bonjour ! went to paris this week for some clubbing and sightseeing . thankfully the french ATC strike happened the two days prior to use flying which was a massive stroke of luck as all planes into paris where cancelled from uk until the morning we flew . we arrived at paris CDG airport and didnt realise but they have a concorde on display at the airport , its raised off the floor for everyone to see . amazing !
took the RER train direct from CDG terminal into paris , took about 30 minutes and cost 9.50 euro . we got off the train , crossed town on the metro and checked in at ART HOTEL CONGRES [44 Rue Gauthey, Paris, 75017 France 020 3564 5819] . its a nice clean and fresh contemporary hotel with wifi , really comfy beds , quiet , and cost £95 p/n . accommodation in paris is pretty expensive like most things here . in sector 17/18 .
paris is divided into sectors , so sometimes you might find related numbers . quite a good idea .
the metro is awesome to use , fast and efficient and simple to navigate . you walk up , plan your route , grab a ticket and cross the city easily . 1.70E a ticket that gets you a few trips . we couldnt work it out , sometimes you got multiple uses , sometimes just one . if it pinged red at the gate we just bought another . the info desks at each station are well staffed and most speak english . the average time we waited for a tube was about 2-3 minutes , we must have got 50 over the weekend by the time you change two or three times on your journey !
we arrived 9pm and dumped our bags and went straight out . our first night we got food on the way at candelaria – 52 Rue de Saintonge 75003 Paris, France . its a mexican taco bar serving authentic food . its pretty reasonably priced for paris 2xtaco 5euro i think it was . really tasty . its a tiny tiny place with seats for about 8 and everyone else standing . open till 11 or 12 most nights
candelaria also has a secret white door at the back that is a hidden cool cocktail bar … awesome 😉 cocktails 12Euro a pop
then off to see dj paulette @ 4 elements paris – 149 Rue Amelot 75011 Paris, France . nice little club but it was empty ! drink prices werent too bad considering .
next day it was out to see france , we started by grabbing a tube to ‘charles de gaulle – etoile’ station to see the arc de triomphe .
as soon as you walk out the station its there , a stunning sight .
wait till you try and cross the! road to get to the middle – about 7 lanes wide and coming at all angles ! behind the bus is the champs elysee .
this is the champs elysee
back onto the tube and over to see the eiffel tower getting off at the bir-hakiem station . you exit the tube overground next to the river seine and its a few minutes walk to the tower .
if you want to go up book in advance online or it might be a couple of hours wait .
next to the tower are long gardens ‘champ de mars’ with water features and wide open spaces
then back up past the tower , over the river seine
and your on the trocadero with huge water cannons that fire up – funny watching the tourists shift with the spray !!!
its a great view from the steps of the trocadero
then back onto the tube east bound for a few stops to ‘chatelet station’ to see “notre dame cathedral” . you walk thru some cool little parisian streets passing tons of eateries and a margarita in the mexican [food was rubbish here thank god we only ordered crap nachos]
cross the river
till you get to the nearby cathedral
then walk along the river passing the ducks
to the next bridge which is ‘love lock bridge’ . its all very romantic and someone was getting wedding photos taken . if you go as a couple take your lock with your names on , lock it onto the bridge , throw the keys in the river and make a wish ! if you forget your lock a shop at the end of the road is selling locks for 7Euro up to 25Euro … and making a killing ! its one of the fun things to do in paris , and it costs nothing ! i heard a kill joy online bark ‘it causes pollution’ , i say take a look at your carbon footprint flying from america to paris and all that jetfuel and then when you arrive you get your lazy fat arse on a stinking polluting boat along the river seine ! then they say it damages the bridge , which isnt true it would take a million locks to collapse the bridge ! i mean what weighs more a truck crossing the bridge or some locks lol . its a well known tourist attraction in paris listed on tripadvisor and a million links on google . so go and enjoy your trip its supposed to be fun !
after here we crossed another river bridge to head towards a recommended falafel eaterie . it was so hot with really sunny skies in paris so we took a break for a bit on one of the benches which where all along the bridge .
then marched on , past the nelson mandela [exhibition?] place , appropriate seeing as he had taken ill only that day and it was on the news
past the famous bazar de l’hotel de ville
past kate moss LOL [some cool graffiti in paris , its everywhere , almost like NYC]
and stumbled on this awesome vintage shop , most things where about 5Euro . paris has some serious vintage shops all over [google it youll find lists] . this was called ‘free p star’ [20 Rue de Rivoli 75004 Paris, France] …
and a few blocks further on was l’as du fallafel . tzatziki, garlic, mayo chilli, all that good stuff and some BIG bad ass pitta sandwiches [fallafel or chicken etc etc] . there where several fallafel places along here , but this one had ALL the customers , like 15-20 people in a que , while other places had nobody at all . obviosly tripadvisor had told us correct on the best place 😉 the guy on the seat takes the orders and money , and the window piles out the food to you . its made fresh infront of you . mmmmmmm , its pin pointed on google maps
back thru some great shopping streets towards ‘rambuteau metro’ , past the immaculate national archives
till you get to this famous monstrosity , ‘centre pompidou’ , for art and culture things .
