Member Reviews (1)
- Chez JustineFirst to ReviewJul 05, 2012
I've crafted a "Perfect Day in Paris" list for you. I've lived in Paris for over a year and when I have a free day I take advantage of it by going to certain museums, restaurants and bars that I've found to be fantastic over and over again. Chez Justine is certainly my favorite restaurant and bar, so you must make if there if nothing else.
10 a.m.: Head over to Le Nemours (M7 at Palais-Royale Musée du Louvre). It can be touristy but this early in the morning I’ve found it mainly to be the city’s elite having a glass of wine or espresso while smoking, reading, and people watching on Place Colette. There is also a beautiful garden behind the palace so do a bit of exploring, and you’ll find them (when facing Le Nemours go left under an archway, pass through the courtyard with the modernist spheres jutting from the ground, the garden is in the back left). My go-to way to spend the time at Le Nemours: ordering a café crème and reading the latest copy of The New Yorker (or, as my French gets better, the day’s Le Monde).
12 p.m.: Take a stroll to the Musée d’Orsay. It’s only a fifteen-minute walk away. Head past the Louvre and the Tuileries, cross the Seine, turn right and you’ll run into it on your left. It’s my favorite museum in the city – if you’re into Impressionism you’re golden, and, even if you’re not super keen, you’ll still appreciate the big name artwork: Cezannes, Corots, Courbets, Monets, Manets, Toulousse-Lautrecs, etc. I can never spend too long looking around in museums so when you get hungry head up to the beautifully designed restaurant and have some relatively well-priced food with a view of the Seine and the Tuileries.
5:30 p.m.: Head out of central Paris over to the eleventh arrondisement (where I lived!) to kick it with the Paris wildlife: young Parisians sporting dozens of types of special edition Ray-Bans, old men futilely fishing, runners, smokers, and the readers at the Canal St. Martin. It’s about a thirty minute walk or you can take the M3 to Parmentier, when you exit the station walk straight downhill on Ave de la République and take a right at Blvd Jules Ferry. And, yep, Audrey Tatou skipped some stones here in Amélie, but more importantly this is a great area in the summer for relaxing and shopping at neat, one-of-a-kind boutiques. I’d recommend grabbing a salad (I go with the “Anne”) from Chez Jean (which you’ll have seen as you walked down Ave de la République from Parmentier and hanging out in the sun watching old men play boules or sit waterside and people watch.
7:30 p.m.: Walk or take the metro down to Pont Marie for dinner at an amazing restaurant, Chez Julien – the NYT and Le Monde loved it, I loved it, you’ll love it. Serving traditional French fare, it’s situated in a prime location on the Seine and near Bastille. You’ll probably spend (with wine, of course) fifty euros on yourself, so it’s not an every day kind of place, but it’ll be well worth it.
10:30 p.m.: My favorite bar in the city awaits you: Chez Justine. Call for a cab (hailing one on the street is illegal in France and almost impossible in the evening, especially on a weekend) or take the metro to Rue Saint-Maur on the M3. This bar, a one-minute walk from my old apartment, is in the Oberkampf area, one of the generally agreed top three nightlife areas in Paris (Champs-Elysées and Bastille give it a run for its money, but Oberkampf is my favorite in both its vibe and price). It’s the only bar I’ve found that makes a complex cocktail for less than 15 euros so head up to the bar and order yourself a Manhattan (a dry Maker’s Manhattan up in a tumbler of course), listen to the live music, watch the pretty people, maybe have one more, and then, head home, knowing that you just spent a perfect day in Paris.