Things to do in Paris
The Time Out Paris hot list
Read on for our guide to the week's coolest events and most interesting venues. If you manage to tick off all ten, head back to our home page for daily updates on the best restaurants, cultural events, nightlife, and whatever else Paris manages to think up before our next Hot List is published on Monday.
Your perfect weekend in Paris
Make the most of those two sweet days of downtime with our guide to the weekend's best events and activities. We've selected the best galleries, concerts, gigs, cafés, restaurants, bars, clubs, films and more, to make sure you enjoy every minute of your weekend in Paris.
101 things to do in Paris
Welcome to the definitive guide to getting the most out of Paris, be you visiting for a weekend or two weeks. Read on for our list of the 101 best things to do in the capital, put together by Time Out’s expert writers and editors. With activities ranging from scaling famous monuments to secret shopping passageways, and from peaceful parks to fast and furious nights out on the town, we've got you covered whatever you're looking for in Paris.
50 things for kids to do in Paris
Follow our guide to the 50 best things to do with kids in Paris to find child-friendly restaurants, weird and wonderful museums, safe and fun places to play outside and all sorts of activities whatever the weather. Whether you want to go shopping for your toddler or find an alternative to queuing for the Eiffel Tower, we've got your family holiday in Paris covered.
Swimming pools in Paris
When Paris's legendary Piscine Molitor – Art Deco showpiece, birthplace of the bikini (and, er, the 'monokini'), star of 'Life of Pi', playground for graffiti artists and ravers – reopened in May 2014, it wasn't in order to welcome back its old public. After languishing in redevelopment limbo for two decades, the pool was eventually snapped up by hotel group Accor, who resolved to convert the site's historic appeal into a luxury brand. The result: a high-end hotel-pool resort that looks good, but costs €180 for a day pass. Parisians are up in arms.Luckily for them, their city abounds in attractive pools that don't cost half a week's wages to access. From the exotic facilities of the Centre Aquatique de Neuilly-sur-Seine (fake beaches, anyone?) to the naturist evenings at the Roger Le Gall, the Olympic dimensions of the Georges-Vallerey to the dramatic steel structure of the Josephine Baker, these venues offer everything that an overheated Parisian could want. So don your gaudiest swimsuit, grab your coppers for the lockers, and head over for a dip.
Paris’s best parks and gardens
For a 105km2 city crammed inside a ring road (la péripherique), Paris has rather a lot of parks. Pack a picnic, take a leisurely stroll, or park yourself on a shaded bench somewhere on this list. If you fancy getting sporty, head to one of the city's 'bois' – former royal hunting grounds, just beyond today's centre, where the verdant expanses provide endless boating, walking and cycling opportunities.
Guide to the suburbs of Paris
When François Hollande's culture minister described London as a 'suburb of Paris', she didn't mean it as a compliment to either. Her point was that London is an uglier, more dangerous version of the French capital; at a stroke, she'd denigrated her Anglo-Saxon neighbours and encapsulated Parisians' often contemptuous view of their own suburbs. We're going to turn the comparison on its head: the much maligned banlieue of the French capital is effectively a major city in its own right, in terms of both population – roughly ten million to central Paris's two – and the cultural activity that such a large bulk of people entails.Brutally severed from the tourist's mental map of Paris by the Boulevard Périphérique, the sprawling suburbs have since been cemented in the popular imagination as a terra incognita of gangs and grey buildings. This is unfair. While it's true that vast swathes of the banlieue have nothing to offer to anyone who doesn't live there, and some areas are crime hotspots, a bit of exploring yields delights: parks too big to fit within the Périph', clubs edgier than anything the mainstream central neighbourhoods have to offer, and scores of weird 'n' wonderful theatres and bars. The area is well served by the winding tentacles of the RER and outer Métro lines, and the residents, far from the pariahs the media often portray them to be, constitute some of the most vibrant of Paris's many communities. Clearly, it's somewhere worth knowing.So read on for our guide to t
If there’s one event that sums up Paris in the summer, this is it. Back in 2002, Mayor Bertrand Delanoë began the tradition of lining the banks of the Seine with sand, deckchairs, food stalls and volleyball nets, creating a series of city beaches for those stuck in town during the long hot months. Since 2007 the project has extended along the length of the canal in Bassin de la Villette, making an idyllic summer landscape of pétanque, boules, picnicking, sunbathing and watersports.Paris Plages runs from July 28 until August 18. More details here.See a longer list of summer terraces here.
