Things to Do in Paris: The City of Light from a Native’s Point of View
Amandine is one of those people who has her finger on the pulse of what’s going on around town, and she holds an enticing little black book of insider secrets and things to do in Paris. One of our many GO-Card partners is her company Rue Amandine, which provides bespoke tours of Paris. She creates a little book that is an itinerary just for you and your group, sets you up in an apartment and books special experiences based on your interests.
Amandine herself was raised in Paris, first in the Marais and then the Bastille area, and she created her company to give tourists a taste of vrai Paris like only a native can offer. She feels her job is to craft experiences of the city that match a visitor’s dream, giving them the key to plan a memorable and personally tailored vacation. She describes herself as a bon vivant and a traveler, yet she maintains a level head and a business while being an attentive mom to her two daughters.
So I simply had to ask her . . .
What are your top three new restaurants?
1. Haï Kaï, on the quai de Jemmapes in the 10th. [I tried it based on her recommendation, and it was superb. The chef is a mere 24 years old and a woman—female power!]
2. Edgar, on Place d’Alexandrie in the 2nd, a place to see and be seen, with an extremely popular terrace. Calamari a la plancha is the thing to have here.
3. The Italian hot spot Procopio, on the rue Juliette Dodu in the 10th, for truffle pasta.
What are your top three classic things to do in Paris?
1. Eating Berthillon ice cream on the Ile Saint-Louis.
2. Strolling around the Grande Epicerie du Bon Marché in Saint-Germain, the most amazing gourmet store ever.
3. Enjoying the view of and from the Eiffel Tower.
What are your top three Parisian boutiques?
1. Patricia Blanchet for amazing shoes!
2. Merci: the coolest concept store in Paris for the past three years.
3. Emmanuelle Zysman for her precious and semiprecious jewels. [I have to have my “significant other” read this article!]
Who is your favorite new designer?
Tassia Canellis. She is not only a friend but also a talented jewelry designer. Her showroom is in the rue Amelot, but she is also sold in many stores in Paris. When I visit her, I always leave with something I bought for me or for a friend—beautiful and affordable!
What’s your go-to area for strolling?
The canal Saint-Martin area. There is nothing more charming on sunny days than a walk here. Stroll into the Artazart bookstore and have a bo bun in le Cambodge. You’ll find it difficult to resist temptation in front of Patricia Blanchet Shoes in the rue Beaurepaire and will certainly buy something at Centre Commercial. And I bet none of you will be able to resist the amazing smell coming out of the bakery Du Pain et des Idées.
What is your favorite street in Paris?
How can I name only one? Boulevard Richard Lenoir during market days!
Most unusual thing to do in Paris.
1. Spend a couple of hours at Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature: amazing.
2. Spend the afternoon with a book in Parc des Buttes Chaumont: relaxing.
3. Spend an evening on a private houseboat and drift along the river, sipping a glass of wine: unique!
What’s your place to get away from it all?
Le Parc des Buttes Chaumont on a sunny weekday.
Top three tourist traps.
1. Restaurants on the Place du Tertre in Montmartre: expensive and not good.
2. Dinner on a Bateaux-Mouches boat.
3. Restaurants with menus in every language are usually not the ones a Parisian would go to.
What’s the biggest mistake most tourists make?
Planning too many things to do. There are tons of things to do in Paris, but everything can’t be done in a couple of days. It’s better to plan less but really make the most of it.
Your most used French saying.
En mai, fais ce qu’il te plaît. In English: In May, do what you like!
If you had to leave Paris what would you miss the most?
My Vélib rides through Paris streets. The fresh food markets. All the good restaurants that keep opening. And of course helping visitors make the most of this city I love.
Rue Amandine gives GO-Card holders something special upon arrival at their apartment in Paris.