Do you remember when you were learning the alphabet at the kindergarten? Don’t worry, I didn’t regress! I just thought it would be a nice idea to make an ABC to introduce you some of the main sides of Paris. Here we go!
A for Alcohol: as you know, we are not lacking of bars in Paris. Having a drink with my friends is one of my favourite parts when I’m going out, the city is so festive!
B for Bakeries: Parisian are known to produce good baguettes and pastries! It’s not a secret for you anymore, Eric Kayser bakery is my number one: they have the best pains au chocolat in Paris and it’s a key element for a good breakfast!
C for Champs-Elysées: this is the most beautiful avenue of the City of Lights! Some people even see it as the most beautiful avenue of the world… Parisian, it’s time to swagger, we can be proud of our capital! Indeed, you can find everything you need here. As Joe Dassin said in his song, “Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysées!”
D for Dior: this is one of the most important brands in the luxury universe, speaking of fashion or perfume. Who doesn’t know the famous slogan “Dior j’adore”? So chic and classy! Not to mention that Dior has chosen the most beautiful egeries for its campaigns: Natalie Portman, Marion Cotillard, Charlize Theron…you know, “la crème de la crème”!
E for Eiffel Tower: Do I have to mention that this is the symbol of the French capital and one of the most successful touristic attractions in the world? Merci Gustave for this magnificent legacy! The Iron Lady is far from being closed, bravo!
F for Fly Boats: if you want to seduce your other half, take him or her to a romantic river tour on the Seine! Fly boats are part of Parisian culture. It’s the occasion to discover the Seine river banks and the most prestigious monuments of Paris. You have to do it at least once in your life!
G for Gardens: yes, you have green spaces and beautiful gardens in Paris! My favourite garden is “Jardin du Luxembourg”, in Paris 6. It covers 23 hectares (21 open to the public) and it’s decorated with flower beds and sculptures, absolutely gorgeous! Do you know that Parisian have affectionately nicknamed this garden the “Luco”? That’s so sweet!
H for Haussmann Boulevard: throughout 2,530 meters, Haussmann Boulevard almost entirely crosses the 9th and 8th districts of Paris. It’s known for the department stores Printemps Haussmann and Galeries Lafayette. This is a very posh area. I only go to the department stores to enjoy the stunning views on the rooftops and believe me, this is priceless!
I for Invalides Dome: this chapel with a dome of 107 meters high (351 feet) was for the exclusive use of the royal family. For your information: since 1861, under the dome, in the crypt, the body of Napoléon the 1st lays in 6 successive coffins inside a sarcophagus of red quartzite! Incredible, isn’t it?
J for Joconde: who has never heard about the Joconde? This famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci is on display at Musée du Louvre. I have to warn you: you might be disappointed because the painting is very tiny and protected by an enormous safety device. I’m not against safety devices but there are so many people in front of the painting that you can barely see something! Too bad.
K for Kiosks: there are about 340 newspaper kiosks distributed throughout Paris. Like this, you are sure to get your copy! Local shops are so nice and useful!
L for Love: poetic and mesmerizing, Paris is the most romantic city in the world! Evidence: the romantism of Paris is celebrated in the movies (Paris je t’aime directed by Olivier Assayas), the songs (Les Champs-Elysées interpreted by Joe Dassin), the poems (Cet amour by Jacques Prévert) and the perfume campaigns (Parisienne, the perfume by Yves Saint-Laurent)! There is even a wall of “je t’aime” written in every language at Square des Abbesses, in Montmartre. Wow!
M for Metro: as there is no smoke without fire, there is no Paris without metro! Holy metro! This is both a blessing and a curse. Parisian are always complaining about it but how would we survive without metro? Driving makes us so crazy as well! I’m still waiting for the teletransportation invention…
N for Notre Dame: this beautiful cathedral is full of history! I’m always thinking about The Hunchback of Notre Dame every time I see it, even if I perfectly know that Quasimodo is a fiction! Disney movies power…
O for Opéra Garnier: also called Palais Garnier, this magnificent building is classified as historical monument since the 16th October of 1923. Now, Opéra Garnier is the theater of ballets and lyrical shows.
P for Pigeon: unfortunately, pigeons are everywhere! They spread terror among Parisian, like in Love birds of Hitchcok! Just kidding. But pigeons are still scary: they fly too close to our heads and we are never safe from a suspicious projection! Damned creatures!
Q for Quai Branly Museum: located in Paris 7, at the foot of Eiffel Tower, Quai Branly Museum shows the old ethnological collections of the Museum of the Mankind and those of the National Museum of African and Oceanic art. You can see the garden of the museum for free. The botanist Patrick Blanc created a huge green wall of 800 m². Inspired by nature, he has created an amazing device that fixes 15,000 plants from 150 species from around the world on the facade of the museum. This vegetal wall is a masterpiece, you have to see it!
R for Restaurants: as you know, Paris is also the capital of gastronomy, we are so lucky! Oh, I love French cuisine, there are so many good restaurants here. Believe me, it’s not a coincidence if Ratatouille Disney movie is set in Paris… Bon appétit!
S for Seine: the course of the Seine is lined with numerous points of interest for tourists. Whether you are on a boat or on the docks, it’s always a good time. Enjoy!
T for Tuileries Garden: “Jardin des Tuileries” is classified as historical monument since 1914. The garden area is 25.5 hectares and it’s the perfect place for a romantic walk. Go for it, it’s beautiful!
U for Uniqlo: if you are fans of this Japanese brand, there is a big Uniqlo store in Opéra district. I love doing my shopping here during the sales to buy jeggings and they have an amazing selection of colors!
V for Vélibs: this is a system of bike sharing in Paris which was created in 2007. If you are fed up of the metro, Vélib can be a solution! However, be careful on the road! Personally, I find these bikes very heavy so I never use Vélib. I prefer riding a normal bike in a park, it’s safer for me.
W for Waiter: except in the posh places, usually Parisian waiters are not very nice, they are in a hurry and ignore you when you order tape water. “Garçon! S’il vous plaît!” Sometimes, and it’s curiously paradoxical, you have to wait for an eternity to have the bill. They don’t want to be paid or what? Of course, if you are not satisfied with the service, you won’t give them tips. But you know, you must give to receive! Then they stay grumpy and unpleasant, it’s a vicious circle! Hopefully, there are exceptions, I have already met waiters who were kind and efficient. All hope is not lost…
X for Xth district (Paris 10): this is where you can hang out at Canal Saint-Martin! Go for a walk or an aperitif with your friends, there are a lot of terraces along the canal…
Y for Yves Saint-Laurent: like Dior, YSL is a French famous brand in the luxury industry, whether it be in haute couture or perfume. Yves Saint-Laurent has even been the subject of 2 biopics in cinema: Yves Saint-Laurent directed by Jalil Lespert (January 2014) and Saint-Laurent directed by Bertrand Bonello (May 2014). What a success!
Z for Zoo de Vincennes: if you love animals, it’s the perfect place to be! With a new concept, a completely revised guided tour and structures at the highest level to accommodate a thousand animals in optimal conditions of well-being, this zoo has everything to seduce a broad international audience! The tour crosses 5 regions: Patagonia, Sahel-Sudan, Europe, Guyana and Madagascar. Here, animals become ambassadors for their natural environment. Have a nice journey!
Hope this ABC of Paris will allow you to have a better knowledge of the French capital. Don’t hesitate to give me your opinion in the comment field! See you soon 🙂