuel!

  • Reply Honey February 1, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Hi Caroline and Holly. Okay, I’m not sure where to start. I visit Paris at least once a year and have been going since I was one year old so Paris is very dear to me. There are so many wonderful places to see so I’ll just start off. When it comes to dining we are often on some kind of a budget so we have to find good places to eat at a reasonable price. I’m really into Italian food so I can recommend going to Yolanda, a romantic little restaurant close to the Eiffel Tower just at the metro station. And the food there is delicious. I’ll also recommend Mimmo’s – a little Italian place on Rue St. Denis close the Les Halles. Very intimate and with a friendly staff. If you want a quick bite at lunch then try Viagio. They have all kinds of yummy pastas in small take-away boxes. It’s very fresh and you can find Viago a lot of places throughout Paris. When it comes to things to see I’d recommend visiting a Pet shop. They are filled with adorable fluffy kittens and puppies. I always feel so bad for them and want to take them home, but at least I get to play with them a bit. Also, you should visit Pylones, a wonderful decor-ish store. They have another selection in Paris than they do in the US. And also for decor items, go see Graine d’Interieur. It’s just so wonderful. See my blog for more if you want. Also, you can’t go wrong if you visit Les Halles and the surrounding streets. They are full of little quirky shops with all kinds of knick knacks. Also, I know this is in the guidebooks, but a visit to Disneyland Paris is always fun. It brings out your inner child and they have some pretty amazing restaurants as well. Okay, that’s it for now. If you need more let me know. And Holly, come visit Copenhagen soon! <3
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..Chanel Couture Spring 2010 =-.

  • Reply Honey February 1, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Oh and I forgot, you should also go have a cocktail or dessert at Café de la Gare. This place is kind of hard to find but so worth it. It’s in central Paris, it’s very parisian and they have this wonderful black dog that’s always there greeting the guests. This place is also special cause they have a webcam set up, which means that if you go here and you family tunes in on their computers, they can see you real-time and you can wave at them. We did it and it’s very fun. Here are the links so you can see it: and :-)
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..Chanel Couture Spring 2010 =-.

  • Reply Tiffany February 1, 2010 at 8:29 am

    I’ve been living here for almost a year now, and some of the non-touristy things I’ve discovered are as follows:

    One of my favorite resto’s is called Chez Janou…and the servers don’t suffer from the general restaurant malaise:

    Rose Bakery of course…not to be missed. As well as Bob’s Juice Bar, or Bob’s Kitchen…less French, but sometimes a break from all things French is a good thing! Also recently opened by Place de la Republique on Rue du Faubourg du Temple is by Favela Chic, nice place for a soup and sandwich.

    Parc Buttes Chaumont is my favorite place in Paris, and there is a cute bar within called Rosa Bonheur.

    And in case you are of the flea market variety, I would steer you away from Porte de Montreuil (even though it’s large and generally cheaper), and direct you towards finding a smaller, local brocante that you can find in different neighborhoods each weekend:

    I’ll post again with the address of one of my favorite garden/home stores near Canal St. Martin. And while you are there you can check out Hotel du Nord…and sip on fancy cocktails with the beautiful people. This neighborhood is also home to cute shops and a great bookstore called Artazart.
    .-= Tiffany´s last blog ..Madame Dame =-.

  • Reply Eli February 1, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I suggest to contact Parisien d’un jour :
    Through this organization, you meet a local resident for a guided tour of his own living area! It’s the perfect way to discover the real Paris. They will bring you at their favourite café or their favourite unknown-from-tourist shops as well as the classics spots. It’s a must!
    Bon voyage et bonne découverte!

  • Reply Erin February 1, 2010 at 8:33 am


    I love poking around the Canal St Martin (I google mapped my last walk here:

    And I recommend stopping for a falaffel and freshly made lemonade at the As du Falaffel on the rue des Rosiers while strolling in the Marais. Closed for Sabbath and very busy on Sunday afternoons.

    A wander through the old Galéries couvertes in the 2nd arrondissement is a blast to the past and is a great escape for rainy days. Not much shopping left to do there, but wonderful examples of late 19th century Parisian architecture: Galérie Vivienne, Passage Choiseul, Galérie Feydeau, etc.

    I’m sure I’ll come up with more ideas!

  • Reply Alice at Simply The Nest February 1, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Here are a few of my favourite things to do in Paris.

    Dinner at Les Enfants Rouges – a tiny, off the beaten track restaurant in the 3eme, where the menu is entirely in French, and it feels as if you’re eating in a French family’s living room.

    Walk along the Promenade Plantee – a hidden elevated walkway in the Bastille.

    Visit the Musee Marmottan in the 18eme – it’s the largest Monet collection in the world, but it feels as if you are wandering round the house of a private collector.

    Take the elevator up to the roof garden of the Institut du Monde Arabe, and enjoy the wonderful (and free!) views over the Seine. You can also experience a delightful (and equally free) view over les toits from the roof terrace of the Galeries Lafayette.

    Sunday brunch at any one of the cafes on the Rue Vieille du Temple in the Marais (I like La Chaise au Plafond) – and you must order kir with your espresso.

    Enjoy an apricot juice (or a glass of champagne!) in any cafe on the Place du Marche Sainte-Catherine in the Marais.
    .-= Alice at Simply The Nest´s last blog ..Our Spare Room/Home Office Inspiration Board =-.

  • Reply Caroline Panico February 1, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I am so excited about all these comments! Thank you… I can see myself settling down tonight after the children are in bed and investigating all these suggestions : ) Thanks again and Thanks Holly!

  • Reply Ailish February 1, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Oh this is great! I’m off to Paris myself for 4 luscious days over valentines (so cliched, but then again some cliches are fantastic!) and really love all these tips.

    Does anyone have tips for good craft supply shops? I always like to pick up things that you just won’t find at home.
    .-= Ailish´s last blog ..Weekend Happiness =-.

  • Reply Elle February 1, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I love Paris! Some of my favourites:

    Laduree macaroons

    Also, check out the flea markets, as well as everything in Pia Jane Bijerk’s wonderful book, and eat lots of cheese!!

    Have fun!!!

  • Reply Cookie Cutter February 1, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I just returned from Paris! Cold but beautiful. Check out this lovely shop, Les Touristes . Pretty and cute lifestyle shop. Very charming! I just blogged about them too.
    .-= Cookie Cutter´s last blog ..[Honeymoon] – Day 2 & 3 Paris =-.

  • Reply karin February 1, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Love Paris so am quite jealous! love the Marais and surroundings, and Sentou, Sensitive&Fils and Bonton (they have installation by Nathalie Lete) to shop. Ate very late here: the food is fine, the athmosphere, music and service great! it’s a short walk to bridge over Seine near ND. great location.
    Heard good things about Mama Shelter…
    Have fun!

  • Reply Rabenfrau February 1, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Hello! Over at Corys Blog “Tongue in Cheek” you can find many tips for Paris, especially antiques and flea markets.
    Regards from Ulm

  • Reply Krissy February 1, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I just got engaged in Paris last April and we had the most amazing time. The restaurant that we went to after my future husband proposed was called au Sergent Recruiter and we had the most incredible and fun dinner. Also I highly recommend the night time segway tours and bike trip to Versailles from Fat Tire Bike Tours There so many great parts to our trip but these two places stick out the most!!

  • Reply christa February 1, 2010 at 9:01 am

    The french have a saying, “The Little Details Make The Difference.” You will see that French have quite an eye for special details. Every meal has a special treat with a unique presentation and a flair for the artistic. When I was served a cappuccino at a local cafe with Eiffel tower sugar cubes on the side I had to snap a pic. Of course, you do pay extra for the details. On one occasion of our trip I was told I would have to pay almost $52 for fourteen bottles of water. Yikes huh?

    I actually made an 8.5 X 11 poster that you can download for free on my blog after I came home from my trip last year. You can grab it here:

    (I also have a pic of those sugar cubes I mentioned there and a pic of me and my honey that we took at the eiffel tower.) Off the beaten path hint for you– the best pictures of the tower can be taken about a half mile/ mile away. There is a famous building at the end of the street (I obviously didn’t get to go inside- we were only in Paris for three days doing this art campaign most of the time) But it is past the carousel and you have to walk up a TON of stairs, but then it levels off and you can get these amazing pictures with the whole tower in the background.
    .-= christa´s last blog ..DIY: Bakers twine =-.

  • Reply Kate February 1, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I loved the area around Bastille – lots of great jewellery and clothing stores for independent designers, small design stores and cheaper cafés. Take Rue de la Roquette and then a right turn down Rue de Lappe.

    Also, go to Rue Mouffetard, near Censier-Daubenton Metro station – it is a quintessential Parisian street with patisseries, cheese stores and wine stores, all cobblestones and charm!
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..A Desert Safari =-.

  • Reply Ele February 1, 2010 at 9:11 am

    What fantastic tips- this is making me want to jump on the Eurostar pronto ;)

    In my humble opinion, the biggest must-do in Paris is lunch at Rose Bakery (already mentioned by Tiffany). Be prepared to wait for a table and be sure to have the carrot cake!

    Also, bring comfy shoes and a couple nice scarves (they’ll make you feel more like a local), say “bonjour” when you walk into a shop and have a GREAT time. x
    .-= Ele´s last blog ..Pink and Green Veg =-.

  • Reply Muriël February 1, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I know a couple of things. I never miss the Picasso Museum and Centre Pompidou (obviously they are in the guide books, but still really great) I also like to visit the fresh produce market at Rue Mouffetard. There is a great ceramics shop near there (near the metro station, I believe) as well.
    .-= Muriël´s last blog ..My creative space 11 =-.

  • Reply Patricia February 1, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I go to Paris regularly (I live in Strasbourg) and I have been looking for things to do other than the standard tourist activities. I found a lot of useful info on food blogs, which I recommend for research: and a posting on 101 cookbooks ( When I go to Paris I love wandering around the marais area in which you can find the gay village, but also a street full of jewish stuff (rue des rosiers). I highly recommend going there on a Sunday for a falafel at l’As du falafel. I also really like the Japanese food on rue St-Anne (near the Louvre), when I’m in Paris I mostly eat there because I can’t find decent Japanese in Strasbourg! I especially recommend the Ramen and Gyoza and the okonomiyaki restaurants. I hope this is helpful!

