What to Do in Paris

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Cinéma du Panthéon

Paris, France

Dating back to 1907, Cinéma du Panthéon is one of the oldest surviving cinemas located on the Left Bank. Showing mostly art and avant garde films, in addition to a selection of obscure international films, the cinema also hosts meet-the-director nights on occasion. Upstairs, housed in an open-plan loft with a charming outdoor terrace, is Le Salon, a lounge bar/restaurant/tea-room designed by none other than famous French actress Catherine Deneuve. At lunch the space is always filled with directors, students and actors, so book in advance or come for tea and cake in the afternoon.

Address

13 Rue Victor Cousin 75005

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La REcyclerie

Paris, France

La REcyclerie is located in Porte de Clignancourt in the 18th arrondissement and housed in the old Ornano train station of the abandoned ‘la petit ceinture’ trainline. A project by the team behind Le Comptoir General, which is famous for upcycling, La REcyclerie is a café, bar, restaurant, urban farm and educational and creative centre with a focus on sustainability. Check the diary for the various DIY workshops (winter gardening, screen printing, clothing repairs and upcycling furniture) talks, screenings and yoga classes which are constantly on offer, or just go for a beer and sit outside on the defunct railway tracks.

Address

83 boulevard Ornano 75018

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Canal Saint-Martin

Paris, France

Built under Napoleon’s rule to provide Paris with fresh water and food, the Canal Saint Martin attracts a young and eclectic crowd of Parisians and internationals – and with them trendy restaurants and bars. Drink and socialise on the footbridges that formed the backdrop for the famous film Amélie or simply stroll under the shade of the canal’s overhanging trees. We suggest Holybelly or Ten Belles for breakfast, Café Craft for coffee or La Verre Volé for lunch or dinner. Head to Le Comptoir Général for a cocktail.

Address

Canal Saint-Martin

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Catacombs of Paris

Paris, France

This is the one thing that all tourists know about but few get around to doing. A web of tunnels that were used by resistance fighters in World War II, the catacombs encompass all the mystery and history that Paris is known for. Visiting the catacombs is a fascinating way to spend an afternoon in Paris.

Address

1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy 75014

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Musée Jacquemart-André

Paris, France

See how the high society of Paris once lived with a visit to Musée Jacquemart-André, the 19th century mansion of art collectors Nélie Jacquemart and Edouard André. Converted in 1913 to display their collection, wander through the opulent residence filled with Greek and Roman antiquities, Egyptian artefacts, Dutch period furnishings and an outstanding collection of Italian Renaissance art with works by Botticelli, Luca Della Robbia and Donatello. We love the winter garden with sculptures and potted plants arranged in a marble room and glass roof.

Address

158 boulevard Haussmann 75008

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Fondation Louis Vuitton

Paris, France

Set in the swanky suburbs of Bois de Boulogne, Paris’ second largest public park, The Fondation Louis Vuitton is an impressive architectural spectacle and centre for contemporary art and culture. The building is owned by Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH and the wealthiest man in France and houses his private collection of modern art in 11 galleries inside. The building itself however, is what has caused most of the excitement. Designed by all-star American architect Frank Gehry, it is shell-shaped and made from huge glass sails which contrast starkly with the surrounding greenery.

Address

8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi Paris 75116

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Palais de Tokyo

Paris, France

While romantics snap the hundredth photo of the Eiffel Tower, contemporary art lovers should pop into the Palais de Tokyo a stone’s throw away. Located in the 16th arrondissement, Palais de Tokyo has one of the largest centres for contemporary art in Europe with multiple exhibitions, screenings and performances going on year-round. But that’s not all. Palais de Tokyo is a hot-bed of cool with two restaurants: the ever-chic Monsieur Bleu and the funky Eat Tokyo, a 900sq ft bookshop open until midnight with hundreds of independent magazines and specialty books, the garden Jardin aux Habitants curated by 16 different gardeners/artists, a foto automat and a nightclub called YoYo.

Address

13 Avenue du Président Wilson 75116

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Musée Nissim de Camondo

Paris, France

An extravagant early 20th-century Parisian mansion, the expansive former home of Belle Époque banker Moïse de Camondo is one of the 8th arrondissement’s crowning jewels. The house’s owner was an avid 18th-century furniture collector, turning the manor into a fascinating meeting point between pre-revolution opulence and Gatsby-style modern accoutrements in the kitchen and offices. You’ll catch glimpses of leafy Parc Monceau through massive windows on your tour and will definitely be tempted to take a stroll through it afterwards.

