Okay, so it’s the end of July.
Does this mean there are close to zero Parisians in the capital of France at the moment?
And not much to do, except of course complain bitterly about the inevitable hordes trudging along in their Birkenstocks while laden with big cameras and maps and bulging travel pouches and taking up all the choice spots in the outdoor cafes and making you wait 5 hours to go the top of the Eiffel Tower?
I don’t want to end up sitting in my hotel room in tears in a foreign country wondering where to go what to do and what not to do and feeling overwhelmed in a big city where I don’t speak the language and where the few people I know who live in Paris will be out of town while I’m there.
Quelle nightmare scenario!!!
I need some kind of cultural map/guide thingie, a sort of event almanac to chart a course.
Here‘s a good one, if you semi read French.
Browsing through it, the following ideas popped out:
— Hang out at the beach! Just go to the Quai des Tuileries by the famous Jardins (ie, gardens) and head to the Voie Pompidou
— See Napolean’s famous Canal St Martin & and spend a few lazy hours hidden in plain view exploring the ins and outs of the delightfully tucked away
LE COMPTOIR GÉNÉRAL
80, quai de Jemmapes
Métro : République ou Goncourt
— See where the hugely influential Albert Camus finished writing The Stranger
16, rue Ravignan (18e)
Take Metro to Abessses, go to Place Emile Goueau
— stroll along the “Boule Miche” between Odean and
St Germain des Pres metro and window shop at the grands magazins then visit Hôtel La Louisiane where Albert Cossery the writer lived a half century and died in his room in his 90s
— Just hang out at the zoo!
Les nocturnes du parc zoologique de Paris
7:30pm – 10:30pm
PARC ZOOLOGIQUE DE PARIS
ROUTE DE LA CEINTURE DU LAC
Metro Station Porte Dores
Have a glass of wine as the sun is setting in Paris
in a beautiful zoo!
— Or go to some restaurants?
13 Rue de Charonne
take Metro to Bastille
walk east down Rue Faubourg to St Antoine 10mns
After a classy little bistro like Paul’s, it might be fun to try out Chez Benoit, though it may may be too touristy and (far too) expensive, judging by the reviews.
20 Rue Saint-Martin
take Metro to Hotel de Ville
walk west on Rue Rivoli
then right on rue St Bon
To get there:
Walk up Avenue George V
turn on Rue Marbeuf
Okay, enough with the restaurants (for now)! How about these less caloric ideas:
— Go a classic petit-point needlepoint store!
Tapisserie de France
Rue des Moulins
get off a Pyramides metro stop
walk north up avenue de l’Opera
turn right on rue Therese
go up Rue des Moulins till you get there
–Visit the famous Passage Choiseul, a narrow alley that serves as one of Paris’ last covered marketplaces:
Passage Choiseul, Rue Dalayrac
Metro Quatre September stop
Walk down (heading south) Rue Monsigny
— Go to a Punch and Judy (i.e., puppet) show!
Les Marionnettes des Champs Elysées
Metro Stop Franklin D Roosevelt
Wed or Sat 3/4 or 5pm, and it only costs a few euros!
Voila, that’s it for now. Paris doesn’t sound so daunting now after all!
PS Please feel free to make any suggestions in the comments section as to any ideas of places to visit or things to do while in Paris. Merci!