Travelling to Paris: An Essential Guide

Travelling to Paris: An Essential Guide

When we are planning a trip to any random city across the globe, we often get excited about the pictures or the things we read about that destination. And some cities unfortunately disappoint us once we get there and fail to meet our expectations that we set for ourselves prior to our departure.

Paris is probably one of those cities that never fails to upset, a city that truly lives up to and often exceeds expectations.

Here is an essential guide worth taking a look at when travelling to Paris.

Mingle with the locals

French locals will know all the must-do activities in Paris. “But how do I meet locals in France?” I hear you say.

Well, you could jump into french cooking classes in Paris, or eat with locals in Paris. Food is a great way to bring cultures together, and you will have a wonderful excuse to get a wealth of insider knowledge about the French capital.

Also, contrary to popular belief, most Parisians actually speak English – particularly younger people. But if you do bump into a Parisian that only speaks French, Google translate will always be there for you.

Be the stylish you

Paris, being the fashion capital that it is, the locals there dress very stylishly, hence why it is also important to bring more stylish clothes. Or alternatively, you could just buy all your clothes there.

Slow down and enjoy

When going to the parks to enjoy the Paris sun, bear in mind that they generally do not have any benches, but what they have are chairs which are of course free to use. So go to the nearest pick up point of chairs and get one for yourself, open up your picnic basket, enjoy the afternoon breeze and local chatter in the park.

Music is in the air

Paris is also widely known for its music, from the language, lyrics to the way it is sung, be prepared to join in the throng on the streets of Paris if you happen to visit Paris during one of the major music festivals that take place so often in Paris!

Navigate the maze

There are countless of narrow streets in Paris, it is very easy to get lost, so look out for where you are going at all times! Identify the street you are on by either the name or the corner cafe. If not, Google Maps is another fantastic way to get around.

Shopping heaven

Bring your credit card and make sure you request from your bank that you will be able to purchase items overseas with your card so that you can shop with no worries

Take lots of photos

An art hub and source of inspiration for many artists, there are so many museums which you can visit, so bringing your camera is a must.

Take public transport

Taxis in Paris are infamous. However, to drive a cab in Paris you do not necessarily need to know how to drive properly or know your way around, so I suggest you take the Metro and at the same time experience all the different quirks of taking the metro like a local and the people you will meet there.

Embrace the night

For those of you who have watched Midnight in Paris, you will know that Paris is a city for night owls, so much night life! Be sure not to miss out!

You are now ready to take on Paris! If there are any other tips we have missed out, do let us know in the comments below.

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On A Budget? Here Are 10 Free Things to Do in Paris

On A Budget? Here Are 10 Free Things to Do in Paris

Did you know that Paris was initially called the City of light, as it was one of the first cities in Europe to adopt gas street lighting during the Age of Enlightenment? Walking down the river Seine soon became a romantic affair amongst the Parisian population and slowly people from all walks of life came to Paris, hence the arrival of Paris' other nickname: the City of Love!

Aside from the main attraction of Paris, to add extra french flair to your Parisian adventure, plan your trip to coincide with one of these occasional festival freebies:

La Fete de La Musique 

La Fete de La Musique, also commonly known as Make Music Day or World Music Day, is an annual music celebration that takes place on the 21st of June. Originating from the streets of Paris in 1982, it has since then become a worldwide phenomenon. 

This free festival features concerts taking place in theatres, bars, on street corners, in parks and even serenading folks whilst balancing on the edge of their apartment window. Join the throng and by a stroke of serendipity let it lead you to a show. 

Galeries Lafayette 

Paris being one of the major cities for fashion, fashion shows are something that happens very often. However not everyone gets a chance as tickets are almost impossible to obtain for those of us who are not part of the fashion industry or press world. 

But, here is your chance! Galeries Lafayette, an upmarket French departmental store, organises a free fashion show every week on a Friday. However, seating is limited and advanced reservations and confirmations are required in order for you to secure a seat! 