Restaurants and cafés
The 100 best restaurants in Paris
The search for a good restaurant is never complete in a city like Paris. Our favourite spots of yesteryear close down, and snazzy new venues take their place; cuisines fall out of fashion, and new trends suddenly crop up. We've kept our fingers on the pulse, and concocted a list of the 100 best restaurants in Paris for 2015. The selection is divided into ten categories – everything from budget to haute cuisine, Asian to French traditional – to help you hone in on the kind of food you like. Our criteria weren't strict, but the restaurants that have made the cut all offer something beyond a merely good meal – whether it's originality, cosiness, value for money, or even mini waffles. It's not a definitive list, and if you feel we've missed out some top-notch places, let us know in the comments box below. But if you read on, you'll find that there's definitely enough to keep your tastebuds happy. Bon appétit!
The 50 best dishes in Paris
There may be a fair few snails, slabs of red meat and curious bits of offal in our selection of the 50 best dishes in Paris, but there are also things that will surprise fans of French cooking. Cannelloni? Ramen? Cari from Réunion? Sauerkraut? Today, Paris's timeless bistros and brasseries rub shoulders comfortably with hundreds of restaurants, cafés and canteens serving food from all over France and from around the world. This snapshot of just 50 dishes out of thousands of possibilities gives an image of cooking and eating in Paris at its best: full of tradition and invention, talent and enthusiasm, generosity and greed. These are our editors' favourite dishes (and the restaurants that serve them) in that they're what we consider essential to getting a rounded sense of the city 's food scene. Have we missed one of your favourite Parisian dishes? Think you know a better version than the one we've chosen? Join the conversation in the comments box below.
The best brunches in Paris
'Bruncher' is an established verb in Paris, which should give you an idea of the enthusiasm with which the French capital has adopted this American institution. The city seems to be made for long, indulgent weekend meals washed down with coffee, cocktails and a generous dose of people-watching. Here, we've selected our favourite Paris brunch restaurants serving moreish bacon and eggs, gluten-free goodness and simple all-you-can-eat blowouts. Think we've missed a great Paris brunch? Let us know in the comments below.
Vegetarian restaurants in Paris
Don't let anyone tell you Paris doesn't cater for vegetarian and vegan diets – if you know where to look, delicious wholesome goodness is easily available. The trend for gluten-free is kicking off as well, relief for allergy sufferers and fans of wheatless cooking. Our selection of excellent bakeries, restaurants and cafés offer everything from gluten-free brunches to vegan cupcakes – get stuck in!
Street food in Paris
Street food: a simple concept, almost as old as streets themselves, which is now taking off in Paris despite a slow start. Prepared and/or sold on the city's pavements (to the extent permitted by the law), and designed to be easily eaten on the fly, this not-so-haute cuisine runs the gamut from sandwiches to kebabs, empañadas to dim sum, without ever breaking the bank. Read on for our recommendations.
Middle Eastern restaurants in Paris
Any feature on 'Middle Eastern cuisine' has to begin by confronting that problematic term. To the newbie, the cuisines of Morocco, Lebanon and Kurdistan all too easily merge into one aromatic morass of mezze and grilled meat. But in reality, they differ – at times subtly, at times blatantly – on everything from taste in condiments to table etiquette. To make matters simple, we've decided to split our fave Middle Eastern joints into three broad categories: North African, Asian, and 'street food'. If there's one thing they all share, it's a convivial emphasis on sharing and socialising – in our eyes, an essential ingredient to a damn good meal. So call up your mates and get ready to discover the best Levantine nosh and Maghrebian grub that Paris has to offer.
The best Vietnamese restaurants in Paris
Whether you're after Bánh mì or a smoking bowl of Pho, Paris boasts more than enough Vietnamese restaurants to satisfy your cravings. The 13th arrondissement in particular is teeming with restaurants offering the best Vietnamese food around. There are speciality restaurants dotted all around the city however, so wherever you are and whatever dish you're in the mood for, there'll be a Vietnamese restaurant serving it. Here’s our editors’ pick of the very best in town. Enjoy.
The best Chinese restaurants in Paris
Book ahead to celebrate the Year of the Horse in one of our best Chinese restaurants this Chinese New Year (January 31). Paris has two main areas for Asian eating: Belleville and Chinatown in the 13th arrondissement, where you can sample excellent Thai, Vietnamese and other South East Asian specialities. Also check out our selection of Vietnamese restaurants in Paris – their Têt Nguyên Dán falls on the same day.
The 100 best bars in Paris
Paris's drinking scene is one of the best and most diverse in the world, with speciality wine bars, craft beer bars and cocktail clubs constantly cropping up across the city. Here's a selection of the best places in Paris to go to get tipsy, tried and tested by Time Out experts. Cheers — or as the French would say — Tchin tchin!
