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France 2014

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17 Rue Montorgueil, 75001 Paris, France
So, you think you know Paris? There are hundreds of memorable streets and boulevards in the City of Lights. But, for my money, Rue Montorgueil is the best. It is compact, only three blocks long, with a metro stop at each end. In between, you have...
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47 Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris, France
The Paris café scene has always been compelling, but the actual café (coffee) is often forgettable. That's all changing, thanks to places like Coutume, Kookaboora and Telescope, where obsessive (and often mustachioed) baristas are redefining the...
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43 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 Paris, France
Now you can sample the cuisine of celebrated local chefs by visiting their walk-in wine bars. Braden Perkins eases his elegant culinary style at Verjus’s downstairs bar (47 Rue de Montpensier), where groups share small plates of succulent pork...
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You'd think that having a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (a prestigious crafstman title) at the helm of a restaurant would imply steep prices, but at Semilla, you're in for both a great meal and a great deal. The international influence is strong...
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34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, France
Situated a block from the Canal St.-Martin in the 10th arrondissement, Du Pain et des Idées is your favorite corner bakery—only better. The owner, Christophe Vasseur, was named best boulanger in Paris in 2008, and for good reason....
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Paris, France
My wife and two friends were tired of "museums" so they mistakenly decided to go shopping while I went to the Rodin Museum alone. It was breathtaking, the flowers were all in full bloom, the art on display inside was rare and beautiful, but the...
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116 Boulevard Haussmann, 75008 Paris, France
Paris wine shops routinely host free tastings, often led by the growers who make the wine. Paris by Mouth publishes a calendar of tastings, but two shops can be depended upon to have something interesting on the weekends: Les Caves Augé and La...
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69 Rue de Lyon, 75012 Paris, France
Paris boasts an unusual elevated park, La Promenade Plantée, built atop an abandoned elevated railway viaduct in the 12th arrondissement. It starts a block east of the Place de la Bastille and stretches for 2.9 elevated miles. Landscape architect...
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5 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris, France
Frenchie (the restaurant) is nearly impossible to get into, but the wine bar across the street provides a taste of chef Gregory Marchand’s housemade charcuterie and pasta, as well as small plates such as homemade smoked trout and burrata cheese...
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226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Yes, Angelina on the Rue de Rivoli (around the Tuileries Garden and the Louvre) is a tourist spot, but it is still one of the best places in Paris for hot chocolate. Their menu of pastries and other small dishes is good, but don't miss out on the...
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97 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris, France
A near-daily ritual was a visit to this nearby Marais fromagerie, featuring an outstanding selection of cheeses and knowledgeable help. In the U.S., one often sees Brie, Camembert, Boursin, and Roquefort, but most of the 350-400 kinds of French...
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10 Place de l'Opéra, 75009 Paris, France
In 1963 artist Marc Chagall was commissioned by the French Minister of Culture to repaint the Paris Opera House ceiling. The artist choice was controversial because, although a French nationalized citizen, Chagall was a Russian Jew, and a modern...
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35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
At the summit of Montmartre, the highest point in the city, you'll find the Basilica de Sacré-Cœur. Contrasting with the Gothic churches like Notre-Dame, the Romano-Byzantine architecture is both beautiful inside and out. While...
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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...
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8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France
Sainte Chapelle is a true Gothic masterpiece located on Île de la Cité. Sainte Chapelle was founded by King Louis IX as a chapel for the royal palace. Sainte Chapelle houses a small chapel downstairs that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The...
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72 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, France
The great macaron debate may forever wage on but from the first time I tucked into a small box of Pierre Hermé's dimunitive cookies, perfectly crisp on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth soft on the inside, I knew I'd remain loyal to his...
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24 Rue Guillaume le Conquérant, 76480 Jumièges, France
The hauntingly beautiful bleach white ruins of this Benedictine abbey, founded in 654, are one of the most beautiful in France.
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7 Rue de la Croix de Fer, 76000 Rouen, France
Not only was Joan of Arc burned at the stake in Rouen, but it also has a fascinating architectural history. It’s deemed the “Town with a Thousand Spires”. The ornate Notre-Dame Cathedral inspired Monet to paint his Cathedral series – a series of...
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50170 Mont Saint-Michel, France
This must-see spot in Normandy is a little city on an island just off the coast that gets cut-off by the tide on a daily basis. At the peak of the town (is nice walk up!) is the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel where you can see a view for miles, once...
