Best things to do in Paris
Why go? What a pretty name for such a bucolic drinking spot, found inside a little house at Buttes-Chaumont’s highest point. Enjoy an apéro beneath the big trees, making the most of the last evening sun as well as the superb view. Don't miss the impressive selection of house wines and tapas.
Don't miss? Come during the summer when the park stays open all night – that's where the party’s at.
What is it? A brand new 300m2 studio space dedicated to digital art, bang in the middle of the 11th district.
Why go? A former smelting plant, this building remained empty for almost twenty years until Culturespaces decided to launch the city's first ever digital art centre. Its goal? To give the works the attention they deserve by projecting them across the ten-metre high walls using first-rate equipment including 140 film projectors with BARCO lasers, as well as 50 state-of-the-art Nexo speakers.
Don't miss? Have a beer at the excellent Enkore next door.
What is it? For the (undeniably) best cocktails in the capital.
Why go? Discreetly hidden at 60 rue Charlot, with no door sign, the Little Red Door doesn’t draw attention to itself. With its speakeasy charm and enigmatic entrance, its heady atmosphere and quirky interiors, this Little Red door opens straight into heaven. The menu is unique, take the unusual Art Deco cocktail: Bulleit Rye whiskey, Merlet Cognac, fermented dates with violet tea, served in an incredible glass shaped like a diamond.
Don't miss? While you’re there, pop into Bisou round the corner, another fantastic cocktail bar...this time with no menu!
What is it? A theatre with one of the best programmes in the country.
Why go? Yes, getting there may be a slog for some, but the experience is well worth it. Throughout the year, top actors, choreographers and directors perform on the Amandiers stage, reminding us that nothing compares to the joy of watching live theatre.
Don't miss? Stop for lunch at the house café.
What is it? A deli serving the best ham and cheese baguette in the city.
Why go? It may be a tight squeeze inside, but the interiors are charmingly retro, with old-fashioned kitchen scales, vintage enamel advertising signs and yellow tiles on the walls. Take your pick from the mouthwatering menu; think classic Prince de Paris ham baguette, smoked chicken baguette and chorizo tortilla.
Don't miss? A perfect way to eat on the run while rushing to catch a show at Théâtre de la Bastille.
What is it? The only swimming pool in Paris on a barge.
Why go? This floating swimming pool is a true slice of paradise, with an unbeatable setting. Flanked by the Seine on either side, facing Bercy and only minutes from Bibliothèque Nationale de France-François Mitterrand, the Joséphine Baker barge is the star of the city's bathing spots. There’s also a handsome pool complex covered by a majestic steel and glass structure by the architect Robert de Busni.
Don't miss? Follow up your swim with a concert at Petit Bain, which is just a stone’s throw away.
What is it? One of the most controversial artworks of the last 40 years.
Why go? The art installation deux plateaux (two levels), more commonly known as Buren’s Columns, has continuously stirred debate since it was created in 1985. Can you believe it? 260 columns of black and white marble in the historic court of the Palais Royal. While hardly subtle, the work attracts plenty of tourists, for whom loudly jumping on the cylinders evokes blissful childhood nostalgia.
What is it? One of the most typical Parisian markets.
Why go? This historic Parisian market takes its name from the Enfants Rouges (Red Children) orphanage built in the 16th century and closed down just before the revolution. It also one of the Marais’ most iconic buildings. Saturdays are when the market is at its liveliest, but you’ll have a hard time choosing between the different stalls: Moroccan, Italian, Lebanese, or fresh food from the little cafe Enfants du Marché. Try it all if you can!
Don't miss? Before you go, take a look round the cactus shop Aux Succulents.
What is it? A former railway station in Saint-Ouen, now known for its artistic cache.
Why go? Transformed by three young Parisians, Hasard Ludique brings to life a quiet, remote area between Saint-Ouen and métro Guy Môquet. The venue is multi-purpose, with a bistro, a 300-capacity concert hall, an outdoor terrace and a studio space full of collaborative art. For evening downtime, this ticks all the boxes.
Don't miss? The new 300m2 terrace opens up onto the railway tracks.
What is it? High on the hills of Belleville, this is the most beautiful terrace in Paris.
Why go? Aptly called Moncœur (My Heart), this restaurant prides itself on authenticity. While the area contains several tourist traps – a huge terrace bordered by cobbled streets, and sweeping city views that to rival the front of any postcard – it’s the intimate, local vibe that keeps us coming back.
Don't miss? You won’t find a better spot to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day.
What is it? One of Paris’ most classic cultural activities.
Why go? Selling thousands of imprints, there are over 200-second hand booksellers (bouquinistes) lining the banks of the Seine, continuing a tradition that harks back to the 16th century. The wide green makeshift bookshelves chained to the railings should definitely be made a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Don't miss? Pack a picnic to enjoy on the banks l'Île de la Cité, or a bottle of wine will do.
