Paris, the city of lights, is much more than the romantic cliché many of us of have come to imagine. Though visitors will certainly find the historic monuments, museums, bistros and boutiques, they will also discover avant-garde art galleries, next-generation wine bars, creative design shops, and even tech start-ups.
Jacques Genin: Death by Chocolate
Located in the third and seventh arrondissements, Jacques Genin’s chocolate shops offer an exquisite selection of caramels, pâtes de fruits, or fruit jellies, and chocolate bonbons in a variety of flavors, such as fresh mint, peppercorn, bergamot, and rosemary. In the salon de dégustation, Genin serves a delectable mille-feuille, or puff pastry with two layers of cream, accompanied by a pot of extraordinarily thick hot chocolate. Other favorites include the pâte à choux, cream puff, which is filled with hazelnut praline cream, and the sinful strawberry tarts, which many consider unequaled in Paris. You can find Genin shops at 133 Rue de Turenne and 27 Rue de Varenne.
View Versailles by Bike
Though most visitors will want to discover Paris à pied, the Versailles Bike Tour is one of the city's most unique sightseeing experiences. This is a nine hour excursion that takes participants from the Javel metro station to the wondrous gardens of Versailles, where you can experience Marie Antoinette's country-style Hameau, the Petit Trianon and the Grand Trianon.
The tour also includes a picnic by the Grand Canal and a visit to the Palace of Versailles. After a 30-minute trip from the RER train station to Versailles, visitors will hop on their bikes and head to the palace, which is just five minutes away. Following a quick stop at the village market to purchase baguettes, cheese, ham, and wine for your picnic lunch in the lush surroundings of Versailles, participants can criss cross the gorgeous gardens and tree-lined trails around the palace. At the end of the Grand Canal, guests will enjoy their picnic. The visit to the palace includes a stop at the spectacular Hall of Mirrors, the King's State Apartments and the King's Chapel.
Septime: Feed Your Senses
Septime offers one of the city’s top-rated tasting menus for under 100€. Although diners should plan on making a reservation at least three weeks in advance, the wait is worth it. The chef, Bertrand Grébaut, a former graphic-designer, brings a dash of creativity to his cooking. Grébaut, who previously held court at three-Michelin-starred L’Astrance and L’Arpège, is particularly known for his confident use of contrasts, such as raw and charred, or puréed and crisp, which make for a uniquely epicurean dining experience. Among his most in-demand dishes, guests will find the steamed cod with pickled turnips and yuzu sauce, white asparagus with an oyster sauce gribiche and lobster with boudin noir. These entrées are perfectly paired with wines from the restaurant's one-of-a-kind French wine selection.
In a city with thousands of cultural and dining options, these are simply three suggestions that promise to not disappoint. Simply walking around, visitors will find an unbeatable selection of patisseries, boulangeries, and fromageries. Also, Paris is synonymous with style. So whether your window shopping or looking for that special something, the city is a treasure trove of exclusive finds. Finally, few cities can compete culturally with Paris. From Picasso to Renoir, the city is bursting at the seams with great artworks. The unforgettable Louvre, the exceptional Musée d’Orsay, and the contemporary Centre Pompidou are just some of the more well-known cultural spots in a city where its residents live and breathe art. So let us know what you think of Paris. We hope we were able to provide some insight into a city with unlimited potential.