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Your perfect weekend in Paris

July 31-August 2

© Andrea Schaffer

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! 

Cinéma au Clair de Lune 2015

For its 15th edition, the Cinéma au Claire de Lune, organised by the Forum des Images, is hosting eleven free outdoor film screenings at different locations across Paris from July 24 to August 9. Kicking off at 9.30pm every evening, you can catch everything from Stanley Donen’s classic ‘Funny Face’ (starring the eternally charming yet roguish Audrey Hepburn) to a bouncy comedy from Bruno Podalydès (‘Bancs Publics’) and a slew of vintage comedies...

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By: Huw Oliver

Ellsworth

For many, an intimate multi-course meal at Verjus is a special thing, or even a destination dinner, to be reserved weeks before a visit to Paris. But the expatriate succès fou isn’t a casual hangout, despite the charming wine bar downstairs with its own snack menu. Three cheers, then, for the 2015 arrival of its upstart little sister, Ellsworth (named for one of the founders’ grandfather). Here, the name of the game is affordable, casual chic...

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Le 49.3

There’s the feeling of a quaint university bar about the interior of the 49.3, all elegant metal stools and brown leather sofas. Its name sounds like some sort of legal amendment, but actually refers to the fact this 11th arrondissement bar offers an impressive 49 different beers in three different categories. You can choose from a variety of exceptional beers here, with prices rarely exceeding €5.50 for a 330ml bottle (for a decent brew, that’s not bad)...

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Charonne

Sans objet

In Aurélien Bory’s troubling Wellsian vision, two dancer-acrobats compete with a massive robotic arm (the sort used to build cars), proving no match for its inexhaustible, mechanised rhythms. ‘Sans objet’ belongs to a growing genre of ‘physical theatre’, which – inspired by mime and theatrical clowning schools – imagines the performer’s body as a contested and dramatized site, combining circus techniques (acrobatics and pantomime) with the expressivity of contemporary dance...

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Théâtre de la Cité Internationale Until Sunday August 2 2015

Ober Mamma

The 2015 opening from the team behind East Mamma on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Ober Mamma is a handsome addition to the Big Mamma group of Italian trattorie. Owners Tigrane and Victor have managed to repeat the success of their first restaurant with this Oberkampf hangout. The restaurant is beautifully designed and reveals more exciting décor the further in you go...

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Oberkampf

Des Bulles et des Ballons

This Montreuil address was once both a tearoom and a bookshop specialising in comics and children’s fiction. Having abandoned its literary function, however, it’s now simply a bar and restaurant. Even though we actually came to get our fill of Tintin, we stay on, reeled in by the sunny little terrace and a jovial welcome from the staff. A light-filled building spanning two floors, Des Bulles et des Ballons remains a jolly, friendly place for coffee or lunch...

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Montreuil

Israel Ariño : Le Temps éparpillé

Critics' choice

It’s been a great summer for photography fans in Paris this year. First it was the brilliant Anna and Bernhard Blume exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, and now this more autobiographical display from Israel Ariño at the Galerie VU. The photos follow a very particular narrative thread, which visitors must reconstruct. These black and white snippets seem to connect to one another gradually, sketching a rough portrait, detail by detail, of the figure behind the camera...

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Until Saturday September 12 2015 Free

Bieh

The BIEH (short for ‘The Best I Ever Had’) had tested the water in both Lyon and Dijon before setting up shop in the capital in June 2015. Located just south of the Bourse, the New York-style bistro has an elaborately retro interior that harks back to the American station joints of the 1920s. The menu does offer salads and sandwiches, but we decided to give the burgers a try...

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Vivienne

Jinji

This 20 square metre boutique dresses men from head to toe with trendy new and second-hand items. Starting from the bottom up, you’ll find inimitable Stan Smith trainers, sold in black and white, with laces or Velcro. There’s a great selection of monochrome New Balance trainers, as well as Reeboks and Converse. Clothes wise, there’s no risk of fashion faux pas as outrageous designs are few and far between...

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6th arrondissement

Un Igloo dans la ville

Critics' choice

In Paris, the number of pop-up food vans increases by the day. The latest is Un Igloo Dans la Ville, which has pitched right outside the Mk2 Quai de Loire cinema and restaurant, meaning film fans can cool off with a specially made frozen yoghurt before or after a showing. Like many other frozen yoghurt outlets, you can either opt for the yoghurt as it is or customise it with toppings...

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L'été au musée des Arts forains

Paris can be a bit of a nightmare during a heat wave. Everyone’s first thought is to head the nearest slab of grass, to grab some shade and crack open the rosé. But a picnic in an overcrowded park isn’t your only option. Instead, make your way to this half-hidden space, tucked away in the former wine warehouses of Bercy. Le Musée des Arts Forains is more its own world than a museum...

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Musée des Arts Forains Until Monday August 31 2015

Luka Luna

Luka Luna lures you in by acting all mysterious. Is it a concept store? ‘I don’t like that term, as there isn’t really a concept’, the owner tells us upon entering. What does ‘Luka Luna’ even mean? ‘Nothing’, she replies. ‘All the other names were already taken’. Despite the slightly strange approach, this boutique located on the edge of the Halles and Marais areas has a lot going for it. We find some genuinely amazing little objects...

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4th arrondissement

L'Ile de la Réunion

With tables spilling out over the pavement of Rue Daguerre, restaurant L’Île de La Réunion offers a fleeting trip to the tropical Indian Ocean island and former French colony. It’s a popular hangout, and anyone wishing to smoke outside should think about reserving a spot on the terrace. The house punch makes a fine apéritif, lusciously flavoured with passion fruit, coconut, mango, pineapple or lychee...

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Montparnasse

Felice Varini : La Villette en suites

In Felice Varini’s world, painting and architecture go together, and art is expressed with a strong abstract element. Here, everything is a question of space, of finely calculated geometry, of bright colours, of perspective. Like his counterpart George Rousse, Varini creates perfectly designed spatial paintings, bordering on trompe l’oeil and street art. They take over uneven surfaces, their blocks of colour ignoring the boundaries of walls, columns, windows, ceilings and staircases...

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Parc de la Villette Until Sunday September 13 2015 Free

Les Bains

Critics' choice

Located on the tiny Rue du Bourg-l’Abbé in the 3rd arrondissement, Les Bains has a long and illustrious history. First opened by the Guerbois family in 1885, it was originally a bathhouse catering to la crème de la crème of Parisian society, including Marcel Proust. In the ’80s and ’90s, it was a famously debauched nightclub, frequented by the likes of Sean Penn and Grace Jones...

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The Marais

Comments

3 comments
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 : www.discoverwalks.com