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Paris Travel Tips

Picture of coffee being brewed in Paris The new wave of coffee culture has taken Paris by storm

It’s been a long time coming, but the new wave of coffee culture that’s swept the globe has finally reached Paris! Gone are the days of old, when traditional bistros served mediocre coffee. In the past couple of years, new specialty coffee shops have started to pop up all over the city of lights! This new trend of coffee shops is heavily influenced by some of the leading coffee regions in the world, such as Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and North America. Baristas from these regions have introduced Paris to techniques such as pour-over coffee and filter coffee, not to mention fresh coffee beans from the world’s best coffee producers and roasters.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of our favorite new coffee shops in Paris. Keep in mind that the Parisian coffee culture is simply bustling right now, so this is definitely not meant as a definitive list. With that said, we’re sure this list of our favorite top 10 coffee shops in Paris will be of use to you during a visit to the city!

1. La Caféothèque

La Caféothèque on 52 Rue de l’Hôtel de Ville was one of the first new barista-focused coffee shops in Paris. Barista Gloria Montenegro, who was the former Guatemalan ambassador to France, founded the café some seven years ago. She has a true passion for coffee, personally selecting and visiting coffee growers across the globe. Customers will taste this commitment to quality coffee beans in each drink: the espresso and cappuccino are both brewed to perfection. La Caféothèque is a real Parisian gem: you’ll come for the excellent coffee, and stay for the friendly baristas and cozy interior. Read the entire story here…»


Picture of French bread and a baguette in Paris A typical French baguette and bread in Paris

France without bread is like a Paris without the Eiffel Tower. When it comes to baguettes and croissants, there is no equal to France’s famous bakeries, which are better known as boulangeries. It’s important to know the difference between a boulangerie and a patisserie. While a patisserie is a bakery specializing in pastries, and headed by a pastry chef, a boulangerie is a bakery that focuses mainly on baking breads. There’s also a difference between a boulangerie and an artisanal boulangerie: the latter indicates that all the bread is being baked fresh on the premises.

In this article, we’ve gathered our top 10 bakeries in Paris. You’ll find that some are combinations of a patisserie and a boulangerie, while others focus only on baking bread. What they all have in common, however, is some of the most delicious breads in Paris and perhaps even the world! Read the entire story here…»


Photo of colorful French Macarons Colorful French Macarons

Macarons, croissants and chocolate éclairs: if you have a sweet tooth, Paris is definitely the right place for you! The city features hundreds – maybe even thousands – of wonderful pastry shops. These pâtisseries offer the most exquisite selections of tarts, cakes, pastries and more. It’s important to know the difference between a bakery and a pastry shop: while bakers in bakeries only make bread, pastry chefs in pastry shops specialize in pastries and sweets. You’ll find that most pastry shops in Paris have certain areas of expertise, and are often known for a specific type of pastry. It’s not uncommon for Parisians to visit one pastry shop to get a box of macarons, and then travel across the city to buy their éclairs at another place!

In this article, we’ll give you our top 10 pastry shops in Paris. Keep in mind the list is not definitive as there are so many amazing pâtisseries in town. However, all the shops listed here do have one or more specialties that really make them stand out. The following are some of our absolute favorites in the city of Paris. Enjoy!

1. Pierre Hermé

Picture of macarons in the pastry shop Pierre Hermé in Paris The Parisian pastry shop Pierre Hermé is famous for its delicious macarons

Pierre Hermé is the perfect first pastry shop to try in Paris. It’s got two very French and very delicious specialties that you just have to try during a visit to the city: the macaron and the croissant Ispahan. Pierre Hermé became famous for his delicious macarons: sweet meringues with crunchy outsides and delectable creamy fillings. Try the pistachio, violet, or chocolate. The croissant Ispahan has a topping of rose and glaze, which adds just a pinch of inventiveness to the traditional pastry. Pierre Hermé was once called the ‘Picasso of pastry’, and it’s easy to see why! There are several locations of the brand in Paris, but the best known is probably the Rue Bonaparte flagship store in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. This store often has a line out the door, but the pastries are definitely worth standing in line for! Read the entire story here…»


A holiday in Paris doesn’t have to cost a lot. In fact, if you do a little bit of research you’ll be able to see much of the City of Lights for free! To save you some time we compiled a list of our top 10 free things to see and do in Paris. From visiting free museums to discovering the Eiffel Tower up close without paying a dime, we’ve got you covered!

1. Discover Free Museums in Paris

Picture of the Louvre Museum in Paris You can visit the Louvre and other museums in Paris for free every 1st Sunday of the month

Fancy seeing the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay for free? You can visit all major museums in Paris for free on the 1st Sunday of each month! Understandably it can get quite crowded in the most popular museums of Paris on this day, so try to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon. You can also choose to visit one of the slightly less famous (but still absolutely fantastic) museums in Paris such as the Musée des Arts et Métiers or Musée Rodin.