What is it? An unmatchable view that is worth every dizzying moment of the ascent.
Why go? Is Paris the world’s most beautiful city? You only have to stand on the third floor of the Eiffel Tower – with 360 views and a clear horizon of 65 kilometres in good weather – to know the answer. Check out Gustave Eiffel’s office and treat yourself to a drink at the champagne bar.
Don't miss? After getting your head back out of the clouds, head to Musée du Quai Branly to visit its unbeatable collection of tribal art.
What is it? The Jewish quarter's enlightening museums prove there’s far more to the Marais than chocolate and falafel.
Why go? A nucleus for Jewish culture in Paris, this area boasts two important places dedicated to the religion’s history: Le Mémorial de la Shoah, which commemorates the Jews that were killed during the Second World War, and Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme, which contains collections tracing the complex spiritual and cultural heritage of Moses and his people.
Don't miss? Walk around the area, and you’ll come face to face with the remains of the Philippe Auguste wall, one of Paris’ oldest surrounding walls dating all the way back to the 12th century.
What is it? The capital’s flagship football stadium.
Why go? Since the arrival of the Qatari and Neymar in particular, the Parc des Princes has become a tourist hotspot. Football and potential tension with Angers aside, the club now offers a raft of activities across its enclosure, including an escape room that will delight all football fans across the capital.
Don't miss? After the match, everyone heads down to the Brasserie d’Auteuil for Italian fare.
What is it? A bookshop for insomniacs in the heart of the Marais.
Why go? If you’re looking for a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the Maris, La Belle Hortense is the hideaway of dreams. In this little bar with a charming blue front, you’ll find a gentle, tasteful soundtrack that won’t interrupt your reading, as well as plenty of good wine. This is a genius concept that brings together students, intellectuals and hedonists in equal measure.
Don't miss? Don’t mini-exhibition in the back room.
What is it? The new art space entirely dedicated to the works of Albert Giacometti.
Why go? In the 350m2 Fondation Giacometti, there are several different exhibition areas, with the most important display being the remodelling of his famous studio. A little busier than Giacometti’s original, this studio groups 70 of his works, including one of the Busts of Lotar – the artist’s famous terracotta sculptures – which is showcased for the very first time. Other previously unseen artefacts include the studio’s walls, previously located on rue Hippolyte-Maindron.
Don't miss? If you’re coming all the way out to the 14th district for Giacometti, then you may as well stop by the neighbouring Fondation Cartier and kill two birds with one stone.
What is it? The most famous theatre in the whole of France.
Why go? You don’t need to be a thesp to appreciate the beautiful red and gold finery of the Comédie-Française, a bastion of French theatre in which you can shiver in horror with Phèdre or laugh at poor Orgon’s misfortunes.
Don't miss? Good news for kids, tickets cost as little as €7.
What is it ? THE place to be during the summer months.
Why go ? Stretching across 35 hectares, this is the largest of Paris’ parks, and from mid-July, it hosts the annual open-air cinema festival. There’s always a good vibe, and we’ve even witnessed a crowd of over 2000 people get up and dance beneath the stars at the end of “Grease”.
Don't miss? Finish off your summer nights at beach-style nightclub Plage du Glazart, kitted out with sand and deckchairs.
What is it? Undoubtedly the world’s most well-known graveyard.
Why go? A favourite among both Parisians and tourists, Cimetière du Père-Lachaise not only allows bookworms to enjoy an intimate moment with some of their literary heroes and learn about the Paris Commune – one of the city’s lesser-known stories – but it is also beautifully picturesque: a large, shaded labyrinth with snaking hillside paths and pretty stone stairs. Careful not to get lost...
Don't miss? Treat yourself to a spooky late-night grave walk with the park’s resident “vampire expert”.
What is it? A place you can truly make yourself at home.
Why go? Located in an old two-floor house with views of Canal de l'Ourcq canal, the Pavillon is a luminous oasis of calm. Ring the bell upon entering and a member of staff will personally welcome you into a large sitting room decorated like a doll’s house: think sinking sofas, mismatched furniture, teapots, plants and even a birdcage.
Don't miss? After a cosy hour at the Pavillon, head to Kiez Kanal for a quick jaunt to Hambourg.
What is it? An agricultural hotspot on the roof of the French Communist Party’s HQ.
Why go? It’s impossible to miss the beauty of the French Community Party building, designed in 1971 by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, with its domed roof peppered with beehives. So, fancy a pot of activist honey?
Don't miss? Sweet treats aside, the rest of the building is worth exploring for the architecture alone.
What is it? One of Europe’s biggest theme parks from Walt Disney.
Why go? Get ready to make some tough decisions: Fantasyland for the kids, or Walt Disney Studios for the parents? Regardless of age, bumping into Mickey or Minnie never fails to put a smile on everyone’s face.
