Monday, July 6, 2009

Five Things To Do in Paris

1. Walk from Place des Voges to Centre Pompidou for shopping, art galleries et les boulangeries. Stop at Musée Carnavalet for a step into the history of Paris or Musée Picasso, because what's a trip to any European city without a visit to the local Picasso Museum? Catch a panorama of the Parisian skyline from the escalators at Centre Pompidou.

2. Eat at L'As du Falafel, 34 rue des Rosiers, St. Paul metro stop. The cat's out of the bag on this one. These are the best falafels in the western world, and everyone knows it.

3. Pick up some fromage et champagne (don't forget glasses) at the Rue Cler market and picnic on the lawn under the Eiffel Tower at night (très romantique, si vous voulez).

4. Stroll around Ile St. Louis, and then visit the powerful "Memorial des Martyrs de la Deportation" (Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation, or the WWII memorial) just over the bridge on the eastern edge of Ile de la Cite.

5. Have a macaroon and hot chocolate at Ladurée (three locations in Paris), or if chocolate is not for you, visit the brand new (or maybe not even open yet) Ladurée Bar on the Champs-Élysées and tell me how it is. I'm dying to know.

BONUS: Skip the lines at the Eiffel Tower and treat yourself to a nice dinner at the top of Montparnasse Tower instead. You'll see a better view of Paris than you would from the Eiffel Tower. Plus, this view includes the iconic tourist trap, which glitters at night.

Hint on getting around: Stop at a newsstand on the street and buy this year's Paris Pratique par Arrondissement. You'll never get lost if you have this book (or at least you'll have what you need to find your way home if you do).