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Favorite Places in Paris from a Flight Attendant Who Has Been at Least 15 Times

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For Air Transat flight attendants, Paris is the chalet. That’s really what we call the French capital, because we’re lucky enough to go there often, explore the city from top to bottom, and establish our landmarks. There’s so much to see, do and taste that I don’t think I’ll ever finish my visit to the city! Having landed at Charles-de-Gaulle at least fifteen times, I think I’m in a position to share a few original things to do in Paris that will elevate your trip to the City of Light.

Although the madness of the Olympic Games is fast approaching, there’s still time to take advantage of Paris and all it has to offer at the start of summer.

It is, of course, an endless source of things to do and admire, tables to sample, and delicious croissants to enjoy. But for all that this magnificent city has to offer, it’s often the simple things that are the most beautiful. As I wander around, I find that one of the best ways to appreciate the capital at its best is to buy a fresh baguette, some charcuterie, some cheese and a bottle of rosé, and settle down among the Parisians on the banks of the Seine. A trip to Paris means taking the time to admire the city’s beauty, its frenetic yet deeply rooted art of living, the simple things that make it so special, while meeting new people. And it’s even better when you’re lucky enough to share the moment with your travel partner or incredible colleagues.

La Grande Mosquée de Paris

An oasis of calm in this fast-paced megalopolis! Located in the 5th arrondissement, near the Jardin des Plantes, this magnificent mosque is surrounded by lush gardens where you can relax and enjoy the fresh air. Admire the Hispano-Moorish architecture, the emerald green ceramics and the variety of plants. It’s a truly magnificent place.

2bis Pl. du Puits de l’Ermite

Buddy Buddy Café

This beautiful café in the Marais, based on a Belgian concept, offers delicious drinks, caffeinated or not, as well as incredible pastries made with a variety of organic nut butters they produce. Almond, hazelnut or peanut butter. A must try is the Praline Mocha. Trust me on that one! Their nut butters also make a gourmet souvenir to bring a little bit of Paris home with you.

15, rue de Marseille

Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain

The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is a magnificent place. Built and housed by the famous jewelry company Cartier, this space dedicated to contemporary art is an architectural gem that welcomes international artists several times a year. Exhibitions deal with daring subjects rarely seen in more conventional museums. I love getting coffee in the leafy garden, which is also worth a visit.

261 boulevard Raspail

Octave

A stone’s throw from the Canal St-Martin, this boutique brings together the best that France has to offer in wines, champagnes, ciders, spirits and fine foods. It’s the ideal place to find the perfect local gourmet souvenir to take home, or the perfect addition to your picnic by the canal or in the Jardin des Tuileries. The staff are really friendly and always manage to find that rare gem that you didn’t know you needed!

32 rue Beaurepaire

Orangery Museum

Located in the heart of the magnificent Jardin des Tuileries, the Musée de l’Orangerie brings together works by the greatest visual artists of the 20th century, including Claude Monet’s famous Nymphs. In a bright, uncluttered space, you can admire works by Matisse, Cézanne, Renoir and others.

Although it’s a busy, popular museum, it’s a must-see for the works of these pioneers. Combine it with a walk through the gardens.

In the Jardin des Tuileries

Montezuma Café

Montezuma Café is a gorgeous wine bar in the 2nd arrondissement, offering an (incredible) wine bar-style menu at reasonable prices in an eclectic and very intimate setting. The wine cellar is filled with privately imported wonders, and each shareable dish is as incredible as the next. The emphasis is on local produce and quality, both in the glass and on the plate. The atmosphere is just as perfect, thanks to the carefully selected tunes on the vintage record player.

15, rue Notre Dame des Victoires

Lafayette Anticipations

I stumbled upon this place by chance while looking for a new café to try in the Marais district. Both a modern art gallery and a café-restaurant, this magnificent space should definitely be added to your list of good Paris addresses! You can admire the bold, original artwork on two floors in a bright, minimalist setting before settling in for a coffee or a tasty dish from the menu created by chef Thomas Coupeau.

Children are also welcome! Activities are planned for them on Saturdays.

9, rue du Plâtre
Gratuit, sur réservation

Hexagone Café

This gorgeous Montparnasse café is the perfect place to start a day of sightseeing or to relax with a novel. The classic latte + croissant combo is second to none. The café serves its own coffee beans, roasted in Brittany by the man who was voted France’s best roaster a few years ago. I love the quiet atmosphere and the warm welcome from the barista every time I walk in.

121, rue du Château

A Seine cruise

In my humble opinion, it is still one of the most original things to do in Paris, in spite of the fact that it is a tourist attraction. Cruising on the Seine, especially for visitors with functional limitations or a disability, allows you to see its beauty from a different perspective. It’s also affordable, at around 15 euros per person for the basic fare – flight attendants love to get a good deal! Some packages even include a glass of champagne and/or a meal.

Pro tip: For the best light over the city and the setting sun over the Eiffel Tower, board the boat during the golden hour (around 8pm).

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

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