A guide by barenib
This cobble stone street has easily the best window - and actual - food shopping anywhere in the world. The tiny shops, many of them with street stalls out in front all seem to have different specialities. Quite the most delicious street I know
Rue Cler, nearest Metro, nearest metro is Ecole Militaire
Victor Hugo's home in Paris. Poet, playwright but also painter, designer and powerful and popular politician. All reflected in this furnished apartment; it's fascinating for those who know little about the man and his times, magic for those who do.
Place des Vosges, 6. 4th Arrond.
Metros: Chemin Vert, Bastille, St Paul.
Tucked away in the Marais, this little museum is housed within 2 mansions but somehow manages to span life in Paris all the way from prehistory to the present day. The buildings have a kind of faded elegance and their contents is fascinating but best of all is the courtyard which is a sun-trap and, compared to the rest of the tourist trail, tranquil.
23 Rue de Sévigné. 75003 Paris. Tel, 42 72 21 13. Neareast stations are Saint-Paul and Chatelet Les Halles
Parks are not Paris's strongest point, but the Buttes Chaumont is a down-to-earth alternative to the altogether more bourgeois (and crowded) Luxembourg. Located on a rocky hill in the 19th arrondissement in north-east Paris, it also gives views of much of the city, including the Sacre Coeur.
It’s not easy to escape the crowds in Paris, especially between April and September. Try the Canal St Martin, particularly on Sundays when the roads either side are pedestrianised. You won’t escape the bobo Parisians, granted - but there'll be very few tourists.
A very relaxing place. There are Parisians who go there to take a nap, and you won't pay more than a euro to enter the garden.
77, rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris (VIIe); tel: 01 44 18 61 10;
Métro (13): Varenne, Invalides ou Saint-François-Xavier;
R.E.R (C): Invalides;
Bus: 69, 82, 87, 92;
Much more than a cemetary. This restful place has beautiful tree-lined lanes, benches on which to rest and remember the permanent guests; Simone Signoret and Yves Montand, lovers buried together, or watch the pilgrims to Jim Morrison's grave. This must be the best place to visit on a quiet winter Sunday.
A beautiful ornimental park to take a run in along with many chic (and often skinny) Parisien runners, before breakfast.
A wonderful place to walk, do tai chi, sunbathe and picnic on the many metal chairs. I can spend hours in this park it's also great for children with sand pits, toy sailing boats for hire and a huge (pay-in) playground. Not to mention a couple of reasonably good cafes to take coffee or lunch.
Jardin du Luxembourg, boulevard Saint-Michel, 75006 Paris, France
Directions for Visiting: Rue de Vaugirard, Metro Luxembourg
An old railway line overlooking Paris streets it stretches out for 4.5 km from touristy Bastille to the Bois de Vincennes. To get it to it, go round the back of the Opera Bastille and you'll see the viaduct. Ideal for a jog, brunch or simply getting away from the Parisian hustle-and-bustle. Very Railway Children.
Promenada Plantee, Avenue Dausmenil, 75012
Small covered market off rue de Bretagne in 3rd arrondissment. Excellent quality and variety of fruit & veg, cheese, deli goods and even wine stalls - everything you need for a perfect picnic.
39 rue de Bretagne;
Open: Tuesday to Saturday, 8.30am to 1pm and 4pm to 7.30pm (until 8 pm on Friday and Saturday);
Sunday, 8.30am to 2pm
Metro : Filles-du-Calvaire
As seen in the film Amelie, Canal St Martin is good for a wander away from the busier, more touristy areas of Paris.
Beautiful in spring when the trees are in leaf, this area provides a welcome retreat any time of the year.
Canal St Martin can be found running parallel-ish to Blvd Magenta (between Place de la Republique and de la Bastille).
Though climate change may alter the situation quite soon, this is the only vineyard to be found in the city and, by all accounts, the wine it produces isn’t that great.
Once a year, however, it’s sold for charity and therefore you can’t get hold of a cheap bottle just for the experience. Going to see the vineyard however will take you into the hinterland of Montmartre which is much more interesting than the touristy bits. On the opposite corner to the vineyard is the Lapin Agile tavern, a well known artists’ haunt.
Rue des Saules
Metro: Lamarck Caulaincourt
Relatively unknown to tourists this beautiful tree-lined passageway splits the Seine in two, making it the perfect location for a summer evening promenade for romantic couples. The allee provides an up close and personal view of the Statue of Liberty at one end - photos that will undoubtedly confuse the relatives back home - and a magnificant vantage point for the Eiffel Tower at the other.
The Pont de Bir Hakeim, recognisable from all the major anglophone movies that epitomise Paris, gives you the perfect exit strategy with Passy metro on one side and Bir Hakeim tourist central at the other.
allee des cygnes, 75015
Metro: Passy, Bir Hakeim
RER C: Avenue du President Kennedy, Maison de la Radio France
If you’re in Montmartre, don’t fail to come and look around this pretty square with its abundant trees and character shops and houses. The Art Nouveau metro entrance – one of the few remaining originals - was famously photographed and turned into a poster that became an icon of Parisian style. An early morning visit is probably necessary if you want to avoid the bustle.
Place des Abbesses
Nearest Metro: Abbesses
You’ve seen the Moulin Rouge, now go and have a look at a proper windmill and get a little exercise at the same time. This windmill and the nearby but less visible Moulin de la Galette were originally flour mills, but are now transformed into restaurants – though both are still considerably more picturesque than their famous cousin.
Nearest Metro: Abbesses