back underground for the trip to the ‘art hotel’ in sector 17/18 , north paris to ge ready for tonite . we where off back out to see kris menace & lifelike @ social club paris [ 142 rue Montmartre; 75002; Paris; France] . we bought tickets online 15Euro wasnt too bad , but the drinks where 9Euro for a bottle of beer or 10Euro for a shot of spirit [no mixer!] . we got there at midnight and it was open till 6am . it really filled up about 1am and was busy right thru . at 2pm we looked around , there wasnt one of the 30 people next to us with a drink in their hands . im not suprised people get there late and dont drink at those prices …. “sacreblue” !
and sleep …. next day it was up late [!] and out to see some vintage shops and the area of montmartre . theres lots going on here , cafes , shops , a carnival , moulan rouge , pigalle ….but first it was up to sacre-coeur basilica , a grand monument to a glorious french battle failure and the highest point in paris .
there is a funicular mini railway thing , or you can climb the 225 steps . its not hard but its easier going down lol . by the time you have qued for a ticket youll be at the top .
its a killer view from the top .
as you leave all back down the steps and down more , and more you arrive back at the artists/painting square . then if you look at a map just south west of here next to the sacre-coeur along rue des abbesses are tons of cafes and shops – was some of our best moments around here in and out the cool shops and cafes and ice cream parlours etc . there is so much to see and do . shame we where having major camera issues grrrr .
we wandered for so long in and out of everywhere and eventually found a little corner bar at the junction of rue durantin and rue tholoze – i think it was called ‘prohibido bar’ but it was hard to read the sign . its opposite the comfort hotel , beers where cheap at 5Euro a pint , a decent group of youngish bohemian types where all sitting in the sun at the top of a hill where the bar was so we joined them and baked while we drank . if its a hot day this catches the sun late and its a real sun trap sitting on the street !
looked for ages till we found somewhere to eat that wasnt crazy expensive , but fresh and clean . took a while but got a result … had some lunch at a great place with really really fresh food , tons of nice salads and food , like a deli , and a great pizza . spot on prices 8Euro for a proper hand made authentic pizza , beers where a bargain 2.20Euro . its called la pignatta [89 Rue des Martyrs, 75018 Paris] . we ate at the side entrance on the tables outside , but theres another entrance on the corner that looks more like a restaurant rather than the deli entrance . dont know if the prices change but the side was the best place where all the food was on show . has some funky shops opposite too .
while we where walking round there was a massive street carnival going on with hundreds and hundreds of drummers in groups , vintage cars , and people in costumes . it made a really great day very special. the drummers where awesome. they also had some cool retro cars [early mini , army jeep , etc]. camera was t.ts up when they went past]
and back down onto bd de clichy are all the sex shops , lap dancing bars and red light disctrict . we decided we would come back here for a night out later so hopped back on the bus to our hotel 10 minutes away on the bus and we can grab some pics of the moulin rouge to owhen the lights are on later .
glad we came back at night as this area is buzzing and the moulin rouge looks amazing at night , or sunset time even better just as we arrived lights and blue skies wow !! 100+ euro to get in for a french language cabaret and show , err nah swerrrrve the MR ! still , they qued up like good tourists with the notes in hand 😉 we thought it was better outside and to spend the money on booze haha
after taking some pics we went to asian food just up the next street from the MR . stumbled on a thai fusion place called ‘au bonheur de thailande’ [33 rue veron, Paris] . didnt look that special from outside but on closer inspection it was great inside , really clean and loved with tons of plants and an awesome ceiling so we jumped in for amazing spring rolls , awesome ribs , and noodle dishes . add a bottle of wine and a couple of beers 50 Euro seemed a good price considering location right in a tourist zone . the waiter was really nice , very helpful , spoke english , and worked his socks off for you to have a good experience . suprisingly good thai , vietnamese and chinese !
we walked round a bit more then headed into pigalle to find a bar .
