Best Flea Markets to Shop in Paris

Whether you are a tourist on a budget or a tourist with enough cash to spend for souvenirs and a little Parisian shopping, Paris’ flea markets should definitely be in your itinerary. Paris is not just about fancy dining and shopping; there are also flea markets, or les puces, located in the outskirts of Paris where you can find unique items and unusual merchandise at low prices.

Merchants from all over Europe set-up shop in these flea market locations right outside Paris to sell their unique items. The variety of items sold in these flea markets are very surprising since you could find antiques and vintage pieces sold for low prices. If you are a collector of fancy French china or perhaps, dolls and toys that are old, you should definitely start your search for more of these items in the les puces.

If you can’t find what you were looking for in one flea market, don’t fret– there are two other large flea markets for you to check out. These flea markets are also located on the outskirts of Paris.

The largest of these three flea markets can be found in Puces de Saint Ouen, a sprawling 7-hectare area full of merchants and wares. It is believed that over 3000 vendors are found in this flea market while over 180,000 visitors are known to visit it every weekend. Puces de Saint Ouen has also been recognized as the world’s largest antique market.

Puces de Saint Ouen is only open on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays of every month; however, minor sales may occur during the weekdays. To reach Puces de Saint Ouen, simply take the metro at Porte de Clignancourt, Line 4.

Another smaller yet popular flea market in Paris is the flea market in Porte de Vanves. Antiques are rarely sold here; however, if you are looking for unusual modern items like paintings, clocks, picture frames, lamps and everything else in between, Porte de Vanves is the place to be. Only 50 vendors are found in this area but the merchandise they sell are very unique and varied. You could chance upon art pieces and wood structures in this flea market, as well as other common items like mirrors and garden pieces.

To reach Porte de Vanves, simply take the Metro at Line 13. Make sure to schedule all your trips to this flea market on Saturday and Sunday mornings only since the area is a ghost town, especially in the evening.

Whether you’re a shopaholic or a mere collector of antiques and rare finds, the flea markets in Paris are the best places to find special souvenirs.

5 Ice-Cream Parlors in Paris

Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, rocky road– on a warm spring day, a bowl of ice cream would surely suffice to cool you down.

Like Italy, France has a lot of ice cream shops to boast and these ice cream parlors are often visited by French locals and tourists, like yourself. If you find yourself out and about in the city and it turns all humid suddenly, march your way to these five (5) most popular ice cream shops in Paris.

Berthillon
31, rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Ile
75004 Paris

A list for the best ice cream shops in Paris should always start with Berthillon. This small shop in the 4th district has been likened to the Eiffel Tower in significance. Almost every Parisian has been to it and there is absolutely no reason why a tourist shouldn’t visit it, either. It serves one of the best tasting ice creams in Paris and is known throughout the world when it comes to creating sweet, creamy creations.

Berthillon is open from Wednesdays through Sundays, starting at 10:00 AM and closes at 8:00 PM.

Le Bac à Glaces
109, rue du Bac
75007 Paris

Even David Lebovitz, author, blogger, and chez-extraordinaire, considers Le Bac à Glaces one of the best ice cream shops in Paris. Le Bac à Glaces is an ice cream shop that serves all-natural ice creams of all flavors. Visit Le Bac à Glaces from Mondays through Saturdays, starting at 12:00 Noon until 7:00 PM.

Pozzetto
39, rue du Roi de Sicile
75004 Paris

Pozzetto is one of the youngest ice cream shops in Paris which opened in 2005; however, it has quickly gained a loyal following of ice-cream loving locals and tourists. Pozzetto serves ice cream, gelato, and other delicious, sweet creations using all-natural ingredients. Pozzetto is open from Sundays through Saturdays, starting at 11:00 AM and closes by 12:00 MN.

Tutti Sensi
14, rue Norvins
75018 Paris

With over 41 flavors to choose from, you’ll surely have a grand time in Tutti Sensi, a small ice cream shop located near Butte Montmartre. Tutti Sensi is open from Mondays through Sundays, starting at 10:00 AM until 12 midnight.

Grom
81, rue de Seine
75006 Paris

Our newcomer and final contender is from Italy. Grom-Paris first opened in 2008 to serve loyal patrons who have already tasted their sweet creations in Italy. Their creamy gelato products are known far and wide and now that they’re in Paris, you can easily grab a scoop for yourself. Grom is open from Mondays through Sundays, starting at 12 Noon until 12 Midnight.

