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Getting Paris Right the First Time

We've asked journalist, podcaster, and Paris dweller Oliver Gee to share his advice on how to pull of the perfect first trip to Paris.Grant Lemons

Editor’s Note: Memories of a first trip to Paris never fade. The indelible experience of discovering one of the world’s most beautiful cities unfailingly leaves its mark. No matter what you do, once you’ve seen Paris it will never leave you. Having said that, there are ways to approach your first time to Paris that will assure you get the most out of the experience and guarantee a maximum of memories you’ll hold dear for years after your first steps on Paris’ cobblestone streets. We’ve asked journalist, podcaster, and Paris dweller Oliver Gee to share his advice on how to pull off the perfect first trip to Paris. Happy reading.

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Posted in Parisian Living, Travel | No Comments »

The Tasting Passport: Self-Guided Foodie Tours from a Fresh Paris Start-Up

Cafe Creme, Beans on Fire

The Beans on Fire

Innovative small businesses like Paris Picnic, Insidr Paris, and SacreBleu are leading Paris tourism in the direction of more personal, tailored, user-friendly service.

Montage 1 Comptoir Gana, Beans on Fire

Comptoir Gana, The Beans on Fire

In March, Le Food Trip start-up launched a concept totally new to Paris: The Tasting Passport. The booklet contains 12 coupons redeemable for tastings at épiceries, cafés, and bakeries around the city. So for 34 euros, you can taste a range of authentic goods at your own pace (the passport is valid for one year after purchase), in whatever order you choose, all while taking in the ambiance of a neighborhood and interacting with local business owners, one on one.

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Romantic Summer in Paris: Offbeat Itineraries

HiP Paris blog. Summer in Paris. Offbeat Romantic Itineraries in the City of Light- Parc de BercyParc de Bercy

Parisians seem to have perfected the art of enjoying summer. The long days keep them basking in the sunshine in the city’s many bucolic gardens or on one of its ever-growing number of hip terraces and rooftop bars, not to mention the abundance of festivals which quickly fill up agendas. If you’re looking to enjoy the season with your amoureux in alternative ways and away from the crowds, try out one of these three romantic itineraries.

HiP Paris blog. Summer in Paris. Offbeat Romantic Itineraries in the City of Light- La Cité FloraleLa Cité Florale

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Posted in Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

August Events in Paris: Rock en Seine, Festival Silhouette, Restaurants Open & More

HiP Paris Blog, La Plage de GlazArtLaPlage de Glazart

August in Paris gets a bad rap amongst the visiting community. The city is dead, your favorite places are closed… but this norm is starting to change, with many more restaurants remaining open for parts of the month. And there’s no shortage of enticing events, proving August in Paris can be fabulous too (and hey, who doesn’t love a slightly less crowded city?)

So, about those restaurants keeping their doors open and “fermeture pour congés d’été signs down. Paris by Mouth has graciously done the legwork for us and rounded up where to snag a table this month. Peek at this list before heading out for a weekday lunch or weekend apéro. 

HiP Paris Blog, August Events, Rémy GolinelliRémy Golinelli

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Posted in Arts, Events, Parisian Living | No Comments »

Winter in Paris: Ice Skating Around the City of Light

Winter in France, Ice Skating at Hotel de Ville, the Eiffel Tower, and the Grand Palais in Paris

Esti Alvarez

After a mild November, temperatures in Paris have dropped to respectable winter levels, thermostats hovering around 0° Celsius, bien sûr! Advent calendars have been cracked open and Paris is all dressed up for winter. After the lighting of the trees along the Champs-Elysées and the perfume of hot, spiced wine from the Christmas markets, everyone is putting on their party shoes (aka ice skates) to enjoy some pretty sensational ice skating rinks that have rolled in for the holidays, ensuring a White Christmas for anyone who seeks it.

Winter in France, Ice Skating at Hotel de Ville, the Eiffel Tower, and the Grand Palais in Paris

Simon Hooks

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Before & After: The Renovation of Haven in Paris’ Victor Hugo Luxe Apartment

Victor Hugo Luxe Living room more

Salon, Julien Hausherr

Haven in Paris’ newest four-bedroom apartment, Victor Hugo Luxe (emphasis on the luxe), is found on a quiet street just minutes away from the Eiffel Tower and the Bois de Boulogne. The owner and interior decorator took the HiP Paris Blog through the nine-month renovation process of this spacious, Belle Époque gem. 

Victor Hugo Luxe Kitchen and Balcony

Kitchen and Balcony, Julien Hausherr

Built in 1903, the apartment was owned by the same family for 50 years and had not been remodeled since 1970. The design team wanted to revamp the out-of-date 70s-style interior and revive its elegant, turn-of-the-century charm.

