As Audrey Hepburn once said; “Paris is always a good idea”, and she was right, Paris is always a good idea. It is not a coincidence that Paris is nicknamed the city of love and the city of lights. The French capital, as well as the Ile de France region, has many hidden corners that are just waiting to be found.

But where does one start their hunt for the romantic hideaway corners and glistening cobblestone streets? We asked bloggers for their secret insider tips to Paris and have uncovered locations around the region of Ile de France that are a must see!

Tips for travelling solo in Paris

Read more from Melinda here – I Love Walking in France

SaintChapelle

My favourite place to while away an hour in Paris is at Sainte-Chapelle, the thirteenth-century church hidden away on Île de la Cité. Standing on the upper floor, with the sun streaming through the walls of stained glass, is like standing inside a kaleidoscope—a truly magical experience!  

ParisianCafe

If I am traveling solo and have only one night in Paris, dinner will always be at l’Ecritoire in Place de la Sorbonne. With its relaxed atmosphere, good food and friendly service, it’s the place I feel most comfortable eating alone and watching the world go by.

ParisStreets

The best way to soak up the charm and beauty of Paris is to walk, anywhere and everywhere—through the cobbled lanes of the Latin Quarter, along the Champs Élysées, around Montmartre and the magnificent church of Sacre Cœur. Wander aimlessly—and let yourself be distracted often!

Tips for family activities

Read more from Sharon here – Where’s Sharon

SharonPic

Credit: Sharon Gourley, www.wheressharon.com

The Eifel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur and its world famous museums. We also loved visiting the low-key attractions like Promenade Plantee and Jardin d’Acclimatation where we were surrounded by locals instead of tourists.

Creperie

We loved visiting Paris’ creperies. These are great value, delicious and there is usually great cider to drink as well. We particularly loved Creperie La Bigoudenne on Rue de Montparnasse which is a street filled with creperies.

ParisBakery

In the warmer months, I recommend foregoing Paris’ restaurants sometimes and instead head to a local boulangerie, deli and wine shop and pick up supplies for a picnic. There are plenty of places to stretch out and have a fun picnic surrounded by locals.

Tips for the urban explorer

Read more from Duncan here –  Urban Travel Blog

ParisCementary

Being Urban Travel Bloggers, Paris is the focus of our collective explorations in Ile de France. You could spend a week or more exploring just the famous sites (Eiffel Tower, Le Louvre, Moulin Rouge etc.), but there are some lesser known attractions that you need to see to feel Paris, such as Pere Lachaise cemetery, the burial place of such luminaries as Chopin, Edith Piaf, La Fontaine and Oscar Wilde. A great place to evoke the city’s historic cultural legacy. For a slice of contemporary Paris head over to Le Marais district, one of the few that wasn’t demolished by Baron Haussman in the middle of the 19th Century. Traditionally a Jewish district, is now full of vintage shops, art galleries and gay bars.

 MamaShelter

For something stylish, laidback and original you can order brunch, lunch or dinner by an abandoned railway at the restaurant of Le Mama Shelter, a hip hotel designed by innovative architect Philippe Starck. For superb seafood, including razor clams, oysters, sea snails and chowder head over to the much-acclaimed Clamato in the 11th arrondissement. Or for something authentic and affordable, the rustic style L’Ecurie serves up a mean steak and fries in what was once a humble stable.

ParisCatacombs

A trip down into the Paris catacombs makes for a macabre (yet oddly fascinating) couple of hours. Bones and skulls are stacked in a terrifying array , to form a house of the dead that would make a chilling addition to the world of Game of Thrones, even. For something more cheerful hire a bike and head out onto the Bois de Boulogne, a vast green space that is twice the size of New York’s Central Park. Here you’ll find lakes, woodland, gardens, and chateaux. Finally, shopaholics will enjoy browsing in the trendy boutiques along the Rue de Charonne.

Tips for the sports lovers

Read more from Ales here – Photo and Traveling 

Louvre

One of the most important places for me is definitely The Museum of Louvre. I mean the place outside. Doesn’t matter what weather is during your visit. You can spend a lovely time in the gardens anytime. Just walking around the majestic building of the museum and thinking about what everything is inside, behind the walls. Or maybe thinking about who was in the building 100 or 200 years ago. Of course, you can go to check if everything is ok with the Mona Lisa but I don’t like “million people on one square meter”.

carousel

Anytime when I can imagine Paris or France in my mind, it is directly connected with baguette and croissant. I know, this is available almost everywhere. But in Paris there is for me one special place, where I bought something unique. The place is very close to Sacre Coeur. On the bottom of the stairs very close to the old carousel is a kind of bistro and here is the magic. Super delicious, tasty and fresh pancakes. I don’t remember in whole my life better pancakes like here. Sweet, salty, with fruit, chocolate, cheese … and many more kinds. Everybody should go there and try it out 🙂

 

PSG_Stadium

Paris is a big city, meaning a lot of activities. Some might prefer the “classic tour” and others might like something different. I belong to the second group. I like walking in the old town. Feeling of getting ‘lost’ in this beautiful part of the city was amazing for me. But if I should choose another activity, my favorite is football. I like sport and the atmosphere during matches. Energy from thousands of people which have similar thoughts is like from another planet. This feeling you need to try, because speaking about something that you didn’t try is like food in showroom. You can think about it but the taste is much stronger when you personally know how it feels. Go watch a Paris Saint-Germain game in Parc des Princes.

 

Tips on the region, Ile de France

Read more from Yanique here –  My Parisian Life

Fontainebleau

For the most part, Paris is a place you come to stay, indulge and get your monies worth of exquisite cheese, wine, and baguette! But many people often find that after a long journey, you also want to get a few cultural places in while over this side of the water.

My top three must see places in the Ile de France region are: Château de Versailles – Not only is it a testament to French culture, but also to architecture, art, and pure human endeavour. Monet’s Gardens Giverny -Famed for his experimental use of colour and atmospheric paintings, this iconoclast of 19th century art owned a beautiful garden in Giverny, about 75kms from Paris. This garden is certainly worth the trip and is not the reserve for art lovers, the gardens are well tended to and its relatively close proximity to Paris means it is the perfect summer day trip. Château de Fontainebleau – Once the residence of Francis I and the site of Napoleon’s abdication, Fontainebleau is also brimming with history. The surrounding gardens and forest are a welcome break from the density of Paris.

SunkenchipWander around on Rue des Vinagriers and Rue Lucien Sampaix if you’re close to Canal St. Matin, one of my fave side streets. You’ll find Sunken Chip if you’re homesick for some fish and chips, L’Agence a cosy bar with tapas at really decent price, super mixed aged ambiance with locals, CRAFT Coffee for some coworking, and Saam the bomb Korean restaurant, Nordkraft with some cool house wear and clothing are all here.
centquatreParis

For some cultural exploring visit Centquatre / 104 Paris – Stop off the metro at Riquet (line 7) and walk over to this wonder that used to be an old house stable turned multiusage art space. There is an ongoing Photo exhibition – some of it is free. There is also 2 restaurants there, a thrift shop with clothing and furniture, a bookstore, and a pizza truck outside. Try not to miss Seydou Keita at the Grand Palais. It is much-anticipated here in Paris and is running until July 11 2016, entry is 10 Euros.

 

 

 

Catriona Megahey

Catriona Megahey

Catriona (known correctly as Ka-tri-na or mistakenly as Ka-tre-o-na, but has given up trying and adheres to both) grew up in Hannover, Germany to Northern Irish parents. Spends her time trying to be active either cycling, playing football, GAA or drums.
Catriona Megahey