Next Stop: Paris

by Erin on November 2, 2011

So: I will be in Paris for twenty-four magical hours next week. Next week Tuesday, to be precise. 

What should I do? All suggestions gratefully received (although I am unlikely to: rent a Vespa, drink absinthe, or visit the Folies Bergère). 

This book has not been much help (although very entertaining):  The Magic of Dress

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynn November 2, 2011 at 6:07 am

Ha ha! I guess I can never go to Paris. I don’t have the “regulation figure.”

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elinoora November 2, 2011 at 6:21 am
Anna November 2, 2011 at 6:40 am

have you been there before?

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Chris November 2, 2011 at 6:42 am
bittersweet November 2, 2011 at 6:43 am

I was there last year for my honeymoon. I would go to the Eiffel Tower, Musée d’orsay, and Repetto for some ballet flats. And eat crepes, of course.

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Anna November 2, 2011 at 6:44 am

There is a fashion/textile museum attached to the louvre: http://www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/english-439/mode-et-textile-740/

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Anna November 2, 2011 at 7:00 am

a walk from the arc de triomphe to the louvre is nice if it’s not too cold. a visit to the sainte chapelle later in the day is amazing because the lowering sun streams through gorgeous stained glass windows. it’s a smallish city and highly walkable. whatever you do, you can’t go wrong.

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Dolly November 2, 2011 at 7:06 am

Go to the Rue des Francs Bourgouis (sp?) off Rue Du Temple (ie the Marais district) if you’d like some AMAZING vintage and hip shops to blow your clothes budget on. And then you are near ro my favourite creperie: the one the overlooks the crazy fountain just next to the Centre Georges Pompidou. Arg Love Paris. So Jealous!

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Liz M November 2, 2011 at 7:52 am

Go to the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie! It’s amazing. There’s also a doll museum which is quite interesting, and the Père Lachaise is worth a visit if you want to kiss Oscar Wilde’s grave. The Notre Dame and the area surrounding it is very pretty, I got some lovely white chocolate crépes in a cafe around the corner from it…

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thea November 2, 2011 at 8:13 am

go to Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature and to Musée des arts et métiers, they’re walking distance from each other in/near the Marais which is a great neighborhood to wander around in. I love the pompidou centre as well, but the other two museums feel a little less touristy and more special for a quick trip.

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outrightingrate November 2, 2011 at 8:32 am

Musée Rodin – sculpture indoors and out, lovely café. And don’t forget to just eat a lot in general. Enjoy!

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Eevin November 2, 2011 at 8:57 am

2 things I would never miss in Paris:
1. Chez Marcel (7 Rue Stanislas) – call for a reservation just to be safe although it shouldn’t be a problem. I always get the artichoke to start and the ile flottante to finish (but it’s all delicious)
2. Centre Pompidou

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Milly November 2, 2011 at 9:11 am

If you love fashion and shopping, Colette, rue Saint-Honoré is the shop you don’t want to miss, expensive but beautiful. Antoine & Lili is full amazing colors, rue du Jour, both in the first arrondissement, close where I live. Eric Bompard for the finest cashmere sweaters, Parisienes love them! And don’t forget to bring some macarones for your family, beautiful colors and taste great!

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ParisGrrl November 2, 2011 at 9:27 am

Go fabric shopping, of course! My current fav is Les Coupons de Saint-Pierre at 1 Place Saint-Pierre in the 18th arrondissement (killer deals on 3m lengths), and there are many other fabric stores in that area including Reine. If you want a guide give me a holler…I’d be happy to show you the fabric scene here.

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LeahZ November 2, 2011 at 9:41 am

go have lunch and tea at Mariage Freres in the Marais. To die for, but you won’t have a regulation figure if you eat there often…

http://www.mariagefreres.com/boutique/UK/vt+addresses.html

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Claudine November 2, 2011 at 9:48 am

Tissues Reine is a huge and lovely fabric shop. The best part is that they have half-size mannequins on lots of the tables, wearing the table fabric artfully draped around them. It is in Montmartre, near Sacre Coeur.

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Doris November 2, 2011 at 10:22 am

A 36 inch bust and 24 inch waist? They’re kidding, right?!