ended up loking at this palce called ‘pigalle country club’ . looked awful , but the people seemed hip , and the skull sign outside made us go in . so glad we did . we ende up staying till they chucked us out ! 3 girls dj’d student / indie type classics [blondie , yardbirds , young mc , doors etc] . it was an old red light girly bar newly converted apparently in this re-emerging booming area of coolness , pigalle . there where 20 bars and various clubs nearby that all lokoed great , and decent prices too . and clint eastwood greeted us at the door = +1 on the ‘cool-o-meter’ 😉
then we got in this bar on a corner , god knows what it was called as booze had taken over but next day i woke with these random pics taken from there haha
sunday , last day , got up a bit cloudy headed late morning and headed out for detox breakfast . today was a scorcher , everyone was in such a good mood , the weather has been incredible since we have been here . after breakfast it was off to jardin des tuileries , we had a small luggage bag so didnt want to do too much walking in the sun . hung out for a couple of hours catching the rays and enjoying the fountains next to the louvre palace . the garden is huge , and has 6 water features , the biggest of which is octagnol shaped . its free to use the garden and its full of free chairs for public use too . we sat round the round pond first , perfect !
we fed the ducks and then realised the pond was full of big fish too . birds and fish battled for the bread !
we strolled thru the park , looked at the features and cafe bars and l’orangerie …
…and headed to opposite end and the octagnol pond and got a great image of the pond , the large obelisk , place de la concorde , right up the champs elysee to the arc de triomphe . with the eiffel tower just to the side .
next to the gates where a couple of supercars you can rent and actually drive for 20 mins its $89 which wasnt too bad condsiering this was paris £££££££££££££ . we also saw a few near the eiffel tower . they where definitely different ones as one ferrari had red seats , another black seats . the ferrari is the california . mmmmm . take your drivers licence if you want to do this .
then we walked along rue de faubourg saint-honore . it was closed sunday but all the couture shops are based here … chanel , hermes , gucci , bottega veneta , prada , cartier , dolce & gabanna tax dogging emporium ha , paul smith , missoni … everyone … god knows how much the rents are in this street 😉
once last time on the metro @ miromesnil station to go to the RER at paris north connection to get us to CDG airport … but first via la chapelle metro link into paris north . we stumbled upon a real indian community area so had an indian meal a few mins walk from the station at ‘corner restaurant’ where everyone was eating . had some great food here , place was packed [rue louis blanc and rue perdonnet junction] . its orange front , and its name is corner restaurant tho it doesnt say this outside strangely ! look for the place where all the indians are eating ! 18 Euro for 2 meals starters and water .
and onto the RER , to CDG and wait for the last look at concorde on our journey outta france . au revoir !
for club events id recommend resident advisor and time out paris sites .
for vintage shops there are a few bloggers , lists , and pages on google search which have lists of top 20 places etc
for bars there are good lists on time out , plus lists of cool bars and cheap bars .
for hotels and restaurants tripadvisor gives great reviews
google maps will help you with the metro and district numbers [paris centre is zoned in about 20 numbered districts]
in railways stations all of them have great free metro route maps to giveaway
sadly we missed the massive friday night roller scaters in paris event , they had no event on the friday night we where there grrr [search roller paris]
despite a few stories of mosquitoes we got lucky … there where no mozzies !
you can go up the arc de triomphe and sacre coeure buildings .
most parisians we spoke to spoke english to us after a fumbled frech introduction from ourselves, and they where very very friendly .
if you are wanting some more bar suggestions around the pigalle area …
pigalle – its the old paris RLD known as ‘pig alley’ in ww2 ! its actually know as south pigalle [or SoPi , in the style of the american west coasts SoCal , or the east coasts TriBeCa, or even Soho] . its become a bit of a cool place now and cleaned itself up in more recent years .
bus palladium club , an old place where the stones etc used to hang out in the 60’s . there was a fairly large crowd outside i nearly hours when i went. doormen walked us in . its 20 euro admission and open long after thae bars close . it reopened in 2010 . its got a well lit white front with simple big red letters .
hotel amour – retro girly art on the walls of a seductive boutique courtyard
chez moune – electro parties in a grungy old lesbian cabaret club
opposite chez moune isle lautree bar , and a dive bar called l’embuscade opened in 2012 .
an electro techno dance club called ‘la machine de moulin rouge’ will host you late on near bus palladium . well lit in red and green with a nice dancefloor .
le mansart is a late night retro neon coktail terrace
paris pigalle glass bar also occupies an old hostess bar , like pigalle country club i mention in my tharobster blog . a lot of things are connected and PCC is run by the same team as the mexican i also mention in my blog called candelaria [with the stealth cocktail lounge secret door in marais disctrict] . you can have mezcal loopy tequilla which is always fun 😉 plenty of that was abused in my trip to mexico a couple of months back . its anything goes in here , a great place to have some fun !
cafe le carmen – cocktails and hip dj’s with a lively atmosphere in a 19th century mansion
youll find artsy types , bohemians , entrepeneurs , cool casual crowds , even deadbeats like pete doherty dj’ing regular at le faontania bar . and there are so many more places too , like le lautrec , orle sens souci for casual cocktails . its a cool place to have a night out for sure ….