The best table football bars in Paris
There's something compulsive about watching twenty-two men spin around on the spot with all the artlessness of the English national team. No matter the crowd, no matter the vibe, we believe that every bar is better off with a table football table tucked away in a corner somewhere – heck, we've even set one up in the Time Out offices to keep us sane. For a while, it seemed as if trends had overtaken us and foosball was on its way out of the capital; but whether because of Brasil 2014, anticipation of the France 2016 Euro Cup, or simply a collective brainwave on the part of bar managers across the city, the tables are creeping back into Paris's bars. These, then, are the best places to go for a pint and a game or three. Just remember: No spinning.
Secret bars in Paris
In a city saturated with tourists, it's all too easy to forget that there's more to Parisian nightlife than glitzy clubs and overpriced brasseries milking some obscure connection to Hemingway for all its worth. The premium on space in the city has pushed the alternative scene far away, whether to the whispered-of warehouse raves out in the sticks or to the literally underground parties in the catacombs. While you try in vain to get yourself invited to either, we've compiled a list of our six favourite inner-city venues that, despite their popularity with locals and long-time residents, tend to get overlooked by the mainstream crowd. Come here to eat, drink, dance, rap, be rapped at, unwind to smooth jazz, then start all over again come the early hours.Got a favourite secret bar you want to share? Let us know in the comments box below. To discover more offbeat gems, including restaurants, galleries and parks, visit our Secret Paris page.
Bars with board games
What's your poison? Be it Trivial Pursuit or pétanque, no city bar list is complete without a roundup of places to have a gentle game or two over a drink. Of course, things can get a little whackier than Scrabble – check out our selection to get involved in everything from brain-bending French dictation to Star Wars-themed sushi.
Beer in Paris
The French live on wine, celebrate with champagne, and crack out the crème de cassis in their mellower moments; yet until recently, their passion for booze didn't quite extend to beer. But in Paris, a new fad for beer merchants and craft breweries is changing things. No longer are thirsty tourists from Nordic countries obliged to make do with ludicrously priced half-pints of Kronenbourg – suddenly suds looms lager than life over the capital's bar scene, as Parisians indulge a newfound obsession with artisanal ales and other malty alternatives to their beloved wine. Never one to turn down a pint or four, Time Out has checked out the best bars and coolest shops for buying and consuming brewskis – we can barley contain our excitement.
Top 10 gay bars in Paris
Paris is a European capital for all things gay and fabulous, from extravagant local personalities to a neighborhood teeming with addresses for a night of cavorting. The Marais, centrally-located just north of the Hôtel de Ville and south of the Place de la République, is the epicenter for nightlife catering to boys and men of all walks, but it's just the beginning. Starting an evening in or around the Marais is the best way to find out from the locals what's going on in other gay bars around town. Whether you're looking to share casual drinks, dance until dawn, or have a brush with a local Parisian, there's fun to be had any night of the week.
The 100 best French films
What are the greatest French movies ever made? 'Les Enfants du Paradis'? 'La Haine'? 'Taxi'? In an effort to find out Time Out launches a major new project: 'The 100 Best Fench films' – as voted by the film industry itself. Over the past few months, we've polled a select group of actors, directors, writers, producers, critics and other industry bigwigs to discover their favourite ten French films. From there, taking into account the choices of our contributors, we've compiled a countdown of the 100 best French films of all time – with commentary from our critics on every movie listed. You can also read every contributor's top tens over on our French site. So the only question left to answer is: what do you think? Tell us your favourite French films here.
The 50 most romantic films ever
The word 'romance' derives from the name of the vernacular language of medieval France, in which tales of chivalry and desire would be written for the masses who couldn't read Latin. It's a fitting etymology, for common wisdom (and many a travel agency's ad campaign) tells us that love is the lingua franca of the French – and especially of the hyper-amorous Parisians. With this in mind (and heart), we've compiled a list of the 50 most romantic films of all time. Needless to say, French films feature heavily; but far from monopolising the list, they sit alongside some beautiful movies from Britain, America, Japan, Italy, Iran, India and the Ukraine. After all, love knows no borders.Have we missed out your favourite romance? Let us know in the comment box below.
Contes et Féeries
Surprise your iPad-addicted offspring with a series of silent film screenings for kids at the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé in the 13th arrondissement. 'Contes et Féeries' ('Stories and Fairy tales') takes place twice a week, inviting film lovers from the age of six upwards to come and enjoy early adaptations of classics such as 'Cinderella', 'Tom Thumb', 'Sleeping Beauty' and 'Aladdin'. A world away from the catchy soundtracks and visual complexity of recent Disney releases, these silent films made during the early 1900s are an alternative introduction to the world of cinema for children. Talented young pianist Thomas Ospital plays along to the images. >> Wednesday 2pm and Saturday 11am at the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé. Check out the list of screenings here.
