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Printemps à Paris

My Favorite Sights, Eats, Shops and Tips in the City of Love

Article by Rosie Chester

Photography by Rosie Chester

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

Back in January in the midst of a very snowy winter in Boulder, I found myself bitten by the travel bug and spontaneously booked a trip to Paris alongside one of my best friends. Fresh out of the hair salon with a bob, I hopped on a flight out of DIA only stopping once in Reykjavik via Icelandair. (They even give you a complimentary checked bag!) We checked into our Airbnb in the 3rd arrondissement (they’re scattered throughout the city at differing price points) and got right to exploring.

What we ate and drank:

Boulangerie: 

- Mamiche (their chocolate babka and ham and cheese toastie are a must)

- Tapisserie (stop here for a pomme galette or strawberry sumac tart prior to your Eiffel Tower sojourn only minutes away)

- Le Pain Retrouvé

- The French Bastards

- Du Pain et des Idées

- Ten Belles

- Dreamin Man (under-the-radar coffee shop with one of the best matchas IMO)

Déjeuner: 

- Pontochoux (a hole in the wall for flavorful Japanese curry that was supposed to change my life, it did!)

- Chez Alain Miam Miam (dare I say…the best sandwich I’ve ever had? I went back three times.)

- Song Heng (go post-Pompidou for a cozy bowl of pho.)

- Le Mary Celeste (locally-driven lunch spot serving oysters to interrupt a day of shopping in the 3rd arr.)

- Les enfants du marché (open air market-style eatery located in the Marais)

Dîner: 

- Des Terres (where a four-hour meal is encouraged)

- Early June 

- Clamato (order the sardine nduja toast paired with a glass of orange wine)

- Bouche Paris (suited for a romantic candlelit meal) 

- Les Bon Georges (classic French bistro)

Vin:

- Fréquences (cool cocktail joint with a vast vinyl collection to match)

- Folderol (natural wine and homemade ice creams made this one of my favorites)

- Septime La Cave (tiny bottle shop/bar with delicious small plates)

Where we shopped: 

- Merci (lifestyle shop curated to perfection)  

- Le Bon Marché 

- OFR Bookshop (a literary gem that’s been around since 1996 with a collection of books, zines, records, & branded gear)

- Thanx God I’m a V.I.P (three storefronts of vintage fashion)

- Centre Commercial 

- Buly 1803 

- Benneton Graveur (old-school stationery retailer selling customizable prints and signet rings)

- Alex D. Reynis (jewelry and ceramics)

- Librarie Elbé (vintage posters)

- French pharmacies (stock up on skincare you won’t be able to find back in the States)

What we saw: 

- Musée L’Orangerie

- Musée Picasso 

- Musée D’Orsay/Rodin 

- Sainte-Chapelle (visit on a sunny day to see the most spectacular stained glass windows)

- Centre Pompidou 

- Montmartre (there is an old-school photo booth steps away from Sacré-Cœur called Foto Automat)

- Parc des Buttes Chaumont (gather fare for a relaxing picnic day from one of the supermarkets around the area)

- Canal Saint-Martin (neighborhood parallel to the river offering a plethora of shops and restaurants)

Ro’s in-the-know tips: 

- Buy an adapter for the electrical sockets abroad beforehand.

- Pack an extra duffel bag for trip purchases. 

- Bring a small water bottle to the airport that you can refill during travel.

- As a chronic over-packer, I found it helpful to plan my outfits for each day on the notes app on my phone. Make sure to bring a light jacket and mini umbrella.

- Purchase a pack of 10-20+ metro tickets once you get into town (Google Maps is your friend for planning day trips.)

- Book museum tickets/tours in advance. Most museums offer night showings for a reduced rate with fewer crowds.

- Asking the industry workers how their day is going goes a long way. You just might get a free glass of wine or hidden gem recommendation out of it.

- Collect matchbooks and business/restaurant cards.

- Download the Get Your Guide app to sign up for city tours, Seine boat rides, croissant-making classes, etc. 

Bon voyage!

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