Continually hailed as the best ice cream in Paris, you can recognise the Berthillon ice-cream parlour and tearoom from the queues of people outside, except (somewhat strangely) in summer when the shop is closed! The flavours change throughout the seasons, but if it’s available don’t miss the strawberry sorbet, or the bitter chocolate sorbet made without and dairy products. In winter Berthillon offers delicious hot chocolate, made from melted chocolate and cream, and – perhaps even naughtier – a chocolate ‘affogato’ (a ball of vanilla ice-cream, served in a white porcelain mug with hot chocolate poured on top and topped with praline cream). Don't be put off by the queues - they're rarely for the tearoom itself.
Covering seven hectares, 3,000 traders and up to 180,000 visitors each weekend, the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen is generally thought to be the biggest flea market in the world. If this conjures up images of a sprawling field filled with broken bed frames, faded curtains and sofas with the stuffing coming out, you're in for a surprise (and are better off going to the Montreuil version). The fleas left long ago, and since 1885 what started as a rag-and-bone shantytown outside the city limits has been organised into a series of enclosed villages, some entirely covered and others with open-air streets and covered boutiques for the antiques dealers. South of this sprawls the canvas-covered part where joss sticks, fake Converse trainers and cheap batteries are perused by crowds of teenagers - best avoided unless you're after that kind of thing.In recent years rents have shot up. The result is that much of the Puces is more like a museum than a flea market, and restaurants are swiftly replacing antiques dealers who can no longer make ends meet. But once you get under its skin, the Puces still offers an intoxicating blend of the sublime and the ridiculous. Repeat visits pay off and the more you banter with the sellers (preferably in French) the more bargains will reveal themselves, especially in the couple of streets that still sell unrestored objects.The main street is rue des Rosiers, and off this runs Marché Malassis (toys, vintage cameras and furniture), Marché Dauphine (furnitur
One of the greatest myths about dining out in Paris is that you have to spend a lot to eat well. Even classic French cuisine is built on brilliant basics: seasonal ingredients, good-quality produce and the same menus served day in, day out. If you know where to look, it’s still totally possible to find big brasserie lunches for around €15, and a life-affirmingly good jambon-beurre for little more than €5. (Let’s be honest, is there anything more appealing than a fresh baguette slathered with salty butter – even if you later find crumbs in unexpected places?) Some of our latest faves show how the city’s culinary scene is changing, both in wine bars that are swapping rillettes or planches for pizzette and in a growing range of true-to-the-source restaurants and delis serving everything from Israeli to Sichuan cuisine untempered for European palates. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Paris
This historical market takes its name from the 16th-century orphanage that used to occupy the site; the red of the children’s clothes indicated that they had been donated by Christian charities. Although the orphanage closed before the revolution, the imposing wooden edifice remained, and was reopened as a deluxe food market in 2000 after extensive campaigning from locals. Now something of a touristic hotspot, the market is equipped to fill the emptiest of stomachs (while emptying the fullest of wallets) with its impressive range of Italian, Lebanese, African, Japanese and other stalls. If a snappy takeaway meal doesn’t satisfy you, there are plenty of artisanal and organic food stalls to fill a few hours of shopping time. One of the more atmospheric of Paris’s food markets.
There are plenty of handsomely ordered opportunities to indulge in a bit of park life in Paris, from the pathways of the Jardin des Tuileries to the ponds of the Jardin du Luxembourg. But if you're looking for something a little less formal, one patch of greenery definitely worth a stroll is the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Set high up in Belleville and often missed by weekenders keen not to stray too far from the tourist loop, this 19th arrondissement gem is one of the city's most magical spots.When the city's boundaries were expanded in 1860, Belleville - once a village that provided Paris with fruit, wine and weekend escapes - was absorbed and the Buttes-Chaumont was created on the site of a former gypsum and limestone quarry. The park, with its meandering paths, waterfalls, temples and vertical cliffs, was designed by Adolphe Alphand for Haussmann, and was opened as part of the celebrations for the Universal Exhibition in 1867.After lounging with the locals for a few hours, head for the park's hugely hip hangout, the wonderfully jolly Rosa Bonheur or Pavillon Puebla. Open till midnight, it makes the perfect place to sip an apéro and take in the stunning views of the city below.
