1. There’s always something new going on in the east of the city
For the pick of the restaurants, bars, clubs and events, head to the 10 ème and 11 ème arrondissements. Not only do queues still form out the door for the bo bun at Le Petit Cambodge and big-name gigs book out the Bataclan, but seemingly every week there’s a new opening or creative pop-up.
During the day, coffee is a big deal: sip an espresso at La Fontaine, where they’re aiming to reinvent the classic Parisian café, or stop for the perfect flat white at Arômes Coffeeshop.
At night, things really come to life. Stake out a spot along the Canal St Martin with a bottle of wine. Bar hop along the much-loved dives on Rue Oberkampf. Soak up the last of the sun on the roof terrace at Le Perchoir. Or head to La Bellevilleoise for all-night events that might combine live jazz or cumbia with DJs and tattoo sessions.
Canal Saint Martin © Agnieszka Gaul/Shutterstock
2. The art scene is still second to none
Forget about the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay – it’s modern art you should be getting excited about in Paris. The Palais de Tokyo has long been the most forward-thinking gallery, and its progressive streak shows no sign of abating. Recent headline-grabbing performance pieces have included Œuf, where Abraham Poincheval lived in a glass box for nearly a month hatching a clutch of hen’s eggs with his body heat.
Head west for one of the city’s newest art spaces, the Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne, where works by modern masters range from Rothko to Picasso. Alternatively, you’ll find exciting up-and-coming names at open studio events in Belleville, and everything from artist-led trips around chic galleries in the Marais to street-art tours with Airbnb experiences.
3. The nightlife just keeps getting better
While clubs in many big cities are being shut down, in Paris they’re being granted 24-hour licenses. Not only is Concrete now open for non-stop partying, it’s one of a host of awesome waterside venues in the 13 ème, including old-favourite bar-boat Batofar, new kid on the block Nuits Fauves and Le Petit Bain, where nights range from electro to metal.
Come summer, you could also time your trip to coincide with the We Love Green eco music fest in June, Les Siestes Électroniques in July or Rock en Seine in August.
© Tymonko Galyna/Shutterstock
4. The city is constantly reinventing itself
Mayor Anne Hidalgo is the driving force behind a raft of ambitious regeneration projects across the city, including a plan to halve the number of roads open to cars over the next few years.
Rewards are already being reaped along the river. Last month saw the completion of Parc Rives de Seine, 7km of walkable riverside, including the floating gardens, games and cafés of Berges de Seine. There’s nowhere better to bring a picnic on a warm day, or watch the sun go down with a drink.
In the city centre, the once grotty area of Les Halles – inauspiciously distinguished as the home of Europe’s largest metro station – is being transformed. A new roof, known as “La Canopée”, has literally allowed new light to shine onto the sprawling underground shopping mall, with a public garden soon to provide a much-needed place to relax.