5 New Reasons to Visit Paris

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Sep 08, 2015

by ELIZA COMPTON, Writer

You may have visited the Champs-Élysées and completed a loop of the Louvre, but there’s plenty more to explore in Paris.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

It’s hosted Kraftwerk, Warhol and Basquiat – and it’s only been open since last October. Fondation Louis Vuitton, in Paris’s leafy west, is a contemporary art gallery, music venue and architectural wonder rolled into one. The Frank Gehry building itself is the obvious draw but the artwork within – in the permanent collection or temporary shows – is a reason to linger. The spaces are generous but the gallery feels intimate, bathed in light and with verdant views from its terraces. The Le Frank restaurant is helmed by a Michelin-starred chef and the bookshop furnishes chic souvenirs.

18 avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Bois de Boulogne, 75016

La Maison Plisson

Why would Paris need another gourmet deli? This is only a good question until you enter La Maison Plisson, where you can fill your picnic basket, find a foodie-friendly gift or grab a spot on the terrace and watch the Marais’ beautiful people saunter by. Owner Delphine Plisson, whose background is in fashion, spent three years sourcing product for her 500-square-metre emporium, which includes an épicerie (80 per cent of the products are French), wine cellar, fresh produce, artisanal ice-cream, bread, cheese, meat and charcuterie (and irresistible tasting possibilities), as well as a café and restaurant.

93 boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003; lamaisonplisson.com

Parc Zoologique de Paris

Breakfast with giraffes, walk with flamingoes, marvel at the manatees and all just beyond the Périphérique. The zoo, which reopened last year after a six-year closure and total reconstruction, is not your typical Parisian day out but its five distinct biozones – Patagonia, Madagascar, Guyana, Europe and Sahel-Soudan – offer a totally transporting experience if you need a break from art and monuments. The visitors’ program includes guided tours of the 15-hectare site, feeding of tapirs, otters, wolves or numerous others of the 180 total species, evening visits in summer and, in October, an international lemur festival. Yes, really.  

Route de Ceinture du Lac Daumesnil, 75012; parczoologiquedeparis.fr 

The Eiffel Tower’s Glass Floor

Even an icon needs an update now and again. Visitors to the 126-year-old Eiffel Tower can now pause on the first level’s transparent walkway to look down 57 dizziness-inducing metres to the ground before heading higher for the famous views of the city. The first-floor upgrade, part of a €30-million renovation, also includes refurbished restaurant and retail spaces, an immersive history of the tower and its creator, and improvements to accessibility and carbon footprint. 

Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007; toureiffel.paris

La Recyclerie

After treasure-hunting at the labyrinthine flea markets at Clignancourt, who wouldn’t be ready for a rejuvenating espresso, fresh juice or seasonal snack? La Recyclerie, housed in a former train station, is a boho oasis of responsible cuisine, driven by the motto “reduce, reuse, recycle”. At night, the menu transforms into cocktails and tapas. The place is justifiably popular but the soaring ceilings, tumbling greenery and huge windows mean the atmosphere is always laid-back.

83 boulevard Ornano, 75018; larecyclerie.com 

Image: Tommie Hansen