Contributor Gloria went to Paris to go shopping at Le Bon Marché, to have a late night snack at Candelaria and to stay at the Hôtel Grand Amour. See all of her favorite spots
Audrey Hepburn knew: “Paris is always a good idea!”
Whether for Fashion Week, Valentine’s Day, or any other ordinary day of the year, Paris is always worth a visit. Picked from the massive number of bistros, museums, and parks the city has to offer, here are my absolute favorite places in the French capital:
Hotel: Grand Amour
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If you already know and like the Hôtel Amour in Pigalle, you’ll love the Hôtel Grand Amour near Gare de l’Est. The 10thArrondissement is the city’s sought-after district du jour. Young people bustle down the streets on their way to the area’s many bars, cafes, and shops – it’s a great base to dive into Paris city life from. Pink walls, nudes, and a carpet with phallic symbols are the signature of graffiti artist André, who was also responsible for the interior here and created an eclectic mix of refined ambience and erotic innuendo.
You’ll find an absolute gourmet tip directly next to the old Cirque d’Hiver: Le Clown Bar, featuring wall paneling from La Belle Époque and where circus folk used to come by after their shows, is now a popular neo-bistro. The Japanese head chef, Sota Atsumi, reinterprets classic French dishes and has succeeded in delighting the Parisian food scene with his particular sense of sophistication.
From outside, the imposing neoclassical building is already a real eye-catcher. Once you enter, you’ll find the largest center for contemporary art in Europe, a small café with a view of the Eiffel Tower, and an elegant restaurant. Alongside established French artists, this is where the crème de la crème of international contemporary art is exhibited. And long after other museums have closed their doors, you can pop in here until midnight.
As soon as the temperatures start to get a little warmer, this wonderful park north of Belleville becomes one of the most popular places for an open-air picnic. You can take in a spectacular view over the picturesque grey-blue rooftops of the city from these hills. A bottle of wine, a baguette, and a couple of French specialties is all you need to be happy here.
Parc de Buttes-Chaumont 1 Rue Botzaris 75019 Paris
Shopping: Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche
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There’s hardly a shopping tour in Paris so steeped in history as a trip to Le Bon Marché. This enchanting department store on the Rive Gauche was actually the first of its kind in the world. But whoever thinks that means it’s all about the frump here would be completely wrong. Only the most sought-after designer collections, jewelry designers, and beauty products are on sale. And on top of that, Le Bon Marché collaborates every year with world-renowned artists to redesign the interior.
This teeny taco bar is another of the city’s hotspots and the ideal place when you need a little change from the omnipresent French cuisine. Here you’ll find exactly one bar and one table, and everyone rejoices when they manage to snatch one of the seats. Frozen margaritas are permanently rotating in two slushy machines and handed over the bar in a salt-rimmed glass in no time. The atmosphere is great and the food is delicious – the perfect place for a little snack when out bar-hopping.
Gloria Brachmann lives in Berlin and travels the world as a flight attendant. Before she turned her profession into her passion and started the blog "Come fly with me", she worked as a Contributor for L'Officiel Homme and as freelance Styling-Assistant.