The 50 best films set in Paris
Below, we present the 50 best films set in Paris, organised by era. Be they Nouvelle Vague masterpieces or populist comedies, the capital is always in the starring role. Romance blooms on a belle époque street corner. A dark-eyed girl in Montmartre runs her hand through a bag of dried beans. In the suburbs, Arabs square up to skinheads. Nicotine-stained tales of sexual misadventure unfold in beds all over the city, while gangsters commit crimes and cartoon rats cook up a storm. Paris, which boasts a higher concentration of picture houses than any other city, has been the inspiration and the backdrop for countless films.
Popcorn Project at Club de l'Etoile
Reinventing the experience of going to the movies, the Popcorn Project at Club de l’Etoile is a ‘social cine-club’ that combines cinema with cocktails and chat: they show classic films and indie treasures (often in English with French subtitles) once a month, buoyed by cocktails, a buffet, music and plenty of discussion (in French). Check out the 2014 programme and book online here.
The 30 best animated short films ever made
For many, animation is a world of cute animals, sarcastic ogres, CGI heroes and exotic Japanese creatures – a world governed by a handful of big studios and the occasional European auteur who’s made it big. But to hardcore animation fans, this is only part of the story.The time and cost involved in producing an entire feature film means that many of the world’s most respected, talented and imaginative animators simply never have the chance to do so, so it’s in the world of the short film that they must grow their reputation and develop their art. The result is that some of the most funny, entertaining, technically groundbreaking animated movies are never seen by the wider public – until now. Here’s our selection of the 30 best animated short films ever made.
Art and culture
Art and antique markets in Paris
Want to put in a bid for a Louis XIV wardrobe? Or simply stroll through the streets of Montmartre in search of a vintage postcard to send home? Either way, we've got you covered with our pick of the most interesting art and antique markets the city has to offer. Just make sure to bring a full wallet and an empty carrier bag.
Tattoo gallery: View our slideshow of the best Paris tattoo artists
Whether you're browsing for ideas or ready for your inking session, we've visited some of the top Paris tattoo studios to meet the artists and check out their work. Scroll through some artwork below and see if any of the styles inspire you...Tattoo art in Paris is also the subject of a mammoth convention, Mondial du Tatouage, which returns to the Grande Halle de la Villette for its third edition on March 7-9 2014.
Theatre on a budget
Seeking out plays in Paris, but put off by the Odéon's €32 tickets? Not all is lost – memberships, special offers and alternative theatres are great ways to experience the French stage scene without shelling out too much. Here are eight tips from our Theatre editor on how to get the most theatrical bang for your buck. This is the best bet for those who don't want to have to be too organised. With the Théâtre Gérard Philipe, for instance, members' seats are €13 instead of €22 and you get some extra bonuses: friend discounts, reductions in the restaurant and the library, plus the chance to see exclusive sold-out shows (like Pina Bausch). Love thy neighbour really applies here: numerous theatres encourage locals to visit them with discounts for residents of the local arrondissement. At the MC93 in Bobigny, tickets for locals are €15 instead of €25, and residents of the 13th can enjoy seats for €16 instead of €24 at the Théâtre 13. Affordable last minute tickets for matinées are usually available for those with the time and patience to queue, even at venues like the Opéra Garnier and the Odéon. Don't expect premium seats, as the last tickets are usually the least in demand, but you could find yourself in a really good place once in a while. Worth the wait. Unlike membership cards, a theatre card or carnet will allow you to choose to see a play whenever you want to. Two options are available: a €100 pass for 10 plays, like at the Théâtre de Gennevilliers, or a subscription fee (€8
Paris's best theatre bars
A city this devoted to theatre and drinking ought to know how to combine the two. And Paris certainly does, as demonstrated by this range of bars and cafes, each located inside one of Paris's theatres. They may not make for an obvious drinking destination, but that's part of the appeal: here you'll find no tourists, hipsters or posers – only a room abuzz with the fevered chatter of theatre-lovers. Encore!