Don't miss? Experience the full package with a night at Disneyland Hotel, similar to the Disney Hotel in New York.
What is it? A mythical walk among tombs full of bones.
Why go? The original Paris Catacombes were built between the 17th and 18th century, right at the start of the city’s effort to begin building underground so as to support the construction of monuments, palaces and other religious buildings. These sinister tunnels 20 metres below the ground will never stop fascinating Parisians and tourists alike.
Don't miss? There are plenty of unofficial walks and sometimes you can even go to secret raves in the tunnels.
What is it? One of the world’s most luxury spas.
Why go? You’ll be welcomed by smiling staff and can choose from a host of activities: the super-intimate 16-metre swimming pool with curtains for privacy, the personal training area, hammam or three treatment rooms with massages and facials using Nescens products.
Don't miss? Book a room at the hotel, and enjoy total, tasteful luxury for guests.
What is it? A place so wild it could easily be the Gardens of Babylon.
Why go? To escape the cliché of burnt sunbathers piled on top of one another, take refuge in the empty cave of Buttes-Chaumont. A journey through space and time guaranteed.
Don't miss? Take a picture at the Pavillon Puebla, its retro, jungle design will look great on Instagram.
What is it? Most likely one of the last villages in the capital.
Why go? Saved from the city’s Haussmannien architectural takeover by its location on Paris’ periphery, Butte-aux-Cailles presides over the 13th district with modest majesty. There’s a certain serenity about the place, and its still so reasonably priced. Street art, cute restaurants and great bars for a nightcap….you’ll never want to leave the Butte’s warm embrace.
Don't miss? Take a dip in Piscine Butte-aux-Cailles to soak up its thirties charms.
What is it? The ideal hybrid between an oyster and cocktail bar.
Why go? With its PVC door and simple neon sign, you’re likely to walk straight past this unassuming gem, which could give the city’s best bars (Candelaria and Glass) a run for their money. There’s a friendly central counter shaped like a horseshoe, flanked by a row of stools as well as chairs and tables catering to well-heeled clientele.
Don't miss? Make the most of “happy oyster hour”, where they come as cheap as €1 a pop.
What is it? The iconic Panthéon and its incredible architecture.
Why go? This neoclassical megastructure commissioned by Louis XV and conceived by Soufflot was the great architectural success of its time. But many things have changed since then: in 1970, during the revolution, the building was converted into a “temple to reason” and welcomed graves of the nation’s most revered men. On the famous front entrance is inscribed the well-known phrase: “To the great men, the grateful homeland.” The austere vaulted crypt includes the tombs of Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo, Zola and resistance fighter Jean Moulin.
Don't miss? You’re in the 5th arrondissement, so choose between a drink on rue Mouffetard or a stroll in Jardin du Luxembourg.
What is it? The city’s best-looking concept store.
Why go? In a building full of light, at the end of a courtyard on rue Beaumarchais, Merci unites a collection of major stylists and designers, from Isabel Marant to Stella McCartney. Next to all the designer clothes are an array of luxury stationery, interiors, and accessories of every kind. It’s hard to know where to look.
Don't miss? Enter via the “literary” cafe for a break, order a fresh OJ and let your eyes wander round the walls stuffed with books. Why not read one if you have time?
What is it? A rock-focused venue in Bastille where every gig is free.
Why go? This 250-venue capacity, reminiscent of a New York loft, hosts some of the best names in the rock scene today. Rock nights run every weekend, and the bi-monthly Sunday Tributes event is not to be missed.
Don't miss? The live rock nights and DJ sets go until 6am, so come energised.
What is it? The back end of the city’s taps.
Why go? Descend into Paris’ spongy underworld, in which long underground walkways are filled with all that Parisians flush down their toilets. The meandering museum alleyways snake all the way to the city centre, tracing the evolution of the city’s water system.
Don't miss? When you resurface, grab a restorative coffee and all the fresh air you can get at Champ de Mars.
What is it? Do you really need an introduction to the Louvre?
Why go? There are hours and hours of art to see beneath the glass IM Pei pyramid, commissioned by Mitterrand in 1983. With treasures across ancient civilisations, from the Egyptians to the Romans and the Greeks, as well as the legendary “Mona Lisa”, the Louvre contains one of the world’s very best collections of art.
Don't miss? You’d need several years to see everything displayed in the Louvre, so stick to a plan.
What is it? Discover this tourist hotspot the local's way.
Why go? Once out from the dizzying maze that is Abbesses metro station, you’ll immediately get swept up in the area’s charming daily chaos.
Don't miss? Spend a few blissful moments in Marché Saint-Pierre perusing its array of rugs and materials.
What is it? Tasteful, well-organised, inspired...the quality of choice is overwhelming at the city's friperies.
Why go? If you like to escape the tourist traps and follow a more unique itinerary, or you simply don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a shirt, then you’re in luck, because Paris has a brilliant selection of second-hand shops (friperies) that will make you, and your accountant, very happy.
