If you are a vegetarian desperate for some French-tasting sustenance, try Le Potager du Marais near the Pompidou Centre, Metro Rambuteau.
It is a wonderful change to eating pizza or falafel and really makes you feel like you are taking part in France's famous cuisine.
The downside of a weekend in Paris, people say, is that it closes on a Sunday. Not around the Rue des Martyrs it doesn’t.
Just by St Georges Metro, fifteen minutes from the Gare du Nord and Eurostar, lies this wonderful untouristy very French part of Paris with a Sunday morning market to buy your pastries, cheese, charcuterie, fish, wine, chocolate and second hand books.
Stay in the Trois Poussins hotel for discreet affordable luxury, and who could resist the No Stress Café across the road which does exactly what it says on the tin?
For something really out of the ordinary in the ancient heart of Paris, go to Nos Ancetres les Gaulois on the Ile St Louis.
It's an all-you-can-eat-and-drink restaurant, with a dark ages theme - skins on the ancient stone walls, rough-hewn wooden tables, help-yourself-to-wine from the barrel kind of place, labrynthine and bacchanalian in atmosphere - musical floorshow with lots of audience participation.
All-in for 39 euros; unbeatable fun and totally unexpected in its rarefied surroundings; a perfect ending to a day of trawling around the museums.
Probably the best 22 euro steak on the planet! The side of a cow smothered in immaculate sauce served with endless frittes. And the salads are not bad either. With impressive North African wines. It has a real feel, an authentic old Parisian atmosphere. It is where I proposed to my wife, and where I return at every available opportunity. You cannot beat it. Just remember, no reservations so get in early before the Parisians.
47. Rue de Bretagne
Imagine an authentic, reasonably priced, local French restaurant bang in the middle of the 1er, within a Wilkinson drop-kick of that concrete beast, the Forum des Halles.
Imagine such a place festooned in rugby memorabilia - permanently, and not just in Rugby World Cup year. Such a place exists. It's called Le Gros Minet (The Fat Kitten) and it's on Rue des Prouvaires (+33 1 42 33 02 62).
It's small, so book to avoid missing out on such treats as canard aux myrtilles. As any rugby fan would tell you, it's got to be worth a try!
Paris' constant drone of traffic noise can be wearying for the footsore tourist, but if you are near to the Opera Bastille you can make an instant escape by walking up a few steps on to the Promenade Plantee.
This little heaven away from the roar of the big city is actually a reclaimed elevated railway line, 4.5km long and planted with thousands of gorgeous flowers and shrubs. Instant relaxation guaranteed, instant slowing down of pulse, and another - somewhat secret - addition to this wonderful city's delights.
For an authentic Parisian experience, visit the market on Rue Mouffetard (Latin Quarter) on a Sunday morning. Start at the top end, enjoy a coffee in Cafe Delmas in pretty Place Contrescarpe, then work your way down the narrow cobbled street, fresh fruit, veg, meat and cheese either side, then turn left onto Rue Monge before finishing off your shopping at the market in Place Monge. If you've got time, nip across the road to see Paris's very own Roman amphitheatre (reconstructed).
Particularly if you are visiting with children make sure you take a trip on Metro line 14. This is a new line from St Lazare to Olypiades and the trains are driverless. If you get in the front carriage you can sit right up front and pretend to drive! It is great.
If you are tired of traipsing around the Louvre and Quai d'Orsay head for the Rodin museum and garden.
Have a good look around the main house museum then head out to the lovely gardens. At the very bottom you will find some shaded sun loungers where you can catch your breath and even be sketched by the life drawing class that goes there most afternoons.
Visit the Deportation memorial on Ile de la Cite behind Notre Dame. It is the most poignant, peaceful place imaginable and cannot fail to bring me to tears that in the middle of such a beautiful city there is a reminder of the horrors that cleaved Europe in the 20th century. Everyone should visit, sit and think.
Traveling with kids to Paris? Need a place to let them burn off steam between the bateau-mouches and the Louvre? Then hit the trampolines and carousel in the Tuiliieres gardens.
After they get thirsty head to Angelina's (Angélina 226, rue de Rivoli) for chocolat chaud. Do this before the crowds arrive here and at the Louvre.
Another tip for children is to head to Sacre Coeur for the farmers' market on top of the hill on weekends, jugglers on the church steps and the carousel at the bottom.
Need a new children's shirt to replace the one covered in hot chocolate? There are some good bargain department stores on your way back to the Metro station.
I love this place, they always have some crazy exhibition going on, the shop is full of silly postcards and amazing art books. And the café is definitely worth a visit, go to the terrace outside for fantastic views over the Seine and the Tour d’Eiffel. They also organise special events with DJs and live bands.
Slightly off the beaten track, the Grand Mosque at the 5th Arr. has a large, sunken garden, fountains and a 33-metre high minaret.
The internal courtyards, lined with Andalusian mosaics, are offset by dark eucalyptus and cedar trim. The mosque's adjoining cafe and restaurant, serves excellent north African cuisine such as couscous, tajine and sweet mint tea to all.
A no-star hotel in the front garden of Notre Dame Cathedral. The wallpaper is bizarre, there is no lift (five floors though), and the bathroom door (yes, we had an en suite) came away in my hand.
But the view from the window is breathtaking and the owner is friendly and helpful. Shakespeare Books is just across the street. Doubles from €60 per night.
4 rue St-Julien-le-Pauvre, Paris 75005
+33 (0)1 4354 1920
Even if you only have one day, you can see Paris in two completely different eras.
First, stop by Collette, a concept store for clothing, technology and food that is truly ahead of the times. Not planning to buy anything? You’re still sure to enjoy looking at the most stylish goods and people Paris has to offer.
Afterwards, visit Mariage Freres, the oldest French tea house which dates back to the 1600s. With over 500 different varieties to choose from, taste what’s commonly referred to as the best tea in the world or bring it back as the perfect souvenir.
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