Join a French couple for dinner in their home
This is not about food. It’s about cultural exchange.
Meet the French owner, Emilie, will pair you up with one of her hosts who’s got similar interests and lifestyle, and then you join them for a simple, catered dinner in their home. Experience dinner like a typical Parisian, and make a friend along the way.
Visit Saint Chapelle, in light and dark
This tiny royal medieval chapel, right on Isle de Cite, only steps from Notre Dame, is a literal glass box with floor-to-ceiling stained glass windows towering floors above you.
Visit during the day to appreciate the color-infused chapel (a Museum Pass will help to skip the lines)
and return at night to be entranced by a quartet or chapel choir.
Sleep on a barge in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower
You’ll enjoy a glass of wine on your OWN deck, under the twinkling lights of the Tower, and then step on the quay in the morning where you bike awaits for a short pedal to your nearby croissant shop.
You’re in the heart of the action, yet set apart from the crowded streets.
And what a COOL place to sleep!
Grab a seat at the longest–continuously-running, French-language-only play in Paris
Ionesco’s famous comedy, The Bald Soprano, is a one-hour show that has not missed a night since the 1950s. Produced in the Theater de la Huchette down in St Germain off of Paris’ Left Bank, it’s easy to get tickets to this 7pm ritual, either by calling the theater in advance, or just showing up at the door! And don’t speak French? Ne vous inquietez pas! It’s absurd comedy, so you’ll be able to follow.
Meet my bike guide for a 2-wheeled escort into hidden corners of the city
Pam is a local. She knows where to pick up your Velib, what spots are particularly atmospheric, all the colorful history, and she can even devise you a route that’s car-free!
Write your first chapter at Shakespeare and Company
This bookstore in Paris is an institution dating back to the early 1900s. Run since the early 1900s by Sylvia Beach, it’s now located right on the Left Bank, and you can rummage through this warren of literature, pause to tinkle the keys on the 2nd floor piano, or grab one of the many cubbies to write our your own first chapter — or write a page in your travel journal! Wonder if Ezra Pound or Hemingway sat in that cubby? Just imagine!
There are frequent readings and book signings too.
Take a romantic stroll through a storied cemetery
Pere LaChaise in eastern Paris protects the remains of Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, and many more notable characters. The artful tombs are as much sculpture garden as cemetery and a stroll here – whether the day be still and sunny or gray and drizzl – will be a touchstone to your Paris adventure.
Meet me at Pere LaChaise is a wonderful little book (order it before you leave home) to self-guide you through this collection.
And afterwards? Dinner at the trestle-tables, elbow-to-elbow with other travelers and locals, at Mama Shelter‘s bohemian outfit, is my recommendation!
Tango by the Seine
During the warm months in this City of Light, tango reigns on the banks of the Seine. Drop-in classes start around 7pm , followed by open dancing which runs deep into the evening.
No partner needed. And it’s free!
Follow their Facebook page
Just hang out on the banks of the Seine!
From picnicking to people-watching to accordion music to impromptu DJs, it’s the best spot in town! Just watch this youtube!
Join an ex-60 Minutes-writer for a unique literary walking tour
David Burke is a published author of the literary writers’ lives in Paris. He guides small (or private) groups at very moderate cost on his different themed tours. From Lost Generation to the Racey Writers of the Marais, you really should not miss him!