La Nuit Blanche

Paris – City of love, fashion, literature and last but not least a music treasure trove. Inspired by St Pertersburg’s ‘White Nights’ where night is almost indistinguishable from day, La Nuit Blanche is a free dusk ‘till dawn carnival. Where the city blossoms on a autumn night into a comely harvest of art, music and theatrical events.

Parc de la Villette

Another thing Paris is known for is its large parks where you will often witness locals with their colourful picnic mats and sun hats. Parc de la Villette is the third largest park in Paris whose design was picked out of 450 proposals. I has been made in a way to cultivate a wandering heart and sense of adventure to discover all the different sites at the park. Some features include the largest science museum in Europe, IMAX theatre, a concert arena, an outdoor cinema theatre where annual film festivals are held and much more! Go explore for yourself to find out more 😉

Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg is no typical park. Inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence, the gardens cover over 25 hectares and is split into French and English gardens. In between the gardens lie a geometric forest and large pond where you can have a picnic! The Jardin du Luxembourg is not only an attraction but educational, where there is an apiary for you to learn about bee-keeping. A garden with over 106 statues, activities and facilities for children such as puppet shows, rides and slides and for the adults there is chess, tennis, bridge as well as remote control boats you can sail into the large pond. Definitely a fun and non-costly way of spending your afternoon in Paris.

Musee l’art Moderne de la ville de paris 

Musee l’art Moderne de la ville de paris is one of my personal favourites. With over 10000 contemporary and modern art works, it presents us with a wealth of artistic creation as well as monographic and thematic exhibitions of trends in today’s art. Never a dull moment in this exhibition, for most of the art work is spilling with colour and acts as a faucet of inspiration. 

Parc des buttes – chaumont 

A plethora of opportunities to indulge in park life is something Paris offers from Jardin du Luxembourg to Parc de la Vlilette. This next park is often missed by weekenders who are not keen on straying too far off the typical attraction spots. Parc des butteschaumont is definitely something off the beaten path and worth taking a stroll around on an afternoon in Paris. From meandering paths, waterfalls, temples, vertical cliffs and last but not least a hangout place after your stroll that is open till midnight and gives you a stunning view of the city below. 

Place des Vosges 

A graceful and charming square garden, with beautiful symmetrical fountains placed at all four corners of the square and a serene green oasis surrounded by rows and rows of red brick houses that feeds the aesthetic appeal. Place des Vosges is also a place of great historical value as it is the same place as where the medieval royal palace used to stand. An absolute pleasure to visit and an ideal place to sit back, relax and sip some wine. 

Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris 

If you have watched the movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame, this is the place you should visit to see the famous frightening gargoyles as well as spectacular view of Paris. The Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris is one of the most visited sites in Paris, recording over 14 million visitors in one year alone. This Cathedral is known for its subtle balance of architecture and design. Like how asymmetrical elements are being introduced in order to avoid monotony and in line with the standard Gothic style. Notre Dame being very much in the heart of Paris, it is a very easy and cost free attraction to visit. 

Musee de la Vie Romantique

Paris is given the name as the City of Love for a reason. In Paris, Romanticism was an artistic movement and fed inspiration to countless of artists and writers from Europe. In the early 1830s, Dutch painter Ary Scheffer transformed his beautiful home, Hôtel Scheffer-Renan, into a salon. Which was later visited by many artists such as George Sand, Frederic Chopin, Eugène Delacroix, Franz Liszt whose artwork is hung up in the museum.
The museum actually organises temporary exhibitions, concerts, book readings and children activities. And for those of you who are planning your trip from March through October, the museum opens up its tearoom in the garden’s greenhouse. A beautiful sight indeed, sipping tea and crunching on local snacks on a patio with friends both old and new. Definitely something to look forward to. 

Know of any other attractions and places you can go to for free? Comment in the section below. I would love to hear about them!

