Tag Archives: paris

Discover the Oldest Market in Paris

Marché des Enfants Rouges

Photo from Paris Vox

The Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest covered market in Paris, located at 39 Rue de Bretagne in the artsy and lively quartier of le Marais. Its name, which means “Market of the Red Children”, originates from the 16th century orphanage that used to occupy the site, whose children used to wear red uniforms.

It was established as a market by Louis XIII in 1615 and it became a hub of life in le Marais. However, in the 1990s, the Mayor made plans to tear the historical site down to turn it into a parking complex. The residents of the area came together to protect the market, some even chaining themselves to the front gate in protest. After six years of abandonment, the residents triumphed and the market was renovated and reopened in 2000, and it now remains one of the most popular markets in Paris.

Photo by @jooklin (instagram)

The market offers fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and flowers, as well as authentic, homemade dishes ready to sample at the market or takeaway. We recommend visiting the Moroccan food stall and trying the pastillas, a traditional Moroccan meat pie which is usually made with chicken and a hint of warming cinnamon.

Address: 39 rue de Bretagne, 75003

Opening times: Tuesday to Thursday 8:30am – 1pm, 4pm – 7:30pm
                            Friday and Saturday 8:30am – 1pm, 4pm – 8pm
                            Sundays 8:30am – 2pm

Nearest metro: Filles du Calvaire or Saint Sébastien Froissart

Bastille Day in Paris 2019

Photo by Dorian Hurst

If you’re lucky enough to be in Paris on the 14th of July, you can experience one of the biggest national holidays in France! From parades to parties, fireworks to concerts, here’s your guide on how to celebrate Bastille Day in Paris this year.

What does Bastille Day commemorate?

Bastille day, known as Le Quatorze Juillet or La Fête Nationale in French, marks the anniversary of a major turning point in the French Revolution. On 14th July 1789, approximately one thousand revolutionaries attacked the Bastille, a medieval fortress located in the centre of Paris that held political prisoners, which had become a symbol of the oppression of the French people by royal authority. As the revolutionaries attacked, many of the soldiers in the Bastille changed sides and joined the people, and eventually the military leader of the Bastille, Governor de Launay, surrendered the fortress and the revolutionaries took control.

This event, now known as the Storming of the Bastille, gave hope to the French people and inspired them to rise up against the nobles who had ruled France for so long. It engendered a series of events that eventually led to the demise of the French monarchy, the culmination of which was the beheading of King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette in September 1779.

The Storming of the Bastille, July 14, 1789 – Jean-Pierre Houël The National Gallery, The Bridgeman Art Library

The Bastille was torn down by the revolutionaries following their victory. Today, a square called Place de la Bastille covers the area where the fortress used to stand, with the Colonne de Juillet (the July Column) standing at the centre of the square, which commemorates the Second Revolution in France.

Photo by Arnaud Chicurel

Traditional celebrations

Over 200 years later, the 14th of July is celebrated all around France every year. However, there’s no better place to be than in the city of its origins – Paris! Here’s a guide on all the traditional celebrations you can join in on in Paris.

Military parade on the Champs-Élysées

The national holiday opens with the arrival of the French President at the top of France’s most renowned avenue, the Champs-Élysées, where the military parade commences from the Arc de Triomphe down the avenue towards Place de la Concorde, heralded by trumpets and drums. 

10.10am: Arrival of French President
10.30am: Start of parade
11.45am: End of parade
12pm: Departure of French President

Grand concert of operatic works at the Eiffel Tower

At the foot of the Eiffel Tower, the Orchestre National de France and the Chœur et la Maîtrise de Radio France will be performing a number of classical pieces around this year’s Bastille Day theme, ‘The Federations’. The programme includes pieces from Vivaldi, Tchaikovski, Beethoven and Berliox among many others, and is completely free to enjoy.

The concert will start at the Eiffel Tower at 9:30pm.

Photo by Aida Garifullina

Fireworks display on the Champs de Mars

Gather at the Champs de Mars for a spectacular fireworks display in front of the Eiffel Tower. Expect to see a dazzling display of choreographed multi-coloured fireworks sparkling before a backdrop of the Eiffel Tower in the Parisian night sky.

The spectacle commences at 11pm for a duration of 30 minutes.

