Paris is for Friends and Lovers
Updated: Jan 21, 2020
Bonjour mes amies! Below I have compiled a guide of my favorite things about Paris, based on many years traveling here. Paris is divided into neighborhoods (or ème), and is labeled in a concentric pattern with lower neighborhoods spiraling out to the higher neighborhoods. La Seine river splits the city into two segments. This post will focus on the areas in la rive droite (the right bank) because I never make it to la rive gauche except to go to my favorite flea market in Paris. Read about it here!
2ème - Etienne Marcel and market Montorgueil
Rue Montorgueil and its peripheral streets (Rue Etienne Marcel, Rue Tiqutonne, Rue Turbigo) is my favorite area to shop in the city. Anchored by the amazingly great Kiliwatch, a concept store that sells curated vintage clothing and accessories at reasonable prices as well as a niche book selection and trendy new clothes, this stretch of blocks has the best vintage shops in town. There are also a disproportionate amount of shoe stores in addition to the usual suspects in the high street chain fashion world; H &M, Levi's, Diesel and Miss Sixty. Don't forget to stroll down the famous market street and sample delicious cheeses and other artisan fare.
3ème and 4ème - Upper/Lower Marais, and Beauborg
Le Marais is my favorite part of town to stroll around. Being one of the older parts of the city, the architecture is stunning and unlike the typical Baron Haussmann-esque aesthetic which dominates the rest of the city. Le Marais is also home to the most avant-garde boutiques in Paris, and a nice selection of vintage stores, my favorite being Kiloshop. My preferred modus operandi is to do figure 8's on the streets around rue Vieille du Temple and rue Des Archives, to discover all the independent shop owners and practice my french, but only for a second, because they will invariably detect mon accent americain, and then proceed to show off of their impeccable English to me. Rue Roi de Sicile has eclectic shops catering to all your goth-y bondage needs, the entire quarter itself is known for being gay friendly. La belle Hortense is a wonderful romantic spot for an aperitif before eating at any number of the great restaurants lining Rue La Vieille du Temple. Candelaria is a great place for Mexican food should you need a respite from all the french cuisine. In the Jewish quarter, L’As Du Falafel has some of the best street food you have in this side of town, the queue snaking around the corner is well worth it. And Centre Pompidou, the contemporary museum with an eye catching exterior, is a good place to while away the day people watching and eating glacé.
8ème - La Tour Eiffel
Need I say more.
9ème - Pigalle
Once a seedy part of town notorious for its red light district, SoPI is Paris’ new hipster playground, replete with its own acronym! This neighborhood used to be ostracized in every travel guide written about Paris, what are now hipster bars and clubs used to be tacky sex shops and red light windows. Le Sans Souci, a long standing mainstay on the strip, turns into a club playing Indie rock at night. Other standout restaurants are: Artisan, a classy but hip cocktail bar and small bites place, and FLESH, an American South styled BBQ joint with the best name, considering the history of Pigalle. Lastly, rue de Martyrs is a street renowned for having some amazing boulangeries and patisseries in all of Paris.
10ème - Canal St Martin
Stroll amongst the fashionable jeune parisians and hip families at this bustling yet surprisingly tranquil part of the city. Sit at the edge of the canal and eat a pain au jambon whilst basking in the sun. Sometimes there are stand up kayak races on the water, and there's a lovely bridge perfect for scenic photo ops.
Quirky restaurants such as Sesame and Sol Semilla, perfect for brunching, are situated on the canal banks and boho boutiques catering to the yupster moms line the surrounding streets.
11ème - Bastille
Bastille is a young and vibrant kind of hood, with tons of trashy punk stores, and a few quite good jewelry stores. Some great clubs are here, including the famous Bataclan as well as my personal favorite, La Méchanic Ondulatoire which has a cool cavernous stage set up. Le Pop In has a good Garage Punk night during the week. There is a decent selection of vintage shopping here, including Come On Eileen, noted for its eclectic merchandising and unique denim sculpture.
11ème and 20ème - Rue Oberkampf and Belleville/Ménilmontant
Rues Oberkampf and Belleville bound an exciting neighborhood where ethnic flavors meets gritty Parisian chic. Some of my favorite people watching happens in this stretch of town. Rue Oberkampf is the more recognized street, but underrated rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud has some great off the beaten path options as well. Lower Oberkampf is more gentrified, but upper Oberkampf , changing names to rue Ménilmontant heading into the 20th éme, is where the Vietnamese pho canteens mix with Indian fabric shops, and the odd interior design boutique. The bars and cafes I like best are Café Charbon, a hip music club filled with beautiful people, and Le P'tit Garage, Paris’ version of a dive bar. L’éstaminet is a delightfully romantic spot to sample delicious escargot and salmon steaks. Be sure to spend some time trawling the atmospheric crypts of Pere La Chaise cemetery, perfect for a rainy stroll lost in contemplation.
16ème - Palais De Tokyo
Amazing museum and art space with one of the coolest gift shop I have ever been. Has a nice outdoor patio where one can sip wine and eat a casse-croûte. Really the only reason to visit the 16th.
Kiliwatch - 64 rue Tiquetonne, 75002, Paris
Market Montorgueil - rue Montorgueil, 75002, Paris
Candelaria - 52 rue de Saintonge, 75003, Paris
KiloShop - 65 rue de la Verrerie, 75004, Paris
L'As du Falafel - 34 rue des Rosiers, 75004, Paris
La Belle Hortense - 31 rue Vieille du Temple, 75004, Paris
Centre Georges Pompidou, Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004, Paris
La Tour Eiffel - Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007, Paris
Le Sans Souci - 65 rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 75009, Paris
Artisan -14 rue Bochart de Saron, 75009, Paris
FLESH - 25 rue de Douai, 75009, Paris
Sol Semilla - 23 rue des Vinaigriers, 75010, Paris
Le Sesame - 51 Quai de Valmy, 75010, Paris
Bataclan - 50 Boulevard Voltaire, 75011, Paris
La Mécanique Ondulatoire - 8 Passage Thiéré, 75011, Paris
Le Pop In - 105 rue Amelot, 75011, Paris
Come On Eileen - 16/18 rue des Taillandiers,75011, Paris
Le P’tit Garage - 61 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011, Paris
Café Charbon - 109 rue Oberkampf, 75011, Paris
L’éstaminet - 116 rue Oberkampf, 75011, Paris
Palais De Tokyo - 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116, Paris
Pére Lachaise Cemetary - 16 rue du Repos, 75020, Paris