Image Credits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 

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A Guide to Paris Flea Markets

A Guide to Paris Flea Markets

Where better to find chic hidden treasures than in a Parisian flea market! You'll soon find yourself carefully sieving through the heaps of antiques and kitchenware – often on your hands and knees! Here is a guide to all the famous flea markets in Paris that you should definitely patronize on one of your trips to Paris. Afterall, one man's junk is another man's treasure. 

Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen (Clignancourt) 

Marche Aux Puces de St-Ouen, otherwise known as Porte de Clignancourt, is one of the largest antique markets in the world covering 7 hectares, it is also the most famous flea market in Paris. Open only on the weekends, this flea market welcomes 180,000 visitors each weekend.

It consists of a total of 14 markets. Tiny, cramped shops are positioned face-to-face and line the whole street. They offer a wide range of items from antiques (of course) to real Chanel jewellery and Birkins at upwards of 6000 euros. Clignancourt is not the place to go to if you are looking for very cheap deals! However, it is a beautiful place and there are cafes along the streets for you to sit, enjoy the cool breeze and sip on some coffee. Definitely come to experience the life here at Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen.

Things to take note of: 
1. It would be best to start your day early at the markets as by lunch it tends to get very crowded.  
2. Or you can visit on a Monday morning or when it is wet or snowy. You will be more likely to pick up a bargain then. 
3. Do not be afraid to bargain 
4. Bargaining is a skill and is something that needs to be cultivated. If you like something, do not touch it or do not pick it up. Showing signs that you are interested, the seller will be less willing to cut down the prices for you. If you really want it, also be prepared to walk away and hope that they will call you back to close the deal. 
5. This is where irony sets in, I would also advise you, if you really like the item, to get it because if you do not get it now and after walking down the blocks and coming back later, the item could have already been bought by another customer. 
6. Bring cash with you but in small change. If you were to haggle down a particular 
7. Always think about logistics before buying something big and hard to handle 
8. Try to whip out your best French accent when haggling with the store owners

Marché aux puces de la Porte de Vanves 

This next Flea market, la Porte de Vanves, is a world away form Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen. The flea market is a lot smaller, more friendly, more open to bargains and slightly cheaper than at Saint-Ouen. Walking through this serene market you will chance upon vendors selling stuff such as dresses, perfume bottles, vintage toys (my personal favourite), vinyls of the best classics, gorgeous French Linens and much more. Make sure you get there early so that you will be able to pick out the best buys from the vendors!

Les Puces de Montreuil
Founded in 1860s, Les Puces de Montreuil is less famous and charismatic as St-Ouen or Vanves. Despite that, everything that you could possibly need can be found at Montreuil from spices, books, sporting goods, hardware to vintage leather jackets and sixties shirts (also another one of my personal favourites). Montreuil is a gold mine that I can afford!

If looking at antiques all day hasn’t tired you out yet, I recommend trying out Florences food for dinner on our social dining platform to complete the day perfectly. Florence’s home, located in the heart of Paris, is decorated with 19th century woodworks, paintings and furniture that complement one another perfectly, making you feel as though you have just stepped into a historical museum but with a slight touch of home. 

Any other tips to recommend and flea markets I missed out? Leave a comment below! 

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14 Best Must-Visit Cafes All Around Paris

14 Best Cafes All Around Paris.

With a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, street markets and food trucks in Paris, it is sometimes hard to narrow down to the few restaurants that you should without a doubt taste and see while in the City of Light.

So..where are you heading to? Let’s check out the following neighbourhoods. 😉


Bastille, formally known as Bastille Saint-Antoine, a neighbourhood that played an undeniable role in the history of France. It has been used, for most of its existence, as a prison by the King of France. Though the original prison is now long gone, it still serves as a historical landmark, imbued with political symbolism for Parisians. Despite its dark past, Bastille has evolved into a neighbourhood lined with small private galleries for art lovers, grungy record stores for music lovers, and mouthwatering restaurants for foodies! Here are a few you have to try:


La Fée Verte

La Fée Verte (which means the Green Fairy) is a fascinating absinthe bar and café near the Bastille. In the day, it is a great place for a cup of coffee and lunch (think: burgers and beef bourguignon), at night it is the place to hang out and unwind with a drink. They have a great range of absinthe and it is still served in the traditional way, with a special absinthe spoon and cubes of sugar. Definitely a place to add to your list of must-visits.

