It isn’t hard to have fun in Paris. Here are some places to start:
In no particular order.
Jardin des Plantes – the little zoo and the gardens and the little cafe in the garden for ice cream. It’s where my eldest played as a baby.
Places des Vosges – sit in the square after walking the Marais and enjoy the green space.
Musee Picasso – it has been renovated, so I am excited to see it again. There is a lovely garden in back too.
Opera Garnier – to see the ballet and to look up at Chagall’s ceiling.
Notre Dame – including the view of the buttresses from the Ile St. Louis.
Ile St. Louis – walk along and shop and maybe go for a crepe and ice-cream too.
Rue des Rosiers – for lunch.
BHV – The Paris department store. Very comprehensive.
Palais du Tokyo – My eldest daughters favorite museum. Contemporary art. Grand spaces. Great cafe and resto too.
Ste. Chapelle on a sunny day.
Musee Cernuschi – again.
The Bois. The new Vuitton building by Frank Gehry.
The Bois. Jardin d’ Acclimatation. The girls adore this place.
The Louvre. The Napolean 111 apartments – my favorite, The Samothrace – love this so much. The Lacemaker by Vermeer. The Turkish Bath by Ingres, David’s consecration of Napleon and the other grand french paintings in those rooms, the Mona Lisa, Cupid and Psyche by Canova, and Michelangelo’s Captive and all the French paintings, especially Camille Corot, who I have a thing for.
The Pomp – which we did just the other day. The view from the top of the escalators is SO amazing. The exhibit spaces are fun. Very great views from those windows too.
Palais Royal – which I look forward to strolling again as I haven’t been there in ages. Such a lovely garden.
Musee Cluny – my youngest has been learning all about Roman baths in geography class, so we walked by here the other day as she was keen to see the remains of the baths, and she explained the types of baths to me… very interesting. The Unicorn tapestries are jewels to behold.
Tea at the Paris mosque – this is one of my favorite spots in Paris. Beautiful and unique.
The Luxembourg – this is our back yard for the time being. It is lovely all year round.
Rue Mouffetard – so fun. Then up to Place Contrascarpe.
Shakespeare and Co. – I’ve been already but the girls want to go.
Bon Marche – shop here a lot.
St. Germain des Pres – yep. where we live!
St. Sulpice – when the fountain is going on a sunny day. Around the corner. I love this esplanade.
Tour Eiffel – let’s actually climb it.
Musee d’Orsay – my favorite. And lunch in the ‘clock’ cafe – so pretty.
Musee Branly – new since I was here last. Looking forward to seeing it. The ‘green’ wall from outside looks gorgeous and Andrew says the cafe is supposed to be really good.
Musee Rodin – we went here one January day. But we have to go back in spring when the garden is lush and you can sit in the outdoor cafe. A nice spot in the 7th.
Musee Maillol – around the corner and I can get in free with my Amie du Louvre card. Must go soon. Fancy resto too.
Musee du Parfum – since I took that perfume tour (yes!) – part of French history that is rather ‘seductive.’
Musee Galliera – the fashion museum that has been revamped with a wonderful exhbition. Looking forward to taking the girls.
Musee de la mode et du textile – part of the Louvre not many know about. Les Arts decoratifs.
Petit Palais – where I have coffee every month, but the courtyard is so splendid, I must take everyone there, especially to see the ‘ship.’
Canal St. Martin – must be the coolest hippest area as that’s where all the foodie blogs send you and the boutique-y blogs too.
The High Line – in spring – it’s the coolest –
The Quai’s – the boat rides. The scooter paths.
Then there are the million outings OUTSIDE Paris…. Versailles, Chantilly, Senlis, Giverny, Seax, Fountainbleu, Chartre, Provins, St. Germain en Laye….
And a few shops too:
Hot Dog Chic 26 rue Vavin, 75006 – our dog’s shop. where she picks out her leash and her treats and gets her hair done…! and it’s in a super cute corner of the 6th where there are things to do for everyone while you wait for your dog.
Bonpoint concept store – 6 rue de Touron, 75006 – I’ve passed it so many times, I finally went in the other day. Very chic for children. Fun night lights and stuff for kids.
Merci – 111 Blvd. Beaumarchais, 75003 – a concept store – that means they have a little bit of everything – highly ‘curated’ as they say.
Serendity – 83 rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 – hidden thru a courtyard – home decor stuff, very fun.
La Boutique de Louise – 32 rue du dragon, 75006 – my eldest daughter’s favorite store. It’s whimsical, girly, and fun – much like her!
Petit Pan – 39 rue Francois Miron, 75004 – for wee ones.
Le Coupe-papier – 19 rue de l’Odeon, 75006 – theatre books.
La Belle Hortense – 31 rue vielle du Temple, 75004 – books.
Art a zart – 83 quai de Valmy, 75010 – huge art bookstore.
Pop market – 50 rue Bichat, 75010 – concept store.
Les Fleurs – 6 passage Josset, 75012 – girly store.
The following are a few clothing ‘fair’s that only happen once in a while: Le Marche retro d’Oberkampf – once a month at AIMLOFT – 2, city griset, 75011 – 60’s stuff Des Filles en Aiguille – contrary couture. 4 times a year. 28, rue Beurepaire, 75010
Millimetres – 19 rue Milton, 75019 – kid’s concept store.
Les Ginettes – 4 rue Sabot, 75006 – consignment store – very well tended.
Via Venise Stock – 116 rue St-Charles, 75015 – good shoes at a discount.
Satellite – all over Paris. The jewelry here is really unique. Mostly beaded and jeweled, but very nicely made.
Matiere Premiere – 12 rue de Sevigne, 75004. Beads! Jewelry.
A list of fun Paris things that defy categorization.
The American Library – fantastic. It’s a very large library. A kids section. A teens section with its own mezzanine/couches etc. Weekly lectures. Author readings. We love it here!
La Mosque de Paris – not only the garden and courtyard for mint tea, but there is a hammam too. Women’s days are Mon/Wed/Thu & Sat. Check for hours.
Rasa Yoga – 21 rue St Jacques, 75005 – Yoga plus massages too.
L’Attirail – 9 rue au Maire, 75003 – every night at 8:30 – there is jazz, blues, or folk concerts.
Olympia Hall – 28, blvd des Capucines, 75009 – big hall for larger acts.
Le Vieux Belleville – 12, rue des Envierges, 75020 – authentic, non-touristy bistro, classic French chansons evenings.
Duc des Lombards – 45 rue des Lombards, 75001 – one of the best jazz clubs in town.
New Morning – 7-9 rue des Petites Ecuries, 75010 – fabulous jazz, reggae, etc.
Chez Bouboule – 0 ave Trudaine, 75009 – a cafe and a place to play petangue, all in one.
Plaisir d’equi’ The – 12 blvd Beaumarchais, 75011 – a tea room and boutique run by a family out of their home. Tres unique.
LeFooding.com – a foodie website
Le Camion qui fume – one of the first food trucks, started by a girl from California.
Le Bal Populaire: the revival of traditional neighborhood dances you can find now in Paris in certain cafes and terraces.