Are you a citizen of the European Union and under 25 years old? We have good news for you! You can visit all the museums in Paris free of charge. This applies to all major and small museums and even big attractions such as the Palace of Versailles. Do remember to bring proof of documentation such as a passport or identification card or you’ll have to pay! Read the entire story here…»


Picture of the Eiffel Tower in Paris in summer The Eiffel Tower in Paris in summertime

Paris in the summertime is picturesque: Parisians and tourists alike enjoy great food on café terraces, picnic in parks filled with flowers, and watch children play in fountains all over the city. Here, there’s something new to see or do every day! In this article we’ll list some of our favorite summer events in Paris, and show you how you can make the most of a holiday in Paris for the summer of 2013. Read the entire story here…»


Picture of Mr. Jacques B. and his wife taken in Paris Mr. Jacques B. and his wife in Paris

Welcome to the first article of a new series we’re developing, featuring interviews with people that have a connection to New York Habitat. From owners of apartments to people renting apartments, these are all people with amazing stories who have a specific connection with one of the cities where we offer apartments.

This first interview is with a man of French and Spanish heritage called Mr. Jacques B. Mr. Jacques B. grew up in Morocco, and used to visit Paris as a child in the 1930s. He returned to Paris when he served in the Free French Forces in the Second World War. Mr. Jacques B. now lives in the U.S. where he is a Professor in French literature, and he still visits Paris almost every year.

Mr. Jacques B.’s unique view of Paris in the 1930s, 1940s and in modern times makes his recommendations about Paris truly one of a kind.

 Could you tell us something about your past in Paris and what it was like in the 1930s and 1940s?

“I used to go to Paris as a child practically every year. My first memories of Paris go back to 1930- can you imagine? I was 7 years old in 1930. I’m going to be 90 years old now. Some memories are quite vivid. I remember going up the Eiffel Tower as a child in 1930. And then, you know, everybody goes to the Eiffel Tower two or three times in a lifetime.” Read the entire story here…»


Picture of a sunset in Paris taken from the River Seine A beautiful sunset in Paris seen from the River Seine

Paris, the city of love, has many romantic activities to offer. Taking a stroll through the Latin Quarter or enjoying a picnic on the banks of the Seine River are just two examples. One of our favorite and perhaps most romantic activities is to watch a sunset in Paris. Nothing beats the view of the last sun rays touching upon the rooftops of Paris, and the red skies illuminating the Eiffel Tower. There are many spots in Paris where you can see an amazing sunset.

To help you find the perfect spot, we’ve come up with a list of the top 5 best spots to watch the sunset in Paris! Read the entire story here…»


Picture of a carousel and the Eiffel Tower in Paris Take the kids to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Besides being one of the most romantic cities in the world, Paris is also a surprisingly kid-friendly city. Paris is a relatively green city, and has lots of small parks where kids can play. Furthermore, among the city’s many museums you’ll find many gems that kids will love. Of course the city also boasts fantastic attractions that are must visits for children and adults alike. From the Eiffel Tower to Disneyland Paris, there’s enough to see and do in Paris to keep the whole family entertained for days.

In this article we’ll provide you with museums, parks and attractions in Paris that are great for kids, so you can envision what a perfect family holiday in Paris would look like! Read the entire story here…»


Please note that this article is giving an overview of the visas and other travel information to enter the United States of America and Europe, as of February 2013. New York Habitat advises you to contact your consulate or any other official government office before you travel outside of your country of citizenship in order to get the latest updated information.

Image of a passport you need to bring when travelling Remember to pack your passport when travelling to another country

When you’re planning a trip to another county, the first thing you should look into is the entry requirements of that particular country. Often when you’re travelling to a country near you, the entry requirements are fairly easy to comply with. For example, if you’re a EU citizen travelling to another country in Europe, you often don’t even need to bring along a passport, as a valid ID will do. However, when you want to visit a country on another continent, the rules may not be so simple.

Because we offer apartments in New York City, London and France here at New York Habitat, we often receive questions about entry requirements and visas for the United States and Europe. That’s why we decided to post this article about the documents you need to travel to New York City, London or France. We hope to clear things up for you so when you go on a holiday to another country in the future you’ll know exactly what papers to bring! Read the entire story here…»


Paris, like France, is inevitably linked to food. French cuisine is one of the most recognized and popular food cultures in the world: UNESCO even added French gastronomy to their lists of intangible cultural heritages. Different regions in France all have their own culinary specialties, and you will find all of these collected together in Paris. Paris literally has thousands of restaurants where you can discover French cuisine. Paris also boasts many fantastic farmers markets where you can find any ingredient used in French cuisine.

Picture of a traditional kitchen Traditional cuisine in a Paris apartment

If you’re a food lover coming to Paris, add some culinary discovery to your holiday by trying your hand at French cuisine! It’s easy to pick up fresh produce at the local markets, and if you’re staying in an apartment with a proper kitchen you have everything you need to enjoy a culinary vacation in Paris.

In this article, we’ll tell you a little bit about the food culture in Paris, and give you some easy French cuisine recipes that you can try in your own Paris apartment rental! Read the entire story here…»