48 Hours In Paris

Above: The Eiffel Tower across the Seine (Photo: Amy Laughinghouse)
Above: The Eiffel Tower across the Seine (Photo: Amy Laughinghouse)

Paris is a destination that never goes out of style. Whether you’re in the mood for croissants, culture, or couture (or if you just want an eyeful of the beautiful women that wear it), the City of Lights is for you.

What to see and do

For 71 Euro, you can buy a two-day Paris City Passport online, offering access to more than 60 museums in and around the city (including heavy-hitters like the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Pompidou Center), plus a boat ride on the Seine and unlimited transportation aboard the Metro, bus, tram and RER from Zones 1-3. For a creepy cool tour, descend beneath the city streets to explore the catacombs

Where to shop

The boutiques that line the cobblestone streets of the Marais are as eclectic as its residents, who range from flamboyant drag queens in improbable platform shoes to modestly-attired Orthodox Jews. Funky vintage stores like Vertiges et Rag and Planete 70 populate Rue St. Martin, while De Bouche a Oreille Maison on the Rue du Roi de Sicile is outfitted like the Addams’ family decorator’s showhouse, with framed cockroaches, the skeletal jaws of crocodiles, and articulated wooden hands (an homage to Thing, perhaps). Then, of course, there’s Dollhouse next door to De Bouche, where the assortment of wispy lace, cuffs, chains and battery-operated adult toys would make E.L. James’ Christian Grey turn 50 shades of… red.

Where to eat and drink

At Derriere, the décor is as “cheeky” as the name implies, with fringed lampshades, a Ping Pong table, and a Narnia-style wardrobe leading to a “secret” room resembling a cross between a frat house and the Mad Hatter’s attic, kitted out with a foosball table, leather sofas oozing stuffing, and taxidermy suffering a severe case of mange.

For a real gullet-stuffer of a meal, book a table at Les Fines Gueules, occupying an atmospheric 18th century stone house. This cozy wine bar and restaurant is renowned for its meat, but don’t miss the Buffalo Mozzarella cheese starter—a massive, gooey gob that will leave you moaning like a porn star.

Ready for a nightcap? Head to the Experimental Cocktail Club in the Montorgueil district. Velvet curtains frame the entrance to an intimate bar, where candlelight flickers off stone walls and ancient beams.

Where to stay

Hotel Emile in the Marais offers 29 rooms super-sleek rooms, with open-plan bathrooms and black-and-white geometric patterns dominating the décor. Doubles from £126 Euro, including breakfast.

For more information on Paris visit: http://en.parisinfo.com

Follow Amy Laughinghouse on Twitter at @A_Laughinghouse or visit her website: www.amylaughinghouse.com.

Amy Laughinghouse

From swimming with sharks in French Polynesia to walking with lions in Mauritius, London-based travel writer Amy Laughinghouse has attempted to overcome her fears (and basic common sense) through her adventures in 30 countries. Her articles have appeared in Qantas Airlines’ in-flight magazine, The Toronto Globe & Mail, the Irish Times, and the Boston Globe. You can find Amy at www.amylaughinghouse.com and on Twitter @A_Laughinghouse.

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