Aah le Paris … the city of the first kiss. Walk along the Seine, get run over by tourists in front of the Mona Lisa; the joys of travel. You’re there for the French Open, the big daddy of clay warfare. As Anna Wintour says, tennis players are the modern day gladiators and Stade de Roland Garros is the fighting pit. You might be spending the day at the courts, but spare some time for those macaroons waiting to be bought. Here’s our little guide to Paris on where to Eat, See & Do for a few perfect days in La Ville Lumière …
Eat- To market, to market:
First stop: Marche Des Enfants Rouges in Les Marais or in English, The Market of Red Children. Dating back to the 1600’s, it is the oldest covered market in Paris and will make any world food traveler cry. With café’s and take away food, tuck into Moroccan, Italian, Lebanese, and Japanese. Channel Cezzane and instagram your glistening tomatoes and neon kale while an accordionist makes you feel like you’re in your own little movie. Want to sample a lamb Tagine on a Sunday afternoon – then get there by 1:30 pm, because it’s popular with the tourists.
Directions: Rue de Bretagne and close to multiple metro stops.
Of course, you’re going to do the Eiffel and Louvre (Make sure you see The Raft of Medusa Theodore Gericault. ca. 1818-1819) and everything in between but we’re here to make you interesting. The Catacombs of Paris would be my first stop. This ossuary holds the remains of cemeteries until 1814 and is perfect for lovers of the arcane. If you’ve seen the usual neighborhoods, then head to Belleville’s flea markets for the real Paris. Stroll through tree-lined, picturesque rues of Caulaincourand and gaze at trendy Parisians. It’s all very Amelie.
Do you love dancing? Then head to the quai along the left bank of Port St. Bernard, which comes alive with dancers doing the Salsa, waltz and swing. It goes on every evening from the 1st of June. If this is not your first trip to Paris, then take a break from the relentless Paris traffic and ubiquitous European high street names and spend the day exploring La Butte aux Cailles, a fenced-in village outside of Paris that overlooked the, now underground, Bièvre River. La Butte aux Cailles is swirling with narrow cobblestone streets and Art Nuevo style houses. Tucked away in alleyways lie quirky café’s and boutiques. Start the day with a little sightseeing at Rue Daviel, where you’ll be transported to Little Alsace and Little Russia. Rue de la Butte is perfect for an afternoon snack and a little shopping.
Reshma is listening, and sighing, to La Vie en Rose as she writes this.