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Free walking tours in Paris with Discover Walks.

Discover Walks copyWe all know the city guides that tell us about the Eiffel Tower or talk about how heavy the bell of Notre-Dame weighs. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that kind of information, but we rather go on tour with someone who can really teach us something new. Like a true Parisian!

On the 3th of January, I was the lucky one to get invited by the company Discover Walks, to try one of their amazing tours. Yes, with a real Parisian ;) I could pick a lot of different tours. They all looked interesting, but eventually I chose the Left Bank Tour. I didn’t knew that much information about the Latin Quarter, so I was really curious about the hidden secrets of this touristic place Or isn’t it that touristic at all…?

The rain was very badly that day, but when our guide arrived (a big plus for being perfectly on time!) it stopped. I would love to tell you all the details about the tour, but that would ruin the excitement for you and the guide. So, just grab your notebook and write down the highlights, because that’s what I’m going to talk about.

Our guide for that day was Quentin, a really nice guy who had lived for at the Quartier Latin area for a while. He started the tour with some facts and history about the district. Did you knew that ‘Left Banky’ means: rich and intellectual. That was because of the many students who studied there at one of the universities. The name ‘Quartier Latin’ is because Latin was the spoken language until the French Revolution.
Back to the tour, our first stop was the English bookstore: Shakespeare and Company. A famous bookstore where selling their books isn’t their first priority. It’s a company that gives upcoming writers a place to publish their work and a place to sleep in change for a few hours work in the bookstore. That’s no bad deal, who doesn’t want to work in such a romantic place ?

After we passed by the oldest tree of Paris (400 years old) and a church in a small park we arrived at the street: rue Saint Julien le Pauvre. The borderline between a good choice and a touristic one ;) Choose the way of rue Galande and you’re safe. The other side if full with touristic restaurants and souvenir shops. So, ignore the handsome waiter that try´s to get you inside of his cheap looking restaurant and move your way over to rue Galande. If you walk till the end of the street, you´ll find Studio Galande. A very special cinema, highly recommended by our tour guide. They play 5 different movies a day and on your ticket, you can find some things you have to bring to the movie. Think of rice to trow during at a wedding scene. How awesome, finally a legal reason to trow things at people during a movie!

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During our walk the guide payed attention to everyone and tried to keep the group together. He taught us how to cross a road in Paris and told us many things about the Parisian life. Little facts that you can’t find in books. For example: did you knew that Parisian markets are not meant to be a touristic place? The Parisians are very serious when it comes to food. A market isn’t a place to buy quick some food and take some snapshots. It’s for many Parisians a place to socialize and talk about food in a traditional way. Food shopping at a Parisian market is serious business, but definitely worth to try! During Christmas season you can buy those delicious galettes….mmmmm.

We also passed a view impressive buildings like College de France, (where you can join many classes for free. You only have to speak French and show up. You don’t need a student ID to get inside) and Sorbonne. Sorbonne is known as THE university of Paris. But Quentin warned us to not be tempted by the looks. It is definitely not the best school in Paris. Somewhere near Sorbonne stand a statue of the writer Montaigne. The myth goes that if students are touch his foot, it brings luck with writing their essays. I just had to finish my philosophy essay last weekend, to bad I couldn’t try it haha.

Pff, time flies because Sorbonne was already the last stop. After a group photo and some social talk, it was time to say goodbye to the group and to Quentin. Who did a really good job. He was one of the better guides I ever had in Paris. A loud speaker, interesting information and he even took the time to advise people about nice restaurants or places to get a cup of coffee. By the way: café le Flore at St.Germain des Prés was one of his favorites.

The whole tour was a nice experience that I will recommend to everyone. You can choose between paid and free tours. The free tours are only tip-supported which means that the guides are depending on your generosity ;) You can easily book online or just show up at the meeting point when the tour starts. Introduce yourself to the guide and he or she is more than happy with your company!  The free tours are running every day the whole year. Yes…even with bad weather!

I hope I informed you enough about this tour of Discover Walks, but if you need more information you may always contact me our you could check out their website or Facebook.

Sweet dreams everyone or a really good morning ♥

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Street art in Paris by Hopare.

Unknown 3Do the people at an Art Academy have any chance of a successful career? Is art in these days still worth any money?

Uh, I won’t even try to think of more questions, because the answer is YES. Yes, artistic people still have the chance to earn there livings with their work. It’s a though business because the competition is great, but I think the strength lies in learning from each other, instead of seeing each other as competitors. Find your own direction, focus on yourself and believe in your own abilities. 

A fantastic source of inspiration for me, and maybe for you, is the French artist Hopare. His work can be found all over the world and he is only 24 years old! Hopare’s artworks are being sold for prices above the 8,500 euros. (People even try to steal his work from the public walls) When you get stuff like that done, you’re get the medal of a successful artist, haha.

I discovered his work during a street art tour in Paris and his painting was for me the icing on the cake. Look at the shiny colors he used, they fit so perfect together. You can see that Hopare has a graphic background by the shapes and lines he uses. I can stare at it for hours, it’s so detailed.

I’n not a fan of writing a whole biography about him, because he has his own website with a lifestyle part. His photo’s will show you his latest work and places he has been to. So, if you want to get some more information about him, or see his other work, you can go to his website.

If you want to see this artwork by yourself, you have to go to Rue des Maronites, located in the 20th district of Paris. It’s worth the travel, even if you have come from far.

Tell me, what do you think of his work?

Sweet dreams everyone or a really good morning ♥

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The history of Paris with a touch of technology today.

Le Marais PeopleLe Marais is a popular district in Paris and definitely worth to see.The Eiffel tower is nice but the hidden treasures of the Marais are much more special. Don’t look for big sights or department stores. But, take a look at the local people and surrounding. You will notice that there are many falafel restaurants, craft shops and Jewish people. Not surprising because Le Marais was previously known as the Jewish Quarter. Characterized by wholesalers and leather goods. The pace of life is slower than average district in Paris. Quiet and peaceful. The old doors, narrow streets and the smell of traditional food, give you a sense of how it has been before. Yes, been before. Times are changing…the expensive brands want to settle here, housing prices are very high and today it’s also a popular district for the gay scene of Paris ;)

Gladly, the history of the Marais returns everyday. So we can still enjoy the atmosphere of this amazing district.
Take a look at the photo and judge for yourself ♡

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Note: have you read my post about the oldest park in Paris yet? Click here to read more about Place des Vosges in the Marais. 

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The difference between Place Pigalle and Montmartre.

Montmartre and Place PigalleYou’ve got the Sacré Coeur and the you’ve got the Moulin Rouge. Both places are known locally as Montmartre. That’s because they are both located in the 18th district of Paris called Montmartre. Even though the places are near to each other,  there is a big difference between those two! They can’t be compared with each other.

On top of Butte-Montmartre you feel the friendly atmosphere and you will notice immediately that it used to be a small village, separate of the big city. Montmartre is a picturesque neighbourhood  where you can enjoy history, artistic works and delicious red wine.

When you passed the many steps at the Sacré Coeur, Montmartre will slowly change into an entertainment center. The artworks turn into beautiful women and the red wine is replaced by champagne. Welcome to Place Pigalle, also known as the Red Light District of Paris!

Highlights of Montmartre: Sacré Coeur, Place du Tertre, Le Mur des je t’aime and Moulin de la Galette.
Highlights of Place Pigalle: Moulin Rouge, cabaret shows, night clubs,souvenir shops, restaurants many cafes!