There’s no doubt that we all love the legends of Paris from the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe, the historic museums and incredible art collections.
But some of us like to discover the parts of Paris that are not so obvious. The secret Paris that the locals know and love.
The perfect Paris café
The small but ever so popular and sweet cafe of Zia is perfectly located between the Musée de l’Armée and the Eiffel Tower. No tourists, just locals. The make the most amazing gourmet picnics. You can pre-order them, collect and then enjoy your perfect Paris picnic anywhere in Paris. Indulge in your picnic, sip wine and gaze up the Eiffel Tower at Champ de Mars which is only a three-minute walk from Zia.
Cherry blossom heaven
The cherry blossom blooms around mid April in Paris and if you love these beautiful delicate flowers then look out for the rows of trees at Place Marcel Aymé. It’s just off Rue Norvins in Montmartre, where you’ll find a statue of Dutilleul AKA the Walker through the walls. Book lovers will enjoy the cherry blossom tree in front of Shakespeare & Co. book shop near the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Parc Monceau, and Jardins des Plantes are also lovely. And if you’re a wisteria fan, head to Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole restaurant in rue Channoinesse, a stone’s throw from Notre Dame to enjoy the spring blooms that drape across the front. The wisteria here was planted in 1946 and has its own special license to to grow large!
Ladurée without the crowds
The interior of the Champs-Elysées flagship store of Laduréean at times be really busy with long queues to purchase a box of their famous macarons. For a lovely and quieter option, where you can sit shoulder to shoulder with the residents that call the elegant 6th arrondissement home, head to the Ladurée Bonaparte store at 21 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris. It too has a beautiful, luxurious salon.
Authentic books and art
The ArtCurial auction house on the Champs-Elysées is a Paris secret. The best thing is that the items on display are always changing as the house displays what is listed in the upcoming auction. It’s an elegant and beautiful building. And, it has the most amazing niche bookstore on art and design (French only) and – no crowds. It’s just off the main avenue.
The best place for souvenirs in Paris
For souvenir shopping with a difference head to Galeries Lafayette. On the top floor the range of souvenirs is vast, are of good quality and include food stuffs, clothing, homewares, beauty items, stationery, books and more. Enjoy a panoramic view of Paris from the rooftop with lots of photo opportunities.
Lounge on a famous green chair in the Jardin du Luxembourg and admire the flower displays. Watch the kids sail a wooden boat on the Grand Bassin pond as has been done for almost 100 years. Take in a game of boules, see the beehives and and admire the Medici fountain built for Marie de Medici, wife of King Henri IV of France around 1630.