Photo by Lorraine at Discover Walks Blog

Firemen’s Ball

On both the 13th and 14th of July, fire stations in every district of Paris open up to the public to host traditional balls, known as Bals des Pompiers in France. The Paris Fire Brigade dates back to 1793, just four short years after the Storming of the Bastille. Following a devastating fire that burned for 23 hour in the city, Napoleon decreed the Paris Fire Brigade to be a military unit of the French Army devoted to the safety of Paris in 1810. To honour their service, you can enjoy a night of dancing and drinking with Parisians all over the city, where many of the dances go on until 4am!

This year, the Bals des Pompiers will take place on Saturday 13th July and most of them will begin at 9pm. Many of them are free, but some may ask for a small contribution.

Click here to find your nearest Bal des Pompiers – look under the subheading Paris 75 for the addresses for every ball happening in the centre of Paris.

Photo from Paris Tourist Office

Useful French Phrases

There’s no better way to experience Paris than living like a true Parisian. However, one key part of living like a local is to speak like a local! Obviously, learning the French language won’t happen overnight, but there are some essential words and common phrases that you can learn before you travel that will help you during your trip. Here’s a list of some of the most useful French phrases to help you navigate your way through the winding streets of Le Marais, order an aperitif on a rooftop bar overlooking the Eiffel Tower or pick up a baguette at your local boulangerie…

Photo by Jamie Hagan

The basics

Hello / Good evening Bonjour / Bonsoir
How are you?  Ça va?
Please  S’il vous plaît
Thank you – Merci
You’re welcome  De rien
Sorry Pardon
Excuse me Excusez-moi
Yes / Non – Oui / Non
I don’t understand – Je ne comprends pas
Do you speak English? – Parlez-vous anglais ? 


Photo by Léonard Cotte

Phrases for getting around

Excuse me, where is ___? Excusez-moi, où est ___ ?

This is really crucial phrase that can help you find what you’re looking for in the city. You can ask for anything, from hotels and museums to restaurants and metro stops.

Photo by Alex Holyoake

Where is the closest metro station? Où se trouve la station de métro la plus proche ?

The metro system is a fantastic way to get around Paris, especially if you really want a taste of authentic Parisian living. It’s easy to use, inexpensive and very well-connected throughout the city. This phrase will help you find the nearest station, where you can then go underground and find maps of the entire metro network to find out where you need to be. Some metro stations, like Louvre-Rivoli in the 1st arrondissement and Arts et Metiers in the 3rd arrondissement, even feature interesting designs and are well worth checking out!

Photo by Lucy Dodsworth

 One ticket, please. Un billet, s’il vous plait.

When you get to a metro station, head to the ticket booth, le guichet, to get a ticket for your journey. This phrase also works for buses too, which are a great alternative if you want to avoid rush hour on a busy metro line, but also if you want to see Paris from a different perspective as you travel through the streets of some of the most famous quartiers.

Phrases for ordering food and drinks

A table for two people, please. Une table pour deux personnes, s’il vous plait.

For most bistros and cafes, you can usually sit down at any free table and the waiter will then come over to you and ask what you’d like. However, some restaurants will locate a table for you as you enter, so this is the phrase you will need.

Photo by Bram Naus

The menu, please. La carte, s’il vous plait.

A lot of menus in the areas of Paris that attract a lot of tourists will often include English translations of the food, but don’t worry if not! Just say “Avez-vous une carte en anglais, s’il vous plait ?” (Do you have a menu in English, please?) and most restaurants will be able to provide you with one.

I would like ___, please. Je voudrais ___, s’il vous plait.

Now you can order away! Classic French dishes include beef bourgignon, duck confit and of course, escargots – snails!

Photo by Eric McNew

I can’t eat ___. Je ne peux pas manger ___.

If you have any food intolerances, allergies or preferences, it’s always a good idea to learn how to say it in the language of the country you’re visiting. Here are a few examples in French:

peanuts – les cacahuètes
nuts – les noix
gluten – le gluten
shellfish – les fruits de mer
eggs – les œufs
fish – le poisson
dairy products – les produits laitiers
soy – le soja
meat – la viande

Photo by Rose Elena

The bill, please. L’addition, s’il vous plait.

Following an espresso after dessert, you can grab the bill then enjoy the rest of your evening in Paris by going for a stroll by the Seine.

