16 Places For A Quintessential Paris Experience

Rue de Grenelle, Paris, France
The famous Golden Triangle of Paris is on the Right Bank, just off the Champs Elysées, but the lesser known, much more important golden triangle of shoes is on the Left Bank, beginning as the corner of the rue d’Assas and the rue du Cherche Midi. The first few shoes stores are local designers, or multi-brand boutiques as you walk towards the Carrefour de la Croix Rouge. You’ll find shoes of every style, for every budget. As you get to the top of the street Robert Clergerie has a boutique, then there is a Camper store. At the larger Centure statue, turn left to the rue de Grenelle towards the boul de Raspail and you’ll be passing all the greats; Michel Perry, Marc Jacobs, Giuseppi Zanotti, Sergio Rossi, Prada, YSL, and even Christian Louboutin. If that is not enough and you’re still feeling like Cinderella after the ball, cross the boul Raspail and go to the shoe department at Le Bon Marché Department store for an over view of the world’s most luxurious shoe selection.
Rue Denoyez, 75020 Paris, France
The rue Denoyez in the 20th arrondisement, just a block from the Belleville metro station is a haven for street art. Photo : Sylvia Sabes The city supports street art here, so the walls are full of graffiti and store fronts serve as graffiti artists’ studios cum art galleries. This small street is lined with pique assiette planters and it is not uncommon to pass an artist atop his ladder, hard at work. Visit on a Tuesday or Friday morning so that you can also explore the culturally vibrant Belleville Street Market on your way back to the metro.
10 Place de l'Opéra, 75009 Paris, France
The Palais Garnier, the national opera house of Paris, is a magnificent building dripping in ornate details and glittering with gold. The five-ton chandelier, made famous in The Phantom of the Opera, still takes center stage in the auditorium. It is surrounded by a swirling, colorful ceiling painting by Marc Chagall. The decoration goes beyond the auditorium: The grand foyer rivals the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, and the grand staircase is an entryway fit for royalty. You don’t need to buy a ticket to the opera to see the space: Tours are given daily in a variety of languages.
24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris, France
True to its 180-year-old business model, Hermès still makes its leather bags by hand in France, each one crafted from start to finish by a single artisan—the Birkin starts at $12,000 and can run upwards of $200,000. Of its three Paris stores, this flagship is the biggest and busiest, its wares ranging from furniture to perfumes; helpful salespeople serve coffee to customers waiting in line for leather.
1 Rue du Pont Neuf, 75001 Paris, France
Kong restaurant is one of the stylish and trendies places in Paris. Its glass rooftop on the second floor allow the diners to overlook Paris’ lights at night. Very hip and trendy location, which makes the night in Paris very magical. Some of you might recognize the place from one of ‘Sex and the City’ final episodes. Make sure to make reservations for your special night.
7 Rue de Castiglione, 75001 Paris, France
One of the most talked about hotels in Paris, Hotel Costes is located in one of the most fashionable streets, Rue Saint Honore. The hotel is best known for its fine bar and courtyard cafe and for its sexy atmosphere and crowd. If you don’t book a room there, make sure to come at least for a drink.
173 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France
Astier de Villatte is well known for its light weight white porcelain plates and dishes, all shown in a big wooden closet at the entrance hall of the store, alongside home perfumes, candles and other colored decorative dishes. It serves as a pilgrimage for porcelain dish lovers. The store itself is simple in its decoration, but the cracking wooden floor gives a sense of an old haunted vintage place. One of my favorite streets in Paris is the fashion-chici rue Saint-Honoré. There is a great combination of high-end fashion stores, well dressed and good looking people, well designed cafes and bistros and other unique concept stores, such as Astier de Villatte. It’s easiest to get here by metro—get off Madeleine station (line.8) and walk toward rue Saint-Honoré.
21 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, France
The French are well known for their delicate baguettes, the ricH butter croissants, and sweet and colorful macaroons. Macaroons or in French ‘le macaron,’ are small round meringue like cookies, made of sugar and eggs, stuffed with light cream or crushed almond cream. There are endless bakeries in Paris, and so many patisseries that sell and serve macaroons but my favorite one was Ladurée, which became a prestigious brand name for macaroons. My most visited Ladurée was the one on 21 Rue Boneparte, a cute cornered patisserie with a colorful magical and tempting gift shop next door.
4 Rue de Castiglione, 75001 Paris, France
As much as Paris is packed with perfumes stores, there is always room for one more; Jovoy Paris opened in Paris at the end of March and focuses on rare, exclusive and limited edition perfumes. Aside from the wide selection, which is both original and quality-minded, I love the way Jovoy features its perfumes. Jovoy uses glass domes to cover the little brown tester bottles, in order to capture the perfume’s true scent. It is actually allowing the customers to get a better idea of the fragrance’s real scent without the inconveniences of the alcohol. But beside the little domes, I love the colorful perfumes bottles and heavenly scents. I also love the way the new space is designed; the red walls, the warm colored shelves in the middle of the store, where costumers could pass both sides and the vintage touch of some of the displayed tables, gave Jovoy a very Parisian chic feel, yet conceptual high-class store. Among the rare perfumes that can be found are: Amouage, Andy Tauer, Heeley, Humiecki and Graef, Masaki Matsushhima, Undergreen, Puro, Xerjoff, and so many others I’ve never heard off. Next time you are in Paris, include Jovoy store in your schedule: definitely a great way to experience Paris.
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