  • Reply Maja February 1, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Hi Caroline and Holly,
    You can check tips on places in Paris that are suggested by locals on

    Spotted By Locals is a series of European cityblogs for those who like to experience cities ‘the local way’.
    Enjoy your trip to Paris!

  • Reply Lucia February 1, 2010 at 9:26 am

    just get lost in any street in the center near the Sena, you will find beautiful corners everywhere.
    I remember nice boutiques near the Bastille, close to “Place des Vosgues” (where the Victor Hugo house is located). At night there are many pubs and young people around so is nice to visit too.

    Love Paris!!!

  • Reply NatalieAsIs February 1, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Seek out the romantic la Charlotte on Ile St. Louis for wonderfully decadent hot chocolate (, and if you find that decadence suits you, don’t miss the incredible Musee Gustave Moreau! I also concur that Rose Bakery should not be missed – it is perfect and humble and unforgettable.
    .-= NatalieAsIs´s last blog ..Small Dove Gray Blank Book with Woven Bands =-.

  • Reply nichole February 1, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Oooh, and topic after my own heart!

    I love the falafel shops on Rue des Rosiers. L’as du Fallafel and Chez Marianne. The falafels are HUGE, and cost 4 Euros (a bargain for Paris). Also in the area, we like to have coffee at Dome (right across from the St. Paul metro stop in the Marias). Dome is spacious, have very comfortable seats, a friendly staff, and they have great breakfasts omelets.

    In Montmarte, I wouldn’t miss Coquelicot. Though I am sure it’s in the tourist guides, the bread is absolutely fantastic, and the coffee bowls are as big as Texas! I went to Coquelicot after reading about it on Chocolate and Zucchini – a blog other’s commenters here mention and one I highly recommend.

    I also recommend visiting – Erica and her staff know Paris really well, and have great recommendations.

    Here are a few of my favorite places in an interview I did for S.Hop Talk last year:

    Enjoy the trip!
    .-= nichole´s last blog ..Boarding Pass =-.

  • Reply Gina February 1, 2010 at 9:42 am

    A fabulous source for travelers is:

    Questions and answers are posted by fellow travlers.


  • Reply House Hunting in Paris February 1, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Hi there,
    I haven’t read the comments so I don’t know if I’m repeating stuff but here are my suggestions:
    -the Terrasse bar at Printemps (big department store in the 9th) for an incredible free 360 degree view of Paris, best of all no lines!
    -le comptoir du relais (in the 6th at Odéon) for the best 5-course 50 EUR meal EVAR – *if* she can get reservations (we had to wait 3 months for ours)
    -l’hôtel drouot for the most incredible antique, clothing, jewelry, book finds. They have multiple auctions daily Mon-Sat, usually starting at 2 pm. Hammer premium is 25% but prices are still basically “wholesale” compared to the big antique markets (Porte de Vanves and Porte de Clignacourt).
    There is so much to do, see, buy, eat, drink in Paris that even after 4 yrs here I still have many many things on my to-do list – enjoy the weekend snapshot!
    .-= House Hunting in Paris´s last blog ..Oh the joys of Parisian real estate agents =-.

  • Reply Pooja February 1, 2010 at 9:53 am

    From a July 2009 trip to Paris:

    – Hotel Amour (9th). Highly recommended; food was excellent and well priced (14-18E/entrée). Get a seat on the terrace if possible.

    – Lunch at L’Enoteca (4th ; 50E). Needed a change from all the French food and enjoyed this place very much.

    – Had dinner at Liza (2nd; 70E), an upscale Lebanese place. Loved! Great food, excellent service, though a sleepy location.

    – Took out a pie from Pink Flamingo Pizza (10th; 14E) and sat along the canal to eat. Watched the boats and the locks

  • Reply Karo Design February 1, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I lived in Paris for two years and just love the city.
    I’m really glad to see that so many of you will be visiting it this spring
    it’s just so beautiful!
    Here are some of my recommendations
    Paris is expensive and the euro doesn’t help. The restaurant are really expensive and the service isn’t great. I use to go to the market and buy incredible delicious things and have a picknik. The city has plenty of beautiful places to sit and relax. If you go to Versailles, the gardens are beautiful but I recommend that you take a walk near Marie-Antoinette bergerie ( nicer and less tourist and lots of sheep) Make sure to drink lots of wine and champagne ( you can buy a champagne for 15 euro) and eat saucisson and real Parisian baguette. Enjoy!

  • Reply Prêt à Voyager February 1, 2010 at 10:27 am

    so great seeing so many new tips and ideas for my favorite city (that i currently call home). caroline, i just thought i’d pass along my city guide for you – hope it helps!

    bon voyage!

  • Reply Michele February 1, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I spent 6 weeks in Paris studying Art History during college and also visited while living in Germany. Some of my favorite experiences have to be Berthillon (Ice Cream–nay, the most delicious ice cream of all time) at 31, rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile (not far from Notre Dame) and the Catacombs, entrance at 1 place Denfert-Rochereau. That one may not be for everyone (if you’re not comfortable with tight spaces) but was a really neat experience and part of the history of the city I don’t think everyone experiences. Also, there’s a weekly guide (I can’t remember what it’s called now…) listing current events (many of them free) including concerts, galleries, etc. you can pick up for cheap at any local tabac or newstand. You get great entertainment and also a peek at the venue where it’s being held, which might have flown under your radar otherwise. Make sure you also take time to just sit and people watch! :)

  • Reply Kim February 1, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Palais de Tokyo for cool contemporary art, Musée Carnavalet for Parisian history…Parc des Buttes Chaumont is fun to explore and has good views…..the Mariage Frères tea shop in the 4e is the best-smelling place I have ever been – don’t miss it! Antoine et Lili boutique near Canal Saint Martin (super French, kind of $). My favorite view of the Eiffel Tower was while taking the 6 metro train over the Seine at night, when the water looks black and reflects the twinkling lights. Passionfruit + milk chocolate macaroons at Pierre Hermé (you can eat them in front of Saint Sulpice). Michel Chaudun’s shop is a bit out of the way, but I don’t know anywhere else you’ll see a drill made of chocolate. You can get a deal on Metro fare if you buy a weekly (hebdomadaire, Mon-Sun) Carte Orange pass. Etc etc!

  • Reply The Designer Insider February 1, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Ahhh Paris!! My very favorite city to visit! The food and shopping are fabulous!! I wrote an article in 2009 about my favorite store in Paris. Go to the link to visit this landmark store!

  • Reply kathleen newlove February 1, 2010 at 11:23 am

    i live in paris. i’d be happy to give recommendations. you can feel free to put her in touch with me and we can get more specific with what she wants.

  • Reply anita February 1, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Amazing Food Market, Cool Cafe, Elegant Tea Shop:
    My best friends live in Paris in the 8th arrondisement, very close to Arc de Triomphe. We think the best outdoor food market (very parisian, excellent quality, huge selection, great vibe) is in the 8th just off of Avenue des Ternes, between Avenude de Wagram and Avenue Neil, on a small street called Rue Poncelet. Also t the corner of Poncelet and Ternes is a great cafe, also with a great local vibe and delicious coffee called “Cafe Dada”. Mariage Freres, an amazing tea shop is also close by, at 250 rue Faoubourg du St-Honore. But there are many of these shops throughout Paris. ENjoy!

  • Reply Meg February 1, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Bistro Camille in the Marais – a must for a dinner! It’s too lovely for words, and very reasonable.

    Can’t wait to mine this thread for ideas for my next Paris trip…thanks, Holly!
    .-= Meg´s last blog ..Almost summer. =-.

  • Reply Sue-z February 1, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Watching (or joining in with) the roller-bladers that take over the streets of Paris on Friday evenings. We stumbled upon this huge group of skaters and it was fabulous. Information about this can be found here:

    We were sitting in a cafe when, what seemed like 5,000 + roller-bladers went by with police escort – on roller blades as well. It was awesome to take in and very different.

  • Reply Sherri February 1, 2010 at 11:58 am

    It’s mentioned in the guide books, but one of my go to places is just out side Paris, it’s Chartes Cathedral. If you can take a tour with Malcolm Miller, oh goodness. We went and he guided us through some beautiful window. You should , also, visit the food department at Galleries Lafeyette.

  • Reply cristina February 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Everyone has so many wonderful suggestions – especially Cafe de la Gare (in an old station), and well everyone’s recommendations are good.

    I have to add the Pont Neuf. It’s my favorite place in the whole city. A stroll through the Ile de la Cite not a bad idea either. Just enjoy the actual city as much as possible…

  • Reply thedoodlegirl February 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I wish I had helpful advice! I’d LOVE to go to Paris!!
    .-= thedoodlegirl´s last blog ..Illustration Friday: Focus =-.

  • Reply I ? colorz February 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Hi everyone,

    Evereything in Paris is marked in the tourist book, everything has been visited, revisted, has been in and out the trends.

    This is what I like best:
    – I like the Marais quarter – it’s part jewish, art gay, part jazz, part fashionable, part the coolest trendiest most visible cafées, part historical (it goes all the way to a small jardin with Victor Hugo’s ex house, surrounded by many art galleries) – great food, great music, hidden backyards with exhibits and places to have a drink; great atmosphere, great people, great shopping, art – what could you want more ? :)
    – l’Institute du Monde Arabe – you have got to love all the history inside
    (this one is in the tourist books, but it’s seldom visited; I guess due to the Eiffel tower :P)
    – at the end of ST Michel blv, close to Jardin d. Louxemburg, there’s the chiquest small boutique for umbrellas; everything is a piece of art
    – L’ile St Louis – it’s a street close to Notre Dame – filled with tons of high class art exhibits; I practically wanted to move there :D plus some adorable stores for girls
    – close to Paris (you can take the RER or travel by car), at Noissy-Champs there’s a very beautiful castle, with a gorgeous green peaceful huuuge garden

    and lots more :) enjoy !

  • Reply I heart colorz February 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    oh, yeah… and musee Guimet – the biggest oriental art collection in Europe ;)
    .-= I heart colorz´s last blog ..Morning love for spots =-.

