Paris City Guide
where to stay
Le Marais is one of my favorite neighborhood to stay at in Paris. It exudes old-world charm and modern day functionality in the city's core. With countless boutiques, bistros, and galleries to explore, you can never get bored exploring the twists and turns of its cobblestone streets.
One of the most up-and-coming neighborhoods in Paris, though some might argue that it's already up and left, Pigalle boasts an abundance of new clubs, bars, and restaurants that all the pretty young things are flocking towards. With an incredible amount of gourmet shops and nightlife hot spots to choose from, you can't go wrong with staying in this trendy, young neighborhood.
Montmartre is known by locals as the city on the hills. Locals have managed to keep the village ambiance of the artistic neighborhood despite its daily influx of tourists. Tucked along the streets are great bistros for a quick bite or exotic cocktail paired with breathtaking views of Paris.
Getting around Paris is navigable with public transportation. They have one of the biggest underground systems in the world, so getting from one destination to another is simple with Google Maps. If you don't have internet access, stopping quickly into a cafe for wifi to check for the nearest Metro is easy to do. I also recommend BMW motorcycles or a scooter; they're very efficient and you can drive fast.
what to eat
Finding a good cup of coffee is very hard to come by in Paris, but the baristas here are very knowledgeable at this tiny spot near the Marché des Enfants Rouges. The closet-sized space started by barista Chris Nielsen boasts the city's first Kees Van Der Westen's "Spirit," a machine that will make you the most excellent expresso.
One of the city's best Indian restaurants (though of course incomparable to curry shops in London) serves curry on the cheap. Chef Krishna Bhavan serves up local favorites with amazing vegetarian dishes and more for when you get tired of nonstop foie gras and cheese.
This place is just amazing.
where to party
Located underneath a bridge on the bank of the Seine in the heart of Paris, Showcase offers a crossover lineup in one of the biggest venues in Paris, ranging from international DJs to the city's very own hip-hop stars.
This bar is a hidden gem, though popular with the locals and tourists. It offers the best late night tacos, making the cooking a destination in its own right. Behind a compact taqueria through an unmarked door, you'll find some of the best drinks in the city served in a low-light cozy lounge.
what to see
Sitting inside a concession of the Bois de Boulogne, this Frank Gehry-designed building hosts permanent and rotating collections with brilliant views of the city from the top of its terrace. Stay for lunch at the museum's restaurant, Le Frank and soak in all the rare artwork on display around you.
The lack of lines as you take the modern elevators to its rooftop observation deck make this destination worth it every time. Laugh at those who are waiting to go up the Eiffel Tower as you sip Veuve Clicquot at the Ciel de Paris bar with a 360-degree view of the city.
One of the coolest street art galleries you'll ever walk into. You can read more about art42 here.
where to shop
One's visit to Paris is not complete without a whimsical visit to Colette. The store reinvents the concept of retail in the three story establishment, where retail sluts collapse from nervous excitement from coming face to face with the Colette experience. They offer a unique assortment of different high-tech toys, street wear, beauty products, and high fashion pieces. In Colette's basement Water Bar, the discerning water connoisseur offers over 100 different brands of bottled water, including "Bling," a bottle customised with Swarovski crystals.
At merci, a concept store tucked inside a courtyard, the focus is on linen. The three-level space is so vast and eclectic that there's bound to be something new each time. They stock hard-to-find fashion items, shoes, and jewelry so you're bound to walk out happy.