Victor Hugo Luxe Dining Table

Dining Room, Julien Hausherr

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Posted in Apartment, Homes, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Paris’ 20ème: History, Culture, and Shopping in Belleville and Ménilmontant

20eme, Rue Denoyez Street Art

Rue Denoyez

The 20ème is one of the largest neighborhoods in Paris, covering the areas of Nation, Gambetta, Ménilmontant, and Belleville. Largely overlooked by tourists, this unique quartier is full of locals-only bars and restaurants, art galleries, theaters, charming backstreets, hidden pockets of nature, and a diverse population. As much as I love the familiar streets of the Marais and the Latin Quarter, after spending three months living here this summer, a part of me will always be called back to the 20ème. Here are a few of my favorite historic and cultural spots worth discovering.

20eme, La Bellevilloise

View from La Bellevilloise

A historically working class neighborhood, the 20ème was the center of opposition to Emperor Napoleon III during the eve of the First World War, and the very last neighborhood to surrender during the Paris Commune of 1871. Predominantly an immigrant community for the last century, nowadays young entrepreneurs, artists, and bobos flock to the area for its affordable rents, active nightlife, and thriving arts scene.

20eme, Rue Denoyez

Rue Denoyez

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Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping, Tours and Classes | 1 Comment »

The Four Best Bike Rides Spanning the Paris City Limits

HiP Paris Blog, Best Bike Rides, thausj, olivier jean

thausj; Olivier Jeannin

A bicycle provides the perfect tempo for exploring a city. You can get from point A to point B faster than you would walking, but it’s slow enough that you get to take in the scenery in a way that riding a bus or metro never allows.

HiP Paris Blog, Best Bike Rides, Isabel Miller-Bottome, Ile de la Cite 3Isabel Miller-Bottome

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Exploring the Hidden Gems of Paris’ Chic 16th Arrondissement

HiP Paris Blog, Palmyre Roigt, 16eme Arr, Cyril Lignac 3La Pâtisserie de Cyril Lignac

When Benjamin Franklin came to Paris as US ambassador, he moved into the charming village of Passy, where genteel manor homes filled the bucolic countryside in what is now the 16th arrondissement. The Passy neighborhood still has that easy village feel, shady streets leading the way for relaxed, affluent Parisians out running their daily errands. It is far from the tourist crowds, yet very much in the heart of the city, the Eiffel Tower never far from sight.

HiP Paris Blog, 16eme arr, Palmyre Roigt, Deux Stations 3HiP Paris Blog, 16eme Arr, Palmyre Roigt, Patisserie des Reves 1HiP Paris Blog, 16eme Arr, Palmyre Roigt, Tour Eiffel 3Les Deux Stations, La Pâtisserie des Reves, La Tour Eiffel

The 16th is known for its wide tree lined boulevards with bourgeois apartment buildings, the epitome of Baron Haussmann’s 19th century urban planning. This is an arrondissement made for leisurely strolls and easy access, full of excellent museums, remarkable food, and stupendous views with the extraordinary 2000-acre Bois de Boulogne park just steps away.

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

On Becoming Parisian: 10 Signs I Belong in the City of Light

HiP Paris Blog, Becoming Parisian, meg hourihanLa Seine, meg hourihan

Falling in love with romance-infused Paris – the grandiose Haussmannian architecture, the Marais’ winding streets, and the city’s bistro scene – is easy. But if you’re not born here, living in Paris is another story. It’s a whole other lifestyle, a mentality. And although it is hard not to love Paris for its compelling beauty alone, not everyone takes to Parisian life like a duck to water. While most will relish in its temptations, others will see its grayer side. The very visible problem of homelessness, the significantly different humor, the mentality…even the party chitchat is different. The grimy metro, overflowing museums, and the onslaught of hipsters all take some getting used to as well. Paris may not be very far away from London, my hometown, but when I moved here, everything seemed far removed from what I knew. The unashamed indulgence in pleasure, the variety and standard of the food, the slower pace of life, the abundance of cultural activities, and the city’s manageable size are features I had a hard time finding elsewhere.

HiP Paris Blog, Becoming Parisian, drburtoni
HiP Paris Blog, Becoming Parisian, Roseval, Didier Gauducheau PL9A3093Drburtoni/ Roseval, Didier Gauchucheau

And then one day, I woke up Parisian. In other words, living a dichotomy of loving and hating the city, yelling at people for inconsiderate behavior on public transport, eating out most days, and when the sun shines, running to the nearest grassy spot no matter how crowded are now commonplace. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 8 Comments »