Paris is my favourite city in the world. The streets seep fashion, culture, art, romance and class. There is tonnes to do and see in Paris, I couldn’t begin to list them. Paris is a city that caters to all interests. Here are my top 5 things to do:
- Vintage shopping at flea markets
Vintage items fascinate me, I am so intrigued in the stories behind them. Primarily, I look for vintage clothing at markets, I’ve come across some crazy rare pieces whilst vintage shopping, from 1999 runway PRADA to GUCCI sunnies from the 70’s and much more. But not just designer: old tees, and sports sweatshirts from decades ago. There are some crazy graphic prints hiding under deep piles of pre-owned, unwanted cloth; each holding a different story, a different occasion, a different triumph or loss, worn by a different personality. I always think about what the aged pre-owner is up to now, where they are, what do they do.
I love looking through old bric-a-brak, old clocks (the fact that people actually once owned, loved and used these objects – I almost feel like you can sense their presence in the item), old cassette players, old records old tools, old photographs, all these belongings waiting for their future home, ready to be passed on their future lover. Where did they come from?
Deep in the arterioles of Les Puces de Saint-Ouen market, is a womenswear archive. Inside is the most grand collection of pieces by designers A-Z, from gowns, to jackets and swimwear. They must have been collecting for years. I was unsure of the name, but if you have the time I highly recommend checking it out. Its a hidden gem.
The two markets I would recommend are: Les Puces de Saint-Ouen at Porte de Clignancourt and Marche aux Puces de Montreuil
The galleries in Paris are home to some of the worlds most famous works of art. Wondering through Parisian galleries observing not only gorgeous works and fabulous exhibitions but the extraordinary architecture of the buildings makes a very wholesome day out. Galleries are something I have visited from a young age, in all cities, countries, whatever, so I never miss out on the opportunity to visit more. My favourite are the Guggenheims
My favourite galleries in Paris are:
The Centre Pompidou – an incredible building actually built with its infrastructure externally making it very interesting architecturally. The top floor has an incredible view of the whole of Paris, and you can go out onto a balconyesque outdoor area, it doesn’t seem high from below but I found my self staying clear of the edges when I was up there. The Pompidou hosts incredible exhibitions for low prices, or alternatively has a collection including Picasso, Delauney, Kansinski, Warhol and many more artists which can be viewed for free (right now … until we leave the EU:(..)
The Louvre Museum – an iconic palace, with the most phenomenal striking architecture, leading out onto the grand palais jardins. Most of the gallery is underground which has a very ‘Da Vinci Code’ feel to it. The louvre is home to some amazing sculptures and the famous Mona Lisa. Seeing Mona in the flesh was surreal, having heard so much about its value, history, her mystery and individuality, by word of mouth and in documentaries, it becomes something you never really expect to see. Again, the gallery hosts multiple exhibitions for a small cost, or alternatively has free exhibitions (until we leave the EU).
59 Rivoli – this is actually a working studio on Rue de Rivoli, and its free for visitors to wonder around and look at the artists in action. Unlike most galleries, the art is presented in studio form: almost like the thought process in the artists head, pieces piled up on each other, half finished, sketches, a lot of artistic chaos and it is very aesthetically pleasing etcetera. One of my favourite parts are the stairs; the 5 story building has a stair case that is painted by what I would imagine to be hundreds of artists, almost like the Rabbit Hole in Alice and Wonderland.
Others must-visits include: Musée de l’Orangerie, Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Musée d’Orsay
3. The riverside
Unlike any other city I’ve been to, the riverside is a fundamental part of life in Paris. With wide banks filled with outdoor gyms, art installations, bars, and even nightclubs, people are always down by the riverside, on foot, bike or electric scooter. In the summer, during the evenings the river bank is packed full of parisians, enjoying the warm air with a drink and good company. Even in the winter, the riverside is busy in the evenings. Scooting down the riverside roads on electric scooters was an absolute highlight of my last trip, though if you try be careful as they are fast and dangerous on the roads. The Posts des Arts bridge (the lock bridge – or used to be at least) has a great view in both directions down the river.
4. The Eiffel Tower
Have you even visited Paris if you don’t watch the tower sparkle on the hour. This never gets old for me, its the most romantic and iconic experience for me. Sitting in the park in summer, with a bottle of wine or even in winter to be honest, its still busy late at night, SO lush. Going up the Eiffel tower costs, but I still recommend. its 300 metres-odd tall, but when you are at the summit, feels like a 10000000 metres tall. The outdoor summit is encaged in a rusty metal mesh, which feels incredible insubstantial when up there. I had a weird feeling of vertigo almost every time I went close to the edge – definitely not for the faint-hearted or those afraid of heights. When your up there you can get a glass of champagne which is an enjoyable experience, but the most recent time I went it was freezing cold and I was holding on to my hat with both hands from the vicious wind. You can take the stairs as an alternative to the lift up to the second floor, all I can say is – I hope you are fit, and its easier on the way down!
5. My final recommendation is to eat well
France is home to some amazing food: the smelliest cheeses, addictive baguettes, escargot, frogs legs. Do lots of research and eat in highly rated french bistros. I love the authentic little cafes with their outside seating and very french menus.
Eat freshly baked croissant, UNREAL.
and TRY SNAILS – they’re strangely delicious.
Thanks for reading