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Your perfect weekend in Paris

April 17 - 19

© Helen ST

Make the most of your precious downtime with our guide to the perfect weekend in Paris. You'll be struggling for a free hour once you've checked out our selection of the best art, restaurants, films, bars, gigs and more to keep your schedule jam-packed until Monday. Ready? Let's go! 

Shopping • Bleu comme gris

This fashionable boutique is full of teddy bears and drawings, and specialises in clothes for boys and girls aged 0 to 12. Expect chic cuts and great material, whether you’re looking for everyday gear or something for a special occasion. Match your kid’s style with pieces from the adult collection: elegant pastels, casual t-shirts (€35) or even a shimmering golden skirt (€70).

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7th arrondissement

Exhibition • Aardman: l'art qui prend forme

This exhibition at Paris’s Art Ludique museum gives us a glimpse into the workings of the studio that has given the world ‘Wallace and Gromit’, ‘Chicken Run’ and ‘Shaun the Sheep’. Run by Peter Lord, David Sproxton and Nick Park, Aardman Animations has created a parade of innovative and imaginative animated characters since 1972. This exhibition shows how the studio works behind the scenes... 

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Art Ludique - Le Musée Until Sunday August 30 2015

Film • The Water Diviner

You know him as a surly lunk of slab-faced Aussie manhood. But Russell Crowe shows his squishy side as the director of this soft-hearted war melodrama. He also stars as Connor, a farmer whose three sons are missing presumed dead on the WWI battlefield of Gallipoli. Coming on like Liam Neeson without the leather jacket, four years later he travels to Turkey, dad-on-a-mission style, to bring home the bodies of his boys. Once there, he encounters the obligatory sneering British officer... 

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Now Showing

Bar • La Cave de l'Entracte

This no-frills bar in the 10th is the perfect place to grab a casual pint with friends. The ambiance is friendly and the venue’s calendar is full of surprises: the bar might be screening a film one day, and hosting a debate or art exhibit the next. The cave space is charming, but gets packed quickly in the evenings. La Cave de l’Entracte is a popular spot with locals and it’s not just down to the great buzz: drinks prices beat those of other bistros in the area... 

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Club • Badaboum

La Scène Bastille has been done up and re-launched by the same group behind the Panic Room bar, and is now the Badaboum. Inside there’s a fashionably simple retro-industrial look, a new sound system that makes the light-strewn ceiling shake, a restaurant and cocktail/tapas bar open to all from 7pm, and a secret room upstairs with a bachelor pad allure. Altogether, the Badaboum has succeeded in giving new life to the space. We like the reasonable prices, the high-class ambiance... 

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11th arrondissement

Exhibition • Harry Potter: L'exposition

It’s broomsticks, bludgers and Bertie Botts beans galore as the Harry Potter exhibition arrives in Paris. Showing at Luc Besson’s film studio complex La Cité du Cinéma, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey through Harry, Hermione and Ron’s action-packed years at Hogwarts with a selection of original costumes, sets and props used in the Warner Bros films. The exhibition starts out interactive and immersive... 

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La Cité du Cinéma Until Sunday September 6 2015

Retrospective • Michelangelo Antonioni

One of the most important and influential Italian filmmakers, Michelangelo Antonioni ('L'Avventura', 'Blow Up', 'Red Desert') is the subject of the spring retrospective at the ever-impressive Cinémathèque Française. The exhibition and screenings aim to show how Antonioni's work contributed to shaping 20th century film as we know it through his innovative cinematographic writing, human insight... 

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La Cinémathèque Française Until Sunday July 19 2015

Outdoors • Guided walks around Paris

Discover the capital on foot with a themed walk or guided tour Space invaders walking tour The Space Invaders Tour from Localers is a fun walk that keeps both adults and kids entertained. Family tour veteran Isabelle is a children’s author and history buff, who has come up with the perfect solution to combat the holiday tendency to whine ‘I’m bored!’ – a walking tour in the heart of... 

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Record sale • Disquaire Day

Launched in Paris in 2011, Disquaire Day (the Parisian version of Record Store Day) was an instant success – by 2012, the participants numbered 176 record stores and 150 artists. The idea is simple: celebrate the independent music scene with new and limited edition releases from underground acts, plus a hefty helping of gigs and events. The best day of the year to go for a browse and discover new music in Paris... 

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Brunch • Liberté Ménilmontant

There's plenty of pedigree here: pastry chef Benoît Castel set up shop in a boulangerie that was once owned by a winner of ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France’, the prestigious award for culinary arts. Castel himself cut his professional teeth at the Grande Épicerie de Paris and the Michelin-starred Hélène Darroze restaurant, before launching his own chain of boulangerie-pastisseries. As well as a large boutique space full of inspired baking creations, the Boulangerie Liberté also offers... 

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Visit Monet's house • Giverny

In 1883, Claude Monet moved his mistress and their eight children into a quaint pink-brick house (Fondation Claude Monet) he had rented in bucolic Giverny, and spent as much time cultivating a beautiful garden here as painting the water lilies in it. By 1890, he had bought his dream home and had a pond dug, bridges built and a tableau of greenery created. As Monet’s eyesight began to fail, he produced endless impressions of his man-made paradise... 

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By: Time Out editors

Restaurant • Le Triangle

This micro-brasserie and restaurant specialises in matching its drinks to its dishes, with a twist – here it’s all about beer rather than wine. Stouts, ales and trappist beers are available as well as craft beers from Belgium, Italy, England and Germany and in-house beer by a Canadian brewer – all matched with the kitchen’s clever small plates. We tried homemade chips with a cream sauce (€3.50) complemented by an organic lemonade and a pint of Italian Tripel beer... 

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Bars • The best al fresco bars in Paris

See Paris come alive from the very best summer stages Le Bistrot des Dames Those in the know are wise to the promise of Le Bistrot des Dames wine bar and restaurant, found underneath a youth hostel. If the interior is welcoming, with its pretty old style bar and retro décor brightened up with old advertisements, this bistro is best known for its little paradise of a garden... 

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Michaela G
Michaela G

Best tour I ever took was tip only. It was so good I took several more by the same company (some free, some paid for). In Morocco and Mexico I've been guided by enterprising locals who spare the time for a small fee. Consider what experience you're after before deciding to spend or not on a tour.

mary B
mary B

Oh Please Lauren Harris, free walking tours only tip supported are not professional! Don't let people telling you stories ...  Don't trust a tour guide you don't  pay for ! I'm a licensed guide of Rome and since I know I much I studied I'll never work for free! People doing this things in Rome are unprofessional guide, with no license and nothing to lose!

Lauren Harris
Lauren Harris

For short stay in Paris I personally advise you to join a walking tour. They allow you to see the most important landmarks ..The one i joined last time I was in paris had another advantage : it was with a native guide, no reservation needed and only tip-supported! he knew so many secret stories about Paris , but also hidden places where only parisians go I warmly recommend it to you :