Travel

Paris Hidden In Plain Sight

Paris is a city for everyone—the romantic, the art lover, the culture vulture, the foodie, the nature lover and the ones who don’t need a reason. My personal favourite ? The one who sits at a café and watches life go by. Paris offers the best of everything, be it beautiful museums, landmark monuments, international fashion brands or Michelin-star food experiences.

Outside of these ‘must-do’ highlights, however, is a Paris that most people walk past. Streets lined with the most beautiful trees, architecture, local cafés, interesting doorways and even the most funky street art. It’s all there, that is, if you’re looking for it. There’s a reason why a true Parisian takes his time walking these streets, baguette in hand, soaking in these lovely little bits of the city that no travel guide will mention. And, of course, a pitstop at a café for a quick coffee or an evening aperitif before heading home, is part of a Parisian’s daily ritual.

Paris wasn’t always this vibrant, well-planned city, though. George Haussman, the man appointed by Napolean III, transformed the city giving it the quintessential Parisian style of 19th-century architecture—a heady mix of design influences. He was the man behind those broad boulevards, stone façades with ornate wrought iron balconies, beautiful parks and squares, an opulent Opera House and the Palais Garnier, that gave the place a facelift, turning it from a grungy, overcrowded city into one that the world has come to love.

So the next time you visit this beautiful city, skip that long queue to go up the Eiffel Tower, avoid walking down the touristy Champs Elysée and instead discover Paris like a local. That is what will make you fall in love with this magical city even more than the smile of the Mona Lisa.

curated by KUNAL BHENDÉ

 

A close-up view of the gilded figures between the columns of the front façade of Palais Garnier. The opulent theatre’s façade depicts many great composers such as Beethoven and Mozart.

 

The signature Parisian façades with
the trellis grills, ornate design elements
and Baroque embellishments are truly
stunning. Walking down the streets of
Paris can be therapeutic. All you have to
do is slow down, linger and soak in the
beauty of everything the city has to offer.

 

Paris is an architecture lover’s delight. From Gothic, Renaissance and Classic Revival to the Art Noveau style/flamboyant design aesthetic under Napolean III, thecity has diverse influences. Here’s a glimpse of Parisian rooftops with sloping tiles and signature skylight windows as seen from the Centre Pompidou.

 

Intricate details of a beautiful grill door I discovered while walking on Rue des Archives
in the Marais. It’s little things like these that tend to draw my attention while on a leisurely stroll along the city’s picturesque lanes.

 

Rue des Barres is one of my all time favourite streets to walk down in Le Marais. The street
has a cathedral and striking shop façades. Don’t forget to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee at the charming corner café, Chez Julien, overlooking the Seine.

 

Tucked away on a charming street, Rue Saint-Antoine, in Le Marais quarter, is the Ecole des
Francs-Bourgeois. The school, with its beautiful façade, a bold red door and aesthetically designed windows on each floor, is a sight to behold.

 

 

Related: Here’s How Street Art Is Changing The Face Of Indian Cities