Knowing Paris like the back of my hand, I can easily show you the secret places within easy reach of the centre. Paris has a lot of surprises and curiosities in store for you if you’re willing to give it a shot. However, I can also accompany you to areas outside of Paris boundaries that are worth visiting but they normally require more time because of travel, planning skills and local knowledge in order to make the journey a successful one.
Be bold, check out the real Paris!
Catch a glimpse of life as a local by sampling the eclectic range of Parisian food markets. Markets in Paris date back as far as the 5th century. From famous to hidden, bourgeois to working class, local organic to North African, traditional to fashionable, the choice for markets is overwhelming. Each market has its own personality. The atmosphere, the liveliness, the smells will differ from one market to another and there are always bonus discoveries that are specific around each market.
This neighborhood has it all! History, lots of charm and fantastic walls if you’re fond of street art and graffiti hunting! Truly a great spot for a photo safari!
La Butte-aux-cailles (quail hill) is to the South what Montmartre is to the North ; a village on a hillock, a few old cobbled stone streets and scattered windmills. Thankfully it was spared by Haussman’s construction plans for Paris. It has that traditional village feeling and it’s a peaceful haven nestled close to the Centre of Paris.
Clignancourt Antiques Flea Market
You’ll find absolutely everything here! This is the most ancient and largest flea market in Europe. It’s over 100 years old. Bargain-hunters can choose between bric-a-bracs or chic antiques, traditional jewelry and furniture. Great vibe here and the authenticity of the area and its people. It’s also wonderful learning ground for visitors and a genuine snapshot at French art de vivre!
Visit the authentic yet scruffier side of Paris, the working class neighborhoods have become the creative and arty districts. A lot of artist workshops emerged transforming a once poorer area into an up and coming and trendy neighborhood. The successive waves of immigrants have enriched the colorful aspect of this community all over the East side of Paris.
On the edge of the Canal Saint-Martin, l’Hotel du Nord is famous for immortalizing a film scene with French actress Arletty.
Belleville isn’t quite your typical Parisian experience, yet it is buoyant and lively and certainly worth a detour. Last but not least Père Lachaise is the biggest and most visited cemetery in the world with over 2 million visitors each year. It hosts a number of celebrities such as Jim Morrison, Chopin and Oscar Wilde…
Chateau de Versailles & Gardens
It’s without a doubt one of the most sumptuous royal palaces ever built. It’s gardens are probably the most remarkable in the world. This year is the 400th anniversary of Louis XIV’s gardener in chief “André Le Notre”.
Well over 350 years and nearly 200 000 square feet of history today. Under Louis XIII it was just a small hunting lodge back in 1624. It expanded rapidly over the years. Louis XIV, relocated the seat of power and drew the court to Versailles and became the sun king.
Giverny in Normandy! A break from the hussle & bussle and a delightful trip away from Paris ! This is the home of Claude Monet, the impresionist artist. Visit the pink house with green shutters and wisteria, cross the famous bridge over the Japanese lily pond, meander through the magnificent gardens which inspired so many fine paintings. You will not be disappointed.
Floral intensity at its peak in spring ; nympheas at their best during summertime. Open from April 1st to November 1st.