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
An atmospheric, bohemian, budget, boutique hotel.
It's a little bit out of the centre of Paris, but the Metro is 5 minutes away and it's within walking distance of Pigalle & Montmarte. Loads of bars, bistros and cafes near by.
18, rue des Dames, Paris 75017, France
This charming hotel is situated on a quiet street in the heart of Montmatre. There is a parrot in the lobby that can speak in five languages and if that's not a good reason to stay here then I don't know what is. Inexpensive, charming, centrally located.
Address: 5 Rue Tholoze 75018.
10 min. walk from Abbesse or Blance metro stations;
www.hotel-des-arts.net (Flash plug-in required for this site)
As a student of French history and politics, it was quite exciting for me to visit the Pantheon, with the "Great men" of French history. It is an impressive building and there is a nice view from the dome as well.
Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris
near Cardinal Lemoine
A small, family run restaurant in Odeon/St Germain, with excellent food at good prices for the area. Main courses 10 Eur; starters and desserts about 6 Eur. Great lunchtime menu for 12 Eur including a choice of main meal plus a starter or dessert and a coffee.
It doesn't take reservations or accept credit cards.
3 rue Lobineau, 75006, Paris.
Metro Odeon (line4) or Mabillon (line 10).
On one side of the Marché St Germain.
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.
A little bistro in the 7th district. They have reasonably priced gorgeous meals, attractive and attentive staff who are patient with my poor French skills, nice wines, and a full bar.
I go there every time I'm in Paris, and the service and food are always fabulous. The decor is mostly burgundy and the atmosphere is cozy but young and contemporary.
Just outside of the Ecole Militaire Metro stop. I mean *JUST,* as you emerge from the station.
It is a quirky bookshop crammed full of all kinds of hidden gems - right opposite Notre Dame. You may recognise it from the Before Sunset film with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. The extremely hospitable owner loves putting up wannabe artists and writers in the rooms above the shop (and friends of the staff - me!).
Low lights and a crumbling interior give this cramped basement drinking den a nostalgic feel. Sangria is sold by the jug and the juke box plays an eclectic range of old pop records. An authentic left-bank experience.
10 rue de l’Odéon, 75006. Telephone: 01 43 26 66 83. M° Odéon.
With 59 floors the only skyscraper in Paris: easily the best view because, as they say, it is the only place in Paris from which you do not have to look at the Tour Montparnasse! Lift takes you to the 56th floor with photo exhibition then stairs up to the top. Panoramic view, and the sun sets behind the Eiffel Tower which sparkles for the first ten minutes of each hour.
metro montparnasse bienvenüe lignes 4,6,12,13.
Fantastic crêpes, good quality food, mesmerizing decor, interesting music, accommodating young waitresses, very good prices. Not to be missed!
33, rue Saint-André-des-Arts,75006, Paris
Métro : Métro : Saint-Michel/ Bus : 24, 27, 38, 85, 96
For those in need of a bite and desperate to get away from the screeching tourists and leery old men around the Moulin Rouge, head down to La Marmite bar/restaurant for an affordable steak and then across the road to the uber-cool La Fourmi for a demi.
Between Pigalle and Anvers metros, just off the main boulevard.
A great (possibly the best) falafel restaurant in Paris - the owner's lovely the food's great and it's not expensive. Closed on Jewish Sabbath and Holidays.
34, rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris
Tel 01 48 87 63 60
Sip a glass of Sancerre on the outdoor terrace at the top of the Pompidou Centre (you don't have to eat in the restaurant) and enjoy a plate of plump olives while you admire one of the best views in and of Paris.
Centre Goerge Pompidou 4th Arrond.
Metro: Hotel de Ville or Rambuteau
Dine in the open under the stars in this former drapers shop. The sliding roof is almost as good as that in the Millennium stadium, and the very French and inexpensive food isn't half bad too.
51, rue du Commerce, 15th arrond. Paris. Metro: Emile Zola
The Promenade Plantée in Paris. Once a raised railway line. Instead of pulling it down, they planted it. And now it is a pleasant second storey floral walk, with benches and drinking fountains; functional, delightful.
The ground-level gardens of Paris are flourishing too. The Parc de Bercy will look good when it is mature. For now, there is an information centre, which tells you about the thousands of people caring for Paris's public greenery.
Where life in Paris spills out on to the pavements: in the rue Montorgueil, the food stalls stretch out to tempt the breakfasters in tha cafés on the other side of the street. The street itself is paved in a swirling mosaic.
The new line 14 of the Métro, the "Méteor". Driverless, it takes you to the Bibliothèque Nationale, four massive glass towers with vast wooden walkways between them.
The Jardin des Poètes, in the west of the city, not far from the Roland Garros tennis stadium, has plaques at the edge of the paths inscribed with extracts from famous French poems.
There are points against Paris, of course: graffiti and roller-bladers, for example. No doubt people scribbled on walls in Montaigne's time and maybe there was his equivalent of roller-bladers, but reading beneath his statue by the Thermes de Cluny "Paris a mon cœur..." (Paris has my heart), I think I know what he meant.
Use a map of Paris!
It's a small, typically Parisian, sidestreet bistro. Small but excellent menu with all the staples and onion soup to die for, checked (plastic) tablecloths, tables spilling out onto the street, always busy, very few tourists and a real dining experience
21 rue de la Collegiale, 75005 Paris, Tel.: 01 43 31 55 57, nearest metro is Les Gobelins
For an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of Paris head to Fontainebleau for it's chateau, once a residence of French kings, now the summer residence of the French presidents. The palace and gardens are just as attractive as that of Versailles. The forest of Fontainebleau is perfect for walks with your beau.
Trains from Gare de Lyon station. Journey takes 40-60 minutes.
After a good look round one of the best galleries in Paris, have lunch at the brasserie. The food's good and the room's décor transports back you back to the days of the libertines of 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses'. A real treat that's very affordable.
Two Bistros within a bone marrows throw of each other and the latter more like Jean-Luc's living room with an attached kitchen with a dining experience like one of the family. If you like unpretentious, traditional, wholesome, fresh and well prepared food combined with a shoulder to shoulder great atmosphere this is the place. I could go to either of these every day.
16 Rue Princesse & 8 Rue Guisarde 6er Metro - Mabillon
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