The chic Marais is the place to stay. Hotel Jeanne D'Arc is quite a lark. Close to Place St Catherine, where the prices are keen.
To start off your day, go to 'Au Levain du Marais'. The pain au chocolat will make you just weak, so buy quite a few and you'll have a pique nique.
Next, visit grand Pere Lachaise. Chopin and Piaf and dear Oscar Wilde - although they're now gone, you'll still be beguiled. To the Left Bank for dinner, a place called L'Ecurie, the locals eat here, run by petite Mini. Bon weekend!
If you’re heading east from Paris and you’ve got some time to kill, there’s a quiet little park hidden away about 20m from the Gare de l’Est, but not that easy to find.
Stand with your back to the station and head down the road on the left, to the corner. Look for a green metal gate down the side of the rather imposing stone building. It leads into a small ornamental park with a great kids’ playground, and public toilets and baby change on the far side of the park.
For a quick Gallic culture fix, catch a morning Eurostar to Paris and head to Auberge d'chez eux, an unashamedly old school bistro in the seventh.
Enjoy the rich, generous cuisine of south-west France from a window table, complete with traditional red checked cloth, overlooking Les Invalides. President Chirac liked to impress foreign leaders with lunch here, such is its reputation.
Later take in a cognac or two at Lipp on sophisticated Boulevard Saint-Germain, followed by a peaceful stroll around Ile Saint-Louis, before catching a late train home with the feeling that all is well with the world.
Escape the culture vultures at the Louvre or Musee d'Orsay - head out to the 16th district for the Musee Marmottan.
There, in a peaceful mansion, you'll find the largest Monet collection anywhere. See the entire range of his work, culminating in the Giverny Nympheas, displayed in a wonderful circular gallery.
Admire works of many other Impressionists, including one of the few women, Berthe Morisot, Manet's sister-in-law. Easy to get to (four buses, metro), opposite a delightful park, near good, cheap restaurants - a day out of Paris, in Paris!
Instead of booking a hotel, book a flat through Feels like Home in Paris. We have stayed in a beautiful studio flat in the heart of Montmartre - great for lazy breakfasts and midnight feasts taking advantage of the gorgeous local food and wine!
After being on the road for a month, my boyfriend and I actually had the best meal on our last night! It was in a unique and friendly restaurant called Ave Maria, 1 Rue Jacquard (Metro Oberkampf/Saint Maur), the decor was beautifully gaudy, the veggie curry I had was heavenly and the mojitos so good I almost had to be carried home!
The prefect way to end a day of wandering with a great meal in a really friendly atmosphere. They do a fantastic soup as a starter which is served inside half a crusty loaf of bread - ie the bread becomes the bowl - it really works and you won't end up with soup in your lap. Lively music and staff, with great artwork and writings all over the walls. Seek it out.
12 rue du Bourg-Tibourg, just south of the Marais.
Most Paris visitors obviously look for the essence of France as they wander the city, but I found something exceptional and different in the Monique Wells "Discover Afro-American History in Paris" tours.
The haunts of Josephine Baker and James Baldwin come to life, and you see the wonderful Chateau Rouge area - a brilliantly vibrant mix of colours and cultures, boutiques and restaurants. Paris' varied international and colonial history is brought to life.
In the bustling, attractive Place Georges Pompidou, there are some good places to eat. In the Rue St Martin, on the first floor above an art shop called ‘Images de Demain’, is a small, quiet, pretty café nestling among conservatory plants, and a good selection of clocks and attractive kitchen items for sale.
The café has tall windows overlooking the square, and serves teas, coffees, cakes and other delicacies. Nearby, on Rue Rambuteau, is Le Potager du Marais – a café/restaurant which has long refectory tables where the mainly local clientele lunch on reasonably priced, delicious organic, veggie food.
Want to enjoy the sport of kings but not pay a king's ransom? Then head to Paris on the first Sunday in October where you'll experience a sporting extravaganza, with a difference.