Don't miss? There’s one to suit every taste so try as many as you can.
What is it? The city’s coolest basketball court.
Why go? Housed between two blocks of flats, this formidable brightly-coloured training ground on rue Duperré is surely the best-looking in Paris. We owe it to designer Stéphane Ashpool, who founded the label Pigalle, as well as Ill Studio’s artistic direction. Despite its funky dimensions and rather dubious upkeep, the court’s iconic status is untouchable.
Don't miss? Treat yourself to a bowl of beef bourguignon at Bouillon Pigalle.
What is it? Paris's first planned square, commissioned in 1605 by Henri IV and inaugurated by his son Louis XIII in 1612.
Why go? With harmonious red-brick and stone arcaded façades and steeply pitched slate roofs surrounding the lush green grass square, it's one of the few manicured parks you can stretch out in the city.
Don't miss? Come here to rest your feet from shopping 'til your drop in the Marais.
What is it? One of the best views in the city.
Why go? Built at the height of France’s artistic glory for the Exposition Universelle of 1900, Grand Palais has been putting on many exhibitions such as the FIAC International Contemporary Art Fair since 1990. Turn your attention away from the art for a moment, and you’ll notice several beehives on the Grand Palais roof, which have helped support urban biodiversity since 2009.
Don't miss? Make it a double with a trip to the Grand Palais’ sibling Petit Palais across the road.
What is it? A neighbourhood wine bar with a menu from yesteryear.
Why go? You’ll find true Bacchanalian glory in this tiny drinking den, with its walls covered in tapestries, and towers of beer barrels and bottles of wine reaching up to the ceiling. Here you’ll find a list of local wines of good vintage in a typically French setting, without having to make a show of your oenology credentials.
Don't miss? On Sundays, you can top off your outing with a shopping trip at Marché d’Aligre.
What is it? A street a few minutes Gare de Lyon reminiscent of London’s Portobello Road.
Why go? Deep in the 12th arrondissement and popping with green, purple and pink, rue Crémieux was modelled on a typical mining town. When walking through, cast your eye over number eight, where you’ll see the damage from the great flood in 1910, which saw water levels rise to 1.75 metres.
Don't miss? If you feel like you still haven’t seen enough, keep walking to the Coulée Verte promenade.
What is it? The place to be for fashion lovers and foodies.
Why go? Thought up by three members from the “Young Modern People” collective, this is a neat and tasteful boutique full of handpicked clothes, books, records, furniture and shoes. After satisfying your shopping itch, sit down at one of the lovely wooden tables for an excellent cup of coffee and a pastry (the cookies are better than perfect, as is the blueberry cheesecake).
What is it? A hotel garden sheltered from the chaos of Montmartre.
Why go? Tourists, caricaturists, old-fashioned painters and... more tourists...when talking about Montmartre, it’s always the same story. So take a break from the crowds and relax in this hotel's gardens, which are so secluded and bucolic that if you close your eyes you might think yourself far, far away. Both romanesque and romantic, total relaxation is guaranteed.
Don't miss? Try your hand at a game of boules at CLAP next door, one of the city’s top-secret boules courts.
What is it? An impressionist and post-impressionist art gallery in the Jardin des Tuileries.
Why go? To marvel at the eight, tapestry-sized Nymphéas (water lilies) paintings housed in two plain oval rooms at the Musée de l'Orangerie. They provide a simple backdrop for the astonishing, ethereal romanticism of Monet's works, painted late in his life. Expect to feel deeply calmed by them, despite the crowds.
Don't miss? Bring an Angelina hot chocolate to brave the queue with when it gets cold.
What is it? The main residence of King Louis XIV, packed with priceless art.
Why go? Overdose on all things gold at Château de Versailles: the Hall of mirrors, the Royal Chapel, Le Grand Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s boudoir. From Jeff Koons, Xavier Veilhan, Takashi Murakami and Bernar Venet to Joana Vasconcelos, you’ll see every artist worth their salt at the Sun King’s royal abode.
Don't miss? The Château de Versailles is simply incredible, so make the most of it.
What is it? The only museum in the world dedicated to this infamous spirit.
Why go? After paying Vincent Van Gogh’s grave your respects at Auvers-sur-Oise, it’s only right you learn more about the drink that killed him – nicknamed “the green fairy” as a result of its potency.
Don't miss? While you’re at Auvers-sur-Oise, make the most of your location by stopping by the Auvers castle as well as its “Journey among the Impressionists” exhibition.
What is it? France’s most famous cathedral.
Why go? Towering up from the heart of the city in l’île de la Cité, Cathédrale Notre-Dame is fascinating from every angle. Inside, take a moment to admire the five-rowed nave and its giant columns decorated with delicate leaves, as well as the organ and raised marble altar at which stands the marble Pietà sculpture of Jean Cousteau. Between the two spires, you’ll see the many gargoyles lining the Galerie des Chimères.