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2 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris, France
This beautiful courtyard, modern art installations, hundreds of Corinthian columned walkways and perfectly placed fountains and gardens, make the Palais Royal a photographer's playground. Personally, I can never get enough of the reflection...
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6 Rue de la Grange Batelière, 75009 Paris, France
Passages were designed in the 19th century to give Parisians protection from muddy streets and horse-drawn vehicles. Some 20 of these covered walkways remain today, including the Passage Verdeau; they are an excellent way to journey back into...
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35 Boulevard de Courcelles, 75008 Paris, France
I've been to Parc Monceau only once and loved it right away. Maybe because it has a homey, neighborhood feeling, (a public park situated in the 8th arrondissement of Paris) maybe because of the classical colonnade in the middle of it, or maybe...
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63 Rue de Monceau, 75008 Paris, France
The elegant musée Nissim de Camondo is truly one of the finest gems in Paris' treasure chest of cultural experiences. Previously the private residence of a wealthy Jewish family, the impressive private collection became a museum at the bequest of...
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1 Coulée verte René-Dumont, 75012 Paris, France
The Parisian alternative for the New York high line is La Promenade Plantée, in the 12th arrondissement. The promenade was the idea of Philippe Mathieux and Jacques Vergely, who turned over the former railway track which connected the Place de la...
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Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Nothing is a more powerful symbol of the City of Light than the Eiffel Tower. Designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Paris Exposition, it's one of the world's most-visited monuments, with nearly 7 million people ascending the 1,062-foot...
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Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
This former royal palace is one of the largest museums in the world, and its art collection is considered one of the most comprehensive. It contains around 400,000 works, although—mercifully, perhaps—not all are on display at any one...
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107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Paris is without question one of the best picnic cities. The only challenge is finding a park or garden that allows you to sit on the grass. To keep the land looking lush and pristine, guards mill about to police picnickers sprawled on off-limits...
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Maison de l'Architecture, 148 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, 75010 Paris, France
Hanging out around train stations in major cities is rarely a wise idea but an outdoor café near the Gare de l'Est in Paris should be considered a worthy exception. Café A, a secret garden bar and restaurant, awaits beyond the threshold of the...
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3 Avenue de la Porte d'Auteuil, 75016 Paris, France
The Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil is a splendid botanical garden in the 16th arrondissement (within the Bois de Boulogne) and was first developed under Louis XV in 1761. It was later abandoned and reacquired by the city of Paris and became a...
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75001 Paris, France
From mid-July to mid-August, the banks of the Seine river in Paris begin to resemble the south as 6,000 tons of sand is hauled in for Paris Plage, the capital's makeshift tropical getaway that spans 3 kilometers. Now in its twelfth year, 'Paris...
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Quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris, France
The location for the most charming scenes in the movie Amélie, this once-forgotten neighborhood is now a destination for the young and fun-loving. As soon as the weather turns warm, picnickers line the paths along this...
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See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. Mayor Bertrand Delanoë's storybook vision of Paris is finally coming to life. After a year of construction, the banks of the Seine river are reopening to the public this month, now free from the din of...
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75001 Paris, France
Everyone enjoys the shade on Paris afternoon in July. While taking a break before Notre Dame we watched the end of a match and cheered the men on.
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39 Rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004 Paris, France
Most visitors venture to the Marais for two things: falafel and shopping. I go for the gelato. Unlike the majority of Italian ice cream shops who brandish their mountainous flavors in the windows to entice passersby, Pozzetto (Italian owned and...
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2 Rue Cauchy, 75015 Paris, France
Built on top of the site of a former Citroën manufacturing plant, Parc André Citroën is a unique concept park space. On the site of the former plant are six "Serial Gardens" were designed to associate with a day of the week, an element, a metal, a...
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Île Saint-Louis, 75004 Paris, France
Just east of the magnificent buttresses of the Cathédrale Notre Dame, across the Pont Saint-Louis, lies an island sanctuary in the middle of this chic, bustling city: Île Saint-Louis. The one-way streets are narrow, with views of the Seine River...
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113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Before the French Revolution, this park used to be the site of the Royal Palace. Today, the garden, which separates the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, is a place where Parisians and tourists stroll amid Rodin and Maillol statues or relax...
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1 Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris, France
Paris on a Saturday morning. I am walking down Blvd, St-Germain. I feel strangely and completely out of sorts. This normally bustling boulevard is almost empty, devoid of cars and pedestrians. It's 11 am. Where is everyone? I walk past deserted...
