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OROKO City Guide | A long weekend in Paris

Paris will forever be one of our favourite cities for a weekend getaway. There is something about the Parisian culture that keeps us coming back for more. Though it entices with endless historical landmarks, it is the energy and character that we love the most. From historic markets to romantic cobblestone streets, quintessential cafés to artistic hubs, we are sharing the ultimate Paris city guide to help you get to know the true essence of Paris.

Try sunset cocktails at Le Perchoir

Climb to the 6th and 7th floor of an industrial building on Rue du Crespin du Gast and be blown away by spectacular rooftop views over the Sacre Coeur and Montmartre. Introduced to us by local Parisians, this spot is little known to tourists and is ideal for some sunset drinks and 360° views of the city. It is a popular spot, especially closer to the weekend, so we recommend going early for the best chance of getting a seat.

Explore the artistic hub of Montmartre

Montmartre is one of our favourite neighbourhoods in Paris. A former artists’ village, the cobblestone streets are dotted with quaint eateries, vintage shops and art galleries. We love to start the day enjoying a coffee at one of the nearby coffee houses. Continue to visit some of the many landmarks like the Sacre Couer, Sinking House of Montmartre, Renoir Gardens and hidden vineyards of Le Clos Montmartre. In the afternoon, enjoy a delicious lunch at La Maison Rose, a beautiful corner restaurant along one of Paris’s prettiest streets, Rue de L’Abreuvoir.

Visit the Pompidou Centre

The Pompidou Centre is a high technology architectural building in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. It houses the National Museum of Modern Art, Public Information Library and IRCAM, a centre for music and acoustic research. We suggest exploring the museum’s vast collection which is the second largest collection of modern and contemporary art in the world after MOMA in New York. Admire the work of artists like Matisse, Picasso, Frida Kahlo and Francis Bacon. What you may not know is that the Pompidou Centre houses one of the finest rooftop bars in Paris. Extend your exploration of the Pompidou with an evening cocktail, admiring the panoramic views over the rooftops.

Enjoy classic French cuisine in Ma Cocotte

Ma Cocotte is a stylish modern space in the heart of Saint-Ouen Flea Market. This trendy neighbourhood is filled with excellent restaurants to choose from, but Ma Cocotte is one of our favourites. Situated within a former warehouse, interiors are trendy and chic. The menu brings traditional French cooking back into the present day, with classic bistro-style dishes like poulet roti, beef tartare and homemade terrines.

Stroll through Le Marché Bastille

Le Marché Bastille is a must-visit for any foodie. Open every Thursday and Sunday, it is the largest public market in Paris and home to over 100 stalls of fresh and local produce. Stumble upon artisanal stalls of bread and cheese, picking up some delicious produce for a picnic lunch along the Seine. Another excellent market includes Marché des Enfants Rouges. Dating back to 1628, it is the oldest food market in the city. Situated in a lovely part of the city, why not browse through the farmer’s produce and wander through the trendy neighbourhood of Marais.

Try a croque monsieur at Le Recrutement

An iconic French favourite, croque monsieur is a must try when in France. A fancy name for a ham and cheese toastie, it is typically enjoyed at a Parisian café as a quick snack. One of the wonders of Paris is stopping along various chic cafes and enjoying tasty snacks and aperitifs. Head to Le Recrutement for one of the best examples of the dish and sample the classic or try a croque madame, which includes a fried egg on top. This cosy spot is just a short stroll from the Eiffel Tower and also offers a selection of wine and champagne if you are in search of a relaxing aperitif on the terrace.

Explore the Latin Quarter and Saint Germain

Combining both the 5th and 6th arrondissements of Paris makes for an excellent afternoon in the city. The Latin Quarter, also known as the 5th arrondissement, is famed as being a historic centre of artistic achievements in Paris. Situated on the banks of the Seine, there are several cultural highlights like the Panthéon and Jardin du Luxembourg. A great area for a rainy day, browse the legendary bookshop of Shakespeare & Company and visit one or two art house cinemas. The neighbouring district of Saint Germain des Prés is home to glamorous boutiques and eateries. It truly comes alive at night with several trendy restaurants and bars in the area. We particularly love Prescription Cocktail Club.

Take a romantic cruise by night along the Seine

On a dinner cruise along the Seine, admire amazing city views by night aboard the luxury Bateaux Parisiens. River cruises are an excellent way to see the city from a different perspective and in a romantic setting. Just some of the landmarks you’ll admire along the river includes the Eiffel Tower, Grand Palais and the Louvre. This is an excellent chance to get glammed up for the evening and enjoy a refined à la carte dining experience, paired with excellent French wines.

Enjoy breakfast in Parisian boulangeries

Baking is taken very seriously in French culture, to the point where there are laws protecting its authenticity. PAIN PAIN, in the neighbourhood of Montmartre, is a wonderful example of artisanal breadmaking and in 2012 it won the award for best baguette in Paris. Venture to PAIN PAIN to sample some outstanding baguettes or delicious pastries. For an international interpretation of French classics, head to Boneshaker doughnuts. Pastry chef Amanda Bankert and husband Louis Scott created this quirky doughnut shop in 2013 and have since cooked up a storm in Paris. Sample French inspired fusion doughnuts like caramel beurre and crème brûlée flavours.

Indulge in decadent sweet treats in a classic Pâtisserie

The French are connoisseurs of delicate and intricate pastries. Treat yourself to some of the city’s finest desserts in some of the iconic pastry shops like Cyril Lignac, of which there are five, and Karamel, located in the prestigious 7th arrondissement of Paris. Pastry extraordinaire Nicolas Haelewy creates pastries that are seriously technical and extremely delicious. Take a break from sightseeing and simply enjoy decadent pastries and a café au lait.

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