Like a homing pigeon I’ve returned to Paris every three years over the past four decades. I just can’t resist the timeless beauty of the City of Light. It is woven into my soul.
I will walk you through my version of the perfect Paris visit from my trip in March, 2017. My personal interests and passions tend toward live music in smaller venues, art, eclectic neighborhoods, dance —both going dancing and dance performances — and food. I walk for miles daily in order to discover new hidden back streets and architectural wonders (and make room for more delicious meals). I take the metro and avoid places in guidebooks or touristed zones though there are some must-see places where throngs of tourists flock. I choose brassieries, and bistros with French-only menus and I enjoy traveling to Paris solo so that I’m forced to speak French.
Now, your route to a perfect Paris experience:
Left Bank wanderings:
* Le Petit Journal jazz club
* Rue du Bac shopping, bistros, art galleries
* Les Antiquaires bistro on Rue du Bac
The stained glass windows at Sainte-Chapelle —a royal chapel in the Gothic style within the medieval Palais de la Cité.
* The Catacombs are very interesting to tour and they also have music and theater performances inside the catacombs.
Bois de Bologne:
* Luis Vuitton Foundation Museum designed by Frank Gehry. Also interesting music and dance performances.
Enjoy my dance video post of Lil Buck dancing with Picasso in the Luis Vuitton Foundation Museum.
* Walk in the Bois de Bologne park
Right Bank wanderings:
* Usually I avoid the Louvre but recently went on a fabulously funny and informative 2-hour “Laugh Your Way Through the Louvre” tour with Cedric the comedian.
* Le Duc des Lombards jazz club
* Carmel ice cream at the elegant café in the Grand Palais which also has outstanding exhibits.
* Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris next to the Palais de Tokyo
* Palais de Tokyo Museum and performance space.
* Rue des Abbesses for shopping
* Le Coquelicot bistro on Rue des Abbesses
* Rue Des Martyrs for a charming example of neighborhood stores and cafes. Read Elaine Sciolino’s best-selling book The Only Street in Paris – Life on the Rue des Martyrs.
* De Verre en Vers wine shop on Rue des Abbesses for great wine suggestions for aperitifs at your apartment or a picnic.
* Sacré-Cœur Basilica
Canal Saint-Martin and La Villette on Right Bank
* Cabaret Sauvage music & cabaret club
* New Morning Club for African and other live world music
* Hôtel du Nord bistro
The Marais on the Right Bank
* Chez Janou bistro
* On weekends many of the streets are closed to cars and great for walking and shopping. Lots of excellent street performers for entertainment.
Just outside Paris:
* Rodin’s villa des Brillants, now a museum of his art, is located in Meudon, as is his grave. It is a short distance from Paris on the RER.
All photos by Lisa Alpine © 2017