bars beckon mid-afternoon...
cafes, bistros and restaurants in Paris keep specific lunch
and dinner hours. When you find yourself hungry during the
off-times - head for a wine bar! Wine bars are a great place
to try some wine-by-the-glass and delicious homemade fare
in a casual, convivial setting. Generally speaking they
are open longer hours, so they make a perfect spot for food
in between lunch and dinner hour when everything else is
closed. My favorites? Taverne Henri IV or Willi's Wine Bar
- both in the 1st, La Cremerie in the 5th and La Baron Rouge
in the 12th.
museums are a must...
has no shortage of museums, but admission prices can add
up. To save money, travelers should definitely check into
the Paris museum
pass, but do the math to see if it's the best value
for your situation. Those traveling on a tight budget will
delight in knowing that some Paris museums are actually
free to visit! The Musée de la Vie Romantique, Musée
Coqnacq-Jay, Maison du Balzac, Maison du Victor Hugo and
Le Petit Palais are just a few. But don't miss a free visit
to Paris's fabulous history museum, the Musée Carnavalet,
which is not only housed is a spectacular building with
a beautifully manicured courtyard, but displays historical
treasures like Marie Antoinette's slippers and Napolean's
toiletries. Most of the national museums also have free
days - usually the first Sunday of the month.
with a view...
in Paris you must take part in cocktail hour; enjoy your
drink otherwise known as aperitif. Since Paris boasts such
gorgeous backdrops, I recommend you take your aperitif with
a view! Next time you're in Paris near the I'le Saint- Louis,
stroll over the Pont au Double bridge toward the left bank
and hop aboard the Kiosque Flottant, a floating barge docked
right on the Quai de Montebello, with a prime view of Notre-Dame
in the background. Aim to stay from dusk to darkness to
behold the cathedral which takes on a magical glow when
illuminated by floodlights. You can also enjoy drinks while
watching the lights from the Eiffel Tower flicker, from
the terrace of the Cafe de l'Homme.
shopping is a favorite pastime in Paris. Food always makes
a great gift and Paris has no shortage of gourmet shops
to find yummy treasures. Big name shops like Fauchon and
Hediard are good options, but so are the epiceries in department
stores like Galleries Lafayette and Le
Bon Marché. Those with a sweet tooth should try
macarons from the famed Ladurée
or Pierre Hermé or some decadent artisan chocolate
or caramels from Jacques Genin. Visit E.
Dehillerin for culinary tools and copper pots or a branch
of La Vaissellerie
if you have an obsession with white porcelain tableware.
If vintage art or books are more your style, shop the bouquinistes
- the large green stalls that line the walls on both banks
of the Seine, near the city center.
the Visitors and Convention Bureau site...
has one of the most helpful, informative and user friendly
Visitors and Convention Bureau websites I have come across.
The site is chock full of info about Paris's museums, concerts,
shows, special events, art galleries and exhibits and holiday
happenings. You can also find up-to-date information on
maps and transportation, new hotels, shops, clubs, restaurants
and spa openings in the city. It's a fabulous resource and
great starting point for anyone looking to visit Paris!
Visit them at http://en.parisinfo.com/.
About the writer: As the self-professed Queen
of the Carry-on Bag, Robin Locker Lacey also offers practical
advice on traveling light. She is addicted to social media - you
can follow her on Twitter @MyMelange
or join her Facebook