Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Smackdown: Paris vs. London

Since Paris is much smaller than London, its center and outlying quartiers can be navigated in a short period of time. Instead of jam-packed schedules and crowding into the massive tourist-laden museums such as the Louvre, visitors are now taking long weekend breaks to spend time outdoors exploring the city’s authentic neighborhoods to get a feel for how Parisians really live and play. In just a few days, they can eat in the superhot 11th arrondissement restaurants (Bones,Septime, the Clown Bar); sip late-night cocktails on hidden rooftops (Le Perchoir) and in underground caverns (Lockwood); go for an early-morning hike through the cobblestone streets of Edith Piaf’s Belleville before lunch at Le Baratin wine bar; and picnic along the Canal Saint-Martin, where barge pilots steer through the narrow waterways.
marion cotillard
Marion Cotillard (Photo: Getty Images)
Population: 2.5 million.
Famous faces: Jane Birkin, Olivia de Havilland, Marion Cotillard, Lenny Kravitz, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Natalie Portman, Hillary Swank, Olivier Martinez, Halle Berry, Matt Damon.
Uber taxi services are popular in Paris. (Photo: Getty Images)
Popular way to get around town: Forget taking a taxi; the affordable car service Uber is all the rage. Simply download the app using a credit card, tap it when you need a car, and the GPS locator tells the driver exactly where you are. Bonus? You don’t need to know your address or speak French. The driver sends a text that he is en route; attaches his photo, name, and contact information; and shows his current location and arrival time in real time. Once in the car, you get cold water bottles, iPhone chargers, and A/C. When you leave the car, no cash is needed and the tip is included.
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