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MB@YarnUiPhoneAppv1.9 November 2, 2011 at 10:26 am

You must wear a hat…La Fete de Catherinettes is upon us (technically November 25, the feast day of St. Catherine, who is the patron saint of Catherinettes, unmarried women who often worked as milliners to support themselves back in the day)…Anyhow, Paris was big on celebrating the feast day WITH HATS through the 1960s with free passes on the subway for all celebrants, parties citywide, etc. Anyhow, customary celebrations have been revived, but it needs a MAJOR jumpstart. Erin, you must help!

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Sarah November 2, 2011 at 10:45 am

I have no idea how you’ll chose what to do with 24 hours, but have fun! I was there in October 4 years ago and it was magical. Tissue Reines was amazing but expensive (duh), and I arrived at a gorgeous textile shop just as they closed and it is still mocking me 4 years later. So if *I* were to go again, I’d go there first (Entrée des Fournisseurs 8 rue des Francs Bourgeois 75003), then do lunch at one of the places on the square at Place des Vosges.

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Fiona November 2, 2011 at 11:50 am

If you want to SEE all the sights, go on a bus-tour. You can buy a ticket for a day and hop on or off along your chosen route. Various routes to choose from. I can’t help with shopping. Have fun!

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Louise November 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm

That paragraph intrigues me- what book is it from?
Am quite envious of your trip to Paris- I was supposed to go last year with my mother, who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but sadly she was too sick to go by the time the trip came around. So Paris holds some bittersweet feelings for me. I hope to go next year to take in the sites and imagine that my mother is there with me.

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Laura November 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Skip the museums. They are too overwhelming for such a short visit. If you really want to go to a museum, though, go to Versailles. It has art and furnishings and amazing gardens.

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Nathalie November 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm

The Marais definitely, as many others have said. If you can spare a couple of hours and just wander round, it is full of the most wonderful little shops. I’d also recommend eating at Chartier, 7 rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009, not necessarily for the food (which is very so so), but just for the experience and ambiance (which is like travelling back in time to a genuine Fin de Siecle Brasserie).

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Erin November 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm

ooh, thank you all for the wonderful recommendations! I think I will have a very good day in Paris. :-)

Louise, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother … if you click on the book image, it will take you to the Google Books page for it.

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ella November 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm

rose bakerey, pompidou centre, lauduree or pierre herme for a cake & wander the marais + st germain.

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Caroline Wampole November 3, 2011 at 9:59 am

If i had 24 hours in Paris i would just walk…from the Place de la Concorde through the Tuileries gardens and to the Louvre (not go in, but walk around the outside)…and then along the quai and over to Hotel de Ville (maybe the ice skating rink will be up!) and to the Marais, where I would buy my favorite teas at Le Palais des Thes (more affordable than Mariage Freres, and more travel-convenient packaging) and my favorite incense at Estaban (on rue des Francs-Bourgeois)…and i’d get a falafel on rue des rosiers (and more teas as gifts at Kusmi teas next door – best packaging in the world) and eat while sitting on a bench in Place des Vosges…and then i’d walk over to the left bank, and soak up the Latin Quarter and all that, and i’d end the day in the Luxembourg Gardens, possibly my favorite place on earth….just people watching (if it’s over 40 degrees and not raining, people will be sitting on the big metal chairs soaking up whatever pale sun Paris has to offer)…then get a hot chocolate at the big cafe on the northeast corner, what’s it called? Doesn’t matter…just walk and you’ll discover a million tiny things which will bring you joy. Because that’s what Paris is for – to bring joy! Joie de vivre!

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Caroline Wampole November 3, 2011 at 10:02 am

p.s. If you are shopping for gifts, a good lightweight option is to buy people the beautiful kitchen towels on sale everywhere…My favorite are the Jacquard line, which are found in BHV (also in the Marais). The Jacquard tablecloths and linens cost quite a lot, but the kitchen towels as i recall are under 20 euros each, and they’ve always been well-received as gifts by family and friends

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Karen November 3, 2011 at 11:37 am

Reine is amazing, although obviously expensive. They have Liberty for you to drool on. For better prices, try the “coupon” or remnant shops. Everything is sold in 3 meter cuts.

The show at the Textile Museum at the Louvre right now is Hussein Chalayan – interesting but not necessarily worth a visit in such a short time span.

