Wednesday, November 8, 2017

One day in Paris

Last week I spent one day in Paris, a semi-spontaneous little trip I had planned together with a friend who lives in London. I hopped on an early Thalys in Antwerp while she took a Eurostar from London. That's the great thing about living in this part of Europe, you're just a short train ride away from some of the greatest cities in the world. Though one day in Paris is way too short, we managed to do and see quite a bit. So for all of you who are planning a little trip to Paris in the coming months, I've got some spots you should visit!
One day in Paris Guide

Thalys - Eurostar

If you're traveling from Amsterdam, Antwerp or Brussels, the best way to get to Paris is by Thalys. Same for London with the Eurostar. Last-minute tickets can be quite expensive, but somehow I managed to get some well-priced first class seats (which was cheaper than second class). For very affordable tickets, I recommend checking Eurostar Snap or Thalys special offers.


One Day in Paris

One I arrived in Gare Du Nord I started walking towards the Louvre, and immediately spotted some nice places, mostly on Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière. I had some time to kill before meeting my friend, which I happily filled by wandering around. 


One Day in Paris

Paris has a seeminly infinite amount of little bars and restaurants, like this cute pizza/cocktail place called Zaza. 

One Day in Paris Zaza

I wrote a little message to my favorite Parisian instagrammer Elie asking where I should go and he gave me plenty of tips. I'm sharing them because he's the real Paris expert and I didn't get to try most of what he suggested:
- Italian: Ober Mamma & Pink Mamma
- Typical French bistro food: Le Petit Celestin, Chez Janou, Vantre, Le Bel Ordinaire
- Coffee: Fragments (Elie's the co-owner of this spot) & Boot Café


One Day in Paris

Jardin Du Palais Royal
What's a visit to Paris without a little walk in this garden? We all know the insta-famous striped columns, but I actually prefer the little chairs by the fountain, so perfectly Parisian. 

One Day in Paris

Cafe Kitsuné
While you're at it, get a coffee at Café Kitsuné. Undoubtedly overpriced, but the coffee is excellent which can't be said for all coffees in Paris. It's a take-away spot, but they have some tables and chairs outside. Perfect for a sunny coffee break. 

One Day in Paris Cafe Kistuné

Dior Exhibition
The main reason why we went to Paris was to see the Dior exhibition at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, which was consequently also our first major stop of the day. The exhibition (in celebration of Dior's 70th birthday) opened in July and runs till January 7th, and it's a full house every single day. Buying tickets in advance is a MUST, unless you love queueing. The exhibition is absolutely incredible, 100% worth making a trip to Paris for. And if you can't make it, here's a little sneak peek... 


One day in Paris Dior Exhibition


One day in Paris Dior Exhibition


One day in Paris Dior Exhibition

One day in Paris Dior Exhibition


One day in Paris Dior Exhibition

One day in Paris Dior Exhibition

One day in Paris Dior Exhibition

Galerie Vivienne
I accidentally discovered this beautiful old gallerie. Time seems to have stopped here. The original architecture is still intact, the delicate mosaics in perfect condition and the elegant boutiques and restaurants still as they were when they opened many years ago. So beautiful! 


One day in Paris Galerie Vivienne


One day in Paris Galerie Vivienne


I actually wanted to see the Library on Rue Vivienne (BNF Site Richelieu), but didn't find the entrance due to construction works. It looks beautiful though, so next time I'll try again. On this street you'll also find Daroco, a beautifully designed restaurant I heard great things about. 


One day in Paris

Pizza Popolare
After spending 1.5 hours inside the Dior exhibition and walking around, we joined the (doable) queue at Popolare, part of the Big Mamma group (Ober Mamma, Pink Mamma..) which opened in August. This one was most conveniently located for us, although this location is probably not the most 'authentic'-feeling one. The food is great, though. I had a truffle pizza with lots of cheese and a good chewy crust. Prices are super reasonable for Paris. Highly recommend.  


One day in Paris Popolare

What I liked most about Popolare were the windows, decorated with thousands of bottles of Aperol, Campari etc. Cool and colorful, but simple to execute. 


One day in Paris Popolare

Colette
Fans of Colette will already know this, but the most iconic concept stores of all time is closing after 20 years. I remember coming here as a kid, a trip to Paris was never complete without a visit to Colette, even if I didn't understand back then how legendary this store was and would become. I saw and tried the very first iPod here, my first experience with Apple products. It's crazy to think that Colette is closing, and I'm happy I got to visit it one last time before it officially closed on December 20th. 

One day in Paris Colette

L'Appartement Sézane
I visited the new Sézane store in New York, but it's a Parisian brand originally. They have three stores in Paris, we visited the one on Rue Saint-Fiacre. It was incredibly crowded so we only stayed for a quick look around and some cheesy pictures in the photo booth. They have really cool clothes, shoes and homeware! 


One day in Paris Sezane


One day in Paris  Sezane

Rue Saint Honoré & La Seine
Paris is a wonderful city for strolling around. Rue Saint Honoré is great for window shopping and people watching, and walking along La Seine will give you come beautiful postcard views of Paris. We didn't have time to cross over to Saint Germain Des Pres, which is one of my favorite areas. 

One day in Paris

Le Marais

Another one of my (and everyone's) favorite areas, for multiple reasons. The shops are great, most of the best little restaurants and bars are here and it's overall just a nice area. Some highlights: Café Charlot, Les Philosophes (according to my friend), L'As Du Falafel, Azzedine Alaïa store, Boot Café, Ob-La-Di, Season... 


One day in Paris Le Marais

One day in Paris Le Marais


One day in Paris Le Marais

Merci
A shop I like to visit in Le Marais is Merci. It's an kind of concept/homeware store with a little café/restaurant attached to it. Always nice to get some inspiration! I like it a lot around Christmas time, when the little Fiat is stuffed with fir trees. Perfect place for Christmas gifts! 


One day in Paris Merci

The Hoxton Paris

Last but not least, we checked out the brand new Hoxton hotel which opened in August. I know these hotels from London and Amsterdam (soon NYC!), there's always a nice vibe because they make it feel like a place where you can come home. There are plenty of little sitting areas where you can take a break and chill, have a drink and connect to good wifi. The restaurant, Rivié, looked nice too! Next time I definitely want to stay here.


One day in Paris Hoxton


One day in Paris Hoxton


One day in Paris Hoxton

So that was our day in Paris! You can do and see plenty of things in one day, as long as you have an early start and plan some of your "main" events, like an exhibition, some shops or restaurants. I love Paris! 

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