One last thing…

Finally, don’t forget that Paris is the city of love! To tell your loved one that you love them as you sit by the Seine on Ile de la Cité, simply say Je t’aime

Photo by Gautier Salles

5 Must-See Sights in Montmartre

When you think of Montmartre, what comes to mind? Is it the grandeur and beauty of the historic Basilica of Sacre-Coeur? Or rather the seductive Moulin Rouge? These places are without a doubt unmissable but today, we want to expose you to some unmissable areas often overlooked.


  1. Clos Montmartre


When walking the streets of Paris, it’s easy to get lost. We’ve all had that: “wait… what street am I on? Am I going in the right direction?!” moment and especially in the small, hidden streets of the 18ème arrondisment. I like to think of this as part of the hidden charm of this district; so, what is le Clos Montmartre? Well, if you’re really good at getting lost around back streets then you’ve probably already found this place. It is a small, hidden vineyard in the heart of Paris, home to some of the most beautiful flowers in the city and the last standing vine in central Paris. The vine was originally placed where it is now in 1933 by the council trying to prevent property developers from developing on that site. Would you believe that before the stunning vine and flower beds, this 0.15 hectare of land was a children’s playground and dumping ground?


Unfortunately, it is not open to the public but you can still admire the vines from above and below and once a year they open the gates to the public (by guided tour only) and the money raised from the ticket sales is put towards funding projects in the 18ème arrondisement.



2. Moulin de la Galette



We can all agree that there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the Moulin Rouge… But what about the Moulin de la Galette? These two windmills date back to when grain was being produced on nearby farms in Montmartre. One of the windmills is now a popular restaurant (worth the visit if you have the time), the other can only be spied through the trees. If you happen to find it, snap a photo and tag us on Instagram: @holidayseuroperentals


3. Renoir Gardens



If you’ve bought your ticket to the Musée de Montmartre (which we absolutely recommend) then take some time to find the little hidden Renoir Gardens. Its the perfect escape from the bustling 18ème arrondissement where you can enjoy a peaceful oasis. We recommend taking a book and spending a quiet sunny afternoon drinking in the beautiful surroundings.


4. Place du Tertre


You’re bound to stumble across this beautiful square if you are walking up to Montmartre. It’s the hangout spot for the modern-day Picassos, Monets and Cézannes. If you’re looking for a unique souvenir from Paris, here’s where you’ll find it. There are street artists selling one of a kind, hand painted pictures of Paris in her many forms. There are also many artists who will create a vision before your eyes of your choice and even create charcoal portraits! These aren’t the cheapest of souvenirs but they arepriceless.

5. The Bateau-Lavoir


The Bateau-Lavoir used to be home to a piano factory but as it was poorly heated, artists would come together to warm one another up. This place has been deemed a “melting pot of Modern Art” as it quickly became home to many artists from around the world using the space to cultivate their creativity. In the heart of Emile Goudeu, the Bateau-Lavoir was home to some of the most famous artists of the 20thcentury such as: Henri Matisse, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. Sadly, the original interior burned down in a fire in 1970, however, it was quickly rebuilt, so if you get the chance to head over, check out a comparison of the original interior and the new-build.

Brunch in Paris

What better opportunity for brunch than your special weekend away to Paris? When it’s just too early for lunch but you’ve snoozed the alarm a few too many times, brunch is exactly what you need. Here’s a guide to some of our favourite brunch spots in Paris.

Café Mericourt

11ème arrondissement


Price: €€€€

This modern and minimalist brunch spot is kitted out with cacti and hanging wicker lights which makes us feel immediately comfortable and welcomed. The menu consists of staple brunch items such as a breakfast roll (fried egg, bacon and chili jam) and pancakes (honey and lemon ricotta with maple cream, pears, grapefruit, raisins and pumpkin seeds), however, their famous shakshuka is not to be missed (tomatoes, red peppers, onions, spices and harissa). With amazing coffee and a chilled vibe, €20 is the best value for money.

22 rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011

Metro: Oberkamf

Monday to Sunday: 9am – 6pm

La Chambre aux Oiseaux

10ème arrondissement


Price: €€€€

Plush armchairs, vintage-style porcelain and a touch of green give this brunch spot a “right at home” feel. €21 will get you: a choice of toasted bread with homemade or artisanal jams and butter, fresh juice and a hot drink, plus a seasonal salad with cheese, a perfectly cooked egg and a dessert. This brunch spot will quickly become a favourite for your trips to Paris.