Theatre in Paris
Going to the theatre in Paris as a non-French speaker can be tough. Despite two opera houses featuring classic ballet and opera, some 300 theatres cater mostly to a French-speaking audience, doing little to attract English-speaking travellers.But since spring 2014, start-up company Theatre in Paris has been opening up French theatre to English audiences. Thanks to their system of English captions above the stage, now tourists, business travellers, expats and anyone else with a basic standard of English can appreciate some of France's theatrical masterpieces.Carl de Poncins, founder and president of Theatre in Paris, wants the company to be a part of the move towards experiential tourism. In the same way that sites like AirBnB or Jogg.in allow outsiders to sleep or run like locals, Poncins wants visitors to be able to enjoy theatre like the French inside some of Paris's most beautiful venues.For its debut, Theatre in Paris paired up with the century-old Théâtre Michel in the heart of the city for a production of the classic 'Cyrano de Bergerac'. Tickets were €44, making it an accessible experience – and the intimate Théâtre Michel has no lousy seats, with the balcony reserved for English-speakers.This show is set to be a staple of the company's offerings, along with 'The Magic Flute' and more on the not-so-distant horizon. For spectators, the system is easy. Book tickets through Theatre in Paris and show up before the crowds. Poncins or an associate will give a brief explanati
Music and nightlife
Outdoor gigs and concerts
Gigging doesn't have to be about half-lit back rooms in pubs. Clubbing doesn't have to entail a steady drip-drip of sweat on your crown. Classical concerts aren't confined to the forbidding environs of your local cathedral or cultural centre. Come summer, musicians head outdoors like everybody else, and the city's terraces and parks blossom into makeshift concert venues. Whether you're looking to soak up some mellow hip-hop with your sunrays or you're after a full-on boat party, we have the place for you. So don your shades, clear out your earwax and get down.
Classical music concerts in Paris
Catholic chants under Charlemagne, Gabriel Fauré's 'Requiem' premiered at La Madeleine, Olivier Messiaen playing birdsong on the organ of the Sainte-Trinité... France boasts one of the great classical music traditions in the world, and Paris has witnessed some of its most magical moments. Today, the classical music scene thrives in the form of scores of concerts and venues, running the gamut from sacred choral music in Medieval churches to contemporary performances in cutting-edge media centres. Read on for our guide to the best classical and opera to be found in the city.
Music at La Villette
An enormous, modernist cultural theme park and gardens, one of the best things about Parc de La Villette is its varied music programme, courtesy of several differnent venues. Lovers of rock, pop, classical music and DJ nights are all catered for through an exciting series of line-ups – always worth checking out when planning your diary.For the full programme of events at Parc de la Villette, click here.
Roaring Twenties entertainment
In the Roaring Twenties, Paris was jazz hot, glamorous and fashionable; and making merry in clubs and bars was the name of the game. This was the era that saw performers Joséphine Baker, Maurice Chevalier and Mistinguett shoot to stardom. For the first time in history automobiles drove people to picture houses, women danced the Charleston in revealing flapper dresses, and life (now that the ashes of World War I had settled) seemed to brim with new opportunity. Of course, the Wall Street crash and the Great Depression soon put a stop to that; but the legacy of the Années Folles lives today on in theatres and jazz clubs across central Paris. Here are our suggestions for a glamorous night out – Joséphine Baker style – with or without your banana belt.
The 100 best shops in Paris
There's a magic to shopping in Paris that no other city can match. Its riches encompass to-die-for creations from world-famous designers, delicious discoveries in food markets and antique stores, the finest jewellery and the most outré fashion concepts around. At Time Out Paris, we've summed it all up in 100 essential boutiques that capture the sparkle of shopping in the French capital. Accessories Luxury gloves and gems, bags and belts Books Browse these quirky indie bookstores Concept stores Thousands of quirky gift and clothing ideas Designer Places to splash out Eco-friendly Boutiques that give back Food shops Places to be tempted Geek chic Collectable addresses Interiors Suffering from IKEA fatigue? Kids' shops Handcrafted treats for tiny hands Menswear Fron avant-garde fashions to vintage gent's clothing Record stores Jazz, rock, country, pop, dubstep... Sexy Saucy shopping Shoes Stunning shoe boutiques Vintage Pre-loved boutiques Wine and spirits Boutiques of excellent vintage See also Vintage Paris on a Vespa Vintage shops in London and New York have been adding retro flair to wardrobes for years; but it has taken Paris, the city of ‘serious’ haute couture and designer boutiques, a wee bit longer to jump onto the bandwagon. Today though, that wagon is well and truly rolling, and it’s dripping in everything your vintage heart could desire, from rare 1920s Chanel accessories, Art Déco lighting and 80’s kitten-boots, to sexy 70s dresses, 1950s bomber jackets and spec
The best markets in Paris
