No Worries Paris: a look inside

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Take a short walk with us in an arrondissement overlooked by many tourists.

Arsenal Promenade PARIS

Start at the Bastille Metro stop, lines 1, 8, and 10. With Place de la Bastille (which you will revisit) at your back, walk down Blvd. de la Bastille (new Bastille Opera will be on your left but don’t walk down Rue de Lyon by mistake). Then head right down a cobblestone ramp. In the 19C, Bassin de Arsenal was connected to Canal St. Martin, a waterway that moved the manufacturing commerce of Faubourg-St. Antoine to the Seine. Before that, portions of the basin were the moat for the prison at Bastille. Today, a controlled lock and nearly 200 moorings make it ideal for leisure craft and exercise walkers. You may wish to take a look from the footbridge. You may also walk farther down the marina to where it joins the Seine at Port de Plaisance, but then double back as directed below. Just past the footbridge, go left on Rue Jules Cesar. Cross Rue de Lyon and Ave. Daumesnil and head toward brick archways. Go up stairs and walk right on the elevated walkway. Note: You will pass the walk’s exit and double back on the promenade.; read the next directions to determine the exit point, if you wish to shorten the walk.

Dog walking along Paris Viaduct

“The remains of a freight railway borders Rue Daumesnil, elevated on a viaduct comprised of a series of brick arches. It was used to haul goods to the periphery of Paris for a century, until the line was abandoned in 1959. Rather than tear the antiquated line down in 2000, they’ve turned it into the city’s longest and skinniest park—Promenade Plantee. For more than a mile, a profusion of rose bushes, lavender, bamboo, and flowerbeds border the paved-and-decked pathway, sometimes under the shade of cherry and maples trees, sometimes revealing cityscapes. Of particular note are the 12 reproductions of Michelangelo’s The Dying Slave that top the arrondissement’s police station. At one section is a long narrow pond, bracketed by trellises.

Promenade Plante

The promenade becomes a stainless-steel-and-wooden span at Jardin de Reuilly. Apartment dwellers sprawl on the park’s lawn, rising perhaps to sip la petillante (“the bubbley”), which is free sparkling water dispensed from a fountain provided by Eau de Paris in an effort to wean Parisians from plastic water bottles. Reuilly, a park since 1994, is on the site of a former chateau of the Merovingian Kings of the first century. The path continues to Bois Vincennes.

aqueduct Paris

Directly below the promenade is the Viaduc des Arts, some 50 glass-façaded shops occupying many of the 70-plus brick archways of the former railway track. Many of the most accomplished artisans in Paris put their skills and artwork on display. Taken as a whole, the shops perpetuate the cultural and professional heritage of this quartier, the Faubourg-Saint-Antoine, known historically as a birthplace of artistic styles. Stairways lead down to the shops.”

There’s more to explore in this fascinating historic neighborhood in your No Worries Paris guidebook. Hope you’ve enjoyed your petit promenade.

Gardens of Versailles: almost all you need to know

A quick tour of the gardens of Versailles

A quick tour of the gardens of Versailles

The basics: Versailles is located 12 miles away from Paris and it takes about a half hour to get there via RER. From the station to the gates of the palace it’s about a five minute walk.

RER C
To get to the palace of Versailles, make sure to buy a “Paris – Versailles Rive Gauche” ticket (zones 1-4) (T+ ticket is not valid for this journey).

SNCF Trains
Arrive at Versailles Chantiers station from Paris Montparnasse
Arrive at Versailles Rive Droite station from Paris Saint Lazare

Versailles fountain show

Versailles fountain show

The train will say either Versailles Rive Gauche or Chateau de Versailles. Be careful catching this train because not every train heading in this direction through Paris goes to Chateau Versailles.YOU DO NOT WANT TO CATCH THE RER TO VERSAILLES CHANTIERS.

Here’s the train schedule: http://www.transilien.com

Versailles formal gardens

Admission to the French gardens is free except on the days of the Grandes Eaux musicales et Jardins musicaux shows. From November to March admission to the gardens is free every day. From April to October there is an admission charge for the gardens on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

versailles no worries paris

The Palace of Versailles is open from 9am to 5:30pm (6:30pm in high season).
The Trianon palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s hamlet are open from noon to 5:30pm (6:30pm in high season). The French gardens are open from 8am to 6pm (8:30pm in high season). The park is open from 8am to 6pm (7am to 8:30pm in high season).

versailles No Worries Paris

The domain of Versailles is free on the first Sunday of every month from November to March. The Trianon Palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s hamlet ticket entitles you to admission to those places only. Price is 10 euros.

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Rent a bike (on the premises) to cover more ground.

Rodin: the museum that delivers inside and out

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Musée Rodin
79 Rue de Varenne, 75007
10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Phone: +33 1 44 18 61 10
http://www.musee-rodin.fr/en/musee-rodin

Through September 21:

mapplethorperodinPoster

The Musée Rodin brings together two forms of expression – Sculpture and Photography – through the works of two major artists: Robert Mapplethorpe and Auguste Rodin. Thanks to exceptional loans from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, this exhibition presents 50 sculptures by Rodin and a collection of 102 photographs, in a bold dialogue revealing the enduring nature of these great artists’ favorite themes and subjects.