  • Reply Anna February 1, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I’m also planning to go to Paris this year. And came across this shop:

    111 Boulevard Beaumarchais
    75011 Paris

    It must be amazingly unique. It’s an old factory turned into concept store with flower shop, fashion, lifestyle, kitchen and kids department. They even have a DIY Annick Goutal perfume counter.

  • Reply Megan February 1, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Crème brûlée at Café Trocadero while you watch the Eiffle Tower sparkle at the top of the hour! :)

  • Reply Anna February 1, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    me again:
    find more information and some pics here:

  • Reply Diane February 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I was just in Paris for Christmas & New Years visiting my sister & her family who live there.

    One evening we went to a fantastic restaurant called Les Cocottes. Here is a link: I would highly recommend it for dinner & then have the gaufrette (waffle) for dessert with the salted caramel sauce! I still think about that one….

    Enjoy the city, it is amazing!

  • Reply Chelsea February 1, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I’m off to Paris on the 5th and can’t wait! It’s such a magical city! I’m a huge foodie so most of my suggestions involve food, but since the food in Paris is so wonderful it’s well worth it!

    Early in the morning – ok, no later than 10 am – hit one of the open air markets. Everything is so beautifully arranged and the produce is impecable and delicious. It can be hard if you don’t have a kitchen to cook in, but just going for the visual joy of seeing all those shallots, fennel, oranges, strawberries, etc perfectly arranged is worth it! Then you have to head to a franprix, shopi, monoprix, or the bon marche (any larger food shop, actually) and pick up some of the yogurt in the beautiful terracotta pots. The yogurt is perfect, creamy, not too tangy, not cloyingly sweet. But the pots are the best part – perfect, easily packed souvenirs of your trip. Also pick up some Norman cider, which at about 3 euros a bottle, is a steal and absolutely delicious. Wash out your yogurt pots and you have something quite close to traditionally accurate to drink it out of!

    Most of my meals in Paris, even when I’m staying in a hotel, are made up of things I pick up here and there. Perfect fruit from the market, some olives at the stall nearby (and don’t skip their prunes from Agen – yes, prunes!! so good!), a baguette from Eric Kayser, cheese from any of the many cheese shops. And always some beautiful, decadent sweet from Pierre Herme, Laduree, Gerard Mulot. I did used to be a pastry chef and still have a “professional interest”.

    Visiting a Breton style creperie is also always on my must do list. Either the Japanese influenced and very stylish Cafe Breizh in the Marais, or one of the boisterous, crowded traditional spots along rue Montparnasse in the 14th. You can’t go wrong with the thin buckwheat crepes and a carafe of cider.

    I don’t do a lot of shopping in Paris (other than food and always a bottle of perfume), but there’s a new store I’m terribly interested in visiting. It’s called Merci ( and definitly sounds like one to visit without the boys. It’s 5 floors of clothing, flowers, second hand books, perfume, a cafe, and more, with part of proceeds going to a children’s charity. Sounds like the perfect spot to visit on a rainy afternoon!

    Oh, and speaking of rainy afternoons, my other 2 favourites for those are either a salon de the and a giant mug of hot chocolate or the museum of nature and hunting. A truly odd one, full of taxidermy and bizarre anthropomorphic paintings and dioramas.

    Have an amazing time!!!!
    .-= Chelsea´s last blog ..Utterly engaging =-.

  • Reply Anna February 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    It just came to my mind: the most secretive and romantic museum in Paris is called Musee de la Vie romantique. George Sand lived here and it’s a darling little french house hidden in a little garden. The house captivates historical interiors and souvenirs from the Romantic Age and from George Sand.
    It’s a unique experience!

  • Reply Liz February 1, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I lived in Paris for a year as a student. Really liked a small restaurant near the Luxembourg gardens called Aux Charpentiers ( Go for lunch, get a pichet of wine and the plat du jour. Lovely. Or just go to one of the local bakeries, get the “menu” that includes a sandwich, drink and dessert, then find a bench in one of the small enclaves near the fences of the gardens. Finally, the Rodin museum was amazing when the roses were blooming, but I think it would still be a great stop in winter.

  • Reply Montse February 1, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I worked for about 3 months as a trainee in Paris and used the weekends for sightseeing. One of the things I always recommend is a visit to the L’Orangerie Museum. On the bottom floor they have this enormous nympheas paintings that Monet painted for the two rooms they are in and you can sit in the middle of the room and you feel as if you were inside the painting (please check if they are still there before going, just in case they have not changed them of museum).
    I would also recommend Place de la Madeleine with Fauchon (ancient very well known gourmet shop) and la Farmacie Leclerc next to it (famous for the face powders and makeup).
    I also loved the shops/stores Gallerie Lafayette, Printemps, Herve Chapelier, Isabel Marant (very very french! and very very expensive!), Vanessa Bruno, Colette and wandering in Montmartre and the painters market next to it.
    Finally, I have not been to these shops but in my next trip would like to visit Merci ( and Thank God I’m a vip (vintage

  • Reply Annelies February 1, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Here’s a perfect weekend:

    – Breakfast @ one of the many terraces at Canal St. Martin. Best weekend ever is in June, when the flea market is organized there.
    – Noon; Shopping @ Saint Germain. Loads of typical French designer shops. Have lunch at the Armani Cafe.
    – Evening; Eat @ Kong and ask to be seated under the “coupole”. Remember the girls from Sex & the City in Paris?

    – Stroll over the Champs Elysees, direction Eiffel and have a walk like all Parisians at the ‘Allee de Cygnes’.
    – Walk to the Museum of Modern Art (Pompidou) and pretend to go for lunch/dinner; take the elevator at the outside and you have the most marvelous view over Paris!
    – Have dinner on the street terrace of ‘Le sixieme’ in the Rue de Belles Feuilles. Shopping is also fun on Boulevard Victor Hugo if you have some more time tomorrow :)
    – Go and see the girls from the Moulin Rouge. You’re in Paris; you have to.

  • Reply Angie February 1, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Hello~! (Holly, just want to tell you I am big fan of both of your blogs.)
    Last November I found myself quite unexpectedly with two days to spend in Paris. I had never been and I was very, very excited to take in all I could. Many sacrifices had to be made, but I had a fabulous time. Like your friend I wanted to create a unique Paris experience. I was not disappointed. Paris has something for everyone. The best way have an experience outside what’s in the travel books is to research online. “1. Become a Flaneur – A “flaneur” is a stroller, who goes wherever his/her curiosity leads, collecting impressions on the way. Paris is best seen on foot as a flaneur. Leave your itinerary behind and aimlessly wander. Each quarter is beautiful and holds its own unique charms and treasures. Some of our favorites include the Marais, St. Germain des Prés, and the Latin Quarter.” That is the best advice I can pass on. I was not able to hit all three quarters, but by picking Les Marais I hit jackpot. As I surfaced from Point Marie metro station (I was going to enjoy a Seine walk) I was greeted with a sign that said “BROCANTE” with a huge arrow pointing the way! I was ecstatic! A flea market/antiquities outdoor sale?!?! What luck! I spent the day shopping curios and souvenirs among senior citizens. My boyfriend joked that I had done the “Paris for Seniors” tour of Paris. I had a blast!

  • Reply Lisa P. February 1, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I’m not an expert on Paris, but when I was studying abroad, we relied on the Rick Steves guides to tell us about the best out of the way places and also the best way to visit the touristy places. Also, if you have kids, Cookie magazine had an article on what to do with kids in Paris sometime in 2008, I believe. It was pretty good. Have fun!

  • Reply Virginie February 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Hello hello, i live in Paris, i am french, and i can give you some very nice adresses… These are my secret spots by disctricts, so shuuuuuh ;-)
    Le Marais : lunch @ “rose bakery” 30, rue Debelleyme or le “Marché des enfants rouge” is great 39, rue de Bretagne, 75003, (The Market of the Red Children) ; shop @ “Merci” (and also eat there for lunch, they have a great organic place in the basement), they have fashion and design and flowers, and a kid corner, the place you really have to see, walk around la rue Des Francs Bourgeois and rue Vieille du Temple for fashion, there are also nice free art gallery in the neighbouhoud like la Galerie Perrotin 76 rue de Turenne, Diner @ le Derrière 69, rue des Gravilliers, 75003 (book a table first, it’s great), and a drink with music @ Andy Walho just next to it…
    Saint Germain : walk around la Rue Saint André des Arts and stop for a nice Crepe, stop by Notre Dame of course, buy a nice bottle of wine with 2 glasses and go on the “Pont des Arts Bridge” around 7pm to share the view with friendly people if it’s not too cold outsite, also the district is full of nice little restaurants and bar, the Jardin du Luxembourg…
    Montmartre : don’t stop at Anvers, so much tourist and tourists shop, but @ Blanche, take a pic of the Moulin Rouge and take la Rue Lepic and then Rue des Abesses and walk until you find the Sacré Coeur… there’s a lot of touriste, but you have to see this !!
    Tour Eiffel : stop by the Palais de Tokyo, a great moderne museum and a great place to eat, if you want to have a nice diner, book a table @ Cafe de l’homme, you’ll have a fantastic view on the Eiffel tour, you can also have diner @ La Plage (The Beach), a very nice restaurant on the Seine…
    Les Halles / Sentier / 1st : the Pompidou museum and the Restaurant Chez Georges on the top of the museum, a little tour by the rue Montorgeuil is very nice, outdoor market with typical products, The Louvre of course, and have a tea and a cake @ Angelina on rue de Rivoli… There’s so many things to do, HAVE A NICE TRIP !!! ;-)

  • Reply blackdiamonds February 1, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I love Paris, you can go to the usual tourists attractions such as Louvre, Eiffle Tower, etc. I would also suggest checking It has information on the secret boutiques, inventive restaurants, hidden treasures and latest trends in Paris. =)

  • Reply Lynn February 1, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I’ve been to Paris many times – such a magical city! Many of my favourite places have already been mentioned (I love Le Marais and the Bastille district and yes! Falafel!) but I, too, have an Italian restaurant to mention. There’s a tiny café/restaurant called Angela Caffe in the rue de Étouffes (XIIième) where I had the most delicious Italian food I have ever eaten – tables and chairs/stools for maybe a dozen people tops, menu on a huge blackboard, all fresh ingredients, (very suitable for vegetarians too) all cooked by Angela in her open kitchen. I have never (obviously!) forgotten my meal there….
    .-= Lynn´s last blog ..flown =-.