For food, I’d recommend Au Chien qui Fume, at Rue de Pont Neuf (about 2 blocks north of the Pont Neuf). They have several fixed price menus, their food is amazing and the service is very pleasant. I’ve been there 3 different times, including last month on my honeymoon, and they’re one of my favorite stops in the city.

And the booksellers along the Seine tend to have a lot of vintage fashion mags and pattern magazines lately. I got 4 issues of Modes de Paris from the late 40s, early 50s just last month.

Enjoy.

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Jay November 3, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Do you read Belgian Waffle? She has some amazing sounding pastry shops she frequents.

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Theresa November 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Paris never caters to stout women…well screw Paris! Harumph!

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ParisGrrl November 4, 2011 at 6:17 am

One more recommendation–the Musee des Arts Decoratifs (Metro station: Palais-Royal) has a special exhibit of the works of couture artist Hussein Chalayan. It’s a small exhibit, easily seeable in under two hours and imo well worth the 9 euro entrance fee. Just one more possibility for your magical day.:-)

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pessat fanny November 4, 2011 at 8:40 am

I live in Paris.in 24h you have to go to the Marais of course,to the Jardin des tuileries next to the Louvre.the Musée de la chasse is a good idea too.And Montmartre!

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Jen November 4, 2011 at 10:31 am

Oh, oh! I was just there a few weeks ago! You should absolutely eat a pan au chocolat (or three), take a Hop On Hop Off bus tour, grab Gelato in the park, and end at the Eiffel Tower at dusk/night, on the hour when it lights up and sparkles. It’s magical, circus-y, and stunning. And don’t forget the pan au chocolat!

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Ann November 4, 2011 at 10:46 am

When I was there in 2006, there was a nice craft store in the mall under the Louvre. The downtown department stores also had craft departments. That’s what I remember about my trip to Paris (and the naked man being led away in handcuffs right in front of me).

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JT November 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm

If only I could come with you!

-JT

http://www.thinkitripitwriteit.blogspot.com/

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Lisa November 4, 2011 at 9:02 pm

We went to Paris on our honeymoon, and my one goal was Versailles. The now ex INSISTED on eating luch before we toured the museum. We’d gotten a very late start to the day, so I impatiently sat through a lunch where he “ordered” cheeseburgers and fries, and were brought hamburgers with fried eggs on top. We got to Versailles ten minutes after the last tour of the day left. We were supposed to go back in 2012, and my one goal was, again, Versailles. I got a divorce instead. Trust me, go to Versailles. Do it for me.

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Kristen November 5, 2011 at 12:04 pm

So, if one is only blessed with a 32 inch bust, does that mean I have to have a 20 inch waist? ! GACK! :)

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thatdamngreendress November 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I was last there at the age of 12, so I don’t have much to suggest, however I am going to note the fabulous suggestions of others!!

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Amy November 5, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I was just there a couple of weeks ago. Do visit the Saint Chappelle – the renovation is mostly done, and it’s incredible. Also do walk down the Champs Elysee — the walk from the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre. All the super duper expensive shops are along that street. It’s incredible. And visit Musee d-Orsay if you can. Also nice is the Louvre and Notre Dame. And I wish I’d had the chance to take a boat tour. Oh, and eat at the best restaurant you can afford. Food is super pricey, but incredible.

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Margo November 6, 2011 at 7:25 am

I hate to say it but your book excerpt is actually still rather accurate…. :( BUT — I say you MUST eat at Bofinger (and add some inches to your non-regulation waist….) and then of course — go fabric shopping! Go to St. Germain to drool at all the designer shops — and if its still there go to a little independent shoe shop there called Laure Bassal and splurge on some shoes.

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Karen Rose November 6, 2011 at 8:30 am

Check out parisdailyphoto.com. Very nice Frenchman and blogger. Posts a photo of Paris everyday (you can look through the archives) and shares “insider” tips on places to eat and go,

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rbjaneite November 7, 2011 at 3:08 am

Musée d’Orsay, and a tour of the Paris sewer system. Seriously. It’s awesome.

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Rachel Heyfa November 7, 2011 at 7:50 am

I’ve never been to Paris! paris – this is my dream!

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Tracy Schultz December 17, 2011 at 10:18 am

That quote is really amusing! What is the name of the book it was taken from? I’d love to read it! Have fun in Paris!!!

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Erin December 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Hi Tracy — if you click on the book excerpt, it will take you to the Google Books page!

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