5 Art Museums to Visit in Paris

Who doesn’t love art? Kids are easily amazed by the unusual things art and history have to offer and not only does exposing your kids to different evidences of early art and history entertain them, it also helps them grow. Instead of busying yourself with arcade games, video games, and toys, take your children to an educational road trip which they will never forget. Paris has all the right museums and attractions which will surely bring out the Picasso or Michelangelo in your kids.

Musée de la Poupée – Paris
28, rue Beaubourg Impasse Berthaud
75003 PARIS

What you’ll see: art and toys such as authentic, little French dolls, wood-crafted toys, accessories, furniture, and other small toys for boys. Musée de la Poupée – Paris keeps track of the history of toys. If you are interested in finding out who enjoyed what in a certain year, this museum keeps track of it all.

This museum is open from 10 AM to 6PM daily, Mondays through Fridays, only. For adults, the entrance fee is 8 Euros but for children aged 3 to 11, the rates are at 4 Euros. For students, the entrance fee is 6 Euros.

Grévin
10 boulevard Montmartre
75009 PARIS

Like Madame Tussaids, Grevin is a museum that showcases the most stunning wax work images of many popular people, including the President of France, celebrities, royals, and other popular personalities. Philippe Starck and Barack Obama are the museum’s latest exhibits.

This museum is open from Mondays through Fridays, at 10 AM until 6:30 PM; however, over the weekends, you may drop by at 9:30 AM until 7:00 PM. The entrance fee is fixed at 21.50 Euros but students may pay 18.50 Euros, which is a discounted rate.

Musée de la magie – Musée des automates
11, rue Saint-Paul
75004 PARIS

If you are fond of magic or anything involves fancy tricks, cards, and a little magic dust, the best place to go is to Musée de la magie – Musée des automates. This museum showcases different tools used for executing different magic tricks.

The musuem is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:00 PM until 7:00 PM while the entrance rates are at 7 Euros for adults and 5 Euros for children aged 12 and below.

Palais de Tokyo – Site de Création Contemporaine
13, avenue du Président Wilson
75116 PARIS

Everything about this museum is art: the east wing houses modern art while the left wing is where you can find contemporary art creations. This museum is very popular among Parisians but don’t let that put you down, there are so many surprises in this museum intended for tourists, as well.

The museum is open from Tuesdays through Sundays and the entrance fee is at 6 Euros for adults.

Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux Arts de la ville de Paris
Avenue Winston Churchill
75008 PARIS

Our last stop for the day is where you can find fancy items used by the French royals of the previous centuries. Everything here is fancy and fragile so make sure to watch your step wherever you go. The Petits Palais also showcases paintings and different works of art.

The admission rates have changed over the years in this museum so make sure to ask before visiting. It is also open from Tuesdays until Sundays.

Best Clothes to Pack for your Trip this May

It’s spring in Paris once again and it is the best time to dress like a true fashionista!

April and May comprise the spring season in Paris and those who are visiting the City of Light in May should prepare for a real-life fashion showdown. The streets of Paris will not be a sea of black coats and black slacks this springtime, instead, colors and prints of different shades and textures will flood the districts.

Spring is the best time to experiment with clothes, colors and styles. Since it will neither be too cold nor too warm outside, it wouldn’t be a good idea to stick with your black coat, pants, and boots. Most Parisians, especially locals, will be in their best spring wear, as well. Colors like orange, brown, turquoise, red, green, khaki, white and several others will be “in” and darker hues will not be very common. If you want to know what most Parisians will be wearing so you can prepare before your trip, head down to the websites of popular fashion designers and see what’s in their spring wear gallery.

Ladies will find the season exciting since they will be able to exercise their fashion chops as they mix and match different springtime clothing. Men, on the other hand, will have to stick to the common casual wear. After all, there is not a lot of unusual variations for men’s fashion. A cool shirt, colored scarf, a beanie hat, and some light khaki pants may do for starters. You may also refer to fashion websites for more ideas.

During spring, skirts, scarves, and sleeveless tops tend to become very common. You might want to build your wardrobe with tops, skirts, pants and shorts with sophisticated floral designs, stripes, and perhaps, some repetitive shapes. Since vintage wear has become quite popular lately, clothes with bows and ruffles may become “in fashion” as well.

Although you are encouraged to experiment with different spring time styles, don’t forget to invest in some light rain coats or jackets as well. Springtime in Paris does not mean everything will be sunny and bright; some days will be rainy, cold, and gloomy and a colorful jacket or coat might come in handy.