Don't miss? Go to the Dame de Cœur, the cathedral's magnificent festival of light and sound.
What is it? One of the most important sporting events in the world.
Why go? Hot sun, commentary from Nelson Montfort and orange-bordered shoes: three signs you’re at the second grand slam of the year. Always a highlight of the Parisian spring calendar, it’s time to dust off your best summer hat and get yourself down to Porte d’Auteil, where you might see Rafael Nadal take home his 28th Mousquetaires trophy.
Don't miss? Start proceedings early with a pre-game picnic in the newly renovated Jardin d'Acclimatation.
What is it ? The bar in central Saint-Germain from chef Yves Camdeborde, who serves a totally pig-tastic menu.
Why go? With each dish more indulgent than the last (such as hay-baked new potatoes, anchovy butter and deliciously pink shoulder of lamb confit for €8.50, alongside Bayonne ham croquettes for €3.50 and a sublime pork ravioli for €6.50. Don't miss the pasta dishes and other incredible charcuterie such as the melt-in-the-mouth pig trotters.
Don't miss? If you’re not keen on pork, head to l’Avant Comptoir de la Mer, the seafood joint from chef Yves Camdeborde.
What is it? A classic Parisian cultural activity, there are hundreds of obscure screenings to choose from.
Why go? Historic flytrap for Parisian cinephiles, the 5th and 6th arrondissements are still full of independent cinemas, most notably the one on rue des Ecoles – infamously nicknamed Le Champo since it opened in 1938 – which used to attract the directors of the Nouvelle Vague like moths to a flame.
Don't miss? Legend has it that on his travels to Paris, Quentin Tarantino would often make his pilgrimage to the Latin quarter’s Filmothèque.
What is it? The very best of French artisanal beer.
Why go? Since the summer of 2013, the owners of Trois 8 decided to refine their craft. No longer serving anything and everything, they now serve artisanal beer and organic wines alongside good and simple food (try the fantastic sharing platters of charcuterie, cheese, pâté and sandwiches).
Don't miss? If you want to taste more from the guys behind Trois 8, check out their second outpost Outland.
What is it? An elegant, old-school bistro serving fuss-free fare.
Why go? With its large bar behind which the maître d’ advises punters on the best red to enjoy with confit beef cheeks, this bistro is perfect for Sunday lunch, a boozy dinner with mates or the best idea yet: a solo meal for savouring every single bite, sans interruption.
Don't miss? You won’t find sausage and mash like this anywhere else so loosen your top button and dig in.
What is it? A luxury afternoon tea with pâtisserie from Cédric Grolet.
Why go? Foodies are queuing up to experience Grolet’s infamous pastries at Le Meurice, which offers a Tea Time experience for €50, including a cup of Thé Mariage Frères Marco Polo or a hot chocolate from Alain Ducasse as well as an astronomically large portion of treats spread out across three tiers. Sandwiches on the bottom, warm scones in the middle and three mini pastries on the top. Each tier tastes better than the last.
Don't miss? Make use of your sugar rush with a walk around the neighbouring Jardin des Tuileries.
What is it? A proper old-fashioned hot chocolate stop.
Why go? The owner may be Japanese, but this little tea shop reminds us of being in our grandmother’s kitchen, with checked tablecloths, a cast iron oven and simple cakes temptingly arranged on the counter. The hot chocolate is served in a bowl – just like Grandma does it – and you can add as much chantilly cream as you like.
Don't miss? Your inner child will want to order everything on the menu.
What is it? An ode to both opera and ballet with styles old and new across two different rooms.
Why go? L’Opéra Garnier is one of the city’s pride and joys, and since its inauguration during the second half of the 19th century, its stage has hosted the arts in their finest forms, as has its brother venue, Opéra Bastille, which will celebrate its 30th birthday in 2019.
Don't miss? Try the Opéra Escape Game and finally unmask that damned ghost!
What is it? The city's largest and most beautiful mosque is a right unto itself, but we're big fans of its café too.
Why go? Here, waiters hurry past with large trays of fresh mint tea, to be taken with north African pâtisserie, sorbets and fruit salads. Over in the restaurant, you can enjoy copious amounts of couscous and tagine.
Don't miss? Bellies filled, we always take a look around the Grande Galerie d'Evolution.
What is it? A venerated historical institution, over which presides the good-natured ghost of French film archivist Henri Langlois.
Why go? For just a couple of euros, you can spend a day exploring hundreds of hidden cinematic treasures within the library, as well as network, attend talks and join cinema clubs inspired by the legendary Jean Douchet, or even visit the tongue-in-cheek exhibitions dedicated to filmmaking.
Don't miss? After indulging your inner cinephile, catch a gig at the l'AccorHotels Arena.
