Favourite parts of Paris
The main and most touristic place in Paris that could not be unmentioned is the Eiffel Tower. It is practically impossible to get a good shot of it during the day, but if you get up at 5 am and come here, you’ll be able to catch a breathtaking sunrise right above the tower and take a tourist-free picture. Trust me, it is well worth it!
We have our own “secret” part of Montmartre that not many people know of. It’s Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet square which is behind the Sacre Coeur Basilica. This place is not crowded, there are no street artists or souvenir vendors. But it holds the hidden history of Montmartre, its unusual past and a secret vineyard. Here, you will want to sit on a bench, stop and not rush anywhere. Also, find cafe Le Refuge, in an alley across there is a stairwell which opens up to an incredible view over the streets and houses of Paris. And if you walk up, you’ll reach a square where cafe Le Consulat is. This is the place where Van Gogh and Renoir dined.
This is the most Parisian, Bohemian and eclectic quarter. I love it for its many shops and showrooms, its cozy courtyards and swirly streets. Rue des Barres, one of the most charming and photogenic places in Paris is at the end of this quarter by the Seine river bank.
-Orsay museum is loved not only for its luxurious collection of the greatest masterpieces, but also for its roof, which in itself is a work of art. It provides a view over the Seine river, Louvre and Tuilerie garden. The building itself is worth visiting. It is a very beautiful train station which was then turned into a museum.
-There is no Paris without the Centre Pompidou. It is not just a modern art museum, but a real “third spot”.
-Edith Piaf museum is a two-room apartment in a residential building on the right bank of the Seine river. These two rooms are filled with memorabilia representing different stages of this great singer’s life: posters, records, portraits, accessories, and even the famous black dress. This museum is free of charge, but advanced registration is required. It is a very intimate place.
More than three hundred impressionists’ and post-impressionists' canvases are kept in a small mansion in the XVI arrondissement of Paris. Marmottan-Monet used to be a hunting lodge at the far side of the Boulogne forest which became a museum in the mid 1930s and a storage of the world’s largest collection of Monet paintings later.
In the very center of the Latin quarter not far from the Pantheon there is Abbey Bookshop. Every breath is filled with history here. Rare and unique books are gathered here. One could spend hours in this bookstore just browsing the shelves.
Rosiers-Joseph Migneret garden
This is a secret garden in the heart of Marais. This is a real escape spot from all noisy streets nearby crowded by tourists.
Saint-Paul village is a bit off route of all the common spots in Marais. Behind the church of St. Paul and St. Louis there is a chain of secret squares that host workshops, galleries, cafes, and antique stores that are open every day.
Le Marché d'Aligre is one of the most charming markets in Paris, and a few blocks away from it a nearly five-kilometer long railroad has been remodelled into a linear park that not many people know of.
The Soubise mansion. The National Archives museum is located in this small palace. There is no need to go in, but definitely take a walk around the palace territory. If you turn right past the festive yard with a colonnade, you will find a secret and secluded place of the local residents. It is a picturesque little garden perfectly placed between the palace buildings of the XVIII century.
Rue Cremieux is a small pedestrian street. There are charming houses on both sides that are painted every colour of the rainbow. This place is evidently non-Parisian, but it is incredibly lively and cheerful. There are no tourists here, and yes, there are local residents reading their newspapers in the sun. The best time to visit here is around noon on a sunny day when the sun hits these brightly coloured houses.
The romance of Paris
Be sure to have a picnic in Paris, with music, baguettes, wine and fruit. Murad and I already have this tradition. The French have picnics any day of the week and any season on a bench, on the river bank, across the Eiffel tower. We especially love the Montebello river bank (Saint Michel-Notre Dame metro). This place offers a special atmosphere in the evenings when the lights turn on and the little boats pass playing French music. And across there is the beautiful Notre-Dame.
Having walked under the Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge, imagine yourself a character from my favourite movie “The Last Tango in Paris” or “Inception”. If you want to come to this bridge following the same route as Ariadne (Ellen Page) and Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) did, then the best way is by Passy metro. You will immediately see the stairs Ariadne walked up on in her dream.
Meet the sunset on a rooftop. Try to make a deal with your hotel staff, and if you are lucky, you will get the best observation deck - an unfrequented roof.
The restaurants of Paris
1. Girafe (1 place du Trocadéro)
If you want to feel the true spirit of France, then come and visit this place. This is a modern Mediterranian cuisine restaurant with a 1930s interior. There is a great terrace with the Eiffel tower view.
2. Ресторан Season (1 rue Dupuis)
This is a cozy small place in the Bohemian part Le Marais. The best breakfasts in Paris are served here. The kitchen here can manage both, chocolate-soaked pancakes and light and healthy gluten-free breakfasts.
3. LouLou (107 Rue de Rivoli)
This is one the most fashionable restaurants in the city. Chief editors of fashion magazines, model, street-style heroes come here to enjoy the French and Italian Riviera dishes. The restaurant is situated in one of the Louvre wings which emphasizes even more how precious this place is. Moreover, the best pasta and parmesan are served here.
4. Caviar Kaspia (17 Place de la Madeleine)
If you live in Paris or if you are staying there long enough to miss Russian cuisine, this is the place for you. Caviar, blintzes, and vodka are offered here in great variety. And in the cellar there is a store that offers other delicacies and silver dinnerware.
5. Hotel Costes (239-241 Rue Saint Honoré)
The best place for dinner. Stop by here after shopping to try some crab salad, spring rolls, or to get a glass of bubbly with a strawberry dessert. Just drop your shopping bags right next to your table.
6. Matsuhisa (37 Avenue Hoche)
This restaurant offers a fancy gastronomic mix of Asian and Latin American cuisine, plus its certain atmosphere of parties and chic. The chef is also the founder of a famous restaurant chain Nobu. Nobu Matsuhisa has once again created an attraction for the gourmets from all over the world. This time it is in Royal Monceau Paris Hotel.
7. L’avenue (41 Avenue Montaigne)
This is one of the most favourite spots among Hollywood stars. No wonder, since this place offers excellent fusion cuisine and terrace with the city view make this place a must-see.