Find the best markets in Paris for food, antiques, bric-a-brac and more Art and antique markets Our pick of the most interesting art and antique markets the city has to offer. Markets for books and collectables Exotic stamps, original posters, vintage books and more. Pop-up fashion markets Every so often, they open their doors to some of the best-dressed Parisians in town. Flea markets One man's junk is another man's joy in these bazaars of the bizarre. Food and drink markets These markets know that food and drink are best served with a personal touch. Organic markets These lovely markets are a lifeline for ethically conscious cooks. Browse for books, rummage for riches, bargain for bric-a-brac or be a flea market flâneur: Paris's many markets – permanent or weekly, covered or street – are fantastic resources and often very beautiful and atmospheric. For food and drink, markets like Bastille and Saxe-Breteuil are a great opportunity to meet producers and sample new flavours, if not always the cheapest or most efficient way of getting your weekly shopping done. For lovers of antiques, bric-a-brac, books, stamps and more there's a market for every passion, and it's highly recommend you check one out as part of a visit to the city.Almost every neighbourhood and arrondissement has its own market; to track down your local stallholders beyond our selection below, check out the comprehensive and up to date listings of all of Paris's markets on the Mairie de Paris's website her
Paris's pop-up fashion markets
The glamour capital of the world is powered by more than just Louis Vuitton and bobo chic. Those looking to make a real impression come to the city's various pop-up markets to try on something a bit different, whether that's a jumper stitched with feathers or a brand of ethically sourced lipstick. Check out our selection of venus and events below – every so often, they open their doors to some of the best-dressed Parisians in town. Take Me Out It’s got the same number of inventive designers, the same mix of accessories, clothes and furniture – if Take Me Out stands out form the crowd, it’s for its air of a bonkers car boot sale. Couture stands, performance artists and unusual workshops for kids and grown-ups. Two days of hip jewellery and cupcake overload. For • The artfully dishevelled When • Every three months, 12noon-10pm How much • Free-€3, depending on the venue Where • Various locations Hôtel Bohême Organic produce, recycled treasures, unique pieces: the Hôtel Bohême is the ethical leader of Paris’s pop-up stores. Installed over four floors in one of the Marais’s wonderful hôtels particuliers, it takes a weekend to celebrate brands from all over the world: organic tea, ecological makeup, handmade children’s clothes and more. For • Ethical shoppers When • A few times a year, 12noon-8pm How much • Free entry Where • 71 rue de la Fontaine au Roi Des Filles en Aiguille The ‘girls with needles’ have been dressing Parisians for the past 10 years. They bring together their d
If you're antique shopping in Paris, these second-hand boutiques, antique markets and auction houses are treasure troves of pre-loved Parisian objets. 1950s dresses, art deco lamps and 1970s plastic tables are just some of the great finds to be had... Antique shops and markets in Paris Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen Covering seven hectares, 3,000 traders and up to 180,000 visitors each weekend, the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen is generally thought to be the biggest flea market in the world. If this conjures up images of a sprawling field filled with broken bed frames, faded curtains and sofas with the stuffing coming out, you're in for a surprise (and are better off going to the Montreuil version). The fleas left long ago, and since 1885 what started as a rag-and-bone shantytown outside the city limits has been organised into a series of enclosed villages, some entirely covered and others with open-air streets and covered boutiques for the antiques dealers. South of this sprawls the canvas-covered part where African tat, joss sticks, fake Converse trainers and cheap batteries are perused by crowds of teenagers - best avoided unless you're after that kind of thing.In recent years rents have shot up. The result is that much of the Puces is more like a museum than a flea market, and restaurants are swiftly replacing antiques dealers who can no longer make ends meet. But once you get under its skin, the Puces still offers an intoxicating blend of the sublime and the ridiculous. Repe
100 Christmas ideas • Shopping
Wrap up your Christmas gift buying with these Christmas markets and more Christmas markets Looking for Christmas markets in Paris? Check out our selection of the best places to head for festive trinkets, carols, crafts and gifts. Christmas gift guide For her Jewellery, headphones, an embroidery class... Options abound when it comes to choosing a gift for her this Christmas. Here's our selection of great gifts from some of Paris's trendiest boutiques. For him Kit a bloke out in true classy Parisian style this Christmas. Cufflinks, a laptop case, a snug cardigan – here's everything he could have hoped for and more... For kids Spoil them this year with a music box, walkie-talkies and fantastic kids' fashion. Novelty If it's silly and Eiffel-Tower-shaped, someone's going to want it. An agreeably offbeat selection of gifts gleaned from Paris's more unconventional stores. Classic You can't go wrong with chocolate and booze – especially when they're the really good stuff from big names in Paris luxury. See more Festive outings From gazing spellbound at twinkly lights and carousels to winter sports and festive day trips, you'll never get bored of glitter with this little lot. Food and drink Eating is simply the best way to embrace the festive spirit. Scoff your way through our pick of the capital's best food and drink events and experiences this yuletide, including gourmet shopping and the best wintry dining. Shopping Don't get overwhelmed by the gorgeous arrays of boutiques and be
