Paris: walking on your own

Paris, France

14 places

Anna Bichevskaya

Even if you are heartbroken you should go to Paris – right when your exit Charles de Gaulle Airport you start to feel ok. Just be ready for long walks and unexpected meetings. That’s our to-do list for lonely girls in Paris.

Barbès market

Every Paris street corner has an impromptu food market – under striped tents you can find oysters and octopi, side pork, farmer's tomatoes and artichokes and armfuls of buttercups and peonies. Such places have the best French pastry – a croissant with apricot jam and seasonal freshly squeezed juices make a perfect breakfast. You can find markets anywhere but the closest to Montmartre is Barbès on Boulevard de la Chapelle.


In the morning it is still the same old Montmartre – a quiet provincial village where nobody rushes anywhere. And don't forget about the view – the waking up Paris is all yours under your feet. Visit Sacré-Cœur, walk to the vineyard, across Place du Tertre with its painters and down to the two old mills – guests from the past.

Les Deux Moulins

The 2001 movie hit Amélie de Montmartre made this brasserie famous – the girl worked here as a waitress. Today it is one of the city's highlights and has Amélie poster inside. The place got its name in the 1950s due to its neighbors – Moulin Rouge and Moulin de la Galette though it was opened in the early 20th century. The interior has remained unchanged since the 1950s and the space looks smaller than in the film, while waiters are all men.

Chanel Boutique

Today Chanel symbolizes elegant classics but then Mademoiselle Coco was quite a rebel – she made women change from ruffles and corsets into pants suit and little black dresses and gave them a cross body bag – the iconic Chanel 2.55.
In 1921, Chanel opened her first boutique – 31 rue Cambon with the famous mirrored spiral staircase and a studio where she lived and work. Friendly staff will show you both – the interiors are authentic – Indian sculptures, Chinese screens and mirrors in gilded Empire style frames.

Schiaparelli store

Pop in even if you have no plans to spare €500 on knitted gloves. The interior was designed by Vincent Darré, the one who used to work with Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Moschino and Ungaro. Right in the center you'll find a wool carpet in shocking pink and an asymmetrical fuchsia sofa with reptiles x-ray print. Move on to the mirrored dining room with bone chairs and lobster-shaped drawers. The space is lit with surgical lightning. Schiaparelli's belongings are also here – a sphinx sculpture, female forms by Salvador Dali and spiraling metal glasses created by Man Ray.


Go to Colette for Simone Rocha's baby doll dresses and Carven trenches as well as colorful books on photography. Shopping-exhausted head to Water Bar for ecoproducts – try their filling scrambled eggs with cheese and herbs of Provence. Every day DJs play for customers and sometimes works by young artists are on display.


Ladurée has been making macaroons, colorful éclairs, fruit tarts and multi-tiered cakes since 1862. You can taste them all in a restaurant, by the way they serve not only sweet stuff. The interiors are posh, waiters clad in liveries and napkins are monogrammed – this has its price, so other pastry places are obviously cheaper. If you don’t have much time, grab some sweet take away in a store by the restaurant. They also sell perfume, bags, scarves and notebooks in pastel colors with ribbons and pugs print.

Luxembourg Gardens

It's one of the best spots in Paris to have a walk or relax with a book by the fountain, while tourists are taking pictures of wrought iron chairs, boats in the fountain, the Eiffel Tower and locals. This kingdom of sculptures and nicely shredded shrubs is blessed by peace.

Shakespeare & Company

The owner of the first bookstore in Rue de l'Odeon — Sylvia Beach — was a close friend of the Fitzgeralds, Hemingways and many writers of the 1920s. She was the one to have arranged a lunch to introduce Fitzgerald to James Joyce whom he worshiped. In her memoirs she wrote: «Poor Scott was earning so much from his books that he and Zelda had to drink a great deal of champagne in Montmartre in an effort to get rid of it.” The store was shut down in 1940 to reopen right across Notre Dams and in 1951 it got a new owner – American George Whitman. His daughter Sylvia runs it now and sells books in English, with Fitzgerald’s novels of course.


Locals say, they have the yummiest ice cream in town. You can get some in a takeaway booth but it's always crowded. Step inside instead to enjoy the treat amid patina-framed mirrors and round marble tables where ice cream is served as it should be – in metal bowls with waffles or cookies.

Pont au Double

If you manage to find a vacant bench by Pont au Double bridge stay for a couple of minutes to watch a woman with accordion. She has been singing her touching sad songs on this spot for the last 40 years. They match the mood of the city so well.


Beaubourg has always been a working station for many prominent writers so people still come here with notepads and laptops. Inside you'll see much of its neighbor – George Pompidou Center for Modern Art – lots of concrete and futurism. The menu is a fusion of French and Asian food: onion soup, scrambled eggs, stews and Thai chicken.

Eva Pritsky

A thrift store and a friends bar in the beloved Ménilmontant – locals believe it is the last shelter of the real Paris. In this street, everyone is a friend and gathers in the evening for a glass of wine in a local bar – it so Parisian. If you meet a guy in a hat named Didier say hi!


Oberkampf is one of the major bar streets in the city. In the summer or on weekends it is one big club, like Rambla in Barcelona of Istanbul's Istiklal. It is packed with locals-loved concert and techno venues that are not that crowded. By the way, its owners follow all music trends and make quite good money on them.


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