Ahhh, Paris. Home to picturesque cafés, an abundance of museums and breathtaking monuments, and of course let's not forget the Parisians themselves!
Yep, for better or worse, Paris is a city that comes with a whole host of clichés. But clichés are there to be beaten. So with that in mind, let us take you on a 24-hour journey far from the capital’s most predictable haunts. A 100% stereotype-free day guaranteed.
Kick off with an all-you-can-eat breakfast
Somewhere on the slopes of Montmartre hill lies an unpretentious little café where you can sit down to one of the best brunches Paris has to offer. With unlimited hot drinks and pastries, French cheese and meat boards, pasta salads and plenty of other delicious dishes up for grabs, the team at Café Qui Parle knows how to please.
The atmosphere is relaxed, the staff is charming, you can serve yourself as you like, and the cups are all mismatched. It’s a home away from home, basically.
Stroll the length of Paris’s canals
What could be better to work off your breakfast than a walk along Paris’s network of canals? While the city isn’t exactly Venice, the Saint-Martin canal is integral to the art of Parisian living.
It’s the perfect location to stretch your legs, hang out with friends, watch the water flow by, play bowls or molkky, and, most importantly, party. The edgier among you should push on to the Canal de l’Ourcq. Less mainstream, less busy but much better vibes.
‘Hamburgés’ for lunch
Not to be mistaken with its American counterpart, the guys at Big Fernand specialise in ‘hamburgés’.
With names like ‘Alphonse’, ‘Philibert’ or ‘Bartholomé’, the special burgers are made entirely using French products and are served up by waiters sporting checked shirts, big moustaches and genuine smiles.
One of the last Parisian studios
Paris may no longer the immense open-air art studio it once was. Nonetheless there are still some exceptional places that hold testimony to a time when Montparnasse was a neighbourhood brimming with creativity. Among them, the former workshop of Russian sculptor Ossip Zadkine on Rue D’Assas.
Lined by a garden filled with large statues, the picturesque house-studio all too often escapes the attention of tourists who prefer to cram into the city’s most famous museums. You just need to decide which category you fall into.
And because we know you’re going to make the right choice, here’s another lesser known treat: La Ruche. Situated in the 15th arrondissement, this unusual building has been a hub of creativity since 1902.
Founded by the sculptor Alfred Boucher, La Ruche has welcomed a range of prestigious names in its time including Blaise Cendrars, Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine and Fernand Léger. Today, it continues to provide studios to working artists, so visits are limited to special Heritage Days or to those who have an ‘in’.
Let loose in Belleville
If you’re still on the go as the sun sets on your Parisian adventure it’s time to head to the vibrant neighbourhood of Belleville. Far from the usual upscale restaurants and trendy bars, this is where the capital’s coolest residents head of an evening. The area is fit to bust with lively and original bars, authentic brasseries and canteen-style eateries serving up the most exotic cuisines France has to offer.
From there, you just have to decide whether you’re going to end the evening à la Bellevilloise or at the Ibis Styles Paris Voltaire République hotel.
The first will bring you into the early hours of the morning, the second will welcome your tired body into one of its 41 3-star rooms. Finally, after dreaming of your jam-packed day, you’ll wake up just a stone’s throw away from La Place de la République and the Quartier du Marais to start a brand new adventure.
2nd date with Paris
Bad memories of Paris? This journey off the beaten track has hopefully reconciled you with the idea of re-visiting the City of Light. If so, check out Accor Hotels’ ‘2nd Date With’, a mission set up to encourage you to rediscover Paris and London.
You’ll be invited to nominate your favourite places via social media to help create original City Guides for both capitals. So go on, give them a second chance!