Cheap and discount shopping in Paris
Want to look the part, without parting with a small fortune? Our selection of cheap shops and discount stores offer great fashion at knockdown prices. They'll have you looking chic and fabulous in no time at all. Cheap shops and designer outlets in Paris Le Mouton à Cinq Pattes Fashionistas head to the ‘five legged sheep’ (named after Henri Verneuil’s 1954 film ‘Le Mouton à cinq pattes’) for designer vintage and last season’s collections in mint condition: Vittadini, Buscat, Donn Adriana, Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jérôme L'Huillier, Alberta Ferreti, Moschino, Liu Jo and numerous other labels. Turnover is fast, so this is no place for an indecision crisis. Labels are sometimes cut out too, so make sure you know what you’re buying. Another branch can be found at 138 bd St Germain, 6th. Tati A rough-edged wonderland of garish bargains in the unsavoury heights of Barbès. Expect to find anything from T-shirts to wedding dresses, as well as children’s clothes and household goods at this discount heaven. It’s unbelievably cheap - the crowds bear witness to its sucess - but don’t expect high quality. Tati by name... L'Habilleur All the charm of a typical Marais boutique, but without the eye-popping prices. L’Habilleur has enjoyed a roaring trade for more than ten years, stocking pieces for men and women from labels such as Plein Sud, Issey Miyake, Paul & Joe and more at a whopping 40-60 per cent off. Mon Dieu! This is also the place to pick up customized jeans and neo-Romantic sui
Vintage shopping guide
For unique style without the credit card bills, hit Paris's vintage boutiques. Rockabilly leather, '50s glamour dresses, retro sunglasses and much more will get you a slew of afforable new looks in no time, or you can simply lose happy hours rummaging through the racks, rails, baskets and piles of clothes, accessories and knick-knacks. These are all of Time Out Paris's pre-loved pleasure palaces... GoldyMama Finding well-presented vintage clothes that have been washed, ironed and don’t smell like dirty underpants is possible – GoldyMama is the proof. This small boutique in the heights of the 20th has retro treasures aplenty and makes an original spot for gift hunting. 1950s skirts, 40s suits, empire dresses, wacky 70s tops and multi-era accessories line the walls. The choice is as vast as the shop assistants are helpful. Then, once you’ve tried on half the shop... Omaya vintage The sort of shop you wished you could keep a jealously guarded secret – but Omaya vintage is well known. Opened by two brothers in 2010, it attracts its share of obsessive fahionistas: from Parisians collecting armfuls of leather boots to punks come to pick up a pair of DMs at €40. If some pieces are more contemporary, the majority of the stock comes from the ’70s and ’80s; military and denim jackets, woollen jumpers, t-shirts and more are all thoroughly organised and ranged on hangers... Episode The Etienne Marcel neighbourhood isn’t exactly known for its good value boutiques – rather, it's full of hi
Shopping for vintage furniture
Start with these venues in your quest for the best retro chairs and cupboards An industrial lamp perched on a bedside table, a giant metal cupboard by the entrance... No doubt about it – vintage furniture is the way to go if you're looking to spice up a drab interior. Though it tends toward the expensive side, there's no need to break the bank; a few old-school touches here and there should do the job. Below are a few shops to get you started on your retro odyssey. Robert M. Smith You wouldn’t guess it from the outside – through the front window, you can’t see much other than neon lights and a few hung clothes – but this vintage boutique has enough in store to keep you coming back for more. The first room, which doubles up as an artisanal workshop, sets the tone: trinkets crowd the shelves, while second-hand bikes and garments of obscure origin fill the floor space. Bargain-hunters will be kept busy – we found an old wicker-framed mirror for €10, and a formica chair for €12. Carry on thence into the salon, decked out in the kind of retro furniture that you’d find in a street market for twice the price... Carouche Carouche isn’t an ordinary furniture store, but a singular second hand showroom. Here, objects are interpreted rather than merely sold – they are hunted down, tidied up, and if necessary turned into something completely different. Owner Caroline Giraud has been painting and polishing to give found items new life for ten years – she’s travelled the world, particularly
Paris in 48 hours