  • Reply Susan February 1, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    In May of 2008 a girlfriend and I visited London, Paris, and Rome. In Paris the our one wish, besides seeing all the classic sights, was to go to a flea market. Here is a link to a full description and map of this area. It was easy to get to via the Metro and had so many shops we couldn’t even begin to see everything. Marche Brion was many small showrooms connected in a row on both sides of a narrow street about a block long. Marche Dauphine was a large two story building with many shops and was my favorite. Many affordable treasures – so much bakelite jewerly in one shop. I wear my bracelets often!

  • Reply Design Citation February 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I suggest checking out the blog, I Prefer Paris, by an american in Paris,
    who lived in the Marais, and recommends many restaurants and haunts.
    He also teaches a cooking class in English.
    In addition – if you want to shop for antiques, or at the paris flea market with a companion, go to The Paris Apartement – even if it’s just to a have a peek –
    its amazing!

  • Reply Heather February 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    The guidebooks talk a lot about the parks in Paris; Jardin du Luxembourg, Jardin des Tuileries, etc. I can’t recommend walking through, sitting in and enjoying them enough.

    Also, spend as much time as you can at Chateau Versailles, it’s another guide book kind of thing to say, but truly a must see:

    Other tips: get the Paris metro pass and museum pass, you will use both:

    Soak up all the history and culture, it’s remarkable. ENJOY!

  • Reply Cami February 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I have been to Paris multiple times and have two “off the beaten path” places to share.

    The first is a fabulous restaurant called Les Bouquinistes So good and such a treat – perfect for a date. We went on a double date there with friends from London and it was a perfect meeting place to enjoy French wine, good conversation, and it had the perfect ambiance. It’s pricey, but worth it.

    The second is an amazing bar called Caveau de la Huchette Located in the Latin Quarter (my favorite area of Paris), this bar is completely unlike anything I have ever seen. I can’t even put it into words really. If I do, it won’t serve it justice. In fact, I remember wanting to take a picture when we were inside, but did not want to ruin the timelessness. You enter from the street, but crawl down through an underground tunnel. Once you get below ground, you are inside what looks like a cave. People, mostly locals, are dancing what seemed to be a mix of burlesque and swing. They have beer and wine, but you really go for the people watching. Great late night place! I found out about it from a friend who lived in Paris for several years. I was so glad I went, and always tell friends about it when they go.


  • Reply Miss-Ninie February 1, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I’m from Belgium and I go to Paris about 4 times a week. I did my college thesis about Le Centre Pompidou and I’ve been a big fan of La Ville Lumière ever since.
    All of the addresses mentioned above are also part of my favorite ones. If you’re looking for a good shop with craft stuff, go to the “BHV” at la rue de Rivoli, “La Drogerie” 9-11 rue du Jour 1st arrond. and “De Fils et une Aiguille” 1 rue Chabanais in the 2nd arrond.
    Enjoy your trip
    .-= Miss-Ninie´s last blog ..Victor =-.

  • Reply Elizabeth February 1, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Make sure to have breakfast at LaDuree and buy some macaroons!

  • Reply Jan Jessup February 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Dear Caroline,
    Remember that March is not quite spring in Paris and it can be cold and gray and wet. Bring a warm raincoat and clothes that can be layered up or down depending on the weather. Bring good footwear that will keep you warm as you will be on your feet a lot, walking all over the city, into and out of the Metro, through museums, etcetera.

    There are a lot of good packing tips on the FODOR’S website, i.e.:

    Even if you’re planning to check your bag, you’ll pick up some tips here. Mine is to put your clothes on thin vinyl-coated wire hangers and then packing each outfit in a plastic drycleaning bag. Take all the clothes by the hanger hooks, and fold them into thirds–sort of like a roulade of clothing. Your clothes will arrive practically wrinkle-free with this technique. And, you can hang them up immediately and you’re done unpacking!

    Here’s a link to the Paris finds of another first time visitor and blogger, Heather Clawson of HABITUALLY CHIC who was there last September:
    Jan Jessup, Calico Corners

    • Reply decor8 February 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm

      All of your comments are so exciting, as I live next door to France and haven’t gotten over there yet so this is the year for me to visit Paris again, only this time many years later as the last time I was there was in November 1998, the same month that I met my dear husband in fact. :) :) Now everyone has me missing it… so I think I will go sooner rather than later myself. Caroline see what you’ve inspired? I think we all want to jump on a train/plane! xo

  • Reply Karen Cheung February 1, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I would recommend Tombées du Camion near Montmartre – they carry the most amazing French vintage ephemera, weird vintage dolls, sweet wooden toys and other beautiful vintage items that you might not see anywhere else. A tiny but truly spectacular and whimsical shop that thoroughly deserves a rummage.

    I wrote about it on my blog here:

    and here is their website:
    .-= Karen Cheung´s last blog ..One Hundred Days – no.19 =-.

  • Reply lee February 1, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    All has probably been said, but shops to visit:
    Merci ( the most fabulous design/lifestyle/clothing/flower/etcetc-store I’ve ever been to.
    mamie gateaux ( beautiiiiiful tiny secondhand store, with a lovely tea-and-cake-cafe nextdoor. Not to be missed!
    .-= lee´s last blog ..Elton John’s humble view.. =-.

  • Reply Sharmaigne February 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Come visit me on the Ile-St.-Louis, at number 78 rue St. Louis-en-L’Ile. It is a clothing boutique with great handbags! It is bloody cold at the moment so bundle up and wander on the little island, then walk up into the marais; rue Vieille du Temple, great shops…go to rue Montorgueil (get off the metro at Les Halles) and have an apero on a heated terrace. People-watch and drink wine. That’s how we spend our evenings after work.
    The fabric market St. Pierre up in the 18th is fun too. There is an elevator operator! I go there just for that…and ribbon.
    Paris is a city to wander about in. You never know what you’ll find. Speak softly, pay attention and always say bonjour before asking anything.

  • Reply Bobbi O. February 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Monmartre!! You must must go, if not just to walk the streets!! The Red Light District is not too far and the view of the city from the highest point is breathtaking!!

  • Reply corine/hidden in france February 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Here we go: ten favorites from a Parisian native:
    #1 use your credit card for the best rates. Much better than converting money here or there.
    #2 Restaurant rue de la tiquetone: le grapillon is fabulous
    #3 Rue Montorgeuil for lovely parisian promenades
    #4 Deyrolle, the taxidermy shop. Weird and awesome
    #5 restaurant Kong French Japanese food and wild decor
    #6 take out from Fauchon (try the ‘oeufs en gelée’)
    # 7 bateau bus which offers 8 stops around the seine as water taxi for a day
    #8 A stroll around the bois de boulogne lakes
    #9 Regis chocolatiers, the best! (not well-known) rue de Paris
    #10 salon de thé Angelina rue de Rivoli, for the unique experience

  • Reply LindaS February 1, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    I second Chez Marianne in the Marais – but really you can grab a big falafel from any place. But there is no need to wait for a table – just grab it to go wrapped in silver foil & plonk your self down on a big wide footpath (sidewalk for Americans) and eat! (Grab a whole bunch of napkins though or you will be wearing most of it on your chin!)

    Try to find some covered walkways – this site gives a good overview. Lovely little back alleys & hidden treasures to be found!
    .-= LindaS´s last blog ..Second Birthday =-.

  • Reply Elen February 1, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    My Paris in 2010, as parisians live it, not the Ratatouille Paris (even if I like this movie)

    Restaurants & cafés (with a french feeling but not touristy):
    Le bûcheron (italian & french food, very cosy bistrot)
    Le loir dans la théière (tea room with great home-made pies, to avoid during the week-end, it’s overcrowded)
    L’étoile manquante (in the marais, nice café, mixed people)
    Le bistrot du peintre (art nouveau classic café)

    Pâtisseries : Pierre Hermé (The best macarons, try the chocolat-passion, my favorite)
    La Maison du Chocolat (to die for)
    Pain de sucre (very creative & delicious)

    Good bars with ambiance:
    Pop’in (for fans of Belle & Sebastian & Françoise Hardy)
    Le Truskel (same people)
    La Perle ( Marais fashionistas & beautiful people,),1118270.html
    Café Chéri(e) (more popular, if you dare come to Belleville but great mood on saturday night)

    Chez Moune (check the program or you could be surprised ;p)
    Le Baron
    Le Paris Paris
    Le Montana (last in vogue)

    Venues :
    Le Point éphémère
    la Maroquinerie
    la Bellevilloise
    La Flèche d’or
    Le cabaret sauvage

    Hope it helped… ;)

  • Reply Miriam February 1, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    The Marais district/ Jewish quarter is absolutely fantastic. It is mine and my husbands favourite place in Paris. Eat on rue des Rosiers… oh, have a fabulous time – you’ll always have Paris!

  • Reply Jordana February 1, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    What AMAZING suggestions by all the Decor8 readers!

    Like many others who commented, I’m quite obsessed with Paris.
    There are a gazillion things to do and see. My recommendations:
    1. Musee Rodin
    2. Opera Garnier
    3. Hediard (amazing tea!) at Place de la Madeleine
    4. Monet’s House – it’s out of the city but well worth the trip
    5. Jardin de Tuileries – so so pretty
    6. Institut du Monde Arabe – architecture is fantastic!
    7. Tour Montparnasse – go to the restaurant for spectacular views
    8. Saint Ouen flea (near Porte de Clignancourt)
    9. Eiffel Tower – duh
    10. Sainte-Chapelle – the most amazing stained glass windows!

    Don’t discount all the touristy spots – there are some spectacular sights to see!

    Number 1 movie to get you excited about Paris: Amelie.


  • Reply Nancy February 1, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Try the Pain de Chocalate at Flute Gana in the Montmartre neighborhood. Get them to go then walk up the hill to one of the best views in Paris (which is highlighted in all the tourist books…).