Remember, being fashion forward does not mean having the latest designs in your closet, it means knowing what suits an occasion without spending so much on your wardrobe. Let your creativity run wild this spring!

Top 3 Chocolate Shops in Paris

Like Belgium, France boasts its own unique chocolate creations and there are hundreds, even thousands of chocolate shops in Paris to prove it.

Some of Paris’ most interesting chocolate shops are already known throughout the country, even the rest of the world. These chocolate shops are often found in

Perhaps Paris’ most popular pastry and chocolate shop is Laduree. In fact, Laduree was featured in a Hollywood movie and in several TV shows in the US. Laduree stands for luxurious treats and delicious pastries, making it one of Paris’ highly visited restaurants and pastry shops. Laduree’s Macarons is considered their best and most popular creation, yet.

There are four (4) Laduree branches in Paris todate:

Laduree Bonaparte

Laduree Bonaparte in 21 Rue Bonaparte 75006, Paris

Laduree Royale

Laduree Royale in 16 Rue Royale 75008 Paris

Laduree Printemps

Laduree Printemps near 62 Boulevard Hausmann 75009

Laduree Champs Elysees

Laduree Champs Elysees in 75 Avenue des Champs Elysees 75008 Paris

Although Laduree popularized the sandwich type, colorful macarons which are sold in different restaurants and shops across the country, Laduree also serves other delicious meals and breads.

Just a few blocks away from Laduree Bonaparte is where you can find another popular chocolate shop. La Maison du Chocolat is a chocolate shop that specializes in all things chocolatey like chocolate eclairs, macarons, and cakes. They are known for creating chocolate jewels back in 2005.

You can visit La Maison du Chocolat at 225 Rue du Faubourg St. Honore, 75006 Paris.

On a nearby district, you can find another chocolate shop which is known throughout Paris for their Eiffel Tower chocolate creation. Basically, they product chocolate renditions of the Eiffel Tower.

Michel Chaudun is also a famous restaurant and confectionary in Paris. Tourists and celebrities are known to visit the shop to taste their finest chocolate creations.

For a taste of the Eiffel Tower chocolate, head down to 149 Rue de l’Universite, 75007.

http://www.Welcome2France.com is where you can find beautiful Paris apartments located near these chocolate shops. Book with us today!

5 Reasons Why Getting Lost in Paris is a Good Thing

Paris is a fairly large city and the city which is made of over 20 districts has so many treasures and amazing scenes to offer. Many who go to Paris already know where to find the Eiffel Tower, what bus to take to get to a certain district and how much time to spend to walk to a certain landmark. Google Maps and other interactive smart phone apps have actually made traveling easier but if you want to make your Paris more memorable, why don’t you leave all your maps and apps in your luggage and simply, get lost.

Dare to do what no other tourist has done before: leave your travel guides behind and face Paris boldly without a map.

1. Learn time management.

Before you start with your trek, you need to prepare a few things: make sure to bring a watch with you or set your smart phone to alert you a few hours before it gets too dark. Set a curfew for yourself so you don’t spend the entire night walking around in, heaven forbid, an unsafe location. Paris is generally safe as a city but who knows who you’ll meet in the city and what their intentions are.

Getting lost in Paris simply means going around the city without a specific destination in mind and without the assistance of a travel guide so you get to see the city in a way that’s never been seen before. Getting lost in Paris doesn’t mean losing your sense of time though, so make sure to set a curfew for yourself and stick with that schedule.

2. See Paris differently.

Tourists who come to Paris with a travel guide pretty much know what to expect. The travel guide is making their trip easy for them, but if you had gone to Paris without any help from a map or guide, you will see Paris in a very different way. To locals, Paris is a mega-city where culture and commerce meet and mix harmoniously. To tourists, Paris is a city where you can find beautiful sights and sceneries, but to a lost tourist, Paris is a large strange place with so much to offer and so many treasures to share, but first, you have to find out where these treasures are.

Make your trip to Paris a personal experience and get to know Paris in a very honest way.

3. Know landmarks and tourist attractions faster.

Without a map, you will have to rely heavily on landmarks to find out where you are and where to go next. It would be a very exciting experience to see Paris without any guide and if you want to remember streets and landmarks faster, do so without a map.

4. Learn to speak to the locals.

A map is often used to show you directions but what do you do if you don’t have one? You will have to leave all your inhibitions behind and learn to converse with locals. Simply put, you will have to ask around. You will need to ask where you are and how to get to a certain location; most importantly, you will have to do all these to find out how to get back to your apartment.

map of paris5. Discover streets and locations rarely mentioned in travel guides.