What is it? A giant institute dedicated to the Arab world designed by Jean Nouvel.
Why go? Dedicated to the history and archaeology of the Arab world, the main permanent exhibition begins on the seventh floor with artefacts from the classical era, and each subsequent level traces the ensuing centuries, from the first Islamic dynasties to the modern day. There’s also an excellent library consecrated to the middle east, a splendid panoramic view from the rooftop (to which entry is free), and, of course, you can expect brilliant temporary exhibitions to run throughout the year.
Don't miss? Finish your trip with a little potter around the small zoo in the Jardin des Plantes.
What is it? Tucked away at the back of the world-famous Ritz Hotel, is a richly wood-panelled watering hole which doubles up as a shrine to the American author – walls are adorned with his photos, boxes of fly-tying paraphernalia and a framed pack of his Lucky Strike cigarettes.
Why go? From the Picasso Martini to the French 75, the cocktails are as old-school as it gets.
Don't miss? If money is no object, while away an evening in this luxe leathery snug. Or treat yourself to just one and stumble back out onto Place Vendome, smug in the knowledge you’ve just quaffed a glass of literary history.
What is it? A museum within a Cistercian abbey and convent.
Why go? Since owning the property in 1970, the General Council of Val-d’Oise combined the Middle Ages and the contemporary era under the same roof with this abbey – located in the middle of ten acres of parkland – devoted to the fine and visual arts. You may be at a suburban museum, but you'll feel like you’re in the countryside.
What is it? Put simply: the most beautiful swimming pool in Paris.
Why go? This legendary establishment and listed historical building was bought by the AccorHotels group several years ago. The result? A luxury complex with a five-star hotel, a very good restaurant, a 48-metre spa and all round architectural beauty.
Don't miss? Order cocktails from the bar without leaving the pool.
What is it? One of Paris’ most recently built museums.
Why go? A spectacular building designed by the architectural star Frank Gehry and set to host collections from LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault. Located far out in the Western suburbs of Paris, this brand new stage for contemporary art showcases the biggest names of our time.
Don't miss? Its prime location by the Bois de Boulogne makes for a convenient forest stroll.
What is it? Billed as the world's largest flea market, you can get truly lost in its labyrinthine stalls.
Why go? The scale of commerce at this flea market is remarkable. Around 1000 traders sell artisan products, new and second-hand clothes, and 2,500 traders sell antique goods. There’s a knickknack to suit every taste. Just don’t forget to negotiate your price.
Don't miss? Your purchases done, head to La Recyclerie for a drink
What is it? A green haven in the centre of Paris.
Why go? Here, you can choose between a small zoo with over 1200 animals, giant recently renovated greenhouses, as well as museums of mineralogy, geology, palaeontology, anatomy and botany.
Don't miss? Take the perfect profile picture under those Japanese cherry trees.
What is it? An old coal station that’s become a Parisian musical hotspot.
Why go? Since June 2016, the MU collective have made the most of this old coal station’s architectural quirks, and turned it into an events space reminiscent of underground Berlin. Explore its three rooms, outdoor stage and two indoor stages, playing everything from hardcore punk to pure techno.
Don't miss? A cool atmosphere and budget-friendly prices.
What is it? A Mediterranean canteen with Israelian influences.
Why go? Come here from 10am for a breakfast of excellent coffee and colourful brunch dishes that taste as good as on the port of Jaffa. The Shakshuka is also worth mentioning: a delicious dish of baked eggs, tomato, peppers, onions and feta cheese.
Don't miss? Continuing the Israeli theme, finish your meal with a pita sandwich from Miznon.
What is it? A true mecca for children and the curious-minded.
Why go? Let your children play mini Einsteins at the Cité des Sciences, which features everything from rocket models to robots, and makes sense of quantum physics. The most enjoyable and interactive museum in the capital.
Don't miss? Follow your visit with a picnic in Parc de la Villette round the corner.
What is it? Founded in 1896, Bouillon Chartier (housed in a former railway station) expresses all the charm of Belle Epoque Paris. If you can last through the queue, it’s the perfect mood-booster: uniformed waiters scurry around, your neighbour will probably try to engage you in conversation, and American couples loudly discuss the merits of their saucission ardéchois.
Why go? A vast menu covers everything you could ever want from a Parisian brasserie: snails, oeuf mayonnaise, andouillette with mustard, several types of steak frites and bargain wine. The wallet-friendly prices and jolly art deco brouhaha has well and truly won our hearts.
Don't miss? Don't let the waiters hurry you, make it as languorous as by ordering everything you can stomach.
What is it? A former workers’ cooperative reinvigorated as a giant multicultural centre.
Why go? Rock concerts, burlesque shows, jazz brunches, electronic nights and jam sessions: it’s always popping at La Bellevilloise, the liveliest postcode in town. The proof is in the loyal crowds already queuing outside 21 rue Boyer as soon as the sun sets.
