Keith's Paris City Guide: Day 2

Keith's Paris City Guide: Day 2

If you haven't read Day 1, I recommend starting there.

A Day in the Marais

Sunday shopping in the Marais is the BEST because most of the boutiques in Paris are closed on Sunday, and the vibe in the Marais is so festive on Sunday. It’s a great young quarter of the City with fantastic walkability and known for its arts schools and museums in addition to gentrified apartments and shops and restaurants. Also, the Place des Vosges is one of the most beautiful squares in Paris and it’s fun to get a coffee in a café in the arcades that line the square. 

The Marais spans the 3rd/4th arrondissements. If you go really early, you could get breakfast in one of the many gourmet market stalls in the Marché des Enfants Rouge, Paris’ oldest covered market on the rue de Bretagne. It’s a whole day of loveliness!!

If you reserve tickets in advance, you can plan your day in the Marais around a visit to the Picasso Museum and the Musée Carnavalet dedicated to the history of the city of Paris. It doesn’t require tickets and is well worth a visit. I also love and highly recommend the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, filled with evocative oil paintings of animals, more taxidermy, and located in an 18th century grand hôtel which is half the reason for a visit.

There are great shops on the Rue des Francs Bourgeois, Rue de Saintonge, Rue de Turenne and Rue Vieille du Temple. 

FrenchTrotters has a cool selection of clothes, perfumes and things for the house. 

Merci is a cool store to visit, even if you aren’t in the market for clothes or homegoods. It’s located in a three story atelier with a glass ceiling and has a lovely feel about it. Pulse their things are unique and interesting. 

Soi Paris has pretty silk wraparound dresses and blouses in poppy fabrics.

Galerie Epoca is one of the coolest shops I’ve ever visited. Julia and I happened into it on one visit to Paris, and there greeting us as we walked in was Mony Linz Einstein, Albert Einstein’s great grand-niece, the owner. Extraordinary and unexpected antiques and artifacts and art from all over the world crowd the place and you’ll want to take everything home.

Officine Universelle Buly a perfumerie founded in the 1800s is a delightful experience, as much for the products as for the attentive staff, gorgeous cabinetry, and watching the ritual of sumptuous packaging. They sell little cases of lip balm that can be monogrammed while you wait.

Photo: Official Marais

After shopping, it is nice to take a 20 minute walk along the rue du Temple (more good shops and bakeries and art stores) to the neighborhood called Canal St. Martin in the 3rd arrondissement. This is a more-recently-gentrified neighborhood with cool shops and cafes. Here you can walk along the canal, dug in the 19th century, with its many locks and a portion that flows underground. I’ve always wanted to book a canal boat tour, but have never planned far enough in advance. There are lots of wine bars along the quai, and Le Comptoir du Canal is particularly charming.

For Dinner

After a day of walking then freshening up at the hotel, I don’t mind hopping in a cab for dinner. Here are some favorites.

Frenchie - reserve well in advance and look forward to dining in a tiny jewel box of a restaurant with divine food. 

Breizh Cafe for delicious Breton crepes and cider when you want to eat delicious food in a warm atmosphere without a lot of fuss.

Chez Georges at 1 rue du Mai. There are several Chez Georges in town, but I love this one and it is said to be the restaurant where Julia Child had her epiphany about French food when she tried Sole Meunière for the first time. I love their sweetbreads.

Chez Julien for traditional fare in a fabulous Belle Epoque room.

I always like to go to a good Vietnamese restaurant when I’m in Paris. One, it’s nice to have a break from bistro fare, and two, it’s some of the best in the world (outside of Vietnam, I’m told). Entre 2 Rives in Opera is unassuming but delicious. Reserve in advance.

Continue reading my guide for Day 3.

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