  • Reply coucoumadame February 1, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned this yet…hands down the most amazing little craft/knit/button/ribbon shop i’ve been to. really a beautiful store.
    it is called La Droguerie. The address is: 9-11 rue du Jour. 75001. If you love beautiful ribbon, sweet felt things to craft with, yarn, and other amazing stuff, this is really a treat.
    .-= coucoumadame´s last blog ..-spring is here!- =-.

  • Reply coucoumadame February 1, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    here is their website:
    .-= coucoumadame´s last blog ..-spring is here!- =-.

  • Reply Jan Jessup February 1, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Hi, it’s Jan again–and after reading everyone’s ideas, I was surprised that no one has yet mentioned the other church on Ile de la Cite–not the Cathedral of Notre Dame (which of course you have to see), but the exquisitely beautiful medieval church, Louis IX’s Sainte-Chapelle (1245), built as a reliquary to house the Crown of Thorns and a piece of the True Cross. This is a jewel box of a church–the complete opposite of the cavernous cathedral across the square. They also have many concerts in the church and it’s a pleasure to go there to hear baroque music in such a lovely setting. Sainte-Chapelle is quite small–it’s enclosed within the gates of the Palais de Justice, but it’s easy to gain entry. Enjoy!

  • Reply Travelingmama February 1, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Wow! Well, since we were traveling with kids our perspective might be a bit different but I second the recommendation to visit Laduree. They may be a bit known, but their macarons are incredible as were their other pastries! And of course everyone walks down the Champs de elysee so you might as well find one redeeming treat since most of what you will find is overly commercialized chain stores. And though it may be in the guide books as well, I LOVED visited Shakespeare and Co. I could hardly tear my children from the reading nook located up a rickety set of stairs. You can also check out the wonderful antique book collection located next door.

    Staying in a hotel is nice, but we love to rent a charming apartment because you get to pretend for a few days that you really live in such a wonderful and romantic city!
    .-= Travelingmama´s last blog ..traveling {vicariously} =-.

  • Reply Helena ROOM AND SERVE February 2, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Paris is fantastic though I got so so scared in the Tour de Eiffel – 320 meters! Hallo!
    .-= Helena ROOM AND SERVE´s last blog ..Industridesignprogrammet på Gotland designar Smart Belysning för medvetna =-.

  • Reply Melibu February 2, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Hi Holly,
    I am actually a Parisian Girl, living in the center of Paris.
    I have many places to suggest (chez Janou, a tiny restaurant already mentionned, “Merci” a very special kind of shop, Aligre flea market and so on…)
    I don’t have much time right now but I’ll come back later today to give some tips.
    If you want you can give my email address to this person, I would be very happy to tell her everything I know about this city I live in.
    .-= Melibu´s last blog ..Pendant ce temps, à Vera Cruz… =-.

  • Reply Melibu February 2, 2010 at 4:01 am

    Sorry in advance, my comment will be very long….

    Here is a personnal tip I can give you. Something not everybody sees.
    Some neighborhood of Paris are really artistics and have a true historical touch.
    Belleville, for example, seems very popular and not attractive at first sight. But Angenic has all the keys of the neighborhood. He knows all the secrets, can enter everywhere, tell you the story of any street, monument or inhabitant. Its association « Paris par rues Méconnues » (Paris by its unknown streets) organize some rides in those streets. Visit their website and book a ride if you want. You won’t regret it.

    Other places to visit :

    Of course, it depends on how long will be your stay. I’m not fond of visiting cities by collecting all monuments. Of course, you must see the Eiffel tower (at night as it is sparkling every 5 first minutes of each hours – long queue if you want to go on the top – better to go on top of Montparnasse tower cause you can see Eiffel tower from there), Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysées, Notre Dame and Opera Garnier. But I personnaly prefer to visit by neighborhood and « feel » the city.

    Here is my suggestion of visit :

    1 – The Marais (3rd and 4th area)
    Compulsory. Lively. Trendy. Gay.
    There you can easily have fun and become a shopaholic. You can find some very design and vintage shop as much as weird things (see my post on Legay Choc, a very Marais’ style bakery : )
    If you have time, ask some people where is the « Village St Paul » and visit it. Tiny but very sweet.

    2 – Saint Louis Island (4th area)
    Not far away from The Marais. It’s the oldest place of Paris. Shops and buildings are intact. You can have an ice cream – the best of Paris (try lemon-basil one !). If you’re not tired, then go to Ile de la Cité (juste next) to visit Notre Dame de Paris.

    3 – Montmartre (18th area)
    As in the movie Amelie ! So romantic ! Sacré Cœur is magic, the view of Paris wonderful. Be careful : it’s a very touristic place : don’t buy anything there it’s too expensive ! You can go down to the fabric area (downstairs) at Reine or St Pierre market. Then you can go down to Pigalle and its sex shops and Moulin Rouge (really parisian !)

    4 – Quartier Latin (5th area)
    Also very touristic, try not to eat there. Crapy restaurant and fake french food. But the streets and the feeling is really parisian. Lot of bookshops, some are amazing. You can then walk on the St Michel Boulevard up to the Sorbonne (very famous university where may 68 started) and then the Pantheon. Here you have the romantic and gay restaurant « Le Petit Prince de Paris ».

    4 – Les Passages (begins at 10th area)
    Here is a map of covered ways, really coooool walks :
    It’s in french but click on black dots to see what it looks like. The best way to visit old and vintage Paris if raining. You can find there real treasures.

    To go Shopping :
    I would advise
    In the 4th area – Next to M° Bastille / Filles du Calvaire and next to Chez Janou.

    Of course, for cloths : The Marais !

    Restaurants :
    You already have many places. I would just confirm those 2, my favorites :

    Le Petit Prince de Paris
    In the 5th area, between Sorbonne and Pantheon. Very romantic and calm, really gooooood french food and not that expensive (2 dishes + dessert for 26 euros). Waiters are gay and really sweet.

    Chez Janou
    (website not that good but restaurant really nice in summer) Southern french food. 4th area – next to M° Bastille

    Going out :
    I see that you already have a lot of places to go out for a drink or dancing. You will find many many in Paris. My favorite is the Sans Sanz next to Bastille.

    What I could advise is to see Lido or Moulin Rouge if you can. That’s not only feathers and naked women. It’s rrreeeeaaallly incredible show. Some places + champagne at reduced prices at or

    Paris is also known for its cultural scene. Try to find a play in English. For that, you have : plays and shows for reduced price.
    You can also find half prices places at Kiosque Jeune, the day of the play, in Montparnasse place (between the tower and the train station)
    I live there. If you need anything, any help, any tips, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    To see if enough time :
    The oldest and cheapest market of Paris in the 12th area. Really typical and colorful.

    Go on the top of Montparnasse tower. Here is a tip : taking the elevator to go on 56th floor costs 10€. Don’t take it. Ask to go to the restaurant on 55th floor (Le Ciel de Paris) and have a 4€ coffee (yet expensive !). Maybe be call to book before, depending on the hour.

    In the end, if you contact me few days before your trip, I can tell you some private sales from french young designers (of clothes/jewels/paints and more) to get some parisian souvenirs at reduced prices.

    Enjoy your stay !
    .-= Melibu´s last blog ..Pendant ce temps, à Vera Cruz… =-.

  • Reply Melibu February 2, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Here is a personnal tip I can give you. Something not everybody sees.
    Some neighborhood of Paris are really artistics and have a true historical touch.
    Belleville, for example, seems very popular and not attractive at first sight. But Angenic has all the keys of the neighborhood. He knows all the secrets, can enter everywhere, tell you the story of any street, monument or inhabitant. Its association « Paris par rues Méconnues » (Paris by its unknown streets) organize some rides in those streets. Visit their website and book a ride if you want. You won’t regret it.

    Other places to visit :

    Of course, it depends on how long will be your stay. I’m not fond of visiting cities by collecting all monuments. Of course, you must see the Eiffel tower (at night as it is sparkling every 5 first minutes of each hours – long queue if you want to go on the top – better to go on top of Montparnasse tower cause you can see Eiffel tower from there), Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysées, Notre Dame and Opera Garnier. But I personnaly prefer to visit by neighborhood and « feel » the city.

    Here is my suggestion of visit :

    1 – The Marais (3rd and 4th area)
    Compulsory. Lively. Trendy. Gay.
    There you can easily have fun and become a shopaholic. You can find some very design and vintage shop as much as weird things (see my post on Legay Choc, a very Marais’ style bakery : )
    If you have time, ask some people where is the « Village St Paul » and visit it. Tiny but very sweet.

    2 – Saint Louis Island (4th area)
    Not far away from The Marais. It’s the oldest place of Paris. Shops and buildings are intact. You can have an ice cream – the best of Paris (try lemon-basil one !). If you’re not tired, then go to Ile de la Cité (juste next) to visit Notre Dame de Paris.

    3 – Montmartre (18th area)
    As in the movie Amelie ! So romantic ! Sacré Cœur is magic, the view of Paris wonderful. Be careful : it’s a very touristic place : don’t buy anything there it’s too expensive ! You can go down to the fabric area (downstairs) at Reine or St Pierre market. Then you can go down to Pigalle and its sex shops and Moulin Rouge (really parisian !)

    4 – Quartier Latin (5th area)
    Also very touristic, try not to eat there. Crapy restaurant and fake french food. But the streets and the feeling is really parisian. Lot of bookshops, some are amazing. You can then walk on the St Michel Boulevard up to the Sorbonne (very famous university where may 68 started) and then the Pantheon. Here you have the romantic and gay restaurant « Le Petit Prince de Paris ».

    4 – Les Passages (begins at 10th area)
    Here is a map of covered ways, really coooool walks :
    It’s in french but click on black dots to see what it looks like. The best way to visit old and vintage Paris if raining. You can find there real treasures.

    To go Shopping :
    I would advise
    In the 4th area – Next to M° Bastille / Filles du Calvaire and next to Chez Janou.

    Of course, for cloths : The Marais !

    Restaurants :
    You already have many places. I would just confirm those 2, my favorites :

    Le Petit Prince de Paris
    In the 5th area, between Sorbonne and Pantheon. Very romantic and calm, really gooooood french food and not that expensive (2 dishes + dessert for 26 euros). Waiters are gay and really sweet.