Don't miss? Grab a bite to eat at the excellent restaurant on site.
What is it? A former train station turned jazz bar.
Why go? Every day at 9pm, this former train station foyer hosts free jazz concerts. Under the four-metre-high ceiling, this is the ideal location for the warmth of the saxophones and trumpets.
Don't miss? Make a beeline for the patio in the summer.
What is it? The 7th’s best kept dining secret, ideal for impressing your date.
Why go? This 18-seater gem is worth booking ahead for. Go for the à la carte dreamt up by the young duo Kwen Liew (ex-Antoine) and Ryunosuke Naito (ex-Meurice and Taillevent), together in cooking as in life.
Don't miss? Enforce the all-important ‘no phones at dinner’ rule - bar a quick snap of Gérard Ronzatti’s excellent interiors.
What is it? Every first Sunday of the month, the first four Parisian arrondissements are fully pedestrian.
Why go? Like the Champs-Elysées, the first four arrondissements will be empty of cars and left to the command of the city’s walkers. Take in the heart of the capital at a different pace.
What is it? Simply put, it’s the city’s most iconic nightclub.
Why go? Long-reigning temple of nightlife, Rex Club still boasts a high-end avant-garde programme and is the darling of the international DJ scene. Admittedly, the night’s won’t beat those of the nineties, but we’ll keep coming until our knees give out.
Don't miss? Come on a Thursday, when the entry fee never pushes the €8 mark.
What is it? The city’s best-loved rooftop drinking den.
Why go? Le Perchoir is always worth the queue - head through the inner courtyard to the elevator to shoot up to the seventh floor. Expect an outdoor bar, comfortable sofas, mismatched cushions, big friendly tables, chairs and quiet little corners, perfect for a sunset drink.
What is it? A design hotel and bar with a sordid past.
Why go? Inspired by the Parisian brothels from the Belle Époque period, Maison Souquet’s hidden frontage leads to a vision of Orientalist splendour, designed by Jacques Garcia. Styled on Arabian Nights, it’s all pretty pleasing to the eye: from the 1895 Cordovan leather on the walls to the Moorish tiles, porcelain, copper and vintage furniture.
Don't miss? Rent the pool for an hour so you can get up to no good without prying eyes...
What is it? An old network of railway lines that have been transformed into the perfect romantic walk.
Why go? Built 150 years ago, La Petite Ceinture is almost 32km long. A public transport network that was in use until 1934, it was then used to transport goods until the late seventies. Left untouched for years, it has been transformed into sections, much like New York’s High Life. Crossing the 18th, 15th and 16th arrondissements, its most famous part begins in the 12th, a bucolic vision of plants and trees.
Don't miss? Diverge off from the 15th arrondissement segment to ride a hot air balloon at Parc André Citroën.
What is it? Every Parisian cafe-goer’s dream, created by the team behind the Brûlerie de Belleville.
Why go? Thomas Lehoux and David Flynn decided to renovate the old Parisian café concept by keeping the original decor but switching up the offering. No more crap beer, instant coffee and sad sandwiches, expect artisanal, ethically produced products. Independence doesn’t hurt, even if it costs a little more.
Don't miss? Nab a wicker chair overlooking the intersection of rue Grange aux Belles and rue Juliette Dodu. It's people-watching paradise.
What is? A 24-hour club on a barge, the symbol of Paris’ nightlife renaissance.
Why go? The Concrete club barge draws partygoers from all over Paris to keep the hedonism alive until the early hours. With Samedimanche, the 24-hour night, the weekends have never been so long. One of the best nights out in Paris nights, it really is the boat that rocked.
Don't miss? Because not everyone can party for 15 hours straight without refuelling, there’s Pansoul, the club’s restaurant.
What is it? A former hospital in the 14th that has taken on a new role as a buzzy multi-event space.
Why go? Even if it only takes up a quarter of its original surface area, Les Grands Voisins still hosts an impressive 86 artist spaces. You won’t find anywhere like it, Paris or further afield.
Don't miss? Go green-fingered with Mama Pétula, the cutesy plant boutique.
What is it? THE street for street art, nestled on a Belleville hill.
Why go? This little street is famed for the arts scrawled on walls and buildings, but it’s in constant flux, so no two visits will be the same.
Don't miss? Stop off at Aux Folies to see artists at work while you sip your coffee (or carafe).
What is it? A mecca of impressionist art, in a stunning former train station.
Why go? In the old Gare d’Orsay lives one of the finest collections of nineteenth-century art. It’s got Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Pointillism and all the other great "isms" that appeared between 1848 and the beginning of the twentieth century. Its 2011 facelift gave a much-needed boost to the Courbet, Millet, Manet, Degas, Monet, Van Gogh and Gauguin collections.
