Creative's City Guide to PARIS | CRA-YON
Explore Paris with the CRA-YON Creative's Paris Guide. Uncover hidden art gems, experience unique Parisian streets, studios, and scents, transcending the ordinary for a fun and inspirational journey.
Where to get inspired in Paris
CRA-YON's founders are based in Montmartre so why not start at the hill and then slowly take us down to the different arrondissements and spot the highlights.
We love Les Jardins Renoir It is actually a part of the Museum de Montmartre but you can access just the garden for €5 and sit down for a coffee, a light lunch or a snack. The Renoir Gardens offer views of the vineyard, the Clos Montmartre, and northern cityscape of Paris. The Gardens are named in memory of the impressionist painter Auguste Renoir who lived on-site between 1875 and 1877, where he painted several masterpieces. This peaceful place is like a perfect hideaway where we can plan our upcoming activities at CRA-YON.
Another inspiring place in the area is the Cinema Studio 28 nestled in Montmartre. Since 1928, it's been a hub for cinematic history and creativity. With its vintage charm and diverse film selection, it's a must-visit for classic and contemporary movie lovers alike. Experience Art Deco ambiance and relive iconic premieres. Explore this Montmartre gem for an authentic film journey.
Le Marché aux Puces Saint-Ouen is the largest concentration of antique dealers and second-hand dealers in the world. Unearth vintage wonders, unique treasures, and chic finds in this historic flea market. From retro fashion to antique gems, immerse yourself in a shopping adventure that captures the essence of Parisian style. This place is a haven for a scenographer, and the CRA-YON team always find great props for photoshoots there.
Where to stay in Paris - Paris Hotels
Going down the Rue de Martyrs from Montmartre, you enter the 9th arrondissement where Hotel Amour is located (8 Rue de Navarin). It is one of our favorite spots to hang out for ambiance or a stay over. Each room is individually decorated, featuring amazing vintage discoveries and sprinkles of art by icons like Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin. Venture downstairs to the lively café/bistro – a hotspot for mingling with locals, expats, and the renowned Saraiva. Experience art, ambiance, and community all in one place!
There is actually another Hotel Grand Amour in the 10th arrondissement, which is equally as nice as the one on Rue Navarin.
Where to shop in Paris
There are several must-go-to places for shopping, obviously, but before we introduce our choices of stores, we recommend the Brocantes or Vide Greniers that pop up in different locations but are always a pleasure to stroll around. At Brocabrac, you can find the agenda for each day and the locations.
What do an authentic Courrèges handbag from the sixties and a quilted satin jacket from the Rive Gauche collection of the winter of '78 have in common? At Plaisir Palace, the vintage blends with the very present of desire. Well worth a visit! 3, Rue Paul Dubois in the 3'rd arrondissement.
Centre Commercial in the 10th arrondissement is a a unique place with a commitment to people and the environment. In 2010, they opened their first store, Centre Commercial in Paris close to Canal Saint Martin. A place that combines fashion, design and environmental commitment.
OFR Paris is an independent hub for the city's creatives and visionaries, encompassing an artsy bookshop, gallery, and publishing house. It is situated in the 3'rd arrondissement at 20, rue Dupetit-Thouars. The space serves as a casual gathering point, often hosting an array of activities. At any given time, you might stumble upon an art exhibition in the rear gallery, a musical performance, or even a marketplace featuring vintage rugs or specialized work attire.
Merci is a store that dissects urban trends like an anthropologist. It's all about the evolving habits, spotting patterns from Tokyo to London. With ever-changing selections, Merci turns trends into a game, mixing short-lived styles with lasting ones for a global vibe.
Where to eat
Step into Clown Bar, a charming French bistro known for its inviting ambiance, delightful natural wines, and unique decor. Born from the creators of the esteemed fine dining establishment, Saturne, and led by Tokyo-born superchef Sota Atsumi, Clown Bar has breathed new life into the historic locale on Rue Amelot. This vibrant French-Japanese bistro seamlessly blends belle époque influences with a playful atmosphere. Indulge in a menu featuring natural wines and delectable small plates, a combination that has earned Clown Bar the title of "Paris's most exciting restaurant" according to the prestigious Eater guide.