This photo of Merci is courtesy of TripAdvisor

La Cantine Merci

La Cantine Merci, located in the trendy fairtrade concept store Merci, is all about healthy, balanced and nutritious lunches. Take your pick from their fresh and colourful salads, soup, risotto, vegetable tarts and much more. There is also a selection of vitamin-packed fruit cocktails – Merci does strike a good balance between plate and cup. Homemade deserts here are also delightful: “light” cheesecake and gluten-free chocolate sponge cake anyone? The dining space opens up into a garden, and the greens just brightens up the day, making it is a wonderful place to while the afternoon away.


Used Books Cafe

An ideal place for a spot of coffee or afternoon tea (Darjeeling, sencha, herbal teas, you names it) where you will find yummy bites such as organic soft-boiled eggs and rosemary scones. You may also choose a book from the 10,000 books in their library collection. The chance of discovering a new story is part of the thrill of the hunt in this unique bookstore-themed cafe. The cafe is also connected to La Cantine Merci.


Montmartre, otherwise known as The Mountain of Martyrs, is a culturally rich neighbourhood with picturesque bohemian architect lining the streets. Being 130 metres high, Montmartre is known as the 2nd highest point in Paris besides the Eiffel tower. Primarily known for the white-dome Basilica of the Sacre- Coeur and as a nightclub district, there are several highly-acclaimed restaurants that you should add to your must-visit list when going to Montmartre.

Le Coq Rico

Le Coq Rico, also called the bistro of beautiful birds, as perhaps you can tell, known for its flavour infused and succulent roasted chicken. Antoine Westermann serves his gourmet poultry dishes in an elegant and polished white-walled space with sleek black marble-top banquettes. There are different birds to choose from on the menu — chickens of different breeds from the various provinces of France, duck and guinea fowl. It generally takes about 45 minutes of waiting time if you order the chicken, and it arrives sizzling and roasted to perfection. There are very tasty appetisers to fill the time until the main event (the roasted chicken) arrives, which includes the soft boiled egg served with salmon egg & sea weed butter finger bread, and duck liver roasted with poppy seeds crumb and served with arugula salad, green apple & chicken jus vinaigrette.



Soul Kitchen

Tucked away on the corner of a street, upon entering Soul Kitchen, you are greeted with warm smiles and the whimsical interior design. You can tell almost immediately that there is good hospitality and food here just by looking at how so much attention is being paid to the decor of the cafe, such as the installation of paper butterflies, the vintage touch with old wine crates, a big bay window, trays overflowing with food, pretty coloured furniture and a huge chalkboard menu at the counter, giving the place a real homely atmosphere. It is helmed by three affable lady chefs who presents a selection of wholesome dishes from their ever-changing menu of homemade recipes prepared with organic local produce. A charming cafe with even more delicious food, Soul Kitchen is one place you would not want to miss.


Saint-Germain-des-Prés is one of the four administrative quarters and the quarter has a large number of bookstores, publishing houses and several famous cafes that you have to visit.

Les Deux Magots

The name of the restaurant is actually dervied from two chinese figurines. Founded in 1812 and later expanded to its current location, the two statues that adorn the cafe now stand as witnesses to that era. In 1885, the cafe started serving alcohol and acted as a hotspot for many intellectual elites such as Earnest Hemmingway, Arthur Rimbaud, and Paul Verlaine. Then in 1933 with creation of the Prix des Deux Magots, the cafe asserted its literacy vocation that lead to many famed artists to visit such, as Elsa Triolet, Louis Aragon, André Gide, Jean Giraudoux, Pablo Picasso, and others. As one of the oldest cafes in Paris, it attracts people from different background from the world of politics to the world of fashion, arts and literature and not forgetting you travelers as well.