48 rue Bichat, 75010

Metro: Colonel Fabien / Gare de l’Est

Monday to Sunday: 10am – 6:30pm


La Régalade Saint-Honoré

1ére arrondissement


Price: €€€

Bruno Doucet challenges what we would consider the typical brunch and has created more of a traditional lunch with a starters, main course and dessert menu for €35. The bar’s buffet of starters includes: mushroom and nut terrine, celery remoulade, crab with herbs, cooked whelks with homemade mayonnaise, leeks in a mustard vinaigrette and pesto-marinated scallops. Piling your plate high with these delicious starters may make it difficult to make room for the main plate but we recommend soldiering on and making it through to the dessert buffet which consists of: caramel rice pudding (La Régalade’s special), homemade madeleines, an array of cheeses, chocolate mousse, apple tart and red plum crumble. This delicious spread will leave you full to the brim but desperate to return.

106 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001

Metro: Les Halles / Louvre – Rivoli

Brunch every Sunday: 12:15pm – 2:30pm


Brasserie Thomieux

7ème arrondissement


Price: €€€

When you think of a typical Parisian brasserie; its Brasserie Thomieux that comes to mind. Its deep red banquettes, walls of mirrors and wooden floors prove that this brasserie combines luxury and brunch in an elegant and tempting way. With Sylvestre Wahid running the show, we know we’re in for the brunch of a lifetime. For €49, we can indulge in a plethora of perfect pain au chocolats and croissants, smoked salmon, ham all accompanied by an assemblage of butters, jams and cheeses. If this wasn’t enough to fill you up, the menu includes fresh juice, a hot drink, eggs made as either: eggs benedict, an omelette or poached eggs in bourguignon sauce and a fruit salad. It is clear that Wahid takes brunch as seriously as we do so why not spoil yourself and eat like a King for the day!

79 rue Saint-Dominique, 75007

Metro: La Tour-Malbourg / Varenne

Monday to Friday: 12pm – 2am
Saturday: 7pm – 2am


Le brunch du Royal Monceau

8ème arrondissement


Price: €€€

If you’re looking for a Michelin-starred brunch buffet then look no further! At first glance, it’s the Philippe Starck interior design that we first notice; elegant and modern. Your eyes will promptly shift to the enourmous, enticing brunch buffet. You’ll first be offered fresh juices, hot drinks and mineral water throughout your brunch experience. Be sure to take advantage of the vast array of Pierre Hermé viennoiseries like their famous Ispahan croissant, vanilla cake, gugelhupf kouign amann, fresh crepes and waffles, organic yogurts, a selection of bread and baguettes from Eric Kayser. Continuing on this culinary journey, we tackle the savoury foods: organic eggs, salads, fresh, Italian pasta, Lebanese dishes (cold mezze), Scottish salmon, ceviches, oysters, sushi,  sashimi, charcuterie, cheese, hot dishes from the chef (burgers, the legendary club sandwich, dauphinois potatoes, sautéed potatoes and much more if you can believe it! Finally, delve into Pierre Hermé’s wonderful dessert buffet, each as delicious and inviting as another.

37 avenue Hoche, 75008

Metro: Charles de Gaulle-Etoile

Saturday: 12:30pm – 3:30pm (€98 or €147 with champagne)
Sunday: 12pm – 3:30pm (€139 or €188 with champagne)

Festival des Lumières au Jardin des Plantes

This fall, marvel at the animals in the Jardin des Plantes during the first “Festival des Lumières”! Enjoy a crisp evening stroll among the gigantic and luminous animal “structures.”

From November 16 until January 15, the Jardin des Plantes presents an evening exhibition that will enlighten the conscience of young and old.

Start the course at Valhubert Square with spectacular lanterns depicting creatures that disappeared 65 million years ago: immense light structures of several meters made in China by China Light Festival, specialist in Chinese lanterns.

Discover extinct or endangered species under the pressure of human civilizations; animals who have disappeared because of humans and those currently threatened with extinction such as the mammoth, polar bear, American bison, white shark, etc.

This festival of unusual light is also dotted with live shows on the theme of nature and workshops for children who can even build and decorate their own lantern.

Festival des Lumières au Jardin des Plantes

Espèces en voie d’illumination © China Light Festival B.V

Espèces en voie d’illumination © China Light Festival B.V

Buy your tickets in advance to pay less.

What? Festival des Lumières
Where? Jardin des Plantes, Place Valhubert, 75005
When? November 16, 2018 to January 15, 2019 (from 18h00 to 22h45)
How much? 15€ (12€ discounted)