Paris hotels under $100, ooh la la

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hotel marignaan

When all you need are the basics. Start with the neighborhood you like and go from there. Some great deals in Montmartre and Canal St. Martin . . . a little out of the way but with beaucoup de charme. Now you splure on food.

Hotel du Nord et de l’Est
49 Rue De Malte (11th/12th: Bastille / Gare de Lyon)
This two-star is situated just a one-minute walk from Place de la Republique, near the hip Oberkampf and Bastille neighborhoods.

hotelnordetlest

Hôtel Libertel Canal Saint Martin
5 Avenue Secrétan, 75019
http://www.hotel-canal-st-martin.com/fr/#index.php

Cluny Sorbonne
8 rue Victor Cousin (5th: Latin Quarter / Sorbonne)

http://www.hotel-cluny.fr/hotel-cluny-sorbonne-paris-en.html#chambres

Located across the street from the Université de la Sorbonne in the Latin Quarter.

Grand Hotel Leveque
Address 29 rue Cler (7th: Eiffel Tower / Invalides)
Where a lot of Rick Steve groupies stay. A tad over $100 but a safe conservative location.

Hotel Libertel Gare du Nord Suede
106 BOULEVARD DE MAGENTA, 10th arrondissement
Tel : +33140361012

http://www.hotel-gare-du-nord-suede.com/uk/index.php#chambres.php

Best Western Montmartre
66 Boulevard Barbes, 18th
Tel. +33 142623181

http://www.bestwestern.fr/fr/hotel-paris-18eme

Centre International BVJ Paris-Louvre Hostel
Address 20, Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau (1st: Châtelet / Palais Royale / Louvre)
Located just two blocks from the Louvre, the BVJ is a no-nonsense youth hostel with a strict 18-35 age

Hôtel Libertel Gare du Nord-Suède 106 bd de Magenta 75010

Hotel Henri IV
Address 25, place Dauphine (1st: Châtelet / Palais Royale / Louvre)

http://henri4hotel.fr/visit.html

Don’t expect frills or chocolates on your pillow. For romantic types looking for a simple, historic, and central hotel. One of the best locations in Paris.

Hotel Audran
Address 7 Rue Audran (18th Arrondissement: Montmartre)
http://www.hotelaudran.com
On one of Montmartre’s most charming streets.

Remember to book your reservations EARLY for the cheapest prices and bring your No Worries Paris guidebook along.

Place Louis Aragon: sit a spell

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placeAragonParis 2

A patch of quiet is Place Louis Aragon. In the middle of the Seine, in the heart of the city, sits a cobbled terrace with benches, a street light, and sense of place sense of history. Go down a level and sit on the paved riverbank to catch the last rays of the day and share a kiss.

louis aragon place sign

Just who was Monsieur Aragon?  A writer, poet, novelist, essayist, political activist, leader of the Resistance in World War II and if that’s not enough, founding member of Surrealism in 1924, with Andre Breton and Philippe Soupault. From 1953 to 1972 he was editor of the Communist Cultural Weekly, Les Lettres Francaises. He was made a member of the French Legion of Honor in 1981.

Ile Saint-Louis: his hood.

isle st louis paris

Quai de Bourbon, Ile Saint-Louis, 75004

On your No Worries Paris guidebook route.

 

Le Petit Duc: sampling medieval sweets

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lepetitduc

Around the corner from the Eiffel Tower sits a lovely shop that smells of Provence and is filled with sweet and savory delicacies derived from ancient recipes that date back to medieval times. Ears of the Good Goddess (ancient Rome) to hearts of the Little Albert (fourteenth century), the Petit Duc offers nougat with almonds, pralines, shortbread biscuits, Damask pink calissons (almond paste candy from Aix en Provence), Verdun sugared almonds, crystallized flowers and leaves in tins, and honey from the Hautes Alps. Packaged in decorative wooden and metal boxes, transparent tubes filled with treats, these make special take-home gifts.

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Never tried calissons? Among the first known references was in Martino di Canale’s Chronicle of the Venetians in 1275. An earlier 12th century text written in Medieval Latin used the word calisone to refer to a cake made with almonds and flour. Some trace the introduction of calissons to Provence around the mid-15th century at the second wedding of King Rene of Anjou. Others suggest that it was not introduced in its modern form until the 16th century, as this was when almonds became an established crop in Aix-en-Provence.

Whatever you choose to believe, a sample taste will tell you this is something special, something hard to replicate in your kitchen. The oldest of their marzipan recipes is composed of rose petals with the exact distribution of 3 drops per 16 kg.

Ask to see their back showroom, a formal parlour. The shopkeepers speak English and will make you feel right at home.

Le Petit Duc Paris

Le Petit Duc
31 Avenue Rapp, 7th arrondissement

Tuesday to Saturday from 10 AM to 7.30 PM
Sunday and Monday from 10 AM to 1PM and from 3PM to 7.30 PM

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