Just two days to take in the most beautiful city in the world? We've got you covered Day 1 • From Marais Mansions to Midnight Munchies 9AM Start the day on the Right Bank with an awesome croissant from the hugely popular Moisan, an easy stroll from beautiful 17th-century Place des Vosges. The Marais is abuzz with culture, shops, bars and, in its imposing hôtels particuliers, important cultural institutions: take your pick from the Musée Carnavalet, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme or the Maison Européenne de la Photographie. Shoppers, meanwhile, will find rich pickings in the streets leading off the main shopping thoroughfare of Rue des Francs-Bourgeois. NOON From the Marais, head across the Seine via the Pont de Sully to the Institut du Monde Arabe, which holds a fine collection of Middle Eastern art and a rooftop café with fabulous views down the Seine. (Other wonderful panoramas in Paris include the summit of the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and the Sacré-Coeur, although the latter is worth saving for dusk.) After a wander along the Left Bank to lunch in the back room at La Palette, a classic café, meander along the stone quays that border the Seine and leaf through tatty paperbacks at the riverside bouquinistes, before ducking into the Musée d'Orsay for an Impressionist masterclass. 4PM From here, either hop on a boat tour or explore the islands. Snag an ice-cream from Berthillon on the Ile St-Louis, before popping over to the Ile de la Cité to visit the Mémorial des Mar
Paris in 48 hours
Few cities can compare with the cultural attractions, world-class restaurants and restless nightlife that Paris has to offer. But with just two days in the city, it can be tricky figuring out where to start to take in the absolute best. So we’ve pulled together the definitive guide to getting the most out of Paris in 48 hours. Read on for an itinerary and list of things to do in the capital put together by Time Out’s expert writers and editors.
Discover Paris on foot
One of the best ways to see a city is on foot; even better, let a local show you around. The guides at Discover Walks will show you Paris for nothing more than tips, a brilliant opportunity to get intimate with the city.The (English language) walks run every day except for 24 and 25 December, and there are several themes to choose from: Paris landmarks, Montmartre, the Marais, Notre Dame and the heart of Paris, the Left Bank, and a romantic evening river walk. For a fee, they can also arrange private tours and selected 'Paris Adventures', including a spell at a flea market and a boat cruise, games of boules and photo workshops.
The best books about Paris
Sometimes, Paris seems to be a city built for readers – a magical place where no one looks out of place alone at a café with a paperback. The go-to destination for writers, artists and radical philosophers for centuries, the city is fiercely proud of its literary leanings. Notre-Dame and Victor Hugo are spoken of in the same breath, as are Hemingway and the Jardins du Luxembourg, and people can barely see a madeleine without referring to Proust. The smells from restaurant kitchens or the plight of the city's homeless invite discussion of Orwell, while the swinging shut of the iron gate to an elegant apartment building might recall Muriel Barbery.All this can make the city resistant to change – the e-book market in France is minuscule, and Amazon's discounts are restricted to protect independent bookstores. But it all adds to the often dreamlike quality of browsing, buying and enjoying books in Paris, where paper and ink still speak of art, romance and possibility. The Paris buffs interviewed here know this only too well – and be they books for cooks or babies, you'll find plenty of inspiration in their selections.Do you have a favourite Paris read? Let us know in the comments box below.
Christmas in Paris • Day trips
Suffering from festive metropolitan overload? We feel you. Fortunately, a quick day trip out of the city can help you de-Grinch without too much fuss. Forget heading all the way to Strasbourg for the giant Christmas market. Rent a car or hop on a train to one of the Ile de France's most festive Christmas locations, all just an hour or so away. Castles, a glass of bubbly, and of course a little bit of Mickey await...
Roaring Twenties Paris
After the austerity and bloodshed of World War I, France longed for joy and light-heartedness. Pre-war values were rejected as people embraced new lifestyles and new technologies, and discovered a lust for extravagance and partying that had the era named Les Années Folles (the Roaring Twenties, or the 'mad years'). Cars appeared on the roads; picture houses opened, projecting the world's first silent movies; radios appeared in households; jazz flourished, and musical halls – where icons like Josephine Baker and Maurice Chevalier launched their careers – became the places to see and be seen in.Paris was at the heart of it all, not only in terms of fashion and entertainment, but in the domains of decorative art and architecture, as movers and thinkers drew inspiration from cubism, modernism and neoclassicism to create the 'total' style we know and love today: art deco (the term coined thanks to Paris's 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes). Such was the impact of this 'modern style' that it carried on well into the 1930s.Artists and writers also flourished during the era – especially if you knew American expat, art collector and mentor Gertrude Stein, who opened her house (at 27 rue de Fleurus) to the 'Lost Generation' of American literati (including Hemingway and Fitzgerald), and artists like Picasso and Matisse. So huge was the impact these personalities would have on the world that many Left Bank cafés (where the legends hung out when no