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10 Really Good Things I Know about Paris...

 

Wine bars beckon mid-afternoon...

Most 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.

 

Paris museums are a must...

Paris 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.

 

Aperitifs with a view...

When 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.

 

Searching for souvenirs...

Souvenir 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.

 

Check the Visitors and Convention Bureau site...

Paris 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 community.

Paris from the Journeywoman archives...

Today's weather...

Paris

Paris -- A Haven for Chocolate Lovers
Advice from JourneyWomen who love Paris
Travelling Solo in Paris
Her Paris Tearooms
Her Paris -- How Not to be a Tourist

 

 


When NOT to wear a hat
Washroom Etiquette around the world
Her bandana - 40 travel uses

 

 

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