Inside the beautiful Vieux Charite building is a small but fascinating archaeology museum with an excellent Egyptian collection and lots of pottery finds from around the Mediterranean.
Upstairs (separate entrance fee) there are collections of Mexican folk art and masks from Africa and the Pacific. When we visited on a Saturday in August the museum was virtually deserted.
In the courtyard there is an open air cafe which serves good salads and other lunchtime dishes at reasonable prices (although service is a bit hit and miss) - it's worth visiting for this alone if you are sightseeing in the Panier district.
2 rue de la Charite +33 4 91 14 58 80
Great to visit there is something for everyone Disneyland for the kids and the Moulin Rouge for adults.
If you are on a tight budget there are still lots of things to do get a good guide book and DIY touring round Paris - have also found things to do for free via the internet ie free concerts in parks and churches all over the city.
Pick up an entertainment weekly for details.
Don't be put off by the thought of visiting a cemetery. This is a truly fascinating insight into history, culture and day to day life experiences of the people who rest here.
Far from ghoulish, more like awe-inspiring and in turns both humbling and tragic.
The beautiful surroundings are lovingly preserved and make it an uplifting rather than depressing experience.
Restaurant Chartier, 7 rue Fauburg Monmartre in the 9th Arrondissement. This is the most special restaurant in all Paris. Not because of the food: it is no more than adequate and reasonable value-for-money.
No, it is something else that makes it unforgettable. It is the fact that you are seated in a massive, atmospheric dining room that has not changed in its 110 years.
And seated on tables for four. So if there are just two of you, expect to have two strangers seated next to you! And then when you ask for the bill, the waiters will write it on your paper tablecloth!
You won't find this in any of the other six cities!
The Ste Chapelle church on Ile de la Cite is an absolute must to visit.
Quite impressive downstairs, but the stained glass windows upstairs are incredible. Make sure you pick up an information sheet and look at some of the detail on the windows which all represent different books in the Bible.
It kept our party ranging in age from 12 to 50 occupied for the best part of an hour. Well worth the small entrance fee and much more interesting than Notre Dame just down the road.
Le rendez-vous des chauffeurs - it is always packed - though it does have to be said it is not big but it is cheap and the food has been excellent on all my visits - and I look forward to my next Parisian visit not least for the prospect of dining here again.
If you're getting a connecting train south from the Gare de Lyon, plan your train times to allow for lunch in the station's fabulous brasserie, Le Train Bleu.
Located up a grand staircase off the main concourse, it serves great food in special surroundings with Mediterranean-themed murals on the walls to whet your appetite.
If you're tight for time, choose a cheese plate and a half-bottle of Cotes-du-Rhone in the Big Ben bar with its comfy leather armshairs.
Forget about spending your time and money in over-touristy, over-priced areas of Paris like the Latin Quarter. Book your hotel and plan your meals within the 10th Arrondissement, as near to Canal St-Martin as possible. This is the real Paris. Head to the Hotel du Nord for a fantastic meal or just a glass of wine on the bank of the canal.
Upon arrival, take the metro to 'Rue de Commerce' in the 15th arrondisement.
Here, you will be able to see Parisiens go about their daily business; be it buying fresh cheese at the fromagerie or picking up basic fashion at the Petit Bateau shop.
A real gem of a place to get the feel of how locals live. Stop off for a drink at a terrace before continuing towards the end of the street, where you are only a stone throws away from the Champ de Mars and the famous Eiffel Tower.
Any ice-cream lover will tell you that the best cornet in the world is to be found in Italy. Well, they're wrong. The creme de la creme (if you'll pardon the pun) is to be found in chic central Paris.
Berthillon ice cream, sold at vendors throughout the Ile St Louis, is utterly delicious. The wild strawberry flavour is fruitily fresh, and the double chocolate is any chocoholic's dream. Forget the glorious architecture of the island; these cones are worth the trip in themselves.
For a delicious, authentic French meal, head to Chez Renee. The boeuf bourguignon melts in your mouth and the coq au vin is fantastic.
Just as good as the food is the service - we were welcomed into this bustling restaurant with a glass of wine on the house while we waited for a table.
14, boulevard Saint-Germain - Paris 75005
Tel : 01 43 54 30 23
Fax : 01 43 26 43 92
Take a walk along the Promenade Plantee (12th arr) - a defunct railway viaduct which is now a walkway with lots of flowers and great views - to the Marche d'Aligre (place d'Aligre, 12th arr).
This daily flea market and covered food market, is a great place for mint tea and other nice things to eat and drink - but only open in the mornings, so you might want to get there early.
The best and most fun way to see the sights of Paris is to take a personal tour in an original 40-year-old Citroen 2CV complete with a bereted driver.
Besides soaking up the atmosphere, you feel like a minor celebrity as tourists jostle to get a snap of this motoring curiosity. The engine stalling, dodgy gear changes and the curses directed by the driver at other motorists who have cut him up along the Champs D'Elysee, all add to the Gallic charm and fun.
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