Paris is top of most people's wish list when heading to Europe with the famous French capital offering much for the visitor to see and do. Stephane Guerin, owner of Melbourne-based Paris apartment agency, The French Experience, was born and grew up in the City of Light and he has kindly shared his 'Insider Secrets' to Paris with us.
Must-see sights in Paris
On a nice day one of my favourite places to visit is the Rodin Garden. The entry fee is only a couple of euros to be given access to the garden exhibiting Rodin’s work. I especially enjoy the casualness of being able to have a coffee sitting on a bench admiring The Thinker a couple of metres in front of me. It can be a nice family outing as the youngest can have a run in the garden while parents can enjoy a classic sculptor.
Favourite place/area to stay in Paris
I grew up and lived in different areas of Paris from the Marais, Montmartre or Place des Ternes but my favourite location is the Saint Martin Canal area. It has become the place to go for a drink or for dinner for locals, a bit like the Marais used to be 20 years ago with lots of typical Parisien bistros offering classic meals in a classic atmosphere.
Best place to eat in Paris
This is a hard one as there are so many good options in various styles and budgets. For a special occasion Laperouse (51 quai des Augustins 75006) is my recommendation, le Treminus Nord, the classic Brasserie in front of Gare du Nord for a seafood platter or Chez Janou (2 rue Roger Verlomme 75003) for a Mediterranean inspired meal.
Best way to get around the city
After rollerblades the metro is definitely the most efficient way to move around Paris, unless there is a strike…
Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie (34 rue Montmartre 75002) - here you will find the french eateries as they have always been. It can be dangerous to go there if you are hungry!
Best way to spend a lazy Sunday in Paris?
It can start with an indulgent breakfast at the Murano hotel (13 Boulevard du Temple 75003) and then a short walk to the Saint Martin canal which is closed to traffic every Sunday and often hosts a brocante (local street market). If you are not feeling lazy, get up for the sun rise in the square of the Louvre, there will be hardly anyone there and you will feel you are in a deserted city, to be followed by a visit to the Cartier Foundation which always has very good exhibitions, a good alternative to the most famous museums.
My hidden Paris secret
After you have visited the Pere Lachaise cemetery and its celebrities you might be ready for lunch or a cake in the afternoon so pay a visit to Stephanie, the Serial cooker (22 Boulevard Menilmontant 75020), she is not only a great and creative cook, she’s also a great chunk of entertainment!