    Chez Janou
    (website not that good but restaurant really nice in summer) Southern french food. 4th area – next to M° Bastille

    Going out :
    I see that you already have a lot of places to go out for a drink or dancing. You will find many many in Paris. My favorite is the Sans Sanz next to Bastille.

    What I could advise is to see Lido or Moulin Rouge if you can. That’s not only feathers and naked women. It’s rrreeeeaaallly incredible show. Some places + champagne at reduced prices at or

    Paris is also known for its cultural scene. Try to find a play in English. For that, you have : plays and shows for reduced price.
    You can also find half prices places at Kiosque Jeune, the day of the play, in Montparnasse place (between the tower and the train station)
    I live there. If you need anything, any help, any tips, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    To see if enough time :
    The oldest and cheapest market of Paris in the 12th area. Really typical and colorful.

    Go on the top of Montparnasse tower. Here is a tip : taking the elevator to go on 56th floor costs 10€. Don’t take it. Ask to go to the restaurant on 55th floor (Le Ciel de Paris) and have a 4€ coffee (yet expensive !). Maybe be call to book before, depending on the hour.

    In the end, if you contact me few days before your trip, I can tell you some private sales from french young designers (of clothes/jewels/paints and more) to get some parisian souvenirs at reduced prices.
    .-= Melibu´s last blog ..Pendant ce temps, à Vera Cruz… =-.

  • Reply Beegirl February 2, 2010 at 4:38 am

    Hi ! I’m living in Paris and i’m writing a blog on secret and unexpected places in the city. You certainly find lovely spots to visit !
    Bon voyage ! :)
    .-= Beegirl´s last blog ..Ateliers rue de Belleville =-.

  • Reply Fiona February 2, 2010 at 4:50 am

    A great place to eat is L’Ecurie, 2 rue Laplace. It’s a tiny restaurant down an alley near the Pantheon. Simply cooked food that tastes amazing and great ambience.

    Very good prices as well!
    .-= Fiona´s last blog ..Awesome Free B&W Vector Graphics =-.

  • Reply Charlotte February 2, 2010 at 5:32 am

    I guess everything has been said! Though, there is a Parisian girl who made a map with good adresses, maybe it can help you :
    There is a kind of English version here

    Enjoy your stay!

  • Reply Charlotte February 2, 2010 at 5:34 am

    I forgot this one:

  • Reply Pauline February 2, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Hello there!
    I live in Montmartre, I’m French, and here you go for my own tips, which is a partial, biased, uncomplete selection:

    – eating (both a bit outside montmartre, to avoid tourists and bad food)
    my favorite is Le Vin au vert: a place for real real good french food. The wine is excellent, produced by independant winemakers in France
    it’s not in the guides! the menu is not in English..
    the dish is around 12/13 euros.
    Only drawback: veggies will have to eat cheese (most things come with meat)
    more expensive and hidden as well: Corneil, not far away:
    love it…

    – To have a walk
    very unusual for tourists, la goutte d’or, african neighborhood outisde montmartre (east, M° Chateaurouge) have a walk there, it’s the last place in paris that actually look like popular paris.

    – To go shopping:
    expensive but really nice: le haut marais. For pics and adress:
    Near Montmartre, la rue des abbesses provides all the parisian shops that you will find elsewhere in paris, but great (and expensive): sandro, maje, ba&sh, princesse tam tam…

    – to go out:
    le pop-in, la fleche d’or, le truskel, point éphémère, main d’oeuvres

    – if you need more tips, just send an email!!

  • Reply erika February 2, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Hi Holly,

    I will be going to paris next week and have made a google map with some of my favourite shops/boutiques in Paris you can find it here

    My favourite street is Rue Francois Miron, nice boutiques, bakery and cafes!!

  • Reply Bess February 2, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I went to Paris for the first time last year, and although I think all my suggestions have been covered here, I have to say lunch at Rose Bakery, a trip to Merci and macarons at Ladurée are all unmissable! I’ve just this week illustrated a (not geographically accurate at all) map of my favourites here:
    I can’t wait to go back and visit some of the places everyone has recommended!
    .-= Bess´s last blog ..Freckles =-.

  • Reply Louisa February 2, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I went to university in Paris. Such an amazing city.

    Le Café de l’Esplanade (52, rue Fabert, 75007) is still my favorite restaurant. The decorator in my loves the warm lighting, rich fabrics and low, overstuffed chairs – it’s a very cozy, intimate and decadent atmosphere. And the food is out of this world. They make an amazing duck, usually with a caramel-coco sauce spiced with hints of ginger, although the menu rotates regularly. And the molten chocolate cake is to die for. It’s right between the Tour Eiffel and Les Invalides, but somehow is usually less swarmed by tourists than many of its neighbors.

    It’s a bit of a tourist trap, but I always love Angelina’s (226, Rue de Rivoli, 75001). It’s across the street from the Tuileries and the Louvre, so it’s perfect for a mid-afternoon pick me up when you’re battling museum (or shopping) fatigue. They have a selection of coffee and teas, but it’s the Chocolat Africain, an excessively rich hot chocolate served with freshly whipped cream, that you can’t miss. The stuff is heavenly. And addictive. (You’ve been warned.)

    Also, depending on your interests, there are quite a few single-day cooking classes to be had. Many start with a trip to the market followed by a couple of hours of hands-on cooking and then (the best part) eating. What better way to enjoy the gastronomy of Paris? There’s a fairly comprehensive list of courses here:

    Since I majored in Art History, I’m partial to the wealth of museums in Paris. They’re all tourist havens, but with good reason. There are a couple off the beaten path that are worth a look, like the Musée Marmottan (2, rue Louis-Boilly, 75016). You’ll see great examples of impressionism like Monet (they have over 100 of his pieces), Gauguin, Renoir and more, in a more intimate setting and without the crowds typical at the more popular Musée d’Orsay.

    The best piece of advice I can give, however, is just to walk as much as possible. Paris is a beautiful city, and much of the joy is discovering it for yourself. And there’s nothing like long, meandering walks for that.

  • Reply Sara February 2, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Okay, this is going to sound odd. But I went to Paris last year with one of my best friends and we ate at the quirkiest fondue restaurant. It was very small with two long tables down either side. To sit against the wall you had to climb over the table. Wine was served in baby bottles. I know, weird, but it’s one of my favorite memories from the trip! It was called Le Refuge des Fondues and was located near the Basilique du Sacre Coeur. I’m sure it’s a tourist trap, but it was fun all the same!
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..Painted Floors =-.

  • Reply meems February 2, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    1: you have to eat at la duree. breakfast is sooo good and you have to have tea and macaroons later. pricey but worth it.

    2: go to the musee d’orsay, spend hours just gazing at van gogh and degas and other impressionist works and then buy the high quality posters of famous paintings. I’ve framed them and they look really good.

    3: walk by the seine and buy antique books and more posters from the bouquinistes.

    just walk around and get lost on purpose, its Paris!

  • Reply Mrs Nilsson February 2, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Hi ! They should visit the Oberkampf district (adress is Rue Oberkampf) at night and go to Chez justine for dinner and maybe som nice live music and then cross the street and visit Carbon Café for drinks and a very cool location. if walking around by the eiffel tower go to the end by Ecole militaire and have some drinks at le tourville , adress is
    43, Avenue de la Motte-Picquet. very nice drinks. In general after all my visits is that if it looks nice and cosy it is and every where the food is great. enjoy Paris !
    .-= Mrs Nilsson´s last blog ..Kivi lykter igjen =-.

  • Reply One and Only Paris [photography] February 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm


    I am French and my husband from Kentucky! We live in the Marais, in the heart of Paris. Go to Cafe Charlot (38 Rue de Bretagne, our street)! It is a very parisian and trendy cafe: sit, order their delicious hot chocolate and just enjoy the show of the street. Welcome in Paris and the hours spent on terrasse.


  • Reply laure February 2, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I wrote a guide on my blog:

    Bon Voyage!
    .-= laure´s last blog ..Beautiful Peonies =-.

  • Reply Steffi February 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Do you know the (new) concept store Merci in Paris? You can see some pictures on design-shimmer (
    And I can also recommend Gisele Scanlons Book “The Goddess Guide – What makes you happy?” with a lot of lovely ideas for Paris!
    And I ALWAYS visit the special item store of Marc Jacobs, where mostly everything costs under 100 Euro (19 Place du Marche Saint Honore)!!!!!
    Bon voyage!!!
    .-= Steffi´s last blog ..Mhhhontags-Rezept: Es gibt Nudeln, Baby! Schaaarfe Nudeln! =-.

  • Reply Hanna February 2, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Saint Chapelle- used to be the kings church, 2/3 of the windows are originals and they are 800 years!
    Musee Rodin, Beautiful art and a wonderful house.
    Catacombes- the most bizarr thing you can visit…
    Instisute de monde arab- really cool, modern arcitecture…
    Marais- lots of second hand stores cafés and bars and THE falafell.

    enjoy the trip:)
    .-= Hanna´s last blog ..Kök =-.

  • Reply Kristen February 2, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Tons of great suggestions already.

    Museums- I didn’t see it mentioned, but most mueums in Paris (including the louvre) are free on the first sunday of the month, and many offer special evening rates on specific days, so check that out if you’re looking for museums

    Markets – The Porte de Vanves is the absolute best open air flea market. It’s only up and going on the weekend, but its a great place to buy unique souvenirs, trifles, etc. or a beautiful place just to browse, click some pictures and people watch

    Macarons – Laduree’s macarons are so touristy, so cliche, and ever so delicious. I heard a lot of hype, and was still impressed

    don’t forget to
    Laissez les bon temp rouler

  • Reply belledame February 2, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    see if you can find a restaurant called travolta in the 19th eme.

    for the love of god, remember to go to zara home.

  • Reply Ashley February 3, 2010 at 12:41 am

    I saw that it was mentioned once, but I have to agree that you should try
    Le Sergent Recruteur,
    for a truly unique dining experience. It comes with a hefty price tag, but you are served a feast (dinner is not the right word) and a true culinary adventure.
    I also love popping in Richart, 258 Boulevard Saint-Germain, – their chocolates are little works of art.
    Enjoy your trip – so many wonderful suggestions! I’m taking notes for my next visit…

  • Reply Bee February 3, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Oo so many good suggestions on here!