Don't miss? Savour a coffee in the superb coffee shop nestled behind the clock, designed by the Campana brothers, in tribute to Jules Verne's Nautilus.
What is it? Paris’ ultra-modern temple to classical music, near the gently flourishing Pantin area.
Why go? The Philharmonie, in association with the Cité de la Musique, has a rich and abundant program. In addition to its impressive concert hall, and in order to offer a varied and attractive offer, the Philharmonie has an exciting exhibition space and an educational centre, just like its elder la Cité.
Don't miss? The prices are super accessible so you can experiment, without breaking the bank.
What is it? A restaurant with a chef’s residency rotation every six months.
Why go? We are madly in love with Fulgurances, the restaurant set up by a trio of ultra-friendly thirty-somethings. The concept? Every six months, the sous-chef takes over from the chef, for a constantly shifting menu and spirit.
Don't miss? Head across the street for a glass of wine at restaurant's wine bar Fulgurances, en face.
What is? Michelin-starred chef Bertrand Grébaud’s bistro of the future.
Why go? If you like to be surprised and transported elsewhere with every bite, Septime’s your place. Expect sublime ingredients, perfectly cooked and seasoned.
Don't miss? If you want another piece of Septime, head to Septime La Cave next door.
What is it? A mezcal speakeasy hidden in Hotel 1K.
Why go? This unique bar boasts a glass roof that opens to the sky during the summer, chalk-graffitied walls and more mezcal than you could consume in a lifetime. Sip it by itself for the best effect.
Don't miss? After quaffing as many mezcal shots as you can manage, rest your head in one of the hotel rooms, where decor matches that of its vibrant mezcaleria.
What is it? The chance to play the much-loved summer game in one of the capital's most popular spots.
Why go? Old or young, pétanque is a real joy to watch and play in Paris. As the temperature hots up, watch as the whole city gets ready to aim and shoot. The sandy banks of the canal remain one of the must-play spots.
Don't miss? If you haven’t got your own, borrow balls (and grab a drink) from Bar Ourcq.
Why go? Because no visit to Paris is complete without a spin around Beaubourg.
Why go? Behind Richard Roger and Renzo Piano’s piping and air ducts lie one of the richest collections of modern art in the world. Step into Centre Pompidou to fall under the spell of Picasso, Magritte, Duchamp, Pollock, Warhol and Tinguely.
Don't miss? Head out to the top floor for a truly eye-popping view.
What is it? Frédéric Vaucamps may have perfected his recipe for merveilleux in Lille, but these mini-meringues coated in chocolate whipped cream and chocolate shavings are the go-to choice for Parisians.
Why go? Freshly made in the window of the seven shops every day, pâtissiers smooth whipped cream onto each individual meringue with a spatula before rolling or patting them with chocolate flakes. Prepare to be mesmerised; it’s like a live cooking show – where you get to eat the finished product.
Don't miss? Buy a box of bitesize mini Merveilleux to work through as you pound the pavements.
What is it? Rue du Chat-qui-pêche, near Saint-Michel, is the capital's narrowest street.
Why go? Its name harks back to a dark history of fifteenth-century catfishing but rue du Chat-qui-pêche also happens to be the narrowest street in Paris. At a width of 1.8 metres, it’s best avoided if you have broad shoulders.
Don't miss? Soak up the glow of the nearby Sorbonne, one of the world’s oldest universities.
What is it? A 6000m2 shopping and eating hub in a former train station a few minutes from Gare de Lyon.
Why go? Comprising 4500 m2 of covered space and 1500 m2 of open-air terraces, this is a vision of ecological, sustainable consumption. Expect street food stalls, bars, grocery stores, shops, yoga workshops, Pilates, Reiki... It’s every bobo’s dream.
What is it? You can spot the lengthy L’As du Fallafel queue as soon as you hit Rue des Rosiers, with its army of staff running up and down scribbling orders. This traditional kosher falafel temple is, according to its own slogan, 'often imitated, never equalled', and few connoisseurs can argue with that.
Why go? The falafel special: an explosion of crisp red cabbage, creamy tahini, roasted aubergine, and light, herby falafel, crammed into a pillowy pitta pocket. Trust us, it’s worth the wait (and getting your trousers dry-cleaned).
Don't miss? It's closed for Shabbat on Saturdays, so plan your visit accordingly. Eating in the dining room is a less casual experience than munching this messy sandwich on the street, but it’s worth paying a little extra for the unique atmosphere.
What is it? The best bar in Paris (and 24th best in the world), where all cocktails are made with 100% French alcohols. Sante!
Why go? A tumbledown facade and flaking posters hide the entrance to Le Syndicat, Faubourg Saint-Denis’ best-kept secret. The soundtrack spits out hip-hop as the bar team whip up killer cocktails for a trendy, in-the-know crowd.
Don't miss? Cross the street to soak up the booze at Paris New York, the city’s best burger joint.