City Crepes Cafe

If you come to Paris and do not eat a crepe, it will have been a wasted trip. At the City Crepes Cafe, you can build your own crepe or order one straight off the menu! If you are interested to find out where you can go to learn how to make other french pastries, you can check out this crepe making class with locals in their homes in Paris!

Boulangeries Paul

Looking for bite in Paris? Paul is the place to go! Serving your everyday Parisian pastries, baguettes and cakes that are price friendly and waiting for tourists like yourself to snap them up! After collecting your snack, head over to the banks of Seine or the Luxembourg Gardens and enjoy your breakfast or lunch with a view 😉

Pere Lachaise & Menilmontant

There are countless of ways in which you could possibly soak up the Parisian culture. One of them would be visiting the Pere Lachaise cemetery. This neighborhood is tucked away in a little-known stretch of Paris, protected from the hullabaloo of the city but at the same time close enough to all the major attractions, this is where you can get a taste of the real Paris.


Decorated with soft orange light, bright, clean wooden floors and tables with cushioned chairs, this cafe is designed to promote an intimate and cosy dining experience, as well as absolutely sublime brewed coffee. Your Parisian coffee-break should indeed be spent here. Clint is also known for its excellent service, where you will witness baristas and waiters coming up to you, talking to you and at the same time allowing for visitors to have their own private time, making tourists feel like a local in a foreign land.

L’ Artiste

Walking along the pavements of the 11th arrondissement and you will come across a restaurant that has colourful beach umbrellas and rattan chairs fanned out inviting you to come in to enjoy a cup of coffee. L’ Artiste offers a myraid of options at their brunch buffet, from croissants to chicken drumsticks! Everything that you could possibly hope for to eat during brunch. For tourists that cannot speak French, have no fear for the staff here at L’Artiste are fluent in english and service is fast and efficient.

La Bellevilloise

Imagine a huge warehouse, air-conditoned, with a transparent roof that allows light to pour in at any time of the day- now you should be picturing la Bellevilloise! There are huge trees planted around the warehouse, with their leaves out on display and the scent filling the warehouse mixed with the delicious mix of sweet and savoury food cooking in the kitchen. This unique place, the la Bellevilloise, used to be a building to house the capital’s first workers, but has since turned into a bar, restaurant, club, exhibition space and a place to host regular film and music festivals. Food, service, atmosphere and people, La Bellevilloise has got it all right.

Champ Elysses

Champ Elysses  is known for its theatres, cafés and luxury shops, and for the military parade that takes place each year on the avenue on 14 July to celebrate Bastille Day.

Cafe Kousmichoff

Cafe Kousmichoff is the famous house of tea that sells Kusmi tea, which are Russian-styled teas and tea blends. You can come here for an afternoon tea or coffee as they offer a wide range of Kusmi aromatic teas along with a selection of cakes. The design of the cafe invokes a sense of serenity and freshness, a good place for lunch, afternoon tea as well as dinner. When you eat you will be on the upper level and you can eat and sip your tea whilst peering out of the window and looking at people go by on the Champs Elysees!

11 Carpaccio – La Royal Monceau

A one Michelin-star Italian restaurant in Paris. Its design of beige curtains, tall glass windows and soothing coloured furniture gives off a Silician baroque style that opens onto a lovely glass conservatory drenched in light. The II Carpaccio celebrates the intricate flavours of mouth-watering and sophisticated dishes crafted from the freshest seasonal products, and the chef gives a very personal interpretation of traditional family recipes from many of Italy’s regions. Here tourists and travelers alike can eat and enjoy the Italian flavours.


A French luxury bakery established in 1862. Laduree is known for its double decker macarons, of which fifteen thousand of them are sold everyday. You can also head down to the cafe and enjoy some snacks and afternoon high tea! Its light blue painted walls and classic design will take you back to that era, including all their cutlery and plates!

In addition to eating macarons and other lovely treats, you may also want to experience macaron making and learn about other French pastries with local home chefs, and take the Paris experience home with you.

Know of any other cafes in Paris that are unique and have great food? Leave a comment below! 🙂

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