    I live in Paris during the summer, here is what I would recommend.

    Cafe des Musees – this is my absolute favorite cafe. Fabulous food, so french, but VERY popular with the locals, I recommend a reservation.

    L’Etoile Manquante – a little bar with the most wonderful people watching, if they have the heaters out, sit outside and watch the neighborhood come alive at night

    Les Puces des Saint-Ouen – fleamarket on the outskirts of town. This is my absolute favorite place in Paris. You can wander for hours and hours and find the most perfect treasures. I brought my friends vintage keys tied on antique lace, which cost about 4 euro all together. I also recommend stocking up on white slips, there is a wonderful woman who sells hundreds of them for around 10 euro.

    Les Archives – in the heart of the marais. There is a paris museum here but you can also just wander around this beautiful building and visit the archives if they are open

    Pain de Sucre – marais bakery. I love la duree of course, but if you want slightly more innovative macaroons I would recommend here. IT IS TO DIE FOR. Passion fruit and chocolate. gahh

    Obviously the best advice is to just wander. There is no “true” Paris, everyone has their own favorites, and half the fun of the city is discovering your own.
    .-= Bee´s last blog ..Raindrop Wall =-.

  • Reply Juliana February 3, 2010 at 3:01 am


    I studied in Paris for a semester and lived in the most magical 5th floor walk up on the Rue des Martyrs in the 9th. I had these beautiful french doors that opened up to a balcony that overlooked the rooftops – truly my version of heaven.

    You MUST go take a walk on the rue des martyrs (take the 12 (green line) towards porte de la chapelle and get off at the notre dame de lorette stop – once you get above ground simply walk around the church and you’ll be at the bottom of the street). It has the most wonderful outdoor fruit markets – the old man who worked at the one on the corner used to call me his american princess when i would stop for an orange before class (in an endearing and not creepy way). if you walk further up you will see two italian restaurants – festivo and fuxia… AMAZING food. If you continue up the street there is a beautiful home design shop (or at least there was one there in 2007) and up a bit further is Rose Bakery which is in some guide books but honestly – the most amazing banana pancakes i have ever had. it makes me hungry just thinking about them!

    As you may be able to tell – I left a part of my heart on that little street I call home and have suggested to anyone and everyone who asks me where to go to visit my neighborhood. If you continue to walk up rue des martyrs it will run you straight into pigalle area and the moulin rouge – keep walking north and you’ll be at sacre couer in 20 minutes.


  • Reply katrin February 3, 2010 at 5:25 am

    I think of booking this hotel the next time. Sounds good, looks great, and not too expensive.
    À la prochaine!

  • Reply YYZ February 3, 2010 at 9:10 am

    I cannot recommend “les Puces”- keep walking, past the international market selling cheap t-shirts, etc, until you get to the little alleys and bi-ways. There is a helpful website here: If you like decor and vintage clothing finds, you will love les Puces, but GO EARLY and GET OUT EARLY! I got all kinds of old hotel silver– divine!

    I also recommend L’entree des fournisseurs (ribbons and notions) and Mam’zelle Swing (wonderful proprietress, great vintage gear) in Le Marais.

    Have a wonderful time and don’t forget to stock up on lovely, not-too-expensive underthings at Princesse Tam Tam, and to gorge on the visual extravaganza at Le Bon Marche’s food emporium. Be sure to eat some macarons– they are 100 times better than Laduree’s! (But get some there, too– the white-glove service is so much fun! Okay, so that last one is touristy, but do it anyway– it only takes a few minutes and it’s worth it!)

  • Reply Marjorie@The Cook's Atelier February 3, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I might suggest a few days in Burgundy.

  • Reply Eleonore Bridge February 3, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Hi, remember my small flat in Paris you featured on decor8 ? If you want, I have a little parisian guide with all my best addresses for restaurants, bars and fashion boutiques, it’s here on my blog :
    .-= Eleonore Bridge´s last blog ..Elephant =-.

  • Reply Laurie February 3, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I love love love love Paris. Favorite place. I really loved wondering around Monmarte. My friends and I went to Cafe des Deux Moulin, that is in the movie Amelie and ate there twice. It has great food at a reasonable price (for Paris) and the waiter we had was super duper sweet. Had a great local feel! It wasn’t as nice looking as it was in the movie but the food was delish. I had salmon w/ toast and olive oil and a giant salad and creme brule one day. The next day I had salmon lasagna, salad and fresh berries w/ cream. I want to go back!
    for address, it was about a block up from the main street:
    .-= Laurie´s last blog ..Girly Perfection =-.

  • Reply Regina February 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I have not been, but I LOVE a podcast on tourist tips from two expats in Paris. You can find it here: and subscribe on itunes. It would be fun to listen to on the plane, I think. They also have a podcast called “learn french” which teaches some french sayings you wouldn’t learn in school. Have fun!

  • Reply Britta February 3, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Hi there,
    I live in Paris and I have a lot of decoration addresses on my blog
    My Black Book :
    I also have a list with all kind of great spots (tea rooms, shopping etc.), please let me know if you want me to send it to you. Here my e-mail:

  • Reply Anna February 3, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I was just in Paris and go frequently.

    My favorite section is the quaint Isle St. Louis, near Notre Dame. Stop by Berthillion for an iconic experience.

    Also, near Canal Saint Martin there are some fantastic flea markets and a little cafe that makes an 8 cheese omelette. Yum yum!

    Have fun!
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..A Stay on Rome’s Porto Maggiore =-.

  • Reply Hilary February 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Caroline got more than she bargained for here, I think! :)

    It’s been mentioned many times already but my Paris must-do is ROSE BAKERY on rue des Martyrs in Montmartre. Best carrot cake anywhere! The whole of rue des Martyrs is a delight actually – particulary nice on a Sunday morning when Parisians are out doing their food shopping.
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..A signature =-.

  • Reply BODIE and FOU February 3, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Paris Brocante by Edition Paumes has some amazing addresses to find vintage treasures in back streets

    And Paris Miam-miam is full of unusual addresses to restaurants, French patisseries, just dont think about your weight…

    I would also recommend to have a drink at Pershing Hall
    I also went to Merci last week when I was in Paris attending Maison & Objet and I almost died. It’s the new parisian concept…it’s just su-bli-me, will blog about it tomorrow

  • Reply Caroline Panico February 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    WOW! I just posted on Hollys facebook status about how I’m overwhelmed and am going to put aside a whole weekend to thoroughly read up and research everything you have all said! such a brilliant response, thank you so much Holly and all the commenters. Sincerely : ) and thanks also to everyone who has visited Montage Populaire on myspace too. I promise to report back from Paris : )

  • Reply madeleine February 3, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    wow – lots of great tips –
    if you are really stuck grab a copy of one of the fab Japanese Paumes Books (we have various titles from vintage, food, fashion, kids) they are full of great shops, bars, places to visit – with maps & address too.

  • Reply Lana February 3, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Hi all,

    Paris is one of my all-time favorites… I often wish I lived there. :)

    I just saw this in the LA Times in case anyone needs a good hotel rec:

    Also, I can personally vouche for Clos Medicis near the Luxembourg gardens on rue Monsieur Le Prince… ( A friend of mine who is a local recommended it and she was right – it was perfect.

    The Musee d’Orsay and Versailles are not to be missed — not to mention the Louvre which is a given!

    The travel guides by Rick Steves and DK were handy and I recommend them, too. I look forward to reading through the other posts to this story to find new tips. :)

    Bon voyage!


  • Reply I heart colorz February 3, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    there are so many great tips here. you can make a “contribution all PDF” and have it shared on your site :)

  • Reply Candace February 4, 2010 at 12:22 am


    My best friend lives in Paris, and I visit a few times a year. My favorite restaurant – definitely off the beaten path, no tourists for miles (!!) is Les Cailloux. A delicious Italian/French restaurant (don’t think Italian-American, real Italian food) and it has a wonderfully inexpensive formule for lunch. However, I would advise to go all out (it isn’t terrible expensive) and indulge in a starter, entree, dessert & coffee. The place is simply amazing.

    In warm weather they have outdoor seating on the sidewalk. The staff is wonderful, and the restaurant is quite small and quaint. The food is good enough that I could fly back just for another dinner!

    Their website: (I’m surprised they even have one), the restaurant is close to the glaciere or corvisart metro stops.

    Have fun!

  • Reply Candace February 4, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Also, it is a bit touristy, but the hot chocolate at Angelina’s (226 Rue de Rivoli) is to die for. Located close to the Eiffel tower – and usually you have to wait in line and fight tourists for it, but rightfully so.

  • Reply anne February 4, 2010 at 5:01 am

    You have to visit this blog. Oly is in Paris for 2 months and she is a real good guide

  • Reply Lumo February 4, 2010 at 6:54 am

    I will go to paris for the 31st time next week for business trip. Unfortunately my days at the fairs are so long that I don’t have much time to explore Paris.

    Last time I left to Paris three days in advance and took my husband with me. We went to Les Puces des Saint-Ouen, the flea market. Did just go past the garment vendors, but the antique/vintage markets were really interesting.

    Le Marais is interesting area with many shops and restaurants.

    I always live in the same little hotel between Odeon and Jardin du Luxembourg, nice area and convinient to RER train to fairs and airport.

    For one stop delicasy shopping I go to Le Grand Epicerie, a great food department of Le Bon Marche department store. It’s open until 9 pm on week days.

    I have a Paris section in my blog with photos

  • Reply sylvia February 4, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I’m parisian and I love this website for all the adresses they give.It’s the english version….have a look
    and enjoy….!

  • Reply bussbuss February 4, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Merci is the *best* store I have ever seen. I had the pleasure of being in Paris for 10 days this past October and stayed in the Marais (a wonderful neighborhood very much like the West Village), literally right next door to Merci. I have a whole slideshow of pictures if you’d like to see of just Merci. :) (yes, I am obsessed).

    For me, Colette was extremely overrated and Merci puts it to shame, but I tend to be the cheese that stands alone..