Les Enfants Perdus – the place where the Canal Saint-Martin crowd flock for solid dining. There's a sunlit oasis at the back, decked out with cushion-covered benches that are as inviting as marshmallow clouds. It's like the ultimate weekend cuddle spot. And the food is not just good – it's "I'll-keep-dreaming-about-this" good.
Where to drink in Paris - hidden gems
We've found a hidden bar in the 3rd arrondissement. At L'Épicier, a clever trio has created a hidden bar behind a grocery store setup. Once you open the first door, there's another door to open, revealing the beautiful and cozy interior of this inviting bar.
Where to get the baguette?
Mamiche is all about 100% artisanal products, handcrafted by skilled artisans. The bread and pastries, made with natural sourdough, rise and come to life in the baking process. Mamiche represents a mindset and a commitment to delivering the best products crafted from quality ingredients.
The Best Pâtisserie Artisanal in Montmartre
The timeless charm of Grandma's pie gets a modern revival at Les Petits Mitrons bakery, proudly owned by the Didda Family since 1991. This culinary institution, boasting over three decades of legacy, stands out with its inviting storefront adorned in shades of rose and blue, nestled at 26 Rue Lepic.
Explore a delectable array of both sweet and savory homemade pies and pastries. The display window showcases exquisite, caramel-touched, vibrantly hued pies, all crafted with a delicate, cream-free crust. Savor the choice of 35 sweet variations, ranging from succulent raspberry and strawberry to luscious mirabelle plum, fig, pear, apple, citrusy orange and zesty rhubarb. The fruit combinations evolve with the seasons, ensuring a delightful surprise with each visit.
Where to have coffee in Paris
Dreamin' Man, a quaint café in the 11th arrondissement, is a rustic oasis where creativity and coffee converge. With a wood-crafted bar, wabi-sabi ambiance, and folk melodies, it's a magnet for intellectuals, artists, and designers. Owned by coffee virtuoso Yuichiro Sugiyama, the café offers exceptional April and Prolog brews, along with a refreshing hojicha latte. Don't miss the artisanal sweets, from scones to Japanese pudding, lovingly prepared by Sugiyama's pastry-chef girlfriend, Yui Matsuzaki. Dreamin' Man is a serene space for friends to gather, or for solitary moments with a good book, promising an experience that lingers.
Art Museums in Paris
Except for the bigger well-known museums such as Le Louvre and Musée d'Orsay, which most of the time have very long queues and are very crowded, we love to explore smaller exhibitions such as Fondation Cartier-Bresson, created by Maison Cartier in 1984. La Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain is a special place for modern art. It's in Paris and has been there since 1994. The building was designed by architect Jean Nouvel. They showcase modern art that you might not see in other museums. They enjoy mixing different things, like artists, scientists, and musicians. We were there in August when they invited Australian artist Ron Mueck to exhibit an ensemble of sculptures previously unseen in France, along with iconic pieces from his career.
The Louis Vuitton Foundation is dedicated to supporting modern art while looking back at history. From the 18th of October 2023 they present the first retrospective in France dedicated to Mark Rothko since the exhibition held at the musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1999.
Palais de Tokyo is Europe's largest contemporary art hub, a dynamic Parisian space since 2002. Encounter art that defies norms, embraces audacity, and surprises at every corner.
Free things to do in Paris
Explore local markets like Marché Bastille or Marché des Enfants Rouges, where you can experience the vibrant culinary scene of Paris. Even if you don't buy anything, wandering through these markets is a sensory delight.
Keep an eye out for free events and festivals happening around the city. From open-air concerts to outdoor film screenings, Paris offers a range of cultural activities without a price tag.
Many museums offer free admission on the first Sunday of each month. Take advantage of this to explore institutions like the Musée d'Orsay, which houses an impressive collection of Impressionist art.
Paris is home to several beautiful parks and gardens perfect for picnics and leisurely strolls. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Jardin des Tuileries, and Parc Monceau are just a few options to enjoy greenery and tranquility.
Visit le Centre Pompidou for the most amazing view of Paris. If you are under 26 years old you can see the museum for free.
Where to get inspired outside Paris
Take a short hour-long escape from Paris and unveil the wonder of Jardin Monet in Giverny. Experience a harmonious blend of colors and flourishing flowers that promises inspiration. Roam through the lush garden that ignited Claude Monet's artistic brilliance. Jardin Monet is our sanctuary of inspiration, and now, it can be yours too.
What to pack for a trip to Paris
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