Springtime finally seems to have arrived in London and from what my Twitter friends in Paris seem to be telling me, the weather in Paris is equally lovely. It seems like the gorgeous weather we’ve been waiting for all winter is finally here! Though I’m now in London full-time and am thrilled by all that there is to discover in this frenetic and bustling city, I also have to admit that there’s nothing quite like a crystal clear sunny day in Paris. Here are a few of my tips for the best things to experience on one of these gorgeous days in Paris.
As the most-visited city on the planet, Paris offers visitors so many things to do that a quick visit is never enough to see it all. Of course the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame deserve the honors they’ve earned as the top spots to visit, but there is so much more to Paris than those mounuments and so many things to see and do that aren’t necessarily in your typical guidebook. I uncovered so many secrets of Paris in the three years I spent living there, and was especially thrilled to discover new and different ways to spend time outdoors in such a stunning city. The best part about these ideas is that there will generally be fewer tourists in these areas, which usually means a more authentic experience overall. Here are a few of my favorite things to do on a sunny day in Paris.
Photo credit: madcowk
1. Boulevard President Wilson outdoor market
Every Wednesday and Saturday morning, farmers, fish mongers and florists set up shop along the median of the Boulevard President Wilson in Paris’ 16th arrondissement. Shouts of the salespeople in each stall penetrate the air and the smells of blooming flowers, fresh fish and succulent fruits are ever present in the best outdoor market (marché) that I’ve visited in Paris. To experience the market as a local, stroll the length of the Boulevard and pick up some fresh fruit or stop at the butcher for some fresh cuts of meat. Buy some cheese, fruit and bread and enjoy an outdoor lunch near Trocadero, with unparalleled views of the Eiffel Tower.
Photo credit: hotzeplotz
2. Canal Saint Martin
An area that has steadily been gaining popularity in recent years, the Canal Saint Martin is a great place for a walk or dinner and drinks away from the fast pace of the more popular tourist areas. Grab a bottle of wine at one of the canal-side markets and order from Pink Flamingo Pizza (67 rue Bichat, 75010). They’ll deliver your uniquely flavored pie to you on the edge of the canal. Don’t miss this picturesque place for people-watching and mingling with the locals.
Photo credit: Carles Tomas Marti
3. Picnic by the Seine
While Paris is considered to be the culinary capital of Europe, sometimes the best meals in this gastronomic wonderland can be the simplest. With no shortage of tantalizing offerings in the windows of the boulangeries, one of my favorite things to do is head to the banks of the Seine for an impromptu picnic. For amazing bread and sweet treats, the bakery Maison Kayser (8 rue Monge, 75005) in the heart of the Latin Quarter is my go-to place. Any of the banks of the Seine are nice for a picnic, but I especially love the tips of both the Ile-Saint-Louis and Ile-de-la-Cité as my picnic spots.
Whatever you decide to do, Paris is lovely in the sunshine and there is no shortage of experiences to be enjoyed in such beautiful weather.