Racing reaches its pinnacle at Longchamp where the focus is the richest prize in Europe, the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe. But Arc day is much more than a day at the races. The Paris fashionistas compete as fiercely as the horses. So what would you expect to pay to rub shoulders with racing's elite in the world's style capital? How about £5 and that includes your racecard!
In May, they hold Nuit des Musées - where the museums are open late into the evening and are free. So whilst everyone is eating you can go and see your favourites and with the entrance fees you have saved have a delicious meal.
If, like me, you want on occasion to feel like a true Parisian and don't have an aversion to early mornings then why not try the Bastille open market on a Sunday morning.
The range of fresh fish, bread, vegetables, cheeses and wine is truly mouth watering and all at very reasonable prices. Your euro here goes a long way towards sampling the very best of French food.
The market is huge and the atmosphere intoxicating in terms of a real Parisian experience and can't be recommended highly enough to the discerning visitor.
Lavinia wine bar on Boulevard de la Madeleine is a must for anyone who fancies themselves as a wine buff. You can browse three storeys of wine from around the world (but mostly French, of course) including an incredible selection of champagne magnums and a temperature-controlled fine wine cellar. But the best part is the top floor wine bar where you can choose from a decent selection of wines by the glass or pick any bottle of wine from the store and drink at shop price! And with bottles ranging from under 10 euro to 22,000 there’s something for all budgets.
You can enter the street by the 9 Quai Saint-Michel along the Seine, and 29 metres later, you will end up in the lively and colourful Rue de la Huchette.
Measuring 1m80, it is said to be the narrowest street in Paris. If you feel that the city is too big for you, then have some rest in this old, quiet and dark street. You’ll be able to imagine yourself in the Paris of the middle ages for a while.
Don't be put off by the slightly dodgy looking decor on the website, this hotel is within walking distance of the Arch de Triomphe in a quiet, leafy street. At 90 Euros for a double it’s a bargain with everything on your doorstep.
If you are under 26, you can visit the Louvre for free on Friday evenings. In an expensive city, this is more than just helpful euro-pinching.
You can arrive as the setting sun catches the top of the glass pyramid (making for the perfect ‘I heart Paris’ portrait) then dash to all the best bits while everyone is making their way out.
As you stand tête-à-tête with the Mona Lisa, you might finally realise what all the fuss is about.
Get lost in the cobbled streets of the Marais district, and stumble upon Oliviers & Co, purveyors of the finest quality produce, sourced from artisan crafters of olive oil and other Mediterranean foodstuffs.
The multi-lingual staff will even give you advice on how to integrate your truffle-infused olive oil into your next dinner party menu! Emerge laden with natural olive oil beauty products, speciality breads to wow your guests back home and return on the Eurostar with your own Oliviers & Co olive tree!
When visiting Paris, if you want a real taste of the city and the French way of life, there is a tiny theatre called Theatre de la Huchette.
This place hasn't changed since it was created in 1947 and has performed the same play La Cantatrice Chauve by Ionesco for 50 years. It is a real experience that is worth enjoying but get your tickets a bit before the performance as it really is a tiny place.
I went to see the play twice after I was told about it. It's like being thrown in the Paris d'apres guerre. Amazing experience! The theatre is at "23 rue de la Huchette" in the Latin quarter. You can even enjoy some pancakes from Brittany in a restaurant nearby afterwards.
23 rue de la Huchette, in the Latin quarter.
Forget the queues and the disappointments at Wimbledon, head to Roland Garros, home of the French Open. It's on the outskirts of Paris, easily accessible using the Metro, and with less competition for tickets, you can book a seat on Philippe Chatrier Court and a day return on Eurostar for the price of a Centre Court ticket (and a few glasses of Pimm's) at Wimbledon.
Worth it for the change in atmosphere (and lack of braying Brits on Henman Hill).
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