    Have you found a place to stay yet? I could not recommend more going the route and renting an apartment instead of a hotel. We got lucky and scored an amazing one bedroom in the Marais, newly re-done, for far less than a hotel room. This way, you get to feel more like a local and part of a neighborhood. And one of the highlights of Paris is going to the open-air food markets, so we loved scooping up tons of fresh food and cooking in some nights. You can still enjoy the markets by staying in a hotel of course and eating Nutella crepes and paealla, etc. on the spot or in the Luxembourg Gadrens but we’re homebodies even when traveling. :)

    Other than the Marias, my favortite neighborhood was Ile St. Louis (where Berthilion ice cream is). I’m the fromage who stand alone and didn’t love Berthilion (too much flavor), BUT there is the BEST gelato right around the corner (starts with an A….). And the island is so darling, like a little village within Paris, with two cute Pylones stores and many more little shops.

    I’m not big on traditional French food, however the experience of a 3-hour lunch at l’Ami Jean is so memorable

    For French bistro fare (my fave), Cafe Charlot is also in a Marais and has great burgers and fries and a cool, artsy crowd.

    Also, the Eiffel Tower may seem touristy, but it’s SO worth it. Especially the light shows you can watch from a distance. Pics here if you want to see Paris at night:

    A few more photos:

    Have fun — it is impossible not to!
    .-= bussbuss´s last blog ..Shopping Guide: Valentine’s Day Shoes =-.

  • Reply Fanny February 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    I’m from Paris, so here are some places i love (just for food, and drinks but i will precise when neighbourhood is nice).
    French :
    Mama Shelter (20ème). March must be too early but during summer they do french barbacue (there is a very nice view
    For another nice view in the same place (for a drink) :

    Italian :
    – La pizzetta (9ème arrondissement)
    This restaurant is near montmartre, so it’s a good place to be and have a nice walk after.
    -Alfredo Positano (6ème)

    I’ve seen here some addresses wich are great too someone told about L’as du fallafel, it’s really good! Don’t go in the one in front, it really is this one the best! And don’t be afraid of the line, it goes really fast. At l’as du fallafel, you will be in the Marais which is a really nice place for shopping (clothes, furnitures…)
    Angelina makes real great hot chocolate (and you can also try the cake names Mont blanc). This place must be in every guide, but everyone is going there… well at least everyone <ho want to have a great hot chocolate :)

    There is a lot of great other places but i don't have it in mind sorry :) (and you already have a lot of adresses :) )
    I hope you will enjoy your trip in paris :)

  • Reply Andres February 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Avoid the bus tours. They seem like fun but they are tiresome.

  • Reply Olga February 6, 2010 at 6:29 am

    The best from Montmartre is Le Refuge Des Fondues place!

    You’ll be crammed on the benches, reaching over our neighbors to cook meat in hot bouillon and dip vegetables and bread in melted cheese. To sit by the wall I actually needed to climb over the table – but not without help from the waiter ;) But! This place so much fun – you immediately meet people sitting next to you – we got to know French and Spanish people and spent the rest of the evening chatting, taking pictures and laughing like crazy, we even ended up exchanging e-mails :)

    All the details are here:
    .-= Olga´s last blog ..In Memory of J.D. Salinger… =-.

  • Reply Amber February 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    You just can’t go wrong in Paris, even the touristy things are great. My advice is to just wonder the city, sit down at random cafes, wonder through the parks and smaller museums. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Paris, well all of France! Have a wonderful trip!
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..We’ve Moved! =-.

  • Reply belledame February 8, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    the digital preview for the march issue of livingetc is up. the final page is an interview with the founder of merci-merci.

  • Reply Lumo February 12, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I just returned from Paris yesterday evening. A short business trip, but in my blog I have posting and links for few intereting places.
    .-= Lumo´s last blog ..Paris; dream. vs. reality =-.

  • Reply Wendy February 14, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I go to Paris every year as one of my best friends lives there. Sometimes we do touristy stuff and sometimes I never see even see the Eiffel Tower. I’ve got short write ups about touring, shopping and dining on my blog also.

    bon voyage!

  • Reply Judith of Felicity Crew February 15, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I have not used any tourist guide books on my recent trip to Paris in November and absolutely agree with Holly that you almost cannot go wrong there (except maybe for the prices).

    Here’s a restaurant I can recommend – we had a great dinner accompanied with delicious wine there:
    .-= Judith of Felicity Crew´s last blog ..Bowl of Blueberries. 8×8 – original fine art photograph =-.

  • Reply lilith February 16, 2010 at 2:19 am

    I am franch so even if I am not living in Paris, I’ve been some times, and I would recommend Le Marais too, there are nice little vintage shops and crafts shops.
    Also a nice flea market (les Puces de Vanves in the 13e).
    Of course Montmartre is a touristic area but nevertheless charming…
    And l’Ile de la Cité, where Notre Dame de Paris stands, is a wonderful place.
    And you can’t miss the modern art museum, beautiful pieces there!
    have a nice stay!

  • Reply Ailish February 17, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Hi everyone,

    Just wanted to drop by and say a big thanks for all the tips and ideas that were posted here over last few weeks. I’m just back from a lovely long weekend in Paris and had a fabulous time! I have a few pictures from my trip on my blog.

    Caroline – I do hope you enjoy your trip as much as I did mine!
    .-= Ailish´s last blog ..City of lights =-.

  • Reply Lila February 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I went to Paris for a week last May (my first trip to Europe), and I loved every moment of the trip.

    I must say, any online “design” guides you find on design blogs such as this one will steer you in the right direction when it comes to shopping!

    Paris is also one of those places where the museums and the monuments are just as wonderful and inspiring as discovering a cool shop! The gardens in and out of the city are also spectacular in the spring!

    This is my #1 tip for Caroline:

    -Sign up for a Vélib’ account weeks before you go to Paris (especially if you know you are going to be there for a week)! I really wish I knew about these bikes because I would have felt more like a local and I could have seen more of the city!

    -Pierre Hermé is THE BEST!!! I’m pretty much forcing my mom to bring back the biggest box she can of Macarons when she goes to Paris with my Dad this summer!

    -This may be a silly tip, but only buy crepes from stands that make your crepe when you order. If you see stacks of them waiting to be filled, go elsewhere!

    This is for everyone else who is reading + Caroline:

    -Spend more time in Montmartre. I was told to stay away because it’s not as safe, and it was touristy. I should have not listened to those people. Thankfully, one of my guy friends (who I met up with when I was in Paris) insisted we go explore that area. I’m so glad I did because it was so inspiring!

    -Spend more time Musée d’Orsay than at the Louvre. As much as I liked the Louvre, I’m glad I only saw the famous works and explored one wing, and spent the rest of my museum time seeing all of the Musée d’Orsay (which all my friends like better than the Louvre anyway).

    -There’s also a lot of smaller or niche museums to explore like Bibliothéque nationale, but do your research before going to more obscure museums (I loved the Bibliothéque nationale but I know that other people might find it boring).

    -Go to Versailles the day of the markets, or on the days the fountains are on (weekend/holiday). My friend (who mostly travels the Rick Steves way) went when it was an “off day”. He saw my photos from when I went on a holiday/weekend and I could tell that he wished he went on the day the fountains were on. I had to wait in line to get in for an hour, but it was worth it (I spent that hour in line writing postcards to friends)! The town of Versailles is also very charming, and is a great place to spend the day!

    -The only “American” thing I recommend doing in Paris is taking a bike or segway tour with Fat Tire Bike Tours ( This is a fun and safe way for an american girl who is traveling alone to see the city at night. The night bike tour I went on included a boat ride down the Seine (and it was around 35-40 dollars a person, which is awesome for a close to 5 hour tour)! Yes, the tour screams “tourist”, but even my anti-tourist self had a great time! The guide had all these great facts and stories, and even provided wine so we had something to drink while we were enjoying our boat ride down the Seine.

    -Though I’m not a Rick Steves traveler and not really into seeing a billion things in a day, I did go on one of his walks from his Paris book with a friend, and it was lovely!

  • Reply Greenlee Tools February 21, 2010 at 3:31 am

    Paris is definitely worth of visiting, and I feel i need to go this summer!
    I will definitely use these great tips!

  • Reply Tae February 25, 2010 at 12:13 am

    L’as du Falafel is a must!!! it’s the best thing ever… i could seriously eat it all the time. (i know it’s already been mentioned a bunch of times, but it’s worth reaffirming.)

    also there’s the cutest shop in the Marais called “Reperages Maison” which is filled with home decor items and amazing little treasures. I think i photographed every corner of the store. it is beautiful.

  • Reply pruh March 5, 2010 at 8:55 am

    This site is also great!

  • Reply A CASA DA VÁ December 15, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Gosh these tips will come in hand!

  • Reply Tally Koren July 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world which I’ve visited on many different occasions, here are a few tips from my recent visit.

    1. For the first time I made a mistake when I booked my Eurostar but didn’t book it as a package with my hotel! From not the best experience of not finding any hotel and finding 3* hotels which cost over 300 euros I would like to give you an important tip for any town that you might visit in the world – check that there is no big event or festival when you are going to be there! As if any event, such as Paris Fashion Week you will end up playing triple the price; if you can even get a room! But also if it’s a festival a lot of the attractions are sometimes closed.

    2. Always go to an area that you know or have been recommended by someone. For me to recommend a restaurant in Paris is almost impossible as the food is always so good in any little café or a big restaurant. But I do have two recommendations. The first is the restaurant ‘Bel Canto’ which is a three-course meal with entertainment of opera, perfect for opera lovers! The second restaurant, where I ate the best omlette in the world, is on the rue Franklin Roosevelt which is opposite the Science Museum. There is only one place so sophisticated – you won’t miss it!
    A new area which I discovered this time was the Latin Quarter which is full of life. It has a local market on a Sunday, with people playing music in the piazza and is a lot more authentic than the tourist orientated areas. Also, there is the Mare, which is my favourite area in Paris and it has the Picasso museum, a lot of trendy shops and cozy cafes and there’s always a great atmosphere.

  • Reply Xavier@Brownie chocolat November 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I love Paris but i love the french food so much … unfortunately french food in Paris cost to much !

  • Reply kinomi November 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Wow, love all these tips!

    Check my city guide movie made out of 1368 photo’s and find out my paris creative city guide top 10. ( with flea markets, small craft shops en nice spots to eat an exotic plate of food)

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