Known locally as ‘So-Pi’, South Pigalle is what Dalston or Peckham are to London: très, très trendy. Just beneath the Moulin Rouge and sex shops of Pigalle, this is the place to sample the very latest going-out trends, whether that’s fusion bistros (Buvette), concept hotels (Le Pigalle) or clandestine cocktail bars (Lulu White’s). The Rue des Martyrs is a foodie heaven with dozens of boulangeries, chocolateries and chic cafés perfect for brunch and people-watching on a weekend morning. Follow that up with a stroll round the gorgeous gardens of the Musée de la Vie Romantique, one of Paris’s few free-entry museums, and then stop by the eponymous Pigalle streetwear store. So-Pi is particularly famed for its nightlife, with all sorts of options for letting loose after dark. Dirty Dick is the place for rum in a tiki-themed setting, while upmarket Le Carmen serves cocktails in an opulent, distinctly Parisian setting. Attractions here are hip rather than historic – if basketball’s your thing, stop by Pigalle Duperré, a neon-coloured court sandwiched between two towering apartment blocks.
Without meaning to state the obvious, Paris is a big city. Very, very big. Where to stay in Paris? That could well be the million Euro question, although that might be somewhat of an overreaction as we’re about to dissect the best parts of the city for your benefit. Every option in Paris seems like a good one, but it is undeniable that some neighbourhoods are better than others when it comes to restaurants, others for bars, nightlife, shopping, history and all the rest. The French capital is a collection of towns within a city, a very big city (did we mention that?), and these are the best places to stay in Paris.
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