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1 City 5 Ways

Photo by Roberto Frankenberg

Photo by Roberto Frankenberg

Paris is a city of secrets. Spend enough time wandering its streets, though, and the French capital will slowly reveal itself to you. It’s a city that’s meant to be walked—along the Seine, up the hill to Montmartre, over the bridges of the Canal Saint-Martin, through the Luxembourg Garden. Rewards for your efforts can be found every step of the way, from a bag of fresh-roasted chestnuts being hawked by a street vendor to a cup of creamy hot chocolate at famed tea salon Angelina. Stop to warm up and watch the world go by, then head back to the streets and let the city show you what it’s got up its sleeve.

 

GOURMET

       
La Grande Épicerie photo by Amélie Dupont.
       

Where to Stay: Hotel Relais Saint-Germain
This hotel puts you in the center of the city, with rooms that have their own boho-chic style. Best of all, your stay includes a reservation at the impossible-to-book ground-floor restaurant Le Comptoir.

Breakfast: Du Pain et Des Idées
Often cited as the best bakery in Paris, this small corner spot is worth a trip to the trending 10th arrondissement. Try the chocolate-pistachio “Escargot” or the banana-Nutella croissant while checking out the original painted-glass ceiling.

Morning: Rue Montorgueil
Cafés mix with butcher shops, fishmongers, cheese stores, produce stands and bakeries on this street. After walking its few blocks, head west to rue Montmartre and pop into kitchen stores Mora and La Bovida.

Afternoon: La Grande Épicerie
Pick up the makings for a picnic, shop for unique souvenirs or just take in the fabulousness at this recently renovated, upscale food hall in the Bon Marché department store on the Left Bank.

Dinner: Le Comptoir
Scoring a weeknight reservation means you can enjoy the chef’s tasting menu and the unlimited cheese plate. Otherwise, queue up on the weekend when the pork-heavy à la carte bistro menu is available. Either way, it’s a win.


SOPHISTICATE

       
Palais Garnier; shutterstock.com        

Where to Stay: Peninsula Paris
The glamorous interior of this new addition to the high-end hotel scene—think bright and airy with gold leaf accents and crystal chandeliers—is rivaled only by the 360-degree view of the city from the rooftop restaurant and bar.

Shopping: Rue Saint-Honoré
Head west from the Place Vendôme for a three-block stretch with top shops such as Emporio Armani, Jimmy Choo and Longchamp. Head north on the rue Royale for gourmet shops including Maille, Fauchon and Caviar Kaspia.

Tea Time: Le 68 Guy Martin
Take a break with a cup of Shalimar tea and the Little Black Dress pastry at this quiet spot from chef Guy Martin, hidden on the lower level of Guerlain’s Champs- Élysées perfume boutique.

Evening: Palais Garnier
Catch a ballet at this 19th-century theater, with its imposing marble staircase, ornate Grand Foyer and Chagall-painted ceiling. This month, the Swedish Royal Ballet performs Juliette et Roméo.

Dinner: Septime
The inventive French cooking at this buzzy restaurant is spot-on, served in a casual, inviting atmosphere. Dinner offers only one choice: a seven-course “carte blanche” tasting menu.


ARTS LOVER

       
Porte 12 photo by Félix Vigne & Castalie.        

Where to Stay: Hôtel du Petit Moulin
Behind the preserved storefront of a former bakery lies this quirky hotel from fashion designer Christian Lacroix. Bold colors, mixed-era furniture and lush fabrics fill the 17 rooms, each one unique.

Morning: Musée du Quai Branly
Travel the world through the museum’s permanent collection of artifacts from indigenous cultures in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania—or check out special exhibitions on topics as diverse as tattoos or the Maya.

Afternoon: Institut du Monde Arabe
Jean Nouvel’s striking building along the Seine features 240 apertures on the south side that dilate to regulate the amount of daylight admitted. The institute functions as a cultural center with exhibit space, classrooms and a terrace overlooking Notre Dame.

Evening: Sainte-Chapelle
Classical music venues abound in Paris, but this Gothic chapel dating to the mid-13th century may be the most atmospheric, with breathtaking stained glass windows.

Dinner: Porte 12
In this lingerie atelier-turned-restaurant, chef Vincent Crépel turns out globally influenced renditions of French classics. Expect a tasting menu filled with items such as short ribs dusted with a powder of Earl Grey tea and charred bamboo.


ROMANTIC

       
Musée Rodin; shutterstock.com        

Where to Stay: Hotel Thérèse
This find in the tony 1st arrondissement scores big points for location and even more for ambiance. Sink into one of the comfy chairs in the lounge and enjoy complimentary afternoon tea.

Morning: Musée Rodin
A peaceful oasis in the center of the city, this museum displays some of the artist’s iconic works: “The Thinker,” “The Gates of Hell” and the passion-filled “The Kiss.” End with a walk through the well-kept gardens.

Afternoon: La Pâtisserie des Rêves
Glass domes display decadent pastries, from lemon tarts to chocolate éclairs, which the friendly staff will wrap in pretty pink boxes. Pick up a tin of chocolate-covered sablé cookies to take home.

Dusk: Le Mur des Je T’aime
More than 300 declarations of “I love you,” each in a different language, cover this wall created by musician Frédéric Baron and calligrapher Claire Kito. Smooch your sweetie and take a snap, then head up to Sacre Coeur for the sunset.

Dinner: Le Coupe-Chou
Classic dishes such as duck confit and beef bourguignon reign at this cozy restaurant with exposed beams, fainting couches and a large wood-burning fireplace.


HIPSTER

       
Mama Shelter photo by Francis Amiand.        

Where to Stay: Mama Shelter
This hotel may be located on the east side of Paris, but it offers what those in city center can’t: affordable Philippe Starck-designed rooms. Each one is equipped with fun touches such as iMacs and superhero masks on the lamps.

Morning: Ten Belles
If you can’t find a seat inside this small shop, take your cappuccino—made with locally roasted beans—and scone to go and stroll along the nearby Canal Saint-Martin.

Shopping: Marché aux Puces St.-Ouen
You never know what you’ll find on the weekend at this mazelike flea market north of the city: a Delft birdcage, vintage tiles, knockoff tennis shoes? Prices can be high, but it’s worth a wander.

Dinner: Le Verre Volé
Diners pack in around the open kitchen of this tiny bistro for its simple yet tasty fare such as bone-in duck fillets or grilled whole red mullet. There’s no wine list, but the expert staff will set you up with the perfect match.

Evening: Prescription Cocktail Club
Sip on drinks at this happening speakeasy where you can order for a group—the ginger-mint Gin Gin Mule serves four—or go solo.

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