Tag Archives: travel

It’s Nice To Ride a Bike In Paris

To get lost in Paris is the best way to discover it. Normally, on foot, this is a great way to see the city. Exiting a metro station or starting from your apartment rental in the Marais (just picture it!), you wander the windy streets of the oldest part of the city, or turn off onto a smaller street from one of the Haussmannian-lined boulevards in the 8th or 9th arrondissement. Hours go by, and you realize you’ve walked halfway across the city. It’s a great adventure, and your feet will remember every step of it!

So to give your petits pieds a rest, to cover more ground, and even get into some of the quieter neighborhoods away from the busy tourist areas, it’s nice to ride a bike in Paris.

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Paris à vélo c’est sympa is a bike tour and rental company in the 11th, just outside of the neighborhood called the Haute Marais (pronounced oat ma-rey), takes the approach of immersing their customers in an experience as a Parisian local. You’ll go through parts of the city that you might not otherwise think to go to. And while exploring, you’ll learn about local habits and customs and stories that will add dimension to your understanding of Paris and it’s people.

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Some of their tours will also take you on more central routes. The founder is a bicycle enthusiast who fell in love with Paris from the seat of a bicycle, so you can be sure to find that same passion and enthusiasm from all of the tour guides at Paris à Vélo.

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If you have a bike trip planned taking you out of Paris and into the French countryside, you can also make Paris à Vélo your point of departure and terminus. They rent bikes by the day and for longer periods depending on what you have planned.

Here’s where you can find them.

Paris à vélo c’est sympa!
BICY s.a.r.l.
22 rue Alphonse Baudin
75011 Paris

Tel. +33 (0)1 48 87 60 01
www.parisvelosympa.comScreen Shot 2014-07-01 at 12.31.52 PM

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Paris, you’re so Photogenic!

One of the great things about Paris is how photogenic the city is. Early black and white photographs from the beginning of the 1900s, experimental or journalistic, for tourism, or for education, and the same for photographs from today. The world is more full of amateur photographers than ever before, and we all get to reap the benefits as we get inspired by the different perspectives, fleeting moments, and unchanging landscape that makes up the principal footprint of Paris.

Because I can’t enough of Paris, it’s been a lot of fun to begin building out my own narrative of Paris, for Paris Deluxe, covering all the angles of how we experience Paris today, and all the depth of history we can access in this amazing city.

Here’s some of what you’ll find:

Ideas of where to eat in various neighborhoods, such as the Marais.

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Great shots of the hustle and bustle of Paris that remains somehow aesthetic rather than chaotic, of course!Image

And a personal favorite, a board of French clichés we call, evidemment, “So French!”

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We’d love suggestions from you of collections that you’d like to see, or collections you would like to see expanded upon.

Come by and browse. Tell us what you think, here or on Facebook, and, along the way, find some inspiration for your Paris vacation!

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June 24, 2014 · 2:32 pm

The Wall of Love

The Pont des Arts is a common pilgrimage for those in love when visiting Paris. Couples affirm their love by attaching a lock to the chain-link walls of the bridge and throwing the key into the river Seine. But there is a lesser known celebration of love hiding in a tiny little park at the top of rue des Abbesses in Montmartre: The Wall of Love.Love-wall-in-Paris

Le Mur des Je T’aime was an idea from Frédéric Baron who wished to hear “I love you” spoken in the native languages of 80 countries on his list while traveling, but never did travel from Paris. Instead, he collected the words from neighbors, shopkeepers and embassies in as many languages as he could in a collection that would eventually, through the collaboration of calligraphist Claire Kito and Muralist Daniel Boulogne who fell in love withthe project, be shared with the public in the form of the tiled wall we know today.

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“I love you” is written in over 300 languages and is written about 1,000 times on the wall. The scattered red marks represent the “pieces of a broken heart, those of a humanity which is too often torn apart and which The Wall attempts to reunite.” A beautiful sentiment, no? It’s not just for the love between a couple, like at the Pont des Arts, but love amongst all people. That is something worth celebrating!

The wall is located in the Square Jehan Rictus, just behind the exit of the metro Abbesses in Montmartre.

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Video: Paris, city of lights

Paris has never looked better, more modern, and more exciting than in this video by Benjamin Trancart. The city of lights refers not to the twinkling sparkle of the city, but to the brilliant minds that brought a wave of ideas & thinking amongst the French philosophers. Trancart’s video shows us both of these sides of the city of lights.

 

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An Oldie but Goodie

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The Paris by Arrondissement has been somewhat phased out now that we all have GPS in our pockets, but if you are ever lost in Paris with no battery in your smartphone, this is the book you want to have on hand.

The books have been updated with improved (though less beautiful) graphics, a narrower binding and new glossy cover, but there is something nostalgic about both the idea of a map and the look of these pages that feel worth sharing.

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Vintage maps leave us nostalgic for a less digital age, especially maps of Paris, where just walking around leaves you nostalgic for another time.

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Parisian parks

There’s a special kind of elegance to Parisian parks. The manicured lawns, symmetrically lined trees, and great fountain pools that we picture from the Jardin de Luxembourg, the Jardin des Tuilleries and the expansive lawns at Versailles.

 

Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens

Only made open to the public in the mid 17th century, these parks were once reserved for French Aristocracy and, as such, were designed for a different time and lifestyle. Long avenues were intended for leisurely strolls and quiet chats on the stone benches along the rows of trees. Although today we don’t ‘stroll’ as much as we rush, somehow these parks have the power to slow us down.

Wondering what to do at the park? Here are some ideas: Grab a baguette, some cheese and wine for a simple and memorable picnic, on the Champs des Mars under the Eiffel Tower; Scout a free chair that you can move where you wish, and absorb your surroundings for inspiration as you sit to write postcards home; or head over with a book or a camera to the Musée Rodin, where two euros will grant you access to the sculpture garden, which is the gem of the museum.

 

Paris Deluxe Rentals - Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges

And lastly, we recommend making your way to some of the smaller, uniquely beautiful parks in the city center such as Place des Vosges or the gardens of the Palais Royale.

And finally, don’t forget those that are a bit outside of the center but very much worth the adventure: Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Parc Montsouris or Parc Monceau.

Paris Deluxe Rentals - Park Bench Paris

Park Benches

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Winter in Paris

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Most would argue that the winter months are a time for cocooning under blankets, wearing big scarves and sweaters, and sipping hot drinks that keep your hands warm, not for travel and adventure. But, contrary to the beliefs of most visitors who abandon Paris during the blustery months, Paris happens to be one of the greatest cities for all of those wintery things.

One of the most simple, yet enjoyable winter activities is to wrap up in a big scarf, venture out to select one of the many heated terraces on any number of lovely streets, order your café crème or vin chaud, and watch the people go by. You will have a cinematic glimpse into the daily life of Paris at its best, stripped away from the haze and bustle of summer, under the crisp air and grey sky that brings out the rich colors of the stone buildings and sidewalks. Paris has many moods, and her winter temperament just happens to be one of her most beautiful.

Some cafés we recommend:

Le Comptoir du Relais

9 Carrefour de l’Odéon, 75006 Paris,

La Palette

43 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris

Café Charlot

38 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris

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