The best thing about getting lost in Paris is that you get to discover streets and locations that are rarely mentioned in travel guides. On your trek, you might stumble upon unusual museums, statues and structures. For example, there are several copies of the Statue of Liberty throughout Paris, there’s one near the Grenelle bridge, Pont de l’Alma, and Musee des Arts et Metiers. Where are these places? You’ll have to find out for yourself.

5 iPhone Apps You Should Download Before Your Trip to Paris

When traveling to a city you’ve never been to before, you can never trust your map or your guide book entirely. Things may easily change in Paris and sometimes, you will need your smart phone and these fives apps to help you get around.

Traveling to Paris but don’t know what to do when you get there? There’s an app for that.

Paris M&MParis M&M

Paris M&M is an interesting app that lists down all the museums and attractions in Paris, their locations, and museum tour schedules. Information you may need to get to these museums and monuments are also listed by the system, as well. Paris M&M (which stands for Museums and Monuments) will help you plan your daily trip itinerary by giving you all the practical information you may need on any Paris attraction. This app is also updated regularly and costs $1.99.

Patrimap by Paris.fr

Patrimap is more of a “Where am I?” app that tells you where you are, where the nearest attractions and landmarks are, and what the nearest building is in your current location. The map is free and it is highly recommended among Parisian tourists. This tool is helpful when you are lost since it tells you, via GPS tracking, where you could catch the metro, as well.

RATP Premium

The official app of the Paris Metro service, RATP Premium is an app that includes the Paris Metro map and their travel schedules. If you’re lost in the city and need to know how to go somewhere, you may also use the built-in map to give you directions to your destination. Simply provide your point of origin and your destination and it will do the rest. The best thing about this app is its free and is regularly updated.

Velib appVélib’ App

The Velib program is a biking rental program in Paris that is also very popular across Europe. You can rent a Velib bike for 1 Euro a day or 5 Euros for 7 days, but first, you must locate a Velib bike to use. Finding Velib stations can be challenging if you are new in Paris but the Velib App can point you to a Velib station near your location.

Read more about the Velib program here.

English / French dictionary

The English / French dictionary by Editions Larousse will come very handy in Paris. If you are unfamiliar with the definition of a certain French word, all you have to do is to whip your iPhone out, enter the word into the app, and it’ll give you the English equivalent in a jiffy.

Getting Around Paris with a Bicycle

Aside from the metro and the train, many Parisians tend to travel on foot when going from one place to another. Another alternative is to use a bicycle or to rent a Velib, which has long since been considered as one of the most affordable vehicles to use in Paris. There were instances in the past when transport strikes brought problems to the locals who needed to travel to distant locations; however, when bicycles and the Velib bicycle renting system was introduced, transport strikes are no longer much of a threat.

The government has been very persistent in making bicycles popular in France. In fact, the idea of allowing local Parisians to rent automatic bicycles known as the Velib system was introduced to encourage Parisians to drive themselves to their destinations instead of spending a couple of Euros on a single bus ride. By introducing bicycles, the government has not only saved millions of Euros on their buses, they also continue to encourage locals to stay healthy by peddling their bicycles.

Getting around Paris with a bicycle is a common and highly recommended option instead of taking the bus. Riding your bike around the city allows you to go sightseeing, at the same time. It is cheaper and like walking, it is also an effective form of exercise.

Where to rent bicycles in Paris

Of course, we would recommend you take the Velib system since it is cheaper and very common among Parisians. You can find Velib stations in almost every nook and cranny in Paris or if you want to get your pass online, simply go to velib.paris.fr. The cost for renting from the Velib program is 1 Euro a day or 5 Euros for 7 days, but first, you need to pay a 150-Euro deposit upfront.

If you’re not fond of peddling, you may rent a scooter or an electric bike instead. Freescoot is one of Paris’ most popular scooter rental companies and you can find their office in 63 quai de la Tournelle at the 5th arrondissement. You may also log on to freescoot.com for more information.

Where to go for leisure biking

There are two main cycling lanes in Paris: the first lane runs from Bois de Vincennes and Bois de Boulogne and the other goes from Parc de Pantin to Porte de Vincennes. These are the recommended routes you should take during your trip; however, if you want to go for a leisurely drive, you could drive along the Seine on weekends when the road is blocked and cars are not allowed to enter. Remember, this is scheduled on Sunday only, from 9 AM till 4 PM.

