The City of Light is one of the world’s most romantic travel destinations and has it all. Yearning for some seriously beautiful cityscapes and iconic monuments? Consider it done. Hungry for one of the globe’s most famous cuisines? It’s literally on a plate. Eager for a dose of super high culture? It’s all yours for the taking. Yet in all that, are you tired of the old Parisian travel clichés, and keen to discover a different side to the Paris everyone else knows and loves? Well, you’ve come to the right place. So you’ve taken your pick of the abundance of Paris holiday apartments. As one of the world’s most visited locations, there’s no shortage of holiday rentals here, so finding a base in one of the city’s glorious and varied arrondissements won’t prove problematic. All you have to do is focus on the city break to trump all city breaks. Allow us to offer up a few suggestions.
Things to do
What could be more French that hurtling through the country’s capital in an old Citroen 2CV? Unless you’re eating a portion of escargot while you’re at it, not much. Check out the kitsch and genius 4rous Sous 1parapluie who provide chauffeured tours of Paris’s must-see areas while you sit back and take it all in.
Visit Montmartre. This heartbreakingly quaint area of Paris made famous by Amelie isn’t just beautiful; it’s bustling with life, steeped in the cabaret-artisan history made famous by the likes of Toulouse Lautrec. And amongst its eateries, cafes and gift shops, there’s a tiny little vineyard where visitors can book a short tour and taste some of its produce.
Eat dinner on the Seine. Book in on a much-recommended riverboat tour one evening and enjoy a three-course meal while absorbing the city’s sites from the romance of the water. This must be what it would have felt like to be Edith Piaf!
Best time to go
Paris is incredible all year round, but it’s no accident that its synonymy with springtime has endured. As the city bursts into new floral life, the swell of its romantic atmosphere couldn’t get any more acute. But while some argue that the summer months is the best time to visit Paris, taking a trip during winter time also has its magical merits: it isn’t called the City of Light for nothing.
Top 3 Hipster districts to visit
Canal St Martin: This is where the young and in the know hang out these days, catching up with friends and enjoying a beer or two in the dwindling sunlight. Check out its focal point, Point Ephémere, for gigs, exhibitions and the kind of underground Parisian culture nobody else has ever managed to find.
Le Marais: Not strictly orthodox hipster, but cool as alley cats nonetheless. Browse the area’s vintage scene, its boutiques and galleries, and sate your inner culture vulture’s thirst with a glass of something delicious outside one of its many brasseries.
Menilmontant: The 20th arrondissement’s buzzing alternative artists scene is as vibrant today as it was in its famous 1930s heyday. If you like café culture and artist spotting, this is your place.
Insider locations to dine and hangout
We’ve all gotta eat, and who doesn’t want a refreshing biere at the end of a long day taking in the best Paris has to offer? Take a look at some of our favourites.
2 Rue Roger Verlomme
+33 1 42 72 28 41
This utterly authentic restaurant in The Marais region boasts Frencher than French cuisine and will have you feeling like a native boho in no time.
78 Rue d’Auteuil
+33 1 40 71 11 90
Munch down on some of Paris’s finest Italian food at this restaurant that was until recently an abandoned railway station.
Le Petit Vendome
8 Rue des Capucines
+33 1 42 61 05 88
Ideal (and very popular) for a light lunch, grab a delicious filled baguette and go. Just be prepared to join a long queue!
13 Quai Francois Mauriac
+33 1 53 60 17 00
It’s worth going the distance to reach this boat conversion into a bar and club for a great night out.
Le Sans Souci
65 Rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle
+33 1 48 74 37 28
This popular bar in the Pigalle area attracts throngs of locals in pursuit of refreshment; a great way to experience the real crust of Paris nightlife.
Experimental Cocktail Club
37 Rue Saint-Sauveur
+33 1 45 08 88 09
If cocktails are your poison, you’ll love this trendy bar where mixologists whip a storm of unusual and delicious drinks.