You might as well admit defeat. It is nigh on impossible to see every sight, smell every smell and taste every taste in the glorious City of Light, and thinking you can is a one-way ticket to disappointment. That is unless you have multiple lifetimes, of course, in which case lucky you! Still, instead of lamenting the inevitable incompleteness of visiting Paris, we should celebrate the fact that a city like this most famous one can exist at all. After all, if impossible is going to be proven wrong anywhere, Paris will be that place. Paris is a city in constant flux, an ever-changing monolith of a town that simultaneously sets standards and defies them. In short, Paris is pretty darn awesome. Unsurprisingly, Paris is one of the most visited cities on the planet, with more than 30 million people making their way to La Ville Lumière annually. What are all those people going to see? In our pick of the very best things to do in Paris, we’ll cover almost all of them, from the historic basics to the throbbing underside of a city known as the cultural epicentre of Europe. That way, you’ll be able to prioritise the sights and sounds of Paris into multiple lists of your own, for your first trip, second trip, third trip and so on. Nobody visits Paris just once, after all. Paris is synonymous with history, culture, food, drink, art and just about everything else. It is the Elvis Presley of cities, a city even the aliens in far off galaxies are making plans to visit at some point. You mig
Paris: the food, the fashion, the fromage, the fantasy. No matter how many times we visit the French capital, its charms never ever grow old. And we’re not alone in thinking that. Paris is a major tourist destination that attracts thousands upon thousands of enthusiastic travellers with heads filled with images of Breton jumpers, tiny dogs and posh chocolates. But how do you enjoy this gorgeous city without just succumbing to the age-old clichés? We’ve compiled a list of the 50 best attractions in Paris, from the big name ‘must-visits’ to something a little bit more bespoke and authentically Parisian. So whether you’re looking for lesser-known museums, late night live music or the best places for shopping, we’ve got ideas a-plenty - and they’re all as tasty as a Ladurée macaron. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Paris This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
Paris may be beautiful, but boy is it built-up. And come summer… sweat-soakingly muggy. That means the stately inner-city parks fill up in no time, the piscines pack out, and even finding a canal-side patch of concrete can be a struggle. So thank goodness for the brilliant, tranquil, relaxing day trip. From Paris, you can get pretty much anywhere in northern France within a couple of hours, and there are plenty of excellent escapes to be had closer to home, too. From Parisian suburbs, to the Normandy coast. It's all surprisingly close and easy to get to. Hop on the metro or the train, and you're away. Take a spare bag for any goodies you encounter. Ready to get up and go? Whether you fancy roaming the the grand parkland and museums of Boulogne Billancourt, exploring the thriving arts scene of Vitry-sur-Seine, treading Monet’s picture-postcard Giverny turf, or hopping on the RER to an imposing Loire Valley château, our selection of the absolute best day trips from Paris should cater to day-trippers of all stripes. So... bon voyage! RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Paris
We’re calling it: this is the best city for shopping in all of Europe. Away from the soulless glitz of international consumerism that’s slowly etching away at the Champs-Élysées, there are hundreds of one-of-a-kind boutiques totally worth checking out. You could spend weeks exploring them all (trust us, we have) and still come across undiscovered designers and covetable labels. Forget Breton tees and Chanel bags – what’s à la mode these days is statement glasses and monochrome unisex staples. Sustainability also climbs ever higher on many brands’ agendas. And while the ‘buy less, buy quality’ mantra has always held sway here, you’re now just as likely to find beautiful vegan accessories as leather and luxe fabrics. Of course, there are the traditional shops that’ll define your time in Paris, whatever side of town you’re on. Traiteurs where saucissons dangle from the ceiling. Tiny wine bar-shops where bottles are hand-delivered by the vignerons themselves. And bookshops that remain at the heart of the city’s Anglophone communities, much as they were during the années folles.
Paris is home to the world's most recognisable smile (well, smirk), but there's much more to the City of Light's museum offering than Mona Lisa's grin. You have to explore the Louvre's sprawling collection at least once, but that shouldn't mean missing out on the city’s excellent collection of museums, attractions and things to do too. Whether it’s contemporary art, fashion, architecture or temples to Monet and Picasso, there’s a museum for visual art in all its forms here. So grab your camera – and a sketchpad should you feel inspired – and head down to one of the very best museums in Paris according to us. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Paris This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.