There is one thing that always happens to me in Paris: people ask me for directions. Like, French people! So I like to think that I look like a really nice Parisian. So for me, this city is one of the most charming places I know – forget (or just ignore) about the rude clichés and enjoy all frenchiness!
- Sleep sweet.
Hotel Henriette, Hotel Panache and Paradis Paris are my favorite hotel for private trips. The interior, service and locations are all lovely. Well done, Dorothée Meilichzon – She is the woman behind the cool concepts. The rooms are more basic than luxurious, but also very affordable for Paris. And I don’t need a minibar if the room is full of eye candy!
Henriette: 9 Rue des Gobelins, Panache: 1, rue Geoffroy-Marie, Paradis: 41, rue des Petites-Écuries.
- Eat croissants.
Calories don’t count in Paris.But make sure to get those worth the sin! Sebastien Gaudard is my favorite for juicey, fresh, marzipan filled croissants. This is the only place I even eat croissants. The cute, cold-school pâtisserie sells chocolate and many kind of cake and ice cream too. Extra: This street is great for food shopping, you’ll find some meat shops, baguette places and the lovely Rose Bakery (great for salads too) here. I especially like to go in the morning, when locals do their shopping here. 22 Rue des Martyrs.
- Smell great.
This is perfume city! Chanel No. 5 might the most famous export, but there is much more to discover. Go to Nose and discover precious and rare scents, edgy niche perfumes and the relaxed, cool atmosphere. Let the staff help you find YOUR perfume, because they really know how to do it without putting you into an obvious box (girly? take that floral! Won’t happen here. 20 Rue Bachaumont.
- Picnic by the river.
When you come in summer or spring, grab une boteille de vin (and maybe a baguette, cheese, salami, grapes) and go to Canal St. Martin. Just sit by the water, watch people, watch your love, drink wine, be happy. It’s easy like that! This is one of my favorite neighborhoods – not too tourity (don’twe all want to melt in?!), some cafes, some restaurants, some shops, but not too fancy.
- Dance francaise.
…meaning do dance where they do – Just above Moulin Rouge lies La Machine du Moulin Rouge – a big club hosting many kind of parties, from electronic to soul. Just knowing that you are so close to the legendary night club puts me in a very “going-out”-mood – and all the others too! So this is for dancing around not just drink at the bar. You don’t need to dress super fancy, just put a red lipstick on. 90 Boulevard de Clichy.
- Shop vintage.
This is a small selection of treasures I found in Paris (often under 50 Euro): Givenchy-skirt, Dior silkscraf, Cacharel mille-fleur-blouse and so… It also works very well for leather- and jeans jackets, trenchcoats and extraordinary accessoires. My favorite areas are Rue Tiquetonne (like Episode), around Rue du Temple (Hippy Market) and Rue de Charonne (it’s a little more “off” here).
- Drink oldschool.
I like an old-fashioned atmosphere – but those stylish, modern-cool bars can be found like everywhere, i recommend something more french: Chez Jeanette. The decor is original from the 40s, it’s a typical bistrot-style location, charmingly shabby and filled with nice people like you and me.
47 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis.
- Get a souvenir.
You may get an Eiffeltower keyring, of course. But I like to bring the fine, colorful bracelets from Merci – with a cute little Merci tag. This concept store has of course more to offer than some jewelry: designer fashion and limited editions (hello Isabel Marant), pretty stationary (who else is addicted to pens?!), modern kitchen tools, some beauty stuff and a very good restaurant.
111 Boulevard Beaumarchais.
- Take a walk in the park.
It’s small, it’s crowded but so pretty: Place des Vosges. It’s surrounded by castle-like-buildings, build for French king Henry IV. Get an ice cream (some parlours are also around the corner), sit on the grass, take a nap or watch the fashionable folks strolling around.
- Sip Café au lait.
Holybelly is the place for super tasty coffee and delicious breakfast. This is a very instagrammy place, but in a good way. Locally roasted, freshly cooked – My favorite dish: poached eggs with Ricotta & Dukkah, a nutty-spicy-cheesy variation or the sweet stack: pancakes with pecans and fruits.
19 Rue Lucien Sampaix