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77950 Maincy, France
Those who faithfully follow the guidebooks on Paris and its environs will undoubtedly find themselves journeying 10km south west of the capital to Versailles to discover the Sun King’s gilded emblem – an impressive if grandiose symbol of royal...
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41150 Chaumont-sur-Loire, France
Not only is this a beautiful château but is has an incredible view of Loire Valley. Besides the chateau which often houses an art exhibit on its top floor, there are multiple gardens on the grounds that are gorgeous. There is a garden festival...
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La petite France for me is the cutest area in Strasbourg. Really enjoy the historical atmosphere here. .. Just walking around, watching people while having a cup of coffee, taking some pictures and a boat tour to see those timbered house... C'est...
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84100 Orange, France
Orange is a charming little town, located in the south of France. Although it may not be as sophisticated as some of the more tourist-driven towns and villages in Provence, it has one of the most well-maintained Roman theaters in Europe. It also...
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Place Charles de Gaulle, 78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. One of the lesser-known, but just as incredible, châteaus in the suburbs of Paris. I flew to Paris and was wandering around the grounds of the beautiful château forty-five minutes after leaving the airport . The...
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Velleron, France
Early summer in Provence--cicadas in the trees and lines of lavender stretching to the horizon under a Van Gogh sky...Clichéd it might be, but the setting is heady...
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Lille, France
Popped across the border into France over the weekend to hit the Christmas market. This is something that I have been doing every year for at least the past dozen years. Every year they erect a very large ferris wheel and its usually a freezing...
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156 Rue de Créqui, 69003 Lyon, France
This odd-looking blimp is actually a quenelle de brochet, one of the quintessential foods of Lyon. They're big dumplings made out of pike fish, covered in Sauce Nantua, a classic French sauce made with crayfish. Daniel et Denise, owned by an...
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23 Rue Jean Larrive, 69003 Lyon, France
Best frites (aka French fries) EVER. They were hand-cut by the 87-year old owner, Madame Giraud. I wrote about her in my AFAR article about Lyon's bouchons. These frites were pure heaven paired with Madame's steak with brown butter. (Yes, I did...
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Lac Leman has the most spectacular view of the French Alps as a backdrop, and you could bike around it for days and even weeks visiting and staying at charming little villages and towns along the way....
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77300 Fontainebleau, France
A quick 40-minute train ride from the Gare de Lyon in central Paris takes you to one of the best day trips out of the city: a forest preserve surrounding a palace that dates back nine centuries. The Forêt de Fontainebleau offers a hundred square...
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Arles, France
Looking down the rooftops of Arles from the Arles Amphitheatre.
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84800 L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
A short train ride from Avignon to L'Isle-sur-la Sorgue and an even shorter walk from the train station to the market, you'll find the linens, lavender and soaps of Provence, some good brocante treasures, local art and plenty of good food. Make...
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84800 L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
I have selectively framed food photos from my travels for my kitchen and this photo might be a new personal favorite! Not to mention that the olives were some of the best I've had the pleasure of eating! If you are looking for a Sunday outing...
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3 Boulevard Victor Hugo, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
While on a trip to the wonderful Provence region of France, one of the best days was the day we visited Saint-Remy. It is beautiful in itself, but one of the true gems of the area is Joel Durand's chocolate shop. We had the honor of a private...
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13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
A sundial in the medieval center of St.-Rémy-de-Provence...Its inscription distills the allure of the South of France: "It is always time to do nothing." Relax. Find a hammock, sip a pastis, inhale the lavender-scented air...
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2 Rue Claude Ramey, 21000 Dijon, France
If the ironwork throughout the Les Halles covered market in Dijon, France, reminds you of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, there is good reason. Gustave Eiffel, a native son of Dijon, designed the market in the 19th century. One of France’s largest and...
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64250 Espelette, France
Like most of the quaint towns in the Basque country, Espelette is brimming with cultural and culinary riches. Just twenty minutes from the coast and hugged by mountains, this town of 2,000 is best known for the pepper of the same known grown...
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51 Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris, France
While the rum-soaked baba au rhum cake originated at Stohrer pâtisserie and is a classic, it’s the éclair au chocolat and the seasonal flavors (this winter’s include both salted caramel and chestnut cream) that deserve special attention. So do the...
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32 Rue Notre Dame des Victoires, 75002 Paris, France
At his éclair-focused shop in the Marais, Christophe Adam presents riffs on traditional recipes in eye-popping colors and exotic flavors. You may be tempted by the best-selling Chocolat Grand Cru, but don’t overlook the more off-beat seasonal...