Address

63 Rue de Monceau Paris 75008

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Musée Picasso

Paris, France

Set in a bright and airy Marais mansion, this museum will make you feel as though you’re in a Woody Allen film the minute you set foot in the pale stone courtyard leading to the entrance. Containing everything from Picasso’s preparatory works for his famous Demoiselles d’Avignon to video footage of the artist running around a garden in the South of France with his wife and son, this is a real goldmine for Cubism and Blue Period fans. After marvelling at the museum’s expansive collection, make the most of the sunshine-flooded building by paying a visit to the lovely rooftop terrace café for an iced tea overlooking the surrounding Parisian rooftops and Sacré Cœur.

Address

5 Rue de Thorigny 75003

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Parc de Bagatelle

Paris, France

Parc de Bagatelle, situated in the Bois de Boulogne, is one of four botanical gardens in Paris. It was first created as a result of a bet between the Count of Artois and Queen Marie Antoinette, who claimed he could not build a palace with a park in less than three months. Together with architect François-Joseph Bélanger and landscape gardener Thomas Blaikie, they created a small chateau with an English garden which still remains one of the most beautiful and romantic spots in Paris. Wander through the rose garden or relax by the nymph pond on a sunny day.

Address

Route de Sèvres À Neuilly 75016

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Walking Around Montmartre

Paris, France

The hill overlooking Paris was once home to emerging artists before rising house prices drove them out. It isn’t hard to see the inspiration they found here; Montmartre feels more like a village than a city with narrow cobbled streets that still adorn some of the rooftops. Be sure to take your time as you climb towards the Sacré Coeur perched at the summit of Montmartre – the winding alleyways are full of surprises. It is best to go early in the morning or on weekdays given the throngs of tourists you might encounter, especially during warmer months. At the foot of Montmartre is Pigalle, where many present-day artists now reside.

Address

Montmartre 75018

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Marché des Enfants

Paris, France

Opening in 2000, Marché des Enfants located in the heart of Le Marais is the perfect weekend excursion. Although not exactly a secret amongst tourists, we still love wandering the food stalls serving up Italian, Lebanese and African fare before heading over to Café Charlot for happy hour across the street.

Address

Marché des Enfants Rouge 75003

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L’Archipel

If you want inspiration, look no further than this converted chapel. The focus here is on community building and neighbourhood care – whether that’s providing workspaces for budding professionals or taking in refugees (one of the adjoining chapels is an emergency accommodation centre). The space itself is beautiful – think 19th-century chapel meets antique Parisian bookshop (along with some hammocks in the alcoves, should you need a power nap). You’ll have to prove that your work is having a social impact to nab one of its 30 co-working spaces.

Address

26 Rue de Saint-Pétersbourg, 75008

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Hubsy

There are a few Hubsy spaces about – one in Arts et Métiers, another in République and finally, Saint-Lazare – each offering a gently thrumming professional environment. It’s pay-as-you-go, so you settle the score as you leave. Don’t hold back on its complimentary snack buffet nor the coffee, which has such a coterie of fans that Hubsy even sells its beans in take-home pouches.

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Greenspace Paris

Freelancers who prefer a more corporate environment should consider pulling up a chair at Greenspace. Yes, it’s scattered with potted plants and other zany flourishes that make it feel comfortable and homely, but it’s the type of place where people hunker down rather than natter openly. You can’t simply drop-in. Instead, you have to sign up to a monthly plan, which will grant you 24/7 access, as much caffeine as you can stomach and various printer/ scanner facilities. It’s just a few boulevards away from Place de la Bastille.

Address

28 Rue du Chemin Vert, 75011

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Anticafé

What exactly is an Anticafé? It’s a space which combines the services of a café, the amenities and conducive atmosphere of a workplace and the cosiness of a home, so it says anyway. The going day rate at one of its three spaces is €24, or €5 per hour – fairly reasonable considering that includes a buffet of sweet and savoury snacks (salads included) and an endless supply of barista-made coffee.