Botanic Bleu Market

Top 9 Must-Do In Paris, Part 2

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Part 2 

Yes, this is Part 2 of my top nine things to do in Paris. 
If you missed Part 1, be sure to see it for my top #1-5 after reading Part 2. 

This is a very personalized list of things to do, not a list of the most visited sites in Paris. 
These are the things that make my heart sing! 

Here are my top #6-9 must-do in Paris. 

Visit a la Poste 

French stamps are inexpensive souvenirs that are also 
easy to pack, lightweight, and beautiful. 

Vintage stamps can be bought at Passage des Panoramas, 
a famous covered shopping passage. 

However, my favorite stamps to buy are current ones for two reasons. 
First, I need stamps to mail my postcards, and I like to choose 
pretty stamps to make the postcards even more special. 

Secondly, French commemorative stamps have exquisite details 
and are souvenirs in themselves. 
This Féte du timbre that celebrates strawberries, 
part of the Collection Historique du Timbre series, 
is printed on heavy card stock with four pages of 
detailed colored and line botanical drawings 
that serve as a background for the actual stamps. 

By visiting a la Poste instead of buying stamps at the 
corner tabac (tobacco) store, you can look through 
all current commemorative stamps, 
which may very well become tomorrow's vintage stamps of note. 

Another reason to visit a la Poste is to mail packages home. 
France offers international versions of "if it fits, it ships" boxes. 
When my suitcase no longer holds all my clothes 
and new purchases, I head to a post office to mail things home. 

For years there was a la Poste on the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower 
that sold postcards, stamps, and special envelopes, and that 
marked mail with a special Paris Tour Eiffel cancellation. 

The Eiffel Tower website no longer lists a la Poste on the 
1st floor, but research indicates there is a post office 
on the ground near one of the pillars. 
Recent postcards mailed from the ground post office 
did not have a special Eiffel Tower cancellation mark. 
Now that Eiffel Tower renovations are complete, 
maybe a post office has reopened on the 1st floor. 
It's worth a look while visiting the Tower. 
A postcard with an Eiffel Tower cancellation 
is a great souvenir to mail home to yourself. 

Have lunch on the Eiffel Tower

For many years, one of my top two things to do in Paris 
was to have lunch in the 1st floor Eiffel Tower restaurant.  
By making reservations by phone before leaving for Paris, 
not only did we have a wonderful lunch with 
fantastic views of Place du Trocadero and its fountains, 
we were able to skip the long lines and go directly to the elevators. 

To my dismay, I discovered from the Eiffel Tower official website 
that the 1st floor restaurant now only accepts reservations for 
parties of nine or more people, and that the once affordable 
lunch menu price is now out of my budget. 

Not to worry.  

There are now 'fast food' buffets 
and a patio for eating on the south side of the first floor. 
The views will be just as incredible as 
in the more expensive 1st floor restaurant. 

If a la Poste is on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower once again, 
then #6 and #7 can be done on the same day. 

Buy a tarte aux fraises from a patisserie

There are four tarte aux fraises with kiwis near the top of the photo.

On my very first trip to France I discovered 
tarte aux fraises (strawberry tart) at a patisserie in Amiens, France. 
The berries with a thin glaze sat atop a rich custard 
in a crunchy pastry shell. 

Pure heaven! 
The berries were the most flavorful I've ever tasted, 
and the vanilla custard was so creamy and rich, 
I bought tarte aux fraises all over France. 

Though this is listed as my #8, it probably is my #1. 

Whenever I arrive in Paris, I immediately 
begin looking for tarte aux fraises 
and eat them every day when possible. 
Patisseries are in every neighborhood and 
tarte aux fraises is a regular offering. 
They are great for petit déjeuner (breakfast). 
The strawberries have so much more flavor 
than the ones here at home. 

Now, if you are not a strawberry fan, 
I am sure you will find another delectable 
pastry in a patisserie shop that you will 
want to eat every day in Paris. 
Or, maybe you will eat a different pastry every day. 
Don't worry; all the walking will burn the calories. 

Buy fresh flowers

Nothing says Paris like flowers. 
Like patisseries, florists are in every neighborhood, and 
many street markets also sell flowers like these bouquets. 
The flowers last for many days and 
make a hotel room smell divine. 
Strolling through street markets is a relaxing treat, 
and the florists in Paris should not be missed.  

If you missed my top #1-5, 
you can see them in 

See the following websites for detailed information about my top #6-7. 

Vintage French Stamps

Eiffel Tower