Tourists who want to see Paris from a local’s point of view should consider taking transportations that allow you a full view of the Parisian vicinity. That being said, try to bring a bike, rent, or purchase one when you get to Paris.

Beautiful Landmarks in Arrondissement 1

The heart of Paris is where you can find the Palais Royal, the Louvre, and several other tourist landmarks but district 1, as this region is called, is also home to many historical spots that have held great significance in French history.

There are a few landmarks in the 1st arrondissement which are not often visited by tourists because they are not as grand nor as flashy as the Louvre, the Palais Royal, and other landmarks; however, if you are someone who is easily drawn to artistic monuments that hold a special place in French culture and history, you will definitely find these stunning landmarks impressive.

Colonne Vendome

This column is hard to miss since it stands out from the other monuments and statues that adorn the Vendome area. Although the Colonne Vendome you see in the first district is now a replica of the original column, its details, height, and look was closely copied from the original. The square where the column sits is also an interesting location to be in. It was built in 1699 as a testament to King Louis XIV’s success as an equestrian but was taken down numerous of times until the government finally installed a replica that depicts Napoleon’s exploits on its surface. Place Vendome is not only a park, it also serves as a museum and commercial district. Nearby, you can find shops, boutiques, restaurants and offices.

Église Saint-Eustache

Église Saint-Eustache, like the Notre Dame Cathedral, is a church that boasts a unique Gothic facade and is one of Paris’ last surviving Gothic churches. You can find this church in Les Halles, near the Bourse de Commerce. It is well known throughout Paris and is difficult to miss.

Sainte Chapelle

Saint Chapelle is known throughout Paris as the church that boasts some of the world’s most beautiful stained-glass windows. The walls of Saint Chapelle seem to be giving you a stunning light show, especially when sunlight shines through the wide pained windows. Saint Chapelle was built primarily to serve as the resting place of many royal relics and at the same time, a church.

To get to Saint Chapelle, all you have to do is to make your way to 4 Blvd. du Palais and go through the gates of the Court of Justice. Naturally, you will have to go through a brief security check before you gain entry into the building.

La Conciergerie

A prison may not be considered romantic but the La Conciergerie is not just any prison– popular royals, like Marie Antoinette, were jailed here for allegedly committing crimes against the country. The medieval fortress is now a popular tourist landmark today and tours are available all year round. The prison is known for many things, but its stylish ceiling design is definitely the reason why La Conciergerie often is considered a highly-recommended tourist attraction.

Defying Distance: Adventures From New York to Paris

When you put New York and Paris in the same sentence, you would probably think of the international fashion week that opens in New York and ends in Paris, but not too long ago, New York and Paris were known far and wide as the routes of the first and longest non-stop single-engine flight undertaken by the American aviator named Charles Lindbergh. For this feat, Charles Lindbergh not only earned international fame, he also made it to the TIME’s front cover as the TIME Man of the Year.

At a time when aviation technology was at its crudest, Charles Lindbergh managed to cross 3,600 miles on a single-seat, single-engine monoplane from Garden City, New York to Le Bourget Field, Paris. This feat was considered very historic and Lindbergh was later awarded with the Medal of Honor.

Traveling that distance was deemed almost impossible by many “experts” at the time; not only was it considered difficult, it was almost deemed unsafe. No one knew how well monoplanes could hold up, especially when traveling 3,600 miles with a few stop-overs along the way. If anything, Lindbergh’s success proved that getting to Paris from New York will one day be just a half-day journey, or even less.

Prior to Lindbergh’s long-distance expeditions, several races have already been held to prove that intercontinental trips will one day connect two of the world’s most fashionable metropolitans to each other; one of which was the ‘1908 New York to Paris’ Race.

Needless to say, the ‘1908 New York to Paris’ Race was considered historical because the automobiles used by the participants in the race were not equipped with security features most race cars have, today. Just imagine a tin can with wheels and tires and packed with flammable gasoline making a thousand-mile trek from North America to the heart of Europe. The ‘1908 New York to Paris’ Race might seem more like long-distance death-defying stunt than an automobile race, but when it ended successfully, it defied the norms of travel and gave made the New York to Paris route more of a reality.

The routes from New York to Paris are more common today: if you want to go to Paris with New York as your starting point, all you have to do is to hop on a plane from the